No, Ebooks won’t make midlist authors extinct

I found a post over at Huffington Post that I 'd like to share. I'm bringing it to your attention because the author is wrong in his basic premise. I've seen it before, and it annoys me every time. Here is the critical paragraph:

However, the book-buying habits sustaining their work may become a thing of the past when printed books are swapped for digital ones. As strolling and perusing the aisles of a bookstore is replaced with a mouse and computer screen, the demise of brick-and-mortar retailers will accelerate and critically important links between midlist authors and their readers will be severed.

The problem here is that he has confused ebooks with the Web. Yes, web retailers will kill off brick and mortar stores, but that's already happening (even though ebooks are a tiny percentage of the market). It's paper books that are doing it, not ebooks. TBH, I'd say that used books is having a greater negative effect than ebooks. That market is significantly larger, and none of the money goes to the authors.

Ebooks at least will give money to authors. The danger of ebooks isn't the ebook itself, but that publishers don't yet know how they're going to change their business plan to cope with the tumultuous changes of the last few years. Are some publishers going to fail? Possibly. But it's not ebooks that killed them, but their won inability to adapt.

About Nate Hoffelder (11799 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader:"I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

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