Ebooks in Nigeria
March 29, 2012 at 6:15 pm #100574
I like to think that ebooks are a great way to solve the issue of distribution of books in Nigeria.
However, I am also aware that some people (I don’t know what percentage) prefer to read physical books rather than ebooks.
I am also aware of the issue of copyright protection.
So let me ask:
- Do you prefer reading physical books to ebooks?
- If you prefer a physical book to an ebook, what price discount would tempt you to buy an ebook over a physical book (i.e. if the physical book is N1000, how low should the price of the ebook be before you would buy it rather than buying the physical book?)
- Do you see the copyright issue as a big issue? Would it be solved if the price was set so low that people would rather buy than get a free copy?
- What other thoughts do you have about the proliferation of ebooks in Nigeria?
I prefer physical books. Its easier to read a short story in e-format but for me a novel is really tiring in that format. How low will make me tempted to buy an e-book; probably less than half and if it’s a story I really love I would probably still buy the physical book for keeps. I don’t mind having my textbooks as e-books.
As for setting the price so low that people would rather buy than get a free copy; that is unlikely to happen. i mean free is free. Even if it is ten naira people would rather get a free copy than pay. They would only pay if the hassle of finding a free copy is not worth it or the person as a matter of principle prefers to pay. What we need is a mindset to respect people’s property. I recently tried buying my own copy of Achebe’s Things fall apart (I’ve always read my mum’s own) and I was asked if I wanted the original or fake. Copyright is infringed on even with physical books
Thanks a lot for your very insightful replies.
What makes reading an ebook so tiring for you? Is it because the screen is small, or is it because of the light from the phone? Have you tried reading an ebook on a Kindle, which is bigger and less glaring?
I find it very interesting that you would be OK having textbooks as ebooks. My guess is that having a textbook in ebook format makes it easy for you to find text and use it as a reference, which is very different from how we use regular fiction books.
Sadly, I tend to agree with you about free books. I know that some ebooks have copyright protection built in that makes it hard to transfer books from device to device. Whether that is enough to compel people to buy ebooks, I don’t know…
I have never bought an ebook before, don’t intend to.
I remember buying a screenwriting ebook one time for $15, don’t know why I did that then. Guess I was confused. Or maybe because I was too excited about owning a credit card.
I also have this thing I love doing. I love giving female friends my novels when I have read the novels. You can’t do that with an ebook.
Another issue about free things is that, lotta things are expensive here. Novels sell average for 1500 Naira, how many people can afford that? Roadside novels, foreign original bestsellers sell for 200 Naira, so people go for that more.
I remember when I was in Lagos, I only saw movies at the standard of 1500 Naira if it was Ije: The Journey or if I was on a date with a girl. Other times, I went to cinemas only during the 500 Naira time.
I work in the ‘entertainment’ industry, one thing I have learnt is that people love arts and would patronise good stuff. But a lot of people might also find it hard to do so if the price is too high. Again, some will still go for free stuff oh but if the price of ‘arts’ come down, there’ll be better patronage.