How are Publishers coping with the advent of the ereader and ebook? Not very well so far.

by Tony Cole Can publishers find a way to live with ebooks? On the face of it, the answer  just now is apparently not.   The world’s publishers are struggling to come to terms with a major shake up in their industry, the first for hundreds of years, and they are apparently completely at a loss as to how to cope… The poor dears.

They are groping around like blind moles attempting to find a good business model for electronic publishing, and pricing and so far, failing lamentably.  Their pricing structures are impressively illogical and keep changing, not to speak of the whole matter of DRM either, which is a complete shambles, and vastly confusing to most consumers.

Another area in which the world of publishers is apparently finding impossible to come to terms with is the fact that the internet is not restricted to any one particular country, and they still are working with the weird and unhandy geographical limitation system, which effectively means that half the time you will not be able to purchase the ebook you want, unless you happen to live in the USA, an immensely frustrating experience for probably hundreds of thousands of potential buyers.

This last problem comes from the fact that traditionally, author’s agents and publishers make different deals for different parts of the world.  This worked fine when dealing with paper books, but is completely hopeless when you start dealing with electronic books sold on the internet.  It simply makes no business sense to refuse to sell your product to someone simply because he/she lives in Malaysia rather than the USA.

Another area that is causing a lot of anger and frustration on the part of people who buy ebooks is the matter of ownership.  Currently when you purchase an ebook, you are not actually purchasing the ebook, but a 1 user license, so you have no right to give it to someone else, sell it or do anything with it in fact other than read it yourself on your own ereader……..

Sadly the world of publishing seems  not to have looked at the hard experiences of the music and film world to see how they have dealt with an identical set of problems…  or not dealt with it, depending on how you look at it, and seem hell bent on going down the same road as those industries did and make all the same mistakes all over again.

It is all very depressing.

1 Comment on How are Publishers coping with the advent of the ereader and ebook? Not very well so far.

  1. Cheer up. E-book sales are booming.

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