Piracy of ebooks is a very good reason for the unlikely decline in ebook sales and writer incomes. Ebooks have mostly replaced paper books except for those people who really, really like having a book they drag around and cannot look up a word from directly.
I’ve been ebook exclusively for about as long as there have been ebooks. I donated my library, except for one book case, seven years ago to our local library. Even with the absurd pricing of ebooks and the absurd limitations on working with them. While I don’t like pdf copies I use them for technical books that are available legitimately from vendors. And most of the book I read some with a NO DRM as many people refuse to buy books if they have been “protected”.
My point is the price and royalty structure. The primary cost of an ebook should be the royalty to the author. Since I buy heavily from Amazon as most people do I don’t have a problem with a small percentage going to them for maintaining a massive library of almost everything published. I would prefer it was not tied to a capitalist operation at all but that is my preference and I’m happy to pay if I know the creator is getting their share.
I have a hard time paying more than $3–4 for an ebook knowing that the author gets only a few cents.
Perhaps Medium will work well enough as to be able to add book length writing in a one step manner as the current Partnership Program works. Something like that needs to happen. Publishers are strangling the book world just as music publisher struggled to block progress. It took subscription music services to begin to break that death grip. Maybe a subscription book service with a maximum number per month but permanent access rights.
The Kindle Prime service is a model but only old or self published books dominate that. Everything in all areas needs to be there.