As 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.
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.