Monday, 15 February 2010

Some More On E-Books ...

It would appear that i'm not the only one pondering e-books at the moment.

The Great E-Book War
This article takes a look at the recent skirmish between Amazon and some publishers. Apple seem to have given the publishers a better deal in the iBook store and they are looking for similar concessions from Amazon. Interestingly it looks like Amazon may have already been implementing some of the things i suggested, but the publishers are trying their best to replicate the mistakes made by the record and film companies.

Confessions of a Book Pirate
This article consists largely of an interview with an old-school book pirate. By old-school i mean he scanned the books, performed Optical Character Recognition on them and then distributed them in rich text documents. This is compared to the more new-school piracy of disabling the DRM on existing e-books. It covers a lot of the same ground as i did in my Books Vs E-Readers Series (see below) and makes many of the same suggestions, just in a more concise manner. Also as i mentioned, with the increase in availability of e-reader hardware at a sensible cost, e-book piracy is set to skyrocket. For me the ironic thing is that publishers had the opportunity to learn from other industries, to stop this before it started and yet they are obstinately staying the course that has already failed miserably for everyone else.

The one excellent point made in both of these articles, that the publishers are stubbornly refusing to accept, is that they cannot charge the same for an e-book as a physical book. Aside from the fact that an e-book is much cheaper for them to sell and distribute, customers simply do not get the same value from an e-book as a physical one, so they expect pay less for it.

This is a bit of a filler post, but rest assured i have quite a few irons in the fire. Books Vs E-Readers has lead me to think more about old media Vs new media in a couple of other specific areas, but also more generally about disruptive technologies and why people can't seem to learn from previous changes.

Books Vs E-Readers Series

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