Bookofjoe has reported on a story coming out of India. Mountblanc issues limited edition fountain pens on a regular basis. Some of them are quite beautiful, and some are really hideously ugly. They have done a whole writers’ series including Agatha Christie, Virginia Wolf, Voltaire and more.
Not a writer, but one of the world’s great statesmen, Mountblanc has just misunderstood his entire ethos and issued a $23,000 pen commemorating austere, ascetic Mahatma Gandhi! Bookofjoe reports that Amit Modi, secretary of the 102-year-old Sabarmati Ashram that Gandhi founded to promote his ideas of radical egalitarianism and simple living, expressed dismay at the product, which he called “not relevant” to Gandhi’s name. “If he had seen this, he would have thrown it away,” Mr Modi said. “I cannot imagine why anybody has done this. We cannot recognize this.”
Talk about misreading the consumer! Does this look familiar in the ebook arena? Publishers are continually misreading their public. People want reasonably priced, non-DRMed ebooks that can be read on more than one platform. For those who want ebooks, I strongly suspect that they will not buy the hard cover version when an ebook version is not available. That means no sale at all for the publisher. Pity.