Friday, April 24, 2009

A Warning for the Book Industry

In "Why should I care about e-books? Lessons learned the hard way from the newspaper biz", Brendan warns the book industry not to go the newspaper way. He urges people to see the signs and do something before it is too late. A few he raises are:
  • Who will control access to digital books - will libraries merely trade their expensive-to-maintain collections for a subscription to Google books? Are libraries hastening their own obsolescence by allowing Google access to their collections?
  • Will Amazon’s closed-platform standard for e-books prevail (the Kindle)?
  • Will an author’s share of revenue on e-books be a traditional fixed percentage, or a variable, we’re-not-going-to-tell-you-what-we-received-from-your-work-but-here’s-a-quarter-go-buy-yourself-something-nice percentage of advertising revenue that Google might deign to dole out (as it does with ad revenue to site/blog owners)?
  • Will any company be able to realistically compete in e-book sales that isn’t a megacorp? For that matter, will any megacorp even be able to realistically compete with Google?
  • Will authors simply bypass all traditional distributors, publishers, and retailers, producing and promoting their books directly?
  • In a world of digital books and DMCA, what becomes of your ability to pass a book on to a friend, or re-sell it?
There are a few more questions he raises on his blog. Read the entire article here.

Image Source: flynnkc

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