Two things never discussed in the ebook / paper costs debate are the costs of warehousing and taxes on unsold inventory and availability of "out of print" books. One of the reasons it's nearly impossible to get older works is they are purposefully allowed to go out of print. No publisher wants to do another run of 40,000 copies of "Pride of Chanur" and then hold onto them as they trickle out to bookstores and buyers. Publishers want the latest flavor of Teen Paranormal Romance which is selling NOW. They want to print 10,000 copies and then move on to the next latest Zombie Teen Paranormal Werewolf Romance. There's thousands of excellent books no longer available even used at a reasonable price. Ebooks allow publishers to warehouse zero copies, saving the tax on inventory and space requirements. Ebooks allow YOU as a writer ( assuming you've been at it a while ) to sell your backlist to new readers. Some of the great SF authors of the 60's and 70's have dozens of titles that are impossible to find. For the cost of converting or creating an ebook, you will continue to have a copy available to sell, in theory, forever as it will never go out of print.
My Pop is 73, asked me to help him buy a "tablet" the other day because he wants to keep his sheet music on it. He plays ukulele. I'm a dyed in the wool linux and android user, he's an old mainframe engineer from the 70's. He's not unintelligent but has had a bit of a decline in mental acuity so after much soul wrangling I steered him towards an iPad. He loves it. Simple, "intuitive" ( for him ) just his speed. He immediately downloaded "Onsong" after I helped him research it and off he went, merrily importing chords and music.
Here's the observation- if regular users / geeks abandon Apple for unwalled gardens, it won't be readily apparent because there are always going to be older people like my Pop buying Apple products for the ease of use and simplicity. Just like there's always gonna be an older AOL user out there. But there may be no serious revenue stream in it for Apple. Older people use devices differently than most of us.
See, my pop is not interested in any more apps. He's found the one thing he wants to use an iPad for and he's DONE. I showed him how to read his gmail on it on the web, he flat refuses to read a book on it, doesn't care about buying music ( he prefers to listen to ukulele examples on youtube) doesn't play games, doesn't care about facebook, twitter, instagram or anything else. He uses his laptop for his finances... he even wants to unlink his credit card from the appstore so "hackers" won't steal his card number.
So Apple managed to sell him an iPad and *one* app. I can guarantee you he will use that one app and be perfectly content till the battery stops charging.
"There are NO Apple Infidels in Microsoft's marketspace! We are re-soundly defeating them! They are nothing when face with our superior products! The are worth no more than an old shoe! Those are not Apple products, those are Microsoft products! I tell you, they lie!! We have them surrounded in their Ipads!!"
..and IT guy and linux guy. Kids ( 13 & 11 ) run windows ( WoW and Minecraft.. and ipods and itunes giftcards from the grandparents.. sue me. ) So while yes, I could whip up a linux solution with one of the copious free bits of kit I have hanging around and yes, I'd enjoy fiddling with it for hours on end, I opted for K9 Web Protection. Free, 5 minutes to set up on each pc and damn if it doesn't really work great.
What I like is the levels of granularity- block entire categories but add exceptions as the kids come across a page that I deem acceptable- they have to come to me and make the case for allowing a particular website. Plus the time restrictions work as expected- it severs their connection at bedtime. Bonus - it blocks web ads.
I recommend it to my clients all the time when asked the same question.
I asked my son if he broke the neighbor's window, he "wrongly claimed" that he didn't.
My boss asked me if I was coming in to work today and I "wrongly claimed" I was ill.
"Sweetheart, I am not "wrongly claiming" when I told you I never slept with your sister. It was an "inadvertent error"
One of the reasons books go "out of print" is due to being a little long in the tooth, not being the current trend of "Teen Paranormal Romance"- essentially, it costs the publisher inventory taxes to hold volumes in the warehouse should demand ever increase for an older title. So when a print run ends, they don't reprint another 10,000 copies to store and pay inventory taxes on in the hopes of selling 10 at a bookstore each subsequent year... this is why it's hard to find older CJ Cherryh books and stuff by Niven.
With digital- there is no warehouse, there is no annual tax on unsold items...
IRS: "How many books in your warehouse?"
( as an aside- I'd love to see MAFIAA math applied by the IRS to their digital titles. )
IRS: "How many albums / movies in your warehouse?
IRS: "that equals 30 bazillion potential copies. Pay up."
Seriously, I make a living off ex-geek squad customers. I run a small one-man computer repair / virus removal business. Can't tell you how many PC's I fix and find Geek Squad fingerprints all over it. One lady called me in a panic because GS had quoted her $1300 to "repair" her unbootable PC ( new Motherboard, new hard drive, new RAM ( WTF?) and a new power supply.. I fixed it for a flat $75 by running chkdsk on the drive and cleaning off the virus. She's still my customer to this day and I've easily made a grand off her over the years, migrating data, removing new malware and viruses as they come up (gotta love teens )
I have a simple business model that geek squad can't compete with.
1) I do it better for less. I pick up and drop off too, if you dont want me to stay at your place and work on it rt.
2) I WARRANTY all my work- ie: if for whatever reason you aren't satisfied, I'll make it right, NO CHARGE, no argument and no hassle.
3) you get ME every time you dial my business number, not some kid that worked the fry basket last week. I can rmember the ongoing issues with your stuff.
4) this is the biggie: I will do everything I can to recover your data, BEFORE I format it and reinstall. Even if I have to spend an extra hour with a ubuntu bootable disk picking it off the disk and putting it on a backup drive.
I've around 350 regular clients, some have been with me for 7 years. They're my bread and butter. Most of them despise GS, and by extension, Best Buy. Customers have a long memory for getting screwed.
based on reading the above, my addled brain immediately thinks that all the antimatter went back in time to before the big bang,( to negative infinity and beyond,) while normal matter went forward in time. There. Solved THAT mystery.
Actually, not so. That's why I can eat bacon!!!
explain to them that's MY FREAKIN BACON SANDWICH in the fridge! I had my NAME ON IT!!
Farkin' lunch thieves...
if so, replace the batteries. Windows will spend ungodly amounts of cpu time polling the mouse if the battery is low.