Why I won’t be buying ebooks for a while

When I finished my last ebook the other day, i went to my bookshelf. Mainly it was to save a little money, I read fast when I read fiction, so I was consuming about 2-3 books a month, not a cheap hobby.

So I picked up a trusty paperback I’ve read 3 times previous but not recently (the last 4 years or s0).

I had forgotten how nice a book feels. No I’m not suddenly an anti paper luddite, but real books are nice, the feel of paper (in this books case) the degrading spine (mass market paperbacks sadly aren’t designed to last) requiring kid gloves to read it, etc.

But that nostalgia aside, i’m still a big proponent of eBooks, but I’m reconsidering my opinion that they’ve ‘arrived’

Not only does Amazon cow towing to McMillan bother me, but in general the trend of Amazon and the publishers.

I had hoped after what? 2 years of Kindle sales, stats like every Kindle owner on average buys 2.7 or something more books than non Kindle owning Amazon users, etc. That the publishers would get onboard the clue train.

But that doesn’t seem to have happened.

Rather than figure out how to make money in the marketplace as it exists, they’ve bitched and moaned for 2 years, without fixing a broken system.

I had hoped, and have said often, that the change in publishing, will have to be forced, and that I hoped Amazon was strong enough to “Apple” the publishing industry into the 21st Century.

I appear to have misplaced my hope. Sure it would suck to not be able to buy Tor titles from Amazon, I love Sci Fi. But it was a game of chicken, and Amazon jumped out of the car first.

Unfortunately rather than support the modern age, most authors seem to be on the attack of eReader owners, and crying foul on Amazon. Rather than lobbying for change from within most just sit back and bitch about how truly powerless they are. WTF guys come on, you’re the content creator, the power IS yours.

So for now, I’ve established a book buying moratorium. As much as it pains me, I can’t support an industry that staunchly refuses to adapt to the world around them. If the Music industry and figure it out, publishing should be able to as well.

I’ll get books at used book stores, I’ll use Paper back swap, and I’ll get free books for my Kindle when I can.

There’s always bittorrent too, sorry publishers, but forcing paying customers away, is your own doing*

I hope other Kindle owners will stop buying books as well. There’s plenty of other sources, and plenty of free content as well. My Kindle won’t be collecting dust by any means.

I’d love to hear what you think.

*Not an admission of piracy, if I WERE to download a book off a torrent and like it, I’d buy the paper version.
By John Wilker

I'm a science fiction writer and conference organizer. In 2017 I published my first book, 'Space Rogues', a fun Sci-Fi adventure with a fun cast of characters. I'm also the co-founder of 360|Conferences, a conference and event logistics consulting company.

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