Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Are You Serious, Guys?


kb7uen Gene over on the Kindle Boards pointed out this article:

Kindle, Nook, Other E-Readers Wrecking Publishing Industry: Report - Desktops and Notebooks - News & Reviews - eWeek.com

The article is worth a read because it captures the madness of some in the publishing industry right now.

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“The book publishing industry has entered a period of long-term decline because of the rising sales of e-book readers.”

No. People are still buying plenty of books, just not the ones certain publishers want them to buy nor in the format they are accustomed to.

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"For the traditional book publishing industry, the implications of the rise of the e-book and e-book reader markets are frightening."

Only if publishers are worried about lower overhead, being able to sell their entire backlist for near zero cost, and never having to worry about over/under printing a run of novels again.

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“Dedicated e-reader shipments will fall short of some expectations, partly because of encroachment from media tablets, which many consumers will use to view e-books."

No. LCD screens hurt my eyes, and e-ink is only going to get better.

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“Price declines for e-readers will be less than many expect, since makers of such devices already have cut prices to the point where they earn near-zero margins.

No. These folks can sell their e-readers for a loss if they want, then make it up on content. It's called a loss leader strategy (see every video game console on the market).

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“Barnes & Noble may have come to market with its original e-ink Nook second, but its Nook Color upgrade gives it the upper hand in the war over the serious reader.”

No. Amazon is gaining the upper hand. They're crushing in e-reader sales. Barnes and Noble has been forced to try and out innovate them. Now Amazon gets to play wait-and-see before releasing their own color e-reader, all the while hitting Barnes and Noble's market share with cheaper and cheaper B&W readers.

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I just don't get the logic of the piece. It's like mourning the end of hand crank starters. And let's not forget that there is a clear winner in all this. The Reading Public is going to make out like a bandit. In a few short years, they're going to have access to all the printed words amassed during the entirety of human existence via a feather-weight tablet that only needs to be charged once a month for less than the price of a nice Valentine's Day dinner...and they're gonna complain about the location of the power button.

Gosh darn it, I love capitalism : )

B.

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