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image E-books normally released before P editions of the same titles? I’ve suggested this before. E could be a testbed for P, where the distribution costs are much higher.

Now I’m pleased to see Mike Shatzkin, the well-known publishing maven, thinking in somewhat similar terms—in a mailing-list post and in his blog. “I speculate that we’ll ultimately find that releasing the ebook ahead of the print book will actually be the best thing for print book sales…” Sourcebooks’ experiment with delayed release in E, let’s hope, is not the future.

In his latest post in his series on the past and future of digital publishing, Mike also wonders if Plastic Logic’s B&N-powered store might compete with Content Reserve and Ingram’s digital warehouse. In addition, he says ePub has helped increase the number of titles by slashing conversion costs. Exactly!

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