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Posted by Sarah Rotman Epps on July 13, 2009
Jeffrey Trachtenberg and Geoffrey Fowler's article in the Wall Street Journal today really got me thinking. Trachtenberg and Fowler report that some publishers are withholding the release of eBooks until the hardcover printing has run its course--which we see as the latest manifestation of publishers' shock and denial of the digital revolution and the catastrophic change it will wreak on their industry.
In the article, the reporters quote a literary agent comparing eBooks to DVDs, arguing that the film industry would never release a DVD at the same time as a theater release, so why should publishers cannibalize hardcover sales by releasing eBooks simultaneously? Well, here's why we think publishers are wrong:
For all these reasons, publishers that drag their feet on eBooks are in for a painful, unproductive fight with retailers and consumers. This time around, it would be nice to see an industry that could skip denial and anger and go right to innovating with customer- and business-friendly solutions.
If you're an author, publisher, or other party that has data to prove me wrong, I'd love to hear it--leave a comment here or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.