E-books make the front page of the Wall Street Journal

Interesting – if a bit distressing – article in today’s (Sep 28th)  Wall Street Journal about e-books.  The gist of it is, since ebook prices are cheaper, authors and publishers are making less from them than traditional books, making publishers less likely to pay out robust advances to authors.  It paints a rather bleak picture, but it doesn’t quite ring true to me.  Wouldn’t a healthy portion of the regular book’s price come from the production cost, which is relatively nil for e-books?  Something isn’t adding up for me here.  I’m sure we’ll hear more as the e-book continues to grab more and more of the market…

On the bright side though, think of all the trees that now will be allowed to live since we’re printing fewer books, which in the long run means more oxygen for us mammals… 🙂


  1. Sk said,

    September 28, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    I also read today that magazine subscriptions are on the rise. This is the case even with all of the electronic media choices available. It seems this fulfills a different need for people. I was pleased by this because I was concerned that all the e-book craze would make books become a thing of the past. I like the idea of saving trees, but I don’t want to loose books and magazines. I also don’t want authors tot suffer – they provide a wonderful, enjoyable, addition to life.


  2. Alex said,

    September 29, 2010 at 5:10 am

    Exactly! Something’s fishy!

    I also don’t like the idea that when it comes to Kindle, Amazon has the right to take away a book I bought 😡 There’s also the question about loans: you can legally loan a paper book, but how does that work for e-books?


  3. stentorpub said,

    September 29, 2010 at 10:39 am

    @Sk – Thanks for your comment! I also read on Bloomberg.com late yesterday that the ‘feared’ takeover/sale of Barnes & Noble has been blocked – at least for now. They are losing money while trying to switch and adapt to the emerging e-books market. Interesting stuff.


    @Alex – The Nook reader does allow you to loan a book (ONE time!) to a fellow Nook/barnes&noble.com account holder. If I remember right, the receiving person has up to 30 days to accept the loan then, once accepted, has two weeks to read it. I’ve posted before that that feels a little draconian to me. I haven’t tried lending yet either, but now I have a fellow nook owner in my office and we’ll probably be giving it a try soon. I’ll be sure to post something here on my blog about that process once I’ve actually done it.

    Really? How does amazon take away a book you’ve already bought? Now THAT is ‘entirely unacceptable!’…



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