Wednesday, January 28, 2009
It's not easy being...
From vampires, I'm going to segue into SF. First, let me say, being a scifi fan abroad is not easy. (Being a SF fan who's a broad isn't easy either, but that's a different post.) For starters, books need to be special ordered and shipping paid. When we order from Amazon, it costs as much in shipping as I pay for the books. Ouch!
So maybe e-books are the answer? But DRM makes my life difficult. Not all e-books work on all readers (and it's not the same to curl up with an e-reader as having a paperback's heft when on the couch). You can't entirely replace the tactile feeling of a book: the smell of fresh paper, the slick cover beneath your fingertips, and the weight of it in your hands as you flip the pages. You also can't hug an e-book when you finish a book and you have that totally-in-love feeling. Mind you, I do love the e-reader for immediate gratification and I'm highly curious about this one.
Even trying to keep up with the new crop of TV series can be complicated; episodes air four to six weeks late when they air at all, and not all series make the jump to international markets. We lost track of Battlestar Galactica so many times (it kept shifting day and time) that we were so behind we gave up and are resigned to buying the DVDs (which are also hard to find.)
There are significant markets for books, shows and films outside the U.S. more than happy to pay a small premium to get our fix. And we have the technology to distribute content relatively easily across borders.
So what do you think stops us? Why do companies market solely to the US? Many times, if you try to purchase (purchase, mind you!) digital content outside the US, it will tell you that market is not supported. Is it because they think every international customer is sitting ready to purchase their first copy and then bootleg a billion more? Isn't there something we can do? I welcome your thoughts!