This is an important issue for independent publishers and authors such as myself. Much of our work and our world is geared toward ebooks.
Traditional publishers would like for the public to believe that ebook reading will fade away and that were are on the path that returns to the halcyon days where publishers controlled everything, including some outrageous pricing practices.
Their willing partners in perpetuating this narrative are some well-placed journalists who don’t take the time to examine the information they are being handed by publisher association and who don’t bother to do a basic act of journalism 101: getting another side of the story.
The journalists should know better.
But, as independent publishers and authors, we can only hope that traditional publishers keep fooling themselves with their own narrative and keep the prices of their books frustratingly high. That will continue to give a golden opportunity for those of us who publish our own work.
Traditional publishers are desperately fighting to maintain an economic model that in the world of ebooks, digital access and independent publishing is no longer viable. They have created their own fantasy — ebook reading is down and print sales are up — and have decided to believe with all their hearts in that fantasy.
Doucette give an easy-to-read account of how they did it.
The publishers have even convinced the New York Times and a few other clueless journalists (and, sadly, authors) that the fantasy is real.
If the Big 5 are under the impression that they can strangle the ebook market, they’re mistaken. All they really can do is strangle their corner of it.
If you’re wondering, driving readers toward print and away from ebooks is actually the idea behind this madness. Given the overhead costs of one versus the other, it makes almost no business sense, except for one detail: the Big 5 can exert a lot more control over print and distribution of paper copies than they can over electronic copies. So if you’re looking for logic in this scheme, that’s probably where you’ll find it. A true resurgence in print could mean a revival of physical bookstores and a resumption of Big 5 control over the publishing industry as a whole. And maybe a pony, a recipe for no-calorie fudge, and a cure for male-pattern baldness. (quoted)