I recently ran across a software program called iBird Explorer that was featured in Apple’s iPhone application store. Having a grandfather who was a published ornithologist, and being a bit of a backyard birder, it is unsurprising that the application caught my eye. So after browsing through some user generated reviews, I decided to buy the application – and not just the featured version priced at $4.95, but the deluxe version priced at $19.95. In the ensuing weeks, despite the continued prognosis of further global economic doom, I have felt every penny of that was well spent.
My personal reaction should be very welcome news to publishers because what I bought was less a software program and more a digital book. Further, I had recently bought a printed bird guide for about half the price and though it contained nearly identical content, I now feel that I overpaid for the print version, or (perhaps even more encouraging for publishers), underpaid for the digital one.