Posted by: bluesyemre | November 2, 2015

The #Ebook Pricing Wars (A former publisher’s perspective) by Michael Rockliff


Perhaps it’s easy for me to say, being out of the ebook pricing wars now (i.e., safely retired), but much of the publisher angst over ebook pricing terms to libraries strikes me as responding to problems that haven’t yet materialized, and in fact may not. Further, it has led to policies that alienate a market segment that is more important than ever to the success of our books.

Some of that anxiety has been over fear of being locked into terms that might prove economically unviable. That is, of course, a legitimate concern. We could argue, however, that earlier in the life of a technology is, in fact, the best time to experiment. There is much to be learned, and less to lose, in trying out as many business models as possible. When that model is one-patron-at-a-time usage, there is little difference between a hard copy book and its ebook equivalent, other than wear and tear. Even that issue tends to be overstated. For one thing, cast your mind back to when the library book you checked out had a pocket and cards in its front cover. Rarely did you see a book that needed significant repairs until one or more cards were fully stamped on both sides.

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