Robert J. Sawyer

Hugo and Nebula Award-Winning Science Fiction Writer

Von Holtzbrink and eBooks

by Rob - September 24th, 2007.
Filed under: Uncategorized.

One really does have to wonder what’s going through the minds of the people at Von Holtzbrink — parent company of Tor, Forge, and St. Martin’s Press — when it comes to ebooks.

They have mostly given up doing Tor titles as ebooks (I was promised that my Mindscan would be released as an ebook, but it never was; I never even bothered to ask about Rollback).

But now, just today, Fictionwise at long last has Douglas Preston’s Tyrannosaur Canyon as an ebook — but only in Mobipocket format, and — get this! — for a book that’s been in mass-market paperback at $7.99 since August of last year, the ebook is priced at $14.00. That’s right, almost double the price of the current print edition.

I’m at a loss to explain the logic of this. Given that Von Holtzbrink insists on ebook rights in their contracts, not exploiting them efficiently, in a timely manner, and at a price point that would actually perhaps generate sales seems … less than optimal, shall we say.

(I went through the same nonsense years ago with the ebook of Hybrids, the last title of mine Von Holtzbrink did as an ebook: priced at way more than the prevailing print edition, and only available in one format. Apparently they’ve learned nothing since.)

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