This is a great and entertaining (as always) read from John Birmingham, about his e-book publishing direction, and his experience with piracy (back in the day of good old photocopier piracy). I don't usually post straight to the meat of a post (and you should still read the original) but here:
So. That’s my news. I’ve thrown my hands up and admitted defeat on DRM and pricing. I’m going to try give the punters what they say they want with ebooks.
It's almost the exact opposite approach to those businesses which are busy locking in exclusive distribution licenses with their overseas suppliers to make sure you keep paying the same price as you've always paid and have no option but to source whatever you’re after from one or two nominated suppliers.
John raises the valid (and sobering point) that readers don't care whether books are more expensive in Australia, despite often legitimate costs to local suppliers: the reality is they just see smaller $ figures and gravitate to those.
There is also a very valid reply by John in the comments. I know, I know: never read the comments on the internet. I make these sacrifices for you.
John points out that the publishers have done a very poor job, especially in recent times, of making authors and potential authors understand the amount of behind-the-scenes work that goes into getting a manuscript published. I'll just quote an excerpt here:
Publishers have done themselves a disservice in this because by encouraging the cult of the author they obscure the critical role played by their own, anonymous employees. From cover artists to line editors and even marketing.
You know what makes a best seller?
Nine times out of ten it's the marketing spend.