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Eric J. Ehlers
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That's a rather inflammatory and unfair representation of not only the utility of books but the entire purpose of why people want to produce books and purchase books. The cost factor description you give is also biased and myopic. Look, I can dig the whole "Information wants to be free" spiel when it's not used as a synonym for "Screw intellectual property." So I'm willing to partially look beyond certain poor rhetorical choices here. But I don't feel it helps your argument at all to start off talking about why there's very little great about books and then spend a large chunk of the end of your article nodding at the ways books are superior to e-formats. I'd much rather read a clear-headed, evaluative piece that comes to your conclusion than one that starts with an unnecessary and pointless attack. As for cost: ebooks cost what they do for 2 main reasons: 1) the physical component of the dead-tree books is a small part of hte cost. Production requires paying the writer, the editor, the proofreader, the proofer, the art director, the artist, the distributer, etc. You get rid of these things and you might as well plan on all novels being more or less like fanficiton.net. 2) the initial cost of ebooks is quite high because publishers make a huge chunk of money off hardcover. It's not about preserving a format. It's about preserving profitability. So that the staff in reason 1 can remain employed. Once the cost has been recouped, and the hardcover is no longer selling as well, the price of ebooks drops dramatically. Often to 1 or 2 dollars. Rather than bitching about the price, though, doesn't it make sense to come up with technological solutions to the limitations of bit-formats? Then the price issue becomes less of a factor.
Toggle Commented Apr 11, 2012 on Books: Bits vs. Atoms at Coding Horror
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Apr 10, 2012