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Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Future is Here. Or a Dream...

There is an interesting piece in The Guardian about the business of publishing, ebooks and Amazon as a factor driving prices down. I don’t particularly agree with all the author’s conclusions, but it is worth a read and further discussion.

The blog piece titled “The true price of publishing,” pretends to have the answer to whether ebooks have reignited the question of what we're really paying publishers for – the physical product, or what's written inside?

Personally, I think Mr. Skidelsky simplifies the matter to an extend that it ignores several market factors – not the least of which is that a good number of writers have shun the traditional publishers and opted for self-publishing, and these have in some respects helped set the prices and expectations of readers.

To say that this alone has served to bring prices down for ebooks is also an oversimplification. It is, however, a factor that must be considered.

I do find it almost comical that Amazon seems to strike the fear of an unforgiving god into the industry, but it remains slow in adapting to this new world that has opened before them and grows stronger by the day. I have often argued that the biggest hurdle the publishing industry must defeat is its own insistence on perpetrating this Victorian model of business that has been increasingly failing them for the last few decades.

Then again, maybe they’ll wish upon a Perseid Shower and this will have been nothing but a trendy phase, a fad…

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