Okay, I confess, the little wordgame in the title is blatantly stolen from an old dilbert strip. However, I feel it is a rather adequate title for this post so I hope that if Scott Adams should ever stumble onto my humble blog that he will forgive me for this minor theft.
Yesterday, while reading my news feeds in front of the TV, I stumbled onto this article in Digital Book World. Needless to say I got rather riled up. My first though were to check the date. Nope it was not 1st of April any more. Then I went “you must be shitting me” (sorry for the rudeness but I was and I am rather riled up). This guy thinks that we should pay more for a product that is actually cheaper to produce (not the actual writing of course but the rest of it compared to paper) and distribute because it might also be considered more convenient for us readers.
This is why I loathe politicians, lawyers, bean counters and obviously consultants (I am an engineer after all). They live in their own little bubble where the goal is not to make something good but rather to extort as much money as possible from the citizens, clients and consumers. I know, I know in a market economy it is what the customers wants to pay that matters and there is no strict relation between the actual value of a product and the price.
However, to go out publically and claim that the we, the consumers, should pay more for a, obviously, cheaper to produce product because he feels the product is more convenient for us is, as far as I am concerned, a slap in the face of the consumers. It is also, again as far as I am concerned, arrogant and disconnected from todays reality. After all, we live in an informed world where most people can go to the internet to do some research. The consumers know that it is cheaper to produce ebooks than paper ones that have to be distributed. They cannot be duped into thinking that they should pay more for something that is really cheaper. I certainly hope that the force of the consumers are enough to make this consultant crawl back under the stone from under which he crawled out.
Okay, now maybe it is time for a disclaimer. I am all in favor of paying a fair price. The fact that ebooks are cheaper to produce in terms of getting the book to the reader should not mean that the authors all of a sudden gets squeezed in the process. Their work is not any easier or cheaper just because the books are distributed electronically. Same goes for the editor/proofreader of course.
Well, that was me letting off some steam again :-).