Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Two-Cent Tuesday: Peaks and Valleys
I liken it to what happened recently with 3D movies in Hollywood. At the end of 2009 Avatar came out and people were all ga-ga over 3D movies. So of course Hollywood decides to cash in by making EVERYTHING 3D, even movies that had no business being 3D. At the same time movie theaters realized that charging people $5-$10 for a crummy pair of 3D glasses was a great way to recoup some of their losses from fewer tickets sold. It seemed like a golden age that was never going to end.
I'd compare that to ebooks where in 2009 and a little before that the Kindle became increasingly popular and so people were flocking to buy some ebooks for that newfangled thing. Plus lots of "indie" authors realized the could put stuff out on the Kindle and someone might actually buy it. Begin the gold rush!
And then publishers (and a less extent indie authors) screwed themselves over. Publishers charged more and more for ebooks until they were more expensive than paperback versions. Indie authors chucked so many poorly-written, poorly-edited books up there for 99 cents that the market was saturated. I think we're at the point now where the public has wised up a bit and realized that they shouldn't pay $19.99 for the new Stephen King ebook when it's only $8.99 in paperback. And that they don't need to scoop up every single book for 99 cents (or free) because most of them suck and who has time to read all these fucking books anyway?
It's just another reminder that every golden age has to end at some point. That doesn't mean ebooks are doomed, just as 3D isn't doomed. It just means the growth isn't going to be so explosive anymore, until something else comes along to shake things up and people flock to that. 4D movies? Holographic movies and books? Something like that I'm sure.
Tomorrow we salute another Everyday Hero!