The Guardian has an interview with Penguin chief executive John Makinson, who also runs a small independent bookstore with his brother. Makinson is a newly converted iPad reader, carrying an iPad loaded with a number of books on a trip to India. He has a number of things to say about the iPad, and about e-books in general.
"It does redefine what we do as publishers and I feel, compared with most of my counterparts, more optimistic about what this means for us," [Makinson] says. "Of course there are issues around copyright protection and there are worries around pricing and around piracy, royalty rates and so on, but there is also this huge opportunity to do more as publishers."
He talks about wanting to make sure that e-books have additional, iPad-compatible content (such as author interviews and other multimedia). One example might be the recent iPad version of The Pillars of the Earth which included scenes and music from a TV adaptation.
Makinson is also very clear that he feels windowing—the practice of delaying an e-book release until some time after the printed release—is “a very bad idea. If the consumer wants to buy a book in an electronic format now, you should let the consumer have it."
And he also talks about disintermediation in self-publishing—authors taking their own books directly to the public—a model he says that the late Douglas Adams predicted and supported. Makinson thinks that it will not end up being very successful overall since editors are still needed to edit, publicize, and push books out to bookstores.
An interesting article, very much worth reading.
(Found via The Bookseller.)