Authors Without A Yacht (AWaY) discussion

Authors Ask Readers' Opinions > Polling on e-book pricing and use of DRM

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message 1: by Brenna (new)

Brenna Lyons (BrennaLyons) | 93 comments Mod
One of the complaints we often hear from readers is that the publishers don't listen to them. As much as people like to believe authors have some magic power over publishers, we only wish that was true. The truth is that authors have control over very little. Formats books are available in, scheduling of releases, cover art, distribution, and pricing are all a publisher's side of the contract. Even complaining to publishers isn't effective; all an author complaining to them accomplishes is loss of future contracts from that publisher, especially when dealing with NY conglomerate presses.

Worse, pirates often use what they term "outrageous e-book pricing" and "overuse of DRM" to excuse their piracy. Those two subjects are near and dear to many readers' hearts...and to many authors' hearts as well, we've found, especially when dealing with NY conglomerate press. Thankfully, most readers aren't pirating in response to the problems.

So, if the big presses aren't listening to readers or to indie press (who has had more than 15 years to find their pricing balance with readers), and pirates are using the problems as an excuse to pirate not only conglomerates but also indies...causing the trickle-down effect piracy has on the whole industry... What is a concerned group to do but offer a polling of readers to make a point?

People who read e-books only, please... There is no response of "I don't read e-books," because this is a polling about e-book pricing...and a second about DRM, which non-readers would have little interest in.

The question is simple. What would you pay for a novel-length (NOT category length...think a 300 or more page mass market book with at least a sale price of $6 on Amazon and a list price of at least $8) fiction e-book? One question. And if you feel up to it... What are your feelings on DRM?

The pollings are set up, and the results will be posted in a message from EPIC and on this blog, as well. You can find the polling at Brenna's blog at

Feel free to pass this polling along to as many e-book readers as you choose to. It will be a wonderful experiment to see what readers respond on it.

At the very least, I can debunk what Madeline McIntosh (President of Sales, Operations, and Digital for Random House) said at the American Bookseller Association meeting. She said that publishers "have no real experience at setting retail prices." I fully disagree. To be accurate, NY conglomerate publishers may well have no experience at it, but indie publishers (especially indie/e publishers) do. That's the way our system works.

message 2: by Rowena, Group Owner (new)

Rowena (rowenacherry) | 685 comments Mod
I love your polls! By the way, can you please explain what DRM is?

I know it stands for Digital Rights Management, and I know that pirates crack it for fun and profit. But what is it?

message 3: by Brenna (new)

Brenna Lyons (BrennaLyons) | 93 comments Mod
It's software designed to curtail the use of e-books to "protect" content. It will do whatever it is designed to do. The most common uses are to make it difficult or impossible (unless cracked) to move an e-book from machine A to machine B or to only allow the book to open on machines registered to a certain user, to prevent printing the e-book, to prevent copying and pasting, and sometimes to prevent having text to speech programs read the text.

All told, many authors (like myself) are actually anti-DRM. I'll post my article about how DRM affects the reading experience later tonight.

message 4: by Pauline (new)

Pauline (paulinebairdjones) | 24 comments Mod
I hate DRM.

message 5: by Rowena, Group Owner (new)

Rowena (rowenacherry) | 685 comments Mod
I deplore DRM, too.

It seems outrageous to me to act on the assumption that all book buyers are potential thieves!

When I was training to be a teacher, we were taught to expect the best of students, and we'd usually get it.

I only have two ebooks, and both are available as .pdf or .htm

message 6: by Pauline (new)

Pauline (paulinebairdjones) | 24 comments Mod
It makes me sigh when people assume pirating started with ebooks. It started with scanners! JK Rowlings books are all over and she won't release e-rights.

These pirates scan the books in (and how lame is that?) and then upload them. DRM only causes problems for honest readers, not the dishonest, who either hack it or bypass it by scanning.

When my Treo died a few years ago, all my DRM mobi-pocket ebooks are now limited to my desktop, while my multiformat ebooks traveled with me to a new cell phone. (Where they can be seen by other readers when I show off the features of my cell phone's ereader software.)

(I have MATING NET, legally purchased from fictionwise. You have another one?? Will have to hunt, er, track it down. LOL!)

message 7: by Brenna (new)

Brenna Lyons (BrennaLyons) | 93 comments Mod
She has three more! And they are all fab!


message 8: by Pauline (new)

Pauline (paulinebairdjones) | 24 comments Mod
I have two in print and one eBook and agree!

message 9: by Rowena, Group Owner (new)

Rowena (rowenacherry) | 685 comments Mod

You ought to introduce yourself in the MEET... folder. Just click to start a new Topic and Head it MEET PAULINE.

If you wish to read Forced Mate as an e-book, scroll down to the LEGAL SELLERS folder. I have the rights to the e-version of Forced Mate (mostly because I paid a fortune for the photo of the hunk, and could not bear to see him vanish... he is my perfect Tarrant-Arragon).

I sell it for just under $2.00 on, and without DRM. PayPal takes a chunk out of that, but I tried the lower price to see if pirates really would buy it if it didn't cost $6.00.

Thank you for your interest.

message 10: by Rowena, Group Owner (new)

Rowena (rowenacherry) | 685 comments Mod
Thank you, Brenna.

Insufficient Mating Material appeared briefly as a Kindle, owing to a misunderstanding. I own the e- and POD rights to it, and to Knight's Fork.

Out of loyalty to Dorchester, I'm not competing at the moment, but legally, I could.

message 11: by Rowena, Group Owner (new)

Rowena (rowenacherry) | 685 comments Mod
How's the poll going, Brenna? When will you post the results?

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