CNET columnist: ‘Why e-books don’t stand a chance?’—plus E’s possible future effect on writers’ advances
April 4, 2008 | 2:02 pm
“…at their very core, e-book readers are not nearly as useful and worthwhile as some may think for one major reason — they cost too much money.” – CNET columnist Don Reisinger, following a somewhat more upbeat AP story, Kindle helps tiny e-book market.
The TeleRead take: Beyond lower-priced hardware, a little more enthusiasm for E from the book business would help, in terms of, say, boosting the number of titles available. You already know that Publishers Weekly dropped the E-Book Report blog and mysteriously deleted the archives even though the readership numbers were fine. Meanwhile AP writes of Pat Schroeder, head of the Association of American Publishers: “In a recent AP interview, Schroeder spoke favorably of e-books, but said she still had not read one.”
Related: Hyperion president goes to HarperCollins and New HarperCollins unit to try to cut writer’s advances, in the New York Times, along with a WSJ article mostly behind a paywall. I wouldn’t be surprised if E were a factor, since, if you move toward e-books and the Long Tail model for P, you can’t pay advances as high as for typical p-books.
The good news is that writers will get a higher percentage of money from actual sales, and maybe publishers will eventually stop overpaying so much for problematic titles. Better to spend the cash on experimentation with E! Let’s just hope that no one plays Hollywood-style games with “profits”—HarperCollins needs to provide writers and agents with more specifics.
(Thanks to Jason Etheridge for the CNET pointer.)