I freely and upfront admit that this is a COMPLETELY DEAD HORSE, but speaking of pricing and eBooks and backlists...
I've been waiting for Faulkner to be turned into ebook goodness because I'd like to replace my copy of "The Sound and the Fury". Faulkner, it should be pointed out, died in 1962, but his works are still under copyright in the U.S. due to the Mickey Mouse extension, or so I understand.
B&N had an excited WE HAVE FAULKNER NOW COME BUY post on their blog the other day and I wrote a little "buy sound and fury" to-do note for myself, and zipped over to the story today and... $9.99 for the Nook Book edition. And $8.12 for the paperback, brand new.
Guess I should have seen that coming.
So now I'm sitting here thinking to myself, "Self, you haven't read 'The Sound and the Fury' since college and the odds of you digging it out to read it for pleasure any day now are basically zero. Just sell the copy you have to Half Price Books for the penny they will offer you and go on with your non-cluttering efforts."
And, the thing is, that's probably what I'll do. I'd LIKE to have Faulkner's classic work in my e-library, but there's just no way I'm going to spend more than $5 for a should-be-public-domain-anyway book that I can pick up in paperback form for a dollar. Seriously.
But I feel bad about that. Probably it took forever to convince the folks down at Knopf Doubleday that the effort of slapping Faulkner into ebook form would be profitable, and I hate that I'm not helping out to prove that publishing the backlist can be successful, BUT... a classic I'm not going to pick up and read anytime soon and that I'm mainly acquiring for "library-stuffing" isn't worth more than $5 to me.
Without overly BEATING A DEAD HORSE, and without a lot of side-nonsense about piracy and so forth, can we talk about how it makes people feel when their hoped-for backlist items come out at (what they feel is) a prohibitive price? I'd be interested to hear about that from a brand-loyalty perspective, if nothing else.