Say That Again

by Mike Masnick

Book Publishers Don't Get The Internet Either

from the no-surprise-there dept

It appears that the folks in the book publishing business haven't quite learned from any of the various mistakes made by their colleagues in the music and movie industries. Rather than recognizing how technology can be an opportunity, they're freaking out about how it's going to hurt their business. Constitutional Code notes that a publisher is warning other publishers to stay away from Google's plan to digitize books, noting that: "We are being given an opportunity to undermine our industry. It may not seem inherently scary at the moment. But my concern is what this will lead to in 10 years. We are opening a Pandora's Box, and we have no idea where it will lead. We just don't know, once they have this material, what they will do with it." Of course, what he doesn't seem to recognize is that if they don't embrace this, people will simply route around them. The real threat isn't from embracing the technology and moving on to new business models -- but in fighting the technology and losing complete control over where things go.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Apr 2005 @ 3:02pm

    Some do get it...

    Look at Oreilly. They offer their entire collection available online for a monthly fee.
    I used to buy books by the pound. Not any more...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Ray Trygstad, 21 Apr 2005 @ 8:13pm

    Some Publishers Get It....

    Baen Books gets it; they have about 80 books on the Baen Free Library site that you can download--in five different formats--for free. They are convinced that they make MORE money as a result--and so am I. Many of the books there are part of a trilogy or an extended series. So I download and read the first book (or first two or three books) on my Pocket PC and end up buying the rest. Because of this stellar marketing I would guess that 80% of the fiction I have bought over the past two years has been Baen. Baen has a stable pool of authors, and I have started reading books by some of them because I was introduced to their work online at no risk. So really, some publishers get it--even if most don't.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      thecaptain, 22 Apr 2005 @ 4:53am

      Re: Some Publishers Get It....

      I agree.

      I LOVE to read on my Palm but shopping for online books has been an exercise in frustration and futility. Imagine, getting a "deal" such that if you buy the paperback you get a dollar off the electronic version, yet that e-version (usually in the crappy MS format) is STILL 2 bucks MORE.

      Also, most books I already own simply aren't available, pushing me to the file-shares for e-reading material (and there's a LOT, in pdb, txt or PDF).

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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