Just a quick hit to let anyone reading this know that Rembrandt's Angel by Steven M. Moore is out and available from Penmore Press.
I had the pleasure of reading this before it was published and can attest that it's an excellent read. Great characters and a tense situation with a broad plot that runs the principals all over Europe and the British Isles.
It's available in trade paperback and as a Kindle e-book...
Here's the link to the Kindle e-book: Rembrandt's Angel
I received a coupon for 20% off of one item at Barnes and Noble over the weekend. It happened that we were in the vicinity of a B&N store and stopped in for a few minutes. A book on the "New Releases" shelf caught my eye: it was titled One Year After, by William R. Forstchen, and the blurb described an American society that had broken down after an EMP attack. It also described itself as a sequel to another book.
It took me about three minutes to look under the "F's" for the previous book. As I am a bit of a sucker for these types of post-apocalyptic novels, I read the blurb and checked the price. Paperback, $9.99.
Now I had a 20% coupon and I get my usual 10% member's discount, so I pulled up the Amazon app on my phone and looked up the ebook version of the book.
Let's do the math. 80% of that is $7.99. 90% of $7.99 is $7.19.
So I paid $7.19 (plus tax, around 7%) for a paperback version of a book that in electronic form would cost me $9.99. Even with tax, it was still less than $8.00. Something around $7.70, I think. I don't have my receipt with me.
I also had a gift card, so no cash came out of my pocket and no charges went onto a credit card, but I suppose that's neither here nor there. I paid less, and I have a physical object that I can take to Half-Price Books and resell if I choose to do so. Or resell in some other manner.
And they wonder why ebook sales are down for them?
I just thought a quick post updating the book pricing might be interesting. A couple posts back, I wrote that Amazon's ebook price for DARK CITY by F. Paul Wilson was $8.54, more than my arbitrary max for a fiction ebook for myself.
So I waited. I received a ten-dollar gift card from Barnes and Noble for Christmas, and yesterday I went into their store to browse a bit. There was DARK CITY, retail price $8.99. With my 10% member's discount, it was already down to $8.09, less than the ebook price. Okay, you might say that I already paid for that $0.90 discount with the $25.00 membership fee, and you'd be correct. But then I also had a 20% coupon that came via email that day. When I was not a member of B&N's program, I rarely received coupons, and almost never received 20% coupons, except maybe at Christmas. Plus, the $25.00 is a "sunk cost" whether I buy the book from Amazon as an ebook or from Barnes and Noble as a trade paperback.
With my 10% and the additional 20%, the cost of the book dropped to $6.47 (plus an 8.75% sales tax). (I also bought remaindered editions of Evanovich's 19th Stephanie Plum, a Joe Pickett novel from C.J. Box, a Robert Crais novel and a Jeffrey Deaver novel, each at 10% off their already low price, three at $5.98 and one at $6.98, so I got an additional $2.50 off besides the $0.90 on the Wilson title. A total of $5.02 off with the coupon.)
Now watch: I'll go to Amazon next week and DARK CITY will be $3.99.
UPDATE: I went to the Amazon page to see what the price was today. Instead of it being $8.54, it had gone up to $8.99, the exact same cost as the MMPB. All I can do is shrug...
I guess I'm one of those few remaining readers who actually like to have a physical copy of a book. So now I'm gonna get all mystical on you and give you a couple of reasons why I like them. And maybe a couple of things that people mention that they like about them that I don't really care about.
First, I don't care about the smell. Book paper does, somehow, have a different odor than, say, a ream of copy paper from Office Max, but I have never grabbed a book and just held it to my nose and basked in the glory of the scent of the book. Nope, smell doesn't do it for me.
Second, I don't care about taking notes in the margins. Of course, I can do that easily on my Kindle. But I was never one to take a pencil or pen to a book. A lot of my books look as good after I read them as they did when I first brought them home from the hospital...er, ah, the bookstore. (Sorry, got books and babies confused for a second there.)
Now what I do like about them. I like the way they look on the shelf. I have a room in the basement, and I have far more books than I have shelf space. But the shelving I have...well, I really like the way that all of the Stephen King books look when I line them up. I like the way my Kellerman books look. My Asimovs and Cards and my Evanovichs and my Connellys and Wilsons and Cobens and Crais's and Whites and Graftons and Clancys and Deavers and...well, you get the picture. They're colorful and they just look elegant, to me at least.
I also like browsing in that room for books. There's something about being surrounded by books that gives me a warm feeling. (Some readers probably know the feeling; it is the same feeling you get at the bookstore or the library...except with prettier books (no clear plastic dustcovers) and all books that I love or have loved at some point in my life.) Even searching through a box of paperbacks brings back memories as I come across forgotten books that I had a passionate fling with...oops, now I'm getting books mixed up with girlfriends...
I also like that I can resell them, easily lend them, donate them, and otherwise share them more easily (sometimes, the exception being sharing with my kids) than I can with an ebook. I feel like I have an asset. Like my 1969-1973 baseball cards, they don't cost me anything sitting there, and they could return at least a few pennies. I consider the dollars spent to be money I spent on the story. Having the physical book is pure value in my view.
I like ebooks, too. I publish ebooks. I buy a lot of authors' ebooks, especially independent authors. I certainly spend more on them today than I do on physical books, in part because they're so easy to read and obtain and in part because I don't have any more space for physical books (my kids are contributing to the p-book collection now, so even though we don't have room, we continue to build the collection). I love the fact that I can cart my Kindle to a park or a restaurant (yes, when I get out of the office for lunch once a week, I take the Kindle and part of the attraction of going out is that I get an hour to read in peace). I love the fact that I can store hundreds of books on that device, and pick and choose what I feel like reading.
For example, I just finished two books by author Sean Hayden (one was a collection of short fiction with Jen Wylie, the other was a short novella called LADY DORN), and didn't know what to read before starting Bobby Adair's fifth SLOW BURN book, and I decided to read something that was on my Kindle for a long time. I found a book by Jon Jacks called WYRD GIRL, and it was a wyrd (weird) story that I didn't love but I didn't hate either. It was a quick read and I was glad to clear it from the queue. With a physical book, I probably wouldn't have done that.
But I still love physical books. I like the way they look. I like the feeling of them when I'm reading. Even so, I have enough of them to last me many years. Ebooks are about the story, and while p-books are about more than that (at least for me), the story is what I really love.