Random House bring ebooks to the iPhone but forget about value for money
With e-reading still very much in its infancy on this side of the Atlantic, publishing giant Random House have dipped their toe into the water with the launch of a series of ebooks through the Apple store, designed to be read on the iPhone and iPod Touch.
While we twiddle our thumbs and wait for a UK launch for Amazon’s nifty Kindle e-reader, not to mention the iPhone version, which is also US-only, Random House’s offering is a nice little diversion, with six titles available now and more to follow, some with added, enhanced content.
There’s also some super-sexy features such as screen rotation, font adjustment, digital note-making and automatic bookmarking. Even with all that, you’d assume that you’d be able to download the books for a reduced price, you know, seeing as how there’s no traditional paper, printing or distribution costs involved. Think again.
Stuart Maconie’s recent ‘Adventures On The High Teas’ is one of the launch titles, and can be yours in digital form for… £10.99. The paperback copy of the book retails on Amazon for £7.19. Meanwhile, James Patterson’s new ‘8th Confession’ (hardback on Amazon for £9.49) is available as an ebook for the frankly ridiculous £17.49. Ooof!
In principle, the idea of reading a book on your iPhone is a great one and Random House have grasped the opportunity to make a big splash in the fledgling e-reading market. But for as long as they’re pricing their titles so highly, enhanced content or not, we’ll stick with the tried and trusted bookular form that has served us so well for… well, hundreds of years. After all, you can't kill a wasp with an iPhone.