Actually, he was partailly blaming piracy.
In today’s world, however, anyone from John Grisham to John Doe can put up a book online with Smashwords, Lulu, or Kindle Direct, and bypass publishers — and bookstores — all together. Authors can use Google AdWords or social networking strategies to market their books far more effectively than publishers ever could. So who needs New York?
Yes, Kindle and iPad are game-changers. When you read books on a device, a few things change. You’re moving into an environment where you typically don’t pay for content — almost everything online is free. So publishers won’t be able to charge $10 or $12 for an entire book when people only want a chapter’s worth of information. So much for ebooks as a revenue stream for the publishing houses.
I find this statement more then a bit silly. The implication is that people are pirating books, or at least book chapters.
I have spent more on books since I was given a Kindle then I did before. I would go to the bookstore once a month and buy 4-5 books. I am buying far more then that now and I have bought a decent amount of my paper collection on my Kindle.
I agree that the Publishers are using a bad business plan. I don't think that they choose the greatest books to publish but that is not limited to books on 9/11 or President Obama. I don't think they have done the best job of changing with the times. They should be looking at the romance novels and how they are changing and adapting to e-books. I think that well known authors will be happy to leave the publishing houses as soon as they can and receive the larger royalties.