more e-books – Kindle

July 10th, 2009

Following hot on the heels of e-books in the uk, and since a couple of folks were asking about the chances of a Kindle version in response to the other post, it would appear Best Served Cold will be available on Kindle via Orbit in the US at the same time as the US hardcover version (July 29th).

And this one will cost you but 10 bucks, which will almost certainly be cheaper than the hardcover, even heavily discounted. Which seems much more realistic and attractive pricing to me – a lot closer to the business model I’d like to see. I reckon now is the time – while the technology is still in its infancy – to be bringing people into the fold with pricing that seems generous. That way people will buy readers knowing there’ll be a decent amount of books available at a decent price (after all, an e-reader’s only as good as the books you can get on it), and hopefully get into the habit of buying them legitimately. Rather than encouraging folks to pilfer them off the darknet via prohibitive pricing, and making that a more and more widely used and accepted way of doing things. It seems publishers and booksellers are prone to see this as a threat rather than an opportunity. Clearly books and music aren’t quite in the same boat, as a paper book still offers advantages that an e-reader probably won’t for some time to come, while a downloaded song and one played from cd are pretty much identical, but it would be a shame if we were to repeat the mistakes of the music industry…

Posted in news by Joe Abercrombie on July 10th, 2009. Tags:

16 comments so far

  • Chuffer says:

    Of course, the difference between an e-book and an mp3 player is that you could transfer your entire CD collection to digital – to fill your e-book library, you will have to buy every one all over again. The is also the ornamental, sentimental (and disposable) attractions of paper books – that suggests to me that the new technology should be used to support the old, rather than replace it (the same as giving away music on myspace to encourage concert sales)

    I agree there is a market to be had, and about pricing low to get people into the habit of buying legally. The worst thing the publishing industry could do is drop the portcullis.

  • oberazzi says:

    This is excellent news. Being legally blind, I rely mainly on audio books for listening. I liked the First Law trilogy so much that I made the costly effort to read it in paperback.

    Recently I downloaded the Kindle app to my iPod Touch to play with it. In a recent update, Amazon added an light-text-on-dark-background option. Together with the largest font option, I have gotten through three and a half books in the last month.

    I have been excited about the possibility of reading BSC on my Touch via the Kindle app. It is a huge relief to know this will happen.


    PS Anybody want to start an audiobook campaign?

  • Chris says:

    Is there a difference between a hardcover kindle version and a paperback kindle version? I'm just wondering if there is a justification for charging more for the hardcover.

  • Chuffer,
    Truth, truth. Plus books are just very well suited to purpose. They're physically pleasant in the hands. You drop one, it don't break. They're collectible in a way that I doubt cds ever will be.

    Glad to hear this is helpful for the vision impaired. Audiobook rights for the First Law were sold quite a while ago, in fact, but they seem to be in development hell at the minute due to a dispute between Orion, my uk publisher, and Audible, the US distributor of unabridged audiobooks. I believe that was resolved, though, so they should appear at some point. When, I couldn't say.

    The hardcover e-book is printed on better quality e-paper.

    A ha ha.

    The product is identical but there is a value in the recency of the release, I think, and the fact that the only paper alternative is considerably more expensive. In the same way you might expect to pay more to rent a brand new release on dvd than last years titles. When (if) a mass market came out, about 12 months later, usually, you'd expect the cost of the ebook to drop as well. Hopefully to somewhat less than the cost of the mass market paperback.

  • seruko says:

    kindle additionaly uses a set # of downloads per document based on a secret number genrated by the publisher. Amazon does not know what this number is and the user has no way to find out until they have reached the limit and are denied further downloads. Sometimes this number is 1. Upgrade your kindle and need to re-download your documents? Too bad. Ref :

  • oberazzi says:

    Thanks! Even though I have read them already, I look forward to listening to the audio editions.

  • Chris says:

    Ooh, does it also have a harder, more durable e-cover?? It is nice that hardcover ebook is still cheaper than the paper version. Thanks for the reply, can't wait for Best Served Cold to make it to the US.

  • Excellent news – everyone should be reading eBooks! (I'm a big fan of them.)

    But, will your books be available through the Sony eBookstore, too? I've not got a Kindle, but a Sony Reader, and Kindle stuff doesn't work on that.

    I think it's good sense for "paperback" eBooks to be cheaper than "hardback" eBooks. $10~ for a new book in e-format is great (MUCH cheaper than Waterstone's, sometimes), and cheaper when they're available in paperback (e- and otherwise) is equally fair, I think – author gets his/her cut (I hope) and if we come to an author late in the game, it doesn't cost and arm and a leg to catch up.

  • Anonymous says:

    I really like the idea of the Kindle, and I think it would generate more 'impulse buys'. You see a book in a shop and could be downloading it five minutes later as you walk to your car.
    I liked the idea raise bt one of your previous bloggers, ie buy the hard copy and get a free e-copy.
    Swindon Nick

  • Anonymous says:

    I just hope they release your first three books on the Kindle as I have wanted to read them ever since a friend of mine gave them such praise but since I hacve gotten my Kindle I have not bought any DTB's (Dead Tree Books).

  • Matt says:

    I like my books especially the hardbacks, their batteries never seem to run out and they don't break when i drop them.

    Best Served Cold is doing a remarkable job of keeping me entertained at present; however I think a re-read of your others are in order soon.

  • Seruko,
    I daresay ongoing DRM related hijinks will be the bane of this entire area for many years to come.

    I haven't seen the physical e-book yet, so I'm not sure what the e-cover is made of. A stone tablet, possibly…?

    I'd like my books to be available in every format going. That may take time, however.

    Swindon Nick,
    Amazon do seem to be leading the way at present with the Kindle. If books for it are a lot cheaper than others I'm sure they will continue to do so.


    Make sure if you do re-read the books that you also RE-BUY them. A different level of experience…

  • David says:

    As I said before in my unanimous statement, I am really liking the Kindle and as such, especially after paying the money for it I find myself not reading regular books. Which is why I really hope that they put the First Laws trilogy on the Kindle. Hey Joe when they do that you will be making some extra money from me as I sit here looking across my office at my book shelf and the first two books of you series sit upon it and they will be on my Kindle should they ever get made for that. My biggest thing with the Kindle is the lack of books of my interest for it (Warhammer fantasy and 40K novels as well as an asundry of others that interest me). Of course Brent Weeks series is on it so I guess I will have to read it firt (sorry could not help that since I saw your front page of the blog….I will read your first)!!!!

  • Brainshades says:

    Dear Joe –

    I'm a huge fan of your books. Just love the shite out of them really, and I flippin hate Fantasy. That was until you and that other bastard, Scott Lynch, showed up. Got talent in spades don't 'ya!!!!

    Anyway, I'm about 50 pages into "Best Served Cold", and re-reading little chunks of your last books to fill in the blind spots on characters I can't remember. Everything is moving along so nice and lovely, as usual – God bless 'ya…

    But it's only 364 more days until I expect another 'fookin book to be written and published so stop tacking on about ebooks with these other sissies and get to work!

    You are working on another book already, eh?

  • Chardvignon says:


    I do think there is a difference between a genuine hardcover book and an electronic version. I also think both can be equally enjoyable.

    I don't have a Kindle – but I do have the Kindle app on my iPhone. So … I purchased both the hardcover version of Best Served Cold AND the Kindle version. I enjoyed curling up with the hardcover version when I had time alone to myself in my home (a rarity). The iPhone app got me through some incredibly turgid meetings.

    And you got paid twice.

    Nuff said.

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