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Clueless Publishers
December 10, 2009 - 8:12pm

Some publishers have decided to delay the release of e-books until four months following the hardcover release.

The publishers are worried that:

a. E-books have the potential to cannibalize sales of hardcovers.

b. Profits will erode has e-book retailers (Amazon etc.) move to sharing less of the revenue in the future.

Depressing.

Publishers. E-book readers are your best customers. Think of us extensions to your marketing and sales force. If we are the type to read an e-book we are probably the type to share our experience of the book using social media. E-book readers will blog about your book. We will make Facebook updates. We will Twitter.

Rather then having us wait four months to get your books you should be doing everything possible to get the e-books into our hands. For every e-book sale (and audiobook sale) you will realize a multiple of traditional book sales. We will leverage social media to talk about the book, not the format, and consumers of social media will then purchase the book in the format (usually paper) they are most comfortable with.

After four months our interest in reading your book, in any format, will be basically dead. We like to read and discuss books when these books are in the general conversation. When the reviews are coming out. When our peers, friends and networks are also reading the books.

Any effort to restrict e-books (and audiobooks) is also your fastest route to kill off the next generation of readers. We are coming to a time when a certain proportion of young readers will prefer to consume their books on multiple platforms. College students, and future college students, will want their content to follow them. Sometimes this will mean reading on a mobile device, sometimes on an e-reader, sometimes on a tablet or netbook, and sometimes on paper.

Are there any voices of sanity in the publishing world?

 

 

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