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Old 12-28-2009, 09:35 AM   #1
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E-books spark battle in the publishing industry.

An article from the Washington Post

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...rss_technology

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Old 12-28-2009, 10:19 AM   #2
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Thanks for finding this nicely written opinion piece. The large publishing companies are resisting the big changes caused by ebooks because I think any big industry would resist massive changes to its structure. No large company wants outside forces to alter its business structures and practices. In fact big industries work very hard to stymy such outside forces from influencing their businesses. The health insurance industry comes to mind.

Anyway, publishers resist logically priced ebooks because it lessens their cash flow. They don't seem to want to think about the potentially increased profit margin because they keep trying to plug the digital distribution business into the print distribution model. Plus, these large organizations must be packed with people whose jobs depend on the print distribution business, which has to create tons of institutional lethargy.

Emerging ebook distribution options have caught the eye of authors too. No longer are big publishing companies the monolithic gatekeepers of text. Control of their supply is slipping, which has to be distressing to any industry.

I predict that -- kicking and screaming -- most big publishers will adapt to the new digital environment once they realize how many people they can layoff! Otherwise, an expanding ebook market will leave print publishers confronted with the fact that their strength is distribution of books into bookstores. That might remain a good business, but it will be a smaller business.

Of course the publishing industry has to be dismayed by the Wal-mart manuvers of Amazon to clobber suppliers with pricepoints determined by the retail outlet. And many authors will start switching to platforms like Amazon because why cut the publisher into the action? I mean really, why?

Overall, I'm excited by all the changes in the publishing industry. It's great that anybody can put their work out there, but I'm sure big publishing will work very hard to stymy that as time goes by.
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