A Consumer's Response to the Delay of Releasing Ebooks: You're Doing It Wrong

iphoneAs a reader and a consumer, I fail to completely understand the rationale behind the publisher’s need to delay the ebook format weeks up to several months after its hardcover equivalent. Are publishers hoping that ebook readers like myself will be so pressed for the book that we’ll purchase the hardcover instead? Well they would be wrong.

Mike Shatzkin, founder and chief executive of the Idea Logical Company, a consultant to publishers on digital issues, said he did not believe e-book buyers cannibalize hardcover sales. “People who read e-books don’t buy physical books, and people who buy physical books don’t buy e-books,” he said. E-books still represent only 1 percent to 2 percent of book sales – The New York Times.

Word.

As one of 2 million users who use Stanza on their iPhone and read on it almost exclusively, I don’t buy dead tree books. If the ebook is not available for me to purchase on the street date then you can consider it a lost sale. I’ll just give my money to the other publisher(s) who don’t seem to have a problem with releasing e-versions of their hardcovers on the street date.

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4 Responses to A Consumer's Response to the Delay of Releasing Ebooks: You're Doing It Wrong

  1. Jill D. says:

    Personally, if the book is only available in hardback and I want to read it, I will check it out from the library if it isn’t one I want to keep. The only way I would by the hardback is if it is a book that I have been DESPERATELY waiting to be released and currently there is only one author that fits that category.

    If the price is right, then I might consider buying it. What I mean is, if the book was available in ebook, for a significantly lower price, than I might be persuaded to buy it. Less money or no money, the choice is theirs.

  2. Avid Reader says:

    Hey thanks Jill D. I usually will check the book out of the library as well when the book isn’t available to me.

  3. SarahT says:

    Although I can sympathize with ereaders’ frustration, I can also understand the publisher’s perspective. They see hardcovers as the luxury editions of their books and want to protect them and justify their high prices. Someone on the Smart Bitches thread mentioned ebooks and paperbacks being the equivalent of DVDs. Although this idea was shot down by most of the commenters, I’m inclined to agree with this analogy.

  4. Avid Reader says:

    SarahT: Some­one on the Smart Bitches thread men­tioned ebooks and paper­backs being the equiv­a­lent of DVDs.

    DVD’s as we see them today versus Blu-Ray? Not sure how the analogy goes. Will have to go look the article. All I care about is accessibility and choice to buy the e-version of the book and all I see is the publisher denying me my choice. And I don’t see how pricing ebooks the same as hardcovers is hardly fair when ebooks are a lot cheaper but then I do realize that it’s the content I’m paying for and not the wrapper that it comes in.

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