behind the curve
Posted July 13, 2009on:
Full disclosure: I’ve worked in the publishing industry for 7 years. I don’t make a very good industry insider, because I work mostly on textbooks and nonfiction (which the cool people aren’t really talking about) and these days I do more production editorial work than anything else, so I’m no longer even tangentially involved in acquisitions. Still, I know how the industry works. I know it’s run by savvy marketing types who don’t really read or even know how books are put together. This isn’t universally true, but it seems to me that a lot of these “savvy” marketing types are really missing the boat about the directions publishing could go in.
Ebooks should be a no-brainer. They cost significantly less to produce, since you don’t have to buy paper or time at the printer. They’re easier to archive, less likely to go out of print. Your customer base can get them from the convenience of their home without going to a store or waiting for books to ship.
But, I get it, ebook readers are still expensive, and reading an ebook on a computer screen sucks. So we still need paper books. But what I don’t get is why publishers aren’t better catering to the subset of the population from which they can make easy money.
Well, and by this, I mean me. I own a Kindle, y’all should be catering to me.
And also Sarah at Smart Bitches who says:
I WILL NOT BUY A HARDBACK BECAUSE YOU WANT ME TO, BECAUSE IT’S BETTER FOR YOUR REVENUE STREAM.
I WANT EBOOKS. I WANT DIGITAL BOOKS. I DO NOT WANT HARDBACKS.
YOU CANNOT MAKE ME BUY THEM. YOU ONLY COST YOURSELF THE REVENUE OF MY PURCHASE.