Throwback Thursday: The $9.99 e-book boycott

tux-161439_1280Yesterday, I was thinking that since the e-book market has changed so much since its inception, it might be fun to do a Throwback Thursday post about e-books.

A discussion topic for  Throwback Thursday: Do you remember the $9.99 ebook boycott? Back in 2009, when e-book prices started going up, a group of Kindle owners joined together and  started boycotting e-books priced higher than the magic $9.99 mark. (You can read the story behind the boycott here.)

With the advent of agency pricing, publishers began  to set their own prices for e-books and the prices went up.  Since that time, agency has come, gone and then come back again. Now, it is not unusual to see e-books priced at $11.99 to $14.99 and up.

Personally, the $9.99 e-book boycott had a tremendous effect on me. Even today, I still refuse to pay more than $9.99 for a mere license to read a book. The truth is, I don’t really own an e-book, I can’t sell or lend it, it has no first sale rights or value, and even the transfer rights to other  devices are limited.  Convenience in purchasing, immediate gratification and the ability to change font size are not worth the trade-off. I also won’t purchase e-books that cost the same as a physical product.

To me, it is actually sad to see older backlist e-books priced nearly as high as new books:  James A. Michener’s The Source, for example, has been ranging in price from $10.89 to $12.99. The book was first published in 1965. One title presently on my watch list, Don’t Make Me Think, Revisited, is currently selling for over $20. As much as I would like to read it, I really don’t anticipate buying that one in the near future.

Since I am particular about how much I will pay for an e-book, the issue has indeed affected my book buying habits. I read a lot of indie authors who price their books at reasonable prices. I read classics from Project Gutenberg and the Internet Archive. I check out the free book listings. I watch sales, not only on Amazon, but also on Barnes and Noble and Kobo as well. I I use price watching services like eReaderIQ to track price drops. I have a subscription to Scribd that I use for backlist books that I think are priced too high. As it stands, I usually manage to read 1-2 books a week, plus re-reads and haven’t run out of material yet. 🙂

The $9.99 ebook boycott has fallen out fashion, especially among the Kindle owners who started it. Now, mentioning that e-book prices are too high on the Amazon Kindle Discussion forums is more likely to get you flamed than to see any support for the position. Ultimately, it comes down to the fact that everyone has to find a price point that they are comfortable paying. There may be some indications supporting the view that e-book sales are down due to prices.

So what about you? Do you have a cutoff price point for digital books? Have e-books prices affected your books buying habits?  Let me know in the comments.

Library Corner 8-25-2015

Library corner imageThe Rise of Phone Reading (WSJ)

Did technology kill the book or give it new life? (BBC News)

Outrage as city with new £188m library ask readers for help buying books (The Telegraph)

Are Americans falling in love with censorship? (Guardian)

Jimmy Wales Says Wikipedia Is Losing Traffic From Google (Search Engine Land)

Women’s Groups and the Rise of the Book Club (JSTOR)

Up From The Ashes, A Public Library In Sri Lanka Welcomes New Readers (NPR)

OverDrive Working on PDF Conversion, Faster Cloud-based Platform (Infodocket)

ALA Calls for an End to Mandatory Filters (The Digital Reader)

Digital Collections:

Research Tools: City of New York Launches Expanded and Enhanced City Record Online (CROL) Database, More Data and Now Searchable (Infodocket)

State library relocates genealogical collection (Daily Courier)

DataQ, a New Collaborative Platform for Answering Research Data Questions in Academic Libraries Formally Launches (Infodocket)

UO, OSU join forces to produce Web app that brings Oregon history alive (Register-Guard)

Audio Recognition App “Warblr” (Shazam For Birds) Launches in UK (Infodocket)


Research Tools: Population Reference Bureau Releases 2015 World Population Data Sheet, Visualizations, and Interactive World Map (Infodocket)

Minneapolis Releases Archive Of Historic Images Online (CBS Minnesota – WCCO)

Update: U.S. Census Adds 2013 Data to OnTheMap Interactive Web App (Infodocket)

The New York Times Makes 17,000 Tasty Recipes Available Online: Japanese, Italian, Thai & Much More (Open Culture)

Reference: ProPublica’s Non-Profit Explorer Database Updated (990 Filings) (Infodocket)

About once a week, I post links to digital-related library news articles and information about digital collections available online.  I also post other links of interest about the digital life daily on the Google Plus eBook Evangelist Page.


Library Corner 8-20-2015

Library corner imageGoogle Maps Launches Plus Codes: “A New Way To Help Pinpoint Places on the Map” (Infodocket)

Library users reject new online catalog – old one returning (Los Altos Town Crier)

New privacy guidelines encourage libraries and vendors to work together to protect reader privacy (ALA News)

Facing Islamic State threat, Iraq digitizes national library (Associated Press)

The Library Privacy Project and TOR Project Begin Library Exit Node Pilot (Infodocket)

Crypto activists announce vision for Tor exit relay in every library (Ars Technica)

Why College Libraries Are Going Bookless (The Digital Reader)

Digital Collections:

Marx & Engels papers completely available online (Social History)

Cool! Science: NASA Makes Two New Tools About Mars Available Online (Visualizations and Simulations) (Infodocket)

Sharing a million photographs (Wikimedia Blog)

weatherView: A New Real-Time Interactive Weather Model Visualization Tool Available From NOAA (Infodocket)

Edmonton Public Library unveils music sharing site (Edmonton Journal)

Reference: New Database of Tax Exempt Organizations in New York State (Infodocket)

UW builds largest digital library of Sephardic language (Seattle Times)

Sports Reference: Full Text of the Official 2015 NFL Record and Fact Book Now Available Online (Free Download) (Infodocket)

About once a week, I post links to digital-related library news articles and information about digital collections available online.  I also post other links of interest about the digital life daily on the Google Plus eBook Evangelist Page.

Library Corner 8-14-2015

Library corner imageNYPL and Library Simplified (The Digital Reader)

Increasing Accessibility with the MARC COCKTAIL (Smithsonian Libraries)

ALA releases new digital privacy guidelines (The Digital Reader)

Libraries Taskforce secures further funding to roll out free wifi in public libraries across England (Gov.UK)

Bexar County, Texas: New Bibliotech (All Digital Library) Opens in San Antonio Public Housing Project (Infodocket)

There’s a library-shaped hole in the Internet (Boston Globe)

E-libraries transform scholarship in Myanmar (SciDevNet)

A Library in the Palm of Your Hand: Mobile Services in Top 100 University Libraries (Infodocket)

With 10,699 books printed, Windsor library’s self-publishing machine is a hit (Windsor Star)

Digital Collections:

 Open Data: Basic Metadata for the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) Collection Now Public Domain With CC0 License (Infodocket)

Brill Launches Major New Dictionary of Ancient Greek Online (Brill)

New Database: Three NGOs Launch Fishing Transparency Website Identifying 15,264 EU Vessels Authorised to Fish Outside the EU (Infodocket)

Trafficking in Persons Report 2015 (US State Department)

The British Library and National Library of Israel Announce Partnership to Digitize Hebrew Manuscripts (Infocdoket)

William Faulkner’s Yoknapatawpha County goes online (Clarion Ledger)

New Online Database Provides Searches of Registered Designs in Israel (Infodocket)

Parker Library on the Web celebrates 10th Anniversary with a new service (Standford University Library)

Rare Elizebeth Gaskell manuscripts go digital for the first time (Infodocket)

About once a week, I post links to digital-related library news articles and information about digital collections available online.  I also post other links of interest about the digital life daily on the Google Plus eBook Evangelist Page.

Latest Kindle Fire OS Update Problems?

fire_6_2Over the past two weeks, Amazon has been releasing a new  operating system update for the Kindle Fire tablets. The 4.5.5 update hit my two Fire 6 tablets yesterday. One of the tablets ( my new 8GB one) was responding so slowly, I thought the tablet was defective. The drag lasted about 24 hours and then today, the device started responding normally. My 16 GB version didn’t seem to be affected at all. This updated was supposed to be for general improvements and performance enhancements.

When I looked on Amazon to see if anyone else was having a problem, I found several threads in the Kindle discussion forums (here and here) that suggested that this latest update totally bricked their Fire tablets. I hadn’t heard  of any problems on other sites like Kboards or Mobile Read.

Has anybody else had any problems?

Library Corner August 3, 2015

Library corner image8 Weird Facts From the History of the Library (Flavorwire)

APA reports continued strong audio sales (Library Journal)

U.S. Program Will Connect Public Housing Residents to Web (NY Times)

Protesters rally, check out books to make clear concerns over weeding at Berkeley Central Library (Berkeleyside)

E-books click with more library users (Asia One)

Greater Jakarta: City set to establish digital libraries (Jakarta Post)

National Archives (NARA) Asks For Public Input on Prioritizing Materials to Digitize (Infodocket)

E-book sales are flattening, but does that mean the technology is dying as consumers unplug? Financial Post)

New Report: “Who Votes? Congressional Elections and the American Electorate: 1978-2014″ (Infodocket)

Digital Collections:

Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Books & Manuscript Library Digitizing 2,000 ‘Largely Undiscovered’ Videocassettes (Beinecke)

New Video: The British Library Takes a CT Scan of Europe’s Oldest Intact Book (Infodocket)

The Georgia Folklore Collection (Digital Library of Georgia)

NASA Satellite Camera Provides “EPIC” View of Earth (NASA)

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) releases updated environmental and public health indicators in an online database (Infodocket)

N.Y.U. Library Acquires Archive of the Digital Art Journal Triple Canopy (Arts Beat NY Times)

AP makes one million minutes of historical footage available on YouTube (Associated Press)

About once a week, I post links to digital-related library news articles and information about digital collections available online.  I also post other links of interest about the digital life on the Google Plus eBook Evangelist Page.