Originally Posted by LazyScot
How would you react to the alternative model where you pay for the device, and for the life of the device you get free content?
hm, that's an interesting proposition. given that i've already demonstrated (at least to myself) that i'm willing to pay for a device even though
i still have to pay for (some of) the content, and also given that i tend to be careful of my electronic gadgets and keep them for a long time before replacing them, it could be very interesting, however that would largely depend on the content available to me ; the ebookwise is available as part of a bookclub subscription model but the content offered is not the sort that i'm interested in reading, so although it is abstractly a good financial deal, it's not good for me.
and so far the lack of content is a very frustrating stopping block in ebooks (more so in france, although that is changing).
on the other hand, i'm not convinced that could be a viable model for publishers ; while the manufacturers and resellers definitely do make a profit on the devices, is it enough to sustain a whole publishing industry ?
but, i could definitely see that working in specific cases : for example, a newspaper or magazine could sell a device to their subscribers, packaged with a free subscription to the digital edition for the life of the device (they'd probably have to define what they considered a reasonable "lifetime" though, for people like me who could probably manage to make a device last years and years... say, you buy the device, and for X years you get free content), and at least in some cases (vis the recent article about the NY Times which claimes they could actually save money if they gave away kindles to their subscribers and stopped printing / delivering those paper newspapers) it could be a workable model which benefitted everyone.
it seems to me there are a lot of parameters to take into account when we're not talking about a periodical with a fixed publication rate ; what about the really avid readers who read hundreds of books per year ? would they be balanced by the more casual reader who reads only one or two books a month ? would someone who reads only one or two books a month be interested in a model like that ? hard to say... but an interesting proposition.
Alternatively are you saying you would be happy with the sort of model that some music devices are supposed to be (or about to) support: a "flat fee" per month which gives you unlimited access to everything (that they've got the rights to make available)?
i'm not sure such a model would be interesting to me
, as my budget for books varies wildly from month to month depending on the disposable income i have available (as a freelance, that also varies wildly
) and depending on what books are available that i want to read (and am willing to pay for ; some books i might want to read, but not enough to want to buy them ; then i go to the library. i generally only buy books i'm pretty sure i'll want to re-read). and again it would depend quite a lot on the content available. i'm not necessarily faithful to one publisher where i buy every single book they make available.
but i could imagine that being an excellent model for specific cases : for instance, people who buy all of baen's websciptions might be interested in getting the books for free if they buy the device from baen, and i think that some romance readers (from what i've seen in other threads here) have similar habits where the publisher puts out "packages" of books every month, and they buy all the books published every month. in that case it might work similarly to the ebookwise book club proposed by filament books
. but that has specific parameters : get the device for free when you join the club (pay on a monthly or yearly basis, but i think it's one year minimum for the monthly plan, and it's a bit cheaper if you pay for the whole year in advance), then get 2 books free from the book club selection each month.
but really this discussion shows that there *are* various models of this sort which could work and satisfy everyone involved (readers and publishers).