iBook Lessons: Hardback-only Memory of Light release frustrates would-be epurchasers (via @tuaw)

‘Memory of Light’ is the last book in the Wheel of Time series. I personally don’t care for these books, so don’t expect me to get too excited about the completion of this fantasy series.

In a case of old-fashionitis, however, the book was released by its publisher Tor in dead-tree version only, leaving a lot of people who simply prefer to read eBooks stuck waiting until April 9th, 3 months in the future. Of course the book will be available as a pirated copy in approximately minus-one days, just like all other popular books, so anyone realistically expecting to be able to read it on launch day will, in-fact, be able to do so, without the inconvenience of DRM and for less money.

[R]umors are swirling as to why Tor made the decision it did: specifically, whether Jordan’s widow and editor forced their hands, and if the NY Times bestseller ratings could be skewed by a simultaneous ebook release that would limit the prestigious hardcover fiction numbers in favor of less desirable ebook listings.

The ways of publishers are complex and deep, and it’s perfectly possible they were forced through contractual agreements to release the book in this way. After all, Tor has a very modern stance on ebooks, releasing big chunks of their back catalogue in consumer-friendly non-DRM formats. This object-first approach to such an anticipated release as ‘Memory of Light’ is certainly not the optimal money making strategy:

Back in 2009, publishers began delaying ebook releases, as they noted that ebook sales cannibalized hardcover sales. Even then an Amazon spokesperson was quoted by the NYT saying, “Authors get the most publicity at launch and need to strike while the iron is hot. If readers can’t get their preferred format at that moment, they may buy a different book or just not buy a book at all.”

Also noteworthy is that the book is receiving many 1-star reviews on Amazon in some kind of misguided campaign to pressure the publisher into changing its release schedule.

Now…readers…book reviews do not work that way! Goodnight!

Please, if you’re reading this and you’re upset, do not comment on a book in the book reviews section of a store if you aren’t reviewing the book. Seriously.

Read the entire article here to get a glimpse at this bizarre process: http://www.tuaw.com/2013/01/08/ibook-lessons-hardback-only-memory-of-light-release-frustrates/

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2 thoughts on “iBook Lessons: Hardback-only Memory of Light release frustrates would-be epurchasers (via @tuaw)

    • I agree with your contempt for the one star monkeys, but frankly the publisher is asking for piratical trouble by not releasing an ebook at the same time as the print book. Even overpriced it would sell.

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