I have noted in myself what my reaction to pricing in purchasing books seems to be and here is my experience. I think that this is becoming a new norm for readers in general. If a book has good reviews and 250+ pages I won’t really even think about it but will drop 1.99 to 2.99 on it. Call it an impulse buy that I don’t really resist. If it is a second book in series that I like I will normally be willing to drop between 2.99 to 3.99 on it if it is in that 250 to 350 page length. Once the price jumps over 3.99 it has to both have a decent page length of 300+ pages and be something I really really want to read based on reviews, how interested in the idea of the story showing in the blurb, or that it is a sequel to a book I am dying to read the next book. In the last couple years I have just about quit purchasing works by traditionally published books in paper or in digital due to the prices. Even before the advent of the really good indie books at reasonable prices I had been buying less and less books as the prices rose and rose to the point that I simply didn’t want to purchase then even though many of those authors I am die hard fans of. Instead I more and more found them in the library or library book sales. With the advent of digital publishing and the amazon kindle, the availability of samples and reviews to guide one I have had a revolution of sorts in purchasing. I think I spend more money overall than I did before. I’m not sure that financially this is a good thing but I no longer feel upset at spending that amount of money individually on a book. I think I am spending overall more of my income on books. How do some of the other readers out here feel about their purchasing habits involving books?
I must say that in the last year or so I have come to have a lot of problems with the pricing of books in general. The retailers and publishers have a lot to answer for. I have just gone along with everyone else in assuming that it just cost a lot of money to publish physical books and ship them to the store etc and then the store needs to make a decent profit to pay for their employees and floor space. In the last year though as digital editions of books have started to come out the prices in general aren’t reflecting any savings to the end purchaser. I leaves me wondering at the truth of statements made by publishers as to why they charge as much as they do for books. If we are no longer paying for the printing, the physical paper, the shipping and the retail floorspace and salaries of the sales people then what are we paying for. In the case of authors it is fairly criminal how little they get per book. One author I spoke with was getting royalties of only about 3% and in my opinion getting ripped off royally. Amazon right now is selling their books at around 30 dollars a copy and they are getting about 1 dollar per copy. If they published their own digital edition through amazon it could sell for half the cost and still get 5.25 a copy.. a 500% increase in profits. Or they could setup their own website and self publish from it using paypal and keep all the profits minus fairly minor expenses. It could published in PDF with the file locked to keep it from being easily copied. The simplest method would be to just have a link on the website that took you to paypal for payment and when the author got an email showing receipt of payment they could email to the purchaser. A little more difficult up front would be to set it up so that when they paid, it redirected them to a download page. As to loosing revenue doing this because it would be possible for people to give copies of the book away without paying for them. Well that is true. However it is not the problem you might think. Baen as a publisher has sold and given away full unencrypted copies of all the books they publish, in digital format, for years now and according to them it has not hurt sales. They say it has actually increased sales overall.
I recently purchased a 48 foot reefer trailer (an insulated trailer pulled behind an eighteen wheeler.) it is 48 feet long and 8 feet wide outside dimensions and 7 feet 4 inches by 47 feet 6 inches or so on the inside with about 336 sq feet of floor space.
Now you might ask, “why would you want a huge trailer like that?” Ahh.. therin lies the story.. I have lots and lots and lots of books. My best estimate as to how many is around 10,000. I have only cataloged just over 4500 of them so far. That many books weigh a lot. We are talking tons of weight. My house after years of supporting that weight is complaining. It is starting to sink on its foundation piers. Not a lot yet but enough that some of the doors are starting to go out of alignment. It’s time to get the books out of the house. Well, I don’t just want to box them up and store them. I like reading my books. So what I need is a library of my own. I could build a small building and put them in it, but there is a problem. I plan on selling my house in the next few years. I would prefer not having to spend all that money on a building I leave behind and also on having to pack all those books up and move them and then unpack them… Trust me I have done this before.. it is a lot!!! of work.
I used to get practical sailor magazine up until I had some issues with my subscription. When I tried to contact them about it I got no response at all. Not a yes, no or maybe. Just silence. So I quit renewing. I received two promotional offers to renew today in email and it just struck me wrong so I felt motivated to send them an email back.
Dear Practical Sailor,
I had quit renewing my subscription some time ago and I don’t intend to renew now. After the last time I renewed and then found out that it wasn’t a special renewal price but just a partial renewal I was very upset. Also I don’t really believe your renew now and get the book of product reviews. Some how the book of product reviews never quite made it to my mailbox. I did contact you about those issues at the time but I guess my business was not that important as you never bothered to respond to my inquiries.
It took me a while to get to where I could write about this. It still leaves me feeling sick, stressed out and enraged.
Friday was Zsanic’s birthday and I took her, my sister and mother to see “Get Smart” at the Coastal Grand Mall In Myrtle Beach, SC. We parked at the far end of the row right in front of the movie theater entrance. Three hours later when we came out my car was gone. Stolen.
It’s a strange feeling, maybe the best description is surreal. Zsanic and my Mother had ridden with me and my sister brought her car. So we walked out of the mall and hugged my sister good bye and then the three of us walked to my car… well where my car had been.. as we were standing there looking for it I didn’t really think “oh my car has been stolen”. Instead it was “I thought my car was here. I must have parked it one row over.” So I walked over a row and looked. No car. I came back and thought real hard about where I had left it and remembered to within a couple of spaces where I thought I had parked it. When I came in to park another car took the first space I was going to park in and I ended up parking a couple spaces down and across from them. It left an impression on all of us in the car about where we had parked. finally after about 10 minutes of searching just in case we were all crazy I admitted to myself that the car had been stolen. 30 minutes later Zsanic was still denying that it could have been stolen. She kept saying “were just looking to hard and missing it”. I can’t deny that emotionally I felt the same way. It just couldn’t have happened therefore I was missing it. Logically though.. well the car had been stolen.
Another topic on a web forum that I got to thinking about had to do with regulation of pleasure boats to protect people. This conversation ranged rather far abroad into topics of gun control and personal responsibility. I defiantly have opinions on these subjects and ended up writing a little mini response. It is not complete or comprehensive but I wanted to keep it around. One day maybe I will come back and expand on it some.
The attitude that we should protect people from themselves by creating
laws is becoming a huge problem in just about every 1st world country
I’ve heard about. It is slowly taking away our right to participate in
activity’s that have any risk at all.
I was recently reading a yahoo group post about kindle etiquette in looking at books in a local bookstore such as barnes and nobles and then purchasing the book on your kindle from amazon.com. I really got into my musing about the appropriateness of this and wrote my musings down for what they are worth.
The mega book store chains have just about killed the smaller book
stores at this point. Used book stores are just about gone in general
though I will admit there are exceptions. When I was a kid 30 years
ago we had 4 or 5 used bookstores in my area, there are none left now.
We used to have about 5 different chain stores in this area 15 years
ago.. Now only Barnes and Noble and Books a Million are left. The
kindle and the generations of devices that will follow it will kill
the big chains also unless they somehow capture a piece of the market
and change with it.
It’s both like and at the same time the antithesis to those shows where you have the scene with the alcoholic standing up in front of a group of people and saying “hi my name is George and I’m a recovering alcoholic”
“Hi my name is Scott and I want to go cruising.” It really doesn’t sound like much.. there isn’t much overt drama to it. Most people when you tell them you want to get a boat and move onto it to live a nomadic lifestyle give you that look that says. “where did this guy come from? loon in the house!” You get questions from them .. “What about your Job? Your house? Your life.” Though to be honest I also get from some of them “that is so cool” and “I’d love to do that”.
feb 24 2007 video
I took Sea Puppy out today and sailed about 6 miles down the coast and back. Conditions were about 9 to 10 knots of wind and 1 ft seas. Wind from the S/SE and seas from the N/NE. Ben took out Winds of Freedom and Angela had Valkyr out also. Needless to say Ben walked away from Angela and I as if we were standing still. A beneteau First 36.7 is a fast boat points like a banshee. It was unreal watching him pointing higher and going much faster than either of us could go. It almost looked like he was sailing in much different wind than us. On the other hand Valkyr and Sea Puppy amazingly seem to in that wind range have very similar performance. Valkyr is a Down East 38 so she has a much longer waterline and with the cutter rig a lot of sail area, on the other hand she is a heavy cruising boat. Upwind I can almost hang with her. I can point higher than she can but at a cost of about a 1/4 knot of speed compared to her. On the same heading upwind I was maintaining speed as long as I was hand steering. Using the autopilot slowed me down enough that she would creep ahead. ( the auto pilot was doing a lot of work correcting the course because of the seas being following seas. I could adjust for this better than the autopilot.) On the way back in running down wind Sea Puppy just zipped home. We walked away from Valkyr at a steady clip. The weight on Valkyr really started to count against her as apparent wind dropped off downwind.