Nobody loves to spend more money on something that is overvalued, or worse, inflated value. Having read through the ‘Are Ebooks Really Cheaper?‘, it begs another question, why should we still read expensive ebooks?
Here are the top 5 points:
Ebooks can be printable: and thereby give a reader most or all of the advantages of a paper-based book. If a bigger printed font size is preferred, buy the ebook and print it out. By spending more, one has the option to choose the font size.
Not all Ebooks are expensive, in fact, there are free Ebooks. The magnificent work of Project Gutenberg, and other online public libraries allow readers to read the classics at no cost.
Ebooks may allow the option for the addition of multimedia: still images, moving images, and sound. Why not pay a bit more for a richer content to enjoy it better?
Ebooks defeat attempts at censorship. All these works were banned: Analects by Confucius. Lysistrata by Aristophanes. Ars Amorata by Ovid. Pro Populo Anglicano Defensio by John Milton. The Scarlet Letter by Hawthorne. Wonder Stories by H.C. Andersen. Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman. The Kreutzer Sonata by Leo Tolstoy. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. Ulysses by James Joyce. … Many of these books were confiscated, burned, or denied availability in libraries, bookstores and schools. Ebooks guarantee that readers maintain their right to read.
Of course, no trees are required to manufacture paper for the pages of ebooks. Not to mention, ebooks will not crumble and wrinkled like paper. Why not pay a bit more to ensure the substitutability of this reading habit?
With the above points, BooksAvenue hopes to give you some perspectives and ideas why we should go for ebooks rather than printed books even when it is slightly more expensive.
Previously we have discussed how to buy kindle in Singapore and Malaysia. In this post, we are going to talk about how to buy Kindle books in Singapore as well as buy Kindle books in Malaysia, both countries use the same method, let’s just refer to Singapore. As Amazon does not ship Kindle to Singapore, of course, Kindle books are not available to Singapore too.
This tutorial will be showing you on how to buy English Kindle book at US Amazon, if you are interest in buying Chinese Kindle book, here is a separate tutorial on how to buy Chinese Kindle book at China Amazon.
How are we going to buy Kindle books in Singapore? You can buy it through a computer or directly from your Kindle, but you need to do some “settings” before buying any book. There are many Kindle users in Singapore, some of them manage to purchase Kindle books as normal without any problem; but some are not so lucky because their purchase transaction was blocked by Amazon (it usually happen when Amazon detected that you are not buying the books in US or your payment was not made via US credit card.).
We will show you how to buy Kindle books in Singaporeusing both methods: the “normal way” (do it at your own risk) and the “risk-free” method.
Before you start to buy any books for your Kindle, you should have registered your Kindle using your Amazon account. After you have registered your Kindle, you need to do TWO things:
1. Change Your Kindle Country Settings:
If you do not change the country settings, whenever you search for any book in Amazon.com, it will displays a message “This title is not available for customers from your location in: Asia & Pacific”, and you are unable to buy the book.
– Go to Amazon.com and log into your account.
– At the right top drop down menu, select “Manage Your Kindle”.
– You will see “Your Kindle Account” at the left panel, select “Country Settings”.
– Make sure you change it to “United States”. (Generate a US address here, and make sure your address is from these tax-free states:Alaska, Montana, New Hampshire, Delaware and Oregon)
If you search for any kindle title again, it should now available for purchase:
2. Load money into your Amazon account with Amazon Gift Card.
This is the prepaid fund (known as Gift Card Balance) in your Amazon account, each time you buy a Kindle book, it will deduct from your Gift Card Balance. The purpose of using Gift Card Balance is to avoid unnecessary risk for Amazon to detect your purchase is made by non-US credit card. So, it is recommended that you should use Gift Card Balance even if you are using the “normal way” to buy Kindle books in Singapore. Furthermore, the Gift Card Balance in you Amazon account has no expiry date, you only need to top up again when the balance is low. Refer the following steps to buy Amazon Gift Cards:
– Visit Amazon Gift Card Store
– Select the amount. Say $50 or $100 or more if you buy a lot of books.
– Enter your own email as Recipient E-mail.
– Click purchase.
– Enter your credit/debit card details if requested.
– Enter billing address if requested.
– Place your order and the Amazon Gift Card will be sent to your designated email address.
– Login to your email account to access the Amazon Gift Card. (sometimes it may take a while to reach you)
– Click the “Redeem now” button in the Gift Card.
– It will redirect you to the Amazon account.
– Login and click the “Apply to Your Account” button.
– The money is now loaded into your Amazon Gift Card Balance.
– You can set a US address to your billing address or “1-Click settings” in your Amazon account. (you can get a US address here, if the address shows invalid, just generate another address)
IMPORTANT: REMEMBER TO KEEP A RECORD OF THE ADDRESS (ESPECIALLY POSTAL CODE AND TELEPHONE NUMBER) YOU ENTERED INTO YOUR ACCOUNT.
You may consider to do this extra step to delete your credit/debit card information from Amazon account after purchase the Gift Card:
– Go to your Amazon account, select “Manage Payment Option”.
– Delete the card details.
Now we are ready to buy some books for our Kindles.
A. How to Buy Kindle Books in Singapore – THE NORMAL WAY
You can now search for any book title in the Amazon website and “Buy now with 1-Click” and have the book deliver to your Kindle, or you can connect to wifi and access the Kindle store to buy book directly from your Kindle device. Try this at your own risk, I have tried this without any problem but some claimed that this method does not work for them, then you need to look at the 2nd method written below. (some Amazon accounts may get suspended)
B. How to Buy Kindle Books in Singapore – THE RISK-FREE METHOD
With this method, it is advisable not to buy book directly from your Kindle device. You will need a VPN installed on your computer, and buy books using your computer only.
The Amazon can detect your location through your computer IP address. (you can simply see your IP address at the upper right corner of our website).
By using a VPN, it will mimic your computer IP address into a US address (your computer location will display as United State instead of Singapore). The steps are quite easy, just refer to the following:
– Visit this link: Private Tunnel VPN, sign up is FREE, and you will get a FREE 200MB 100MB data after signed up the account, you may also consider to get the 50G data plan which only cost USD12. If you are using this just to buy Kindle books, 50G data will last you for many years and the data has no expiry date. Furthermore, Private Tunnel works on Windows, Mac, Android and iOS devices.
– After signing up the account, download the VPN software and install.
– Login and connect.
– Go to Amazon Kindle Book Store and search for the book title you want to buy.
– Buy the book and download it by “Transfer via Computer” which you will need to transfer the book to your Kindle via USB cable, OR
– Have the book “Deliver to” your Kindle directly. (so far, we did not hear that anyone facing problem with direct deliver to Kindle when using VPN and Gift Card).
– After you bought the book, do remember to disconnect the VPN.
– That’s all. You should be able to download the book in your Kindle after few minutes or less.
Taken from : http://www.singaboleh.com/buy-kindle-books-in-singapore-and-malaysia/
Love it or hate it, let’s face it. We all love FREE stuffs don’t we?
In this Information Age, data can be transmit seamlessly without any barriers, wired or wireless, conveniently receiving it from one computer to another. Or probably, converting it from one medium to another too. With that in mind, E-books should be free, is it not? Since information can be copied and reproduced with just 4 keys: Crt + C and Crt + V, there should be no cost incurred, no? And with zero cost incurred, it is only logical that E-books should be free.
But this is not the case. We can copy a Word document or a PDF file multiplying it into as many copies as we want without additional resources. But E-books are not free, not because of the capabilities of our technology, but publishers, distributors and authors structured it to be so.
Time and effort
Let’s say you were to be an author and you got this amazing fantasy story, even better than Harry Potter or Game of Thrones. You spent months and years to finsh it, and finally done with the final draft. With the manuscript, you publish it electronically (assuming so just for the sake of illustration.)
Subsequently, sales volume is bad, yet everyone has read it, which they got it for free from some sites, or from their friends. How would you, as an author and the creator for that content, feel about this when your livelihood depends on the sales of your titles?
Digital Rights Management
Thus, to ensure the survivability of authors, the business model of printed books is forced upon E-books. By creating Digital Rights Management (DRM), it is then imbued into the electronic materials, preventing unauthorized redistribution of digital media and restrict the ways consumers can copy content they have purchased. It is only by this way that authors and creators can somewhat gain monetarily through the sales of E-books. This explains why E-books will never be free, at least not in our era.
The only way for E-books to be free is to abandon the pricing model, adopted from the printed books, that is imposed on E-books, . That is to say, since E-books are on electronic medium which can be shared effortlessly, it should be so, without the issue of DRM. Without DRM ‘problems’ for the non IT savvy and other legal issues, e-books will be free legally.
If so, how can authors still be paid for their hard work?
They can still be paid through other avenues, such as marketing of related products, sponsorship and etc. When readers are into a particular trend, many possible consumer products can be created and conjured up to address this need and demand. In fact, this will be a better model and may contribute to a bigger portion of revenue.
By giving up the revenue driven from the book sales, more publicity will be gained. It is a test of survival of the fittest as more readers have access to the content, resulting in a larger sampling size. In lay man’s term, the popularity or ranking of best selling titles are driven by viral marketing, not sales volume, which can be manipulated to a certain extent.
However, please note that I am only referring to ebooks sales only. I’m sure it will be the same business model for printed books.
Revenue Collection Method
Long story short, for e-books to be free legally, the entire e-book business should be revamped. Starting from the content creators, that is the authors, their mentality has to be changed. The usual revenue collection method from sales volume for e-books should be abolished for it is not practical, and not logical at all. Why should they (distributors, publishers and etc) imposed such a traditional outdated method on the current stage of technology where information is transmitted effortlessly. It totally makes no sense at all!
In the past, copywriters are paid for their time and effort in reproducing a work. That is to say, the works are written, or typed, word for word. But since computers can do the same in 1 sec, the current pay structure for authors who create electronic content should be revamped too.
On an ending note, E-books will never be free legally, not in the near future, not in this era. Only when a new payment method for e-books can be drawn up to ensure that all authors and creators are still being paid, the old concept of selling books will continue to be forced upon on e-books.
Personally I find it easier to read the hard copy of a book. In fact, when I have E-books, notes or any electronic material, I prefer printing chapters for reading. Reading from the computer screen, or my Blackberry aggravates my eyes. However, there are many who will read only the E-book version of a book. Therefore, when you read a book, do you prefer reading the E-book or hard copy version? Will E-books ever replace their hard copy versions? What do you think?
For a start, e-Books are literatures that are not printed, but are stored and displayed electronically. This has indeed provided much convenience, not only in terms of portability, it makes it easier to transmit and send to receiving parties.
For the points that have already mentioned earlier, I shall not repeat again in this short post that I will like to share in hopes that I can convince you that E-books are not as cheap as it is. If you have not read my earlier post on, Why Are E-books More Expensive Than Printed Books?, you can find it here.
Fees for electronic mediums
In general, e-books are subjected to licensing fees and all other related fees that are required to bring the electronic information available and legit for distribution to the consumers. Yet on the other hand, printed media such as paperback are only subjected to all the physical costs that are required for the publisher and the distributor. Judging by the number of possible charges, and not by the amount of each possible charges, to sell e-books will be very much subjected to many many possible fees, that are inevitable be borne by the consumer.
Of course that being said, one may counter argue that the assumption made above is incorrect. There may be many possible fees that incurred for bringing e-book to the consumer, but it is also possible that 100 ( for example) fees incurred is lesser than one hefty fee imposed. In other words, the total of 100 small fees is still cheaper than 1 big expensive fee
As copyright fees are dictated by each relevant authorities (depending where), this sum of money is ‘priced’ and charged accordingly to its regulations. Unlike, the cost of printing and labour, it is pretty much standard and has been ongoing for many many years. As distribution and licensing costs for e-books are relatively new in this century, it may be possible that the fees may fluctuate and be changed accordingly to consumers’ demand. This hypothesis on the difference in licensing and other fees that are related to distributing eBooks on different titles is drawn from the example on different paperback titles with different prices according to its popularity.
Differences in Pricing
Comparing among paperback titles, it is not surprising to find that the recent and popular titles are prices somewhat higher if not, more expensive than the outdated titles that has been in the market for many years. If that is happening for paperbacks, it is without much doubts that it can also happen for e-Books too, where popular titles will be charged with heavier fees that are required for distributing legally.
This is illustrated below:
This is a relatively new book by James Patterson, a well known author with the series on Alex Cross by one of the distributors. Notice how the difference in pricing across all mediums in the screenshot?
Digital List Price:
Print List Price:
Digital List Price is the suggested retail price set by the publisher.
As indicated, the original price of this electronic copy is $33.98, for convenience, let’s just say $34. And its counterpart, that is printed media is only $29. Almost a $5 difference!
On a minor note, by spending additional $5, one will have to charge up the device before reading and it is quite obvious that electrical costs are not free. Unless you are living off the grid, on some form of electricity harnessed from Mother Nature. That being said, on a side note, is it really environmentally friendly to pay more to read e-Books?
At the point of composing this ‘short’ post, festive season is coming. And ‘thankfully’ with that, there is some discount which resulted in the following:
$15.78 includes free international wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
So with that discounted price, we compare e-book pricing with traditional printed paperbacks.
Based on the assumption that all companies, regardless of their business models, are profit driven, it is without doubt that the company should be making lesser profits after given discounts on the Kindle edition. That being said, one can roughly estimate the break even price for e-books.
Also, the profit margin should be much higher than printed paperbacks which attracts most distributors to massively push for e-books.
Local Context: Singapore
Bringing the topic to a local context in Singapore, it is fortunate that cheap paperbacks are conveniently available, if you know where to find them. Partially due to the fact that most Singaporeans do not have a reading habit, most local book stores have ceased to operate in an environment of rising rental costs. Still it is possible to find cheap books in excellent reading conditions.
For most Singaporeans, information is being ‘pushed’ to our IT devices and it is thought to be cumbersome to carry a printed book along. Henceforth we Singaporeans believe that it is more convenient to ‘load’ the electronic material or more titles into our devices such as Kindle, smartphones or tablets and read it on the go.
That being said, it feels good to know that one device can carry 20 books compared to carrying a physical book itself. But the actual problem to this is, it is not like anyone can finish 20 books of 300 pages on a train ride home.
In other countries, there are Meet-the-authors sessions and such to get physical books autographed. Or is it that it is necessary to organise such events to bring forth a reading habit and eventually start a reading trend here in Singapore?
Well for a start, the local government has started free public libraries many years ago, in hope that Singaporeans can have access to reading materials regardless of living conditions. While that being said, each age group will give you an unique reason why they are not reading. This will be my next posting.
Still there is a number of Singaporeans who reads and they are regular clients of BooksAvenue.
– Local Bookstore in Singapore
That is also why BooksAvenue is created on-line, without a physical store to serve this purpose. While we promise that we keep the prices competitively, we also ensure that the books are in readable conditions, such as no torn, missing or dogged ear-ed pages. All in all, we strive to deliver the best reading experience.
And if we ever do eBooks one day, we will ensure that the prices are low and affordable too. And now what we can do is to partner with SecondhandeBooks. From the site SecondhandeBooks, there are second hand ebooks which are previously owned by other owners. These ebooks are being shared for free. If you like the site, feel free to buy the owner a cup of fresh brewed coffee via the product page. Or you can simply click here to do so.
Afterall, don’t forget the tagline, BooksAvenue: Our Books, Your Convenience.
– Written and compiled by BooksAvenue *All images belong to its respective owners