Originally Posted by Colin Dunstan
To coin Lenin's phrase, this is one step forward, two steps back.
Remembering back to college... (hold on, this may take a few moments 8-))
The majority of books that I bought were used for 1 class and then resold - usually for 1/2 of what I paid for them. So a book that is usable for only 1 class time that costs less is a good idea.
The price is too high. If I only get 33% off, I still make out better by buying the paper one and reselling it for 50% less.
Then the DRM (yes, I know you heard this more than once or twice from me). Current DRM technologies don't lock the book to you. It locks it to a device, credit card, etc. (i.e. something that you may change). I don't have the DRM details, but let's assume it locks it to your laptop and your laptop gets drenched by beer in last night's party. So you get a new laptop. All of a sudden, you have to buy all your eBooks again - or go through alot of hassles proving that you did indeed buy what you paid for once.
Then we have the issue of the books you keep. I kept certain books from college for many years after graduating. Obviously we don't want these to expire - and would be willing to pay full price for these. But the DRM issue raises its ugly head. 10 years from now, will the reader ('cuz it will be a proprietary technology) be able to run on the OS of choice 10 years from now? (Yes, 10 years after graduating college, I still had a few text books that I used for reference.) Probably not.
I know what they want to get to. I like the idea of having all my text books in an electronic form on a device that weighs less than a single text book. I like the idea of putting an end to the bookstore shortages that always happen. I like the idea of paying less for college textbooks.
But they still aren't even close to the mark. To be closer they need to change a few things:
1. If they stay with DRM, they need to lock the book to the person. I really don't know how to solve this one.
2. Price: There is no excuse for anything over 25% of what paper books cost. None whatsoever. The user pays the price of the reader software and the device. So all we are paying for is content - which is a small part of what a paper book costs. If they stick with DRM, less than that.