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Books / Media, News, Rant

Let’s Get Stupid

And I thought the people who publish books were a whole lot smarter than the people who publish music.

My Bad!

It's Really Not Rocket Science

Wise As A Book Publisher?

The recent product recall of George Orwell’s 1984 from those Amazon Kindles showed us that anybody can get wrapped up in their DRM underwear.

But everyone is getting their panties in a bunch over a mistake that was prompty recognized and addressed; the final bow was tied in the ribbon with Jeff Bezos’ personal apology to the Kindle community.

No, the real problem is the Publishing Industry’s business model. These guys and gals act like they want to stick with what has worked since Gutenberg until we pry their cold dead hands from those price controls.

I thought the Music Industry already taught us that holding onto old practices instead of embracing the new guarantees failure. But no, everybody thinks they are different.

Up to now Amazon has managed to keep the prices of electronic books ‘artifically’ low by subsidizing the publishers. When Amazon sells those new books for $9.99 they have been (mostly) taking a loss to ramp up the market for e-books.

But do they get any thanks from the Publishers? Make that the Big EN OH.

If you’ve noticed (and I have) prices of many new Kindle editions have been going up.  Amazon has been quietly throwing in the towel.

Let me predict what will happen, and this really ain’t Rocket Science.

Books Will Be Free.

The DRM will be broken. Oh, you might say, it hasn’t been broken so far and the Sony and Kindle Readers have been out for a long time.

It’s the same reason there aren’t many viruses targeted at Apple Computers. Not because it can’t be done, but because there’s no money in it.  Apple doesn’t have enough market share. Simple as that.

Soon there will be a huge market for electronic books. Have you perhaps noticed that young people have a different take on things compared to their Boomer parents?

The smell and feel of a real book (give me a break) doesn’t mean much to our kids who grew up with a mouse and keyboard. And they are not impressed with shelves full of books any more than they would be with piles of records when they have thousands of them on their iPods.


High prices that can’t be justified, plus high market share equals busted DRM.

I strongly believe in paying authors for their work. It’s up to the book publishers to deliver products their customers want, in the formats that they want, at a price that makes sense to everyone. They should understand that change is an opportunity, not just a threat.

Don’t think the people who broke the un-breakable Blu-Ray DRM in a month can’t break e-book DRM?

Think again.




  1. Pingback: You Book Publishers Think You Are Sooo Intellectual « Not A Mystery - August 7, 2009

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