It wasn’t long ago ebooks were hailed as a fast and efficient way of reading your favourite authors without having to pay the prices associated with their paper cousins. I think you may have been conned!
A recent report suggests that you’re likely to pay more for an ebook than the same title in hardback. But why? Here are a few reasons why the digital revolution might not have proven to be quite the seismic shift that was anticipated:
- Publishing a paperback or hardbook has a known cost. Delivering a digital version doesn’t mean it will necessarily be cheaper
- Authors still need to be paid. Even though technology makes delivery easier the author still expects to earn the same rates regardless of how the book is packaged
- VAT rates are higher for ebooks.Although the figures are relatively small it’s still an extra cost the sellers have to cover
- Price fixing. Even the digital world isn’t immune; Apple and four pubslishers (Hachette Livre, Simon & Schuster, Holtzbrinck and HarperCollins) were found to fixing the ebook prices
How can you beat being ripped off?
It’s true that big players such as Amazon, Google and Apple have the ebook market pretty much wrapped up there are still ways to cut costs.
eBook Price Comparison
There are price comparison sites for holidays, insurance, electrical, etc so it’s no surprise that they also exist for ebooks. The one I’ve used the most often is luzme.com. Launched in 2008, the site has a massive list of ebook prices that they scrape from around the web. As you’d expect, once you’ve searched and found the book you want at the price you want you can also buy it through the site.
Gift Cards and Vouchers
Gift cards and voucher codes have been with us for a long, long time. They’ve moved on a long since the old days of watching your mum coupon clipping. Most online ebook sellers give shoppers the chance to use either electronic gift cards or vouchers to cut the costs of their shopping basket. Sadly, I haven’t seen the option to gift an ebook yet but I do think that, given the demand, Amazon may well launch this type of service soon.
Get Your eBook From The Library
This one takes me way back to my youth and reminds me how rapidly times have changed. Back in the mists of time, I can remember spending hours in my local library reading through my huge list of ‘must read’ books. Although I still like the look and feel of a real book, the ebook downloads available from library’s have made life so much easier. For anyone wanting to check out the contents before you make the journey to the library or if you prefer to read on a digital device, this service makes great sense.
A great example of how an eBook service should be run can be found on the eBook section of the Leicester County Council library website.
Download PDFs Instead
Alternatively, there are other options beyond simply going to the big names for your ebook download. There are quite a few PDF search engines that are designed to cater purely for book enthusiasts. The great thing about PDF’s is that you don’t need an ebook reader – most computers and tablets suppor Adobe with which you can you read PDF format books. There are a large number of websites offering PDF search facilities but I highly recommend pdfgenie. Whilst most books are free it’s always wise to make sure you’re not downloading pirated books.
Start downloading now at www.pdfgenie.com.
Borrow From A Friend
It’s easy to lend a paper or hardback to a friend but can you do the same with the Nook or the Kindle? Yes. Both devices have a feature that allows to lend an ebook to your friends. Both devices let you lend books for up to 14. You can loan a number of different books to the same person but you can lend a book once. The Kindle does have restrictions which means that not all books can be loaned. To find out which titles are eligible, select the one you want to loan, open the “Product Details” and look for “Lending Enabled”.
Even More Book Lending
If you have a Kindle but none of friends have one you could always borrow from a wider circle. Booklending.com lets you browse a massive database of Kindle owners who are prepared to lend out their books. The best part? It’s totally free. As far I can see, the website makes money from commissions on books sales advertised in the sidebar. Top tip: if the book you want isn’t available for loan via the site buy it through their links then advertise it back through the community to help pay of the web hosting costs.
Take a stroll over to www.booklending.com/ now and start browsing their database.