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Old 02-19-2018, 05:07 PM   #1
fjtorres
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Fightin' words!

You gotta love those BPH execs:

https://the-digital-reader.com/2018/...red-ramblings/

Quote:

There are two different geographies to look at for this. In the US and UK, the ebook market is about 20% of the total book market, everywhere else it is 5%-7% because in these places the prices never went down to such a level that the ebook market would get significant traction. I think the plateau, or rather slight decline, that we’re seeing in the US and UK is not going to reverse. It’s the limit of the ebook format. The ebook is a stupid product. It is exactly the same as print, except it’s electronic. There is no creativity, no enhancement, no real digital experience.
Lots more cluelessness at the source.

Nate said it about as well as possible:

Quote:

Lagardère Publishing CEO Arnaud Nourry gave an interview to Scroll.in this weekend that showed both that he was remarkably ignorant about his products as well as how and why consumers value his products.

FYI: Lagardère is the parent company for Hachette Book Group (US) and Hachette (UK), and Hachette Livre (France).

The interview also showed that his PR staff needs to be fired (Nourry should never have been allowed to say this).
eBooks are stupid, huh?
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Old 02-19-2018, 06:00 PM   #2
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The man is stupid. He seemed to miss how amazon is really cashing in on ereaders
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Old 02-19-2018, 06:08 PM   #3
GlenBarrington
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The man is stupid. He seemed to miss how amazon is really cashing in on ereaders
Not to mention the Kindle was the source of Amazon's legitimacy in Technology in the collective mind of the buying public. Could there have been Alexa without the Kindle?
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Old 02-19-2018, 06:20 PM   #4
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Hmm... "ebooks are stupid because they don't have enhancements", then: "we tried enhancements, but they didn't work"

He also said that ebooks never caught on outside the US and UK because they are priced too high, but that the reason ebooks are in a permanent slight decline is because of inherent ebook limitations. How about price?

I guess reader (user) settable font size and column width don't count as enhancement since they are not something the publishers can dictate.
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Old 02-19-2018, 06:23 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by GlenBarrington View Post
Not to mention the Kindle was the source of Amazon's legitimacy in Technology in the collective mind of the buying public. Could there have been Alexa without the Kindle?
There's also the seeming ignorance that ebooks predate the Kindle by quite a bit. To be fair, that was from the interviewer, but he didn't refute it.
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Old 02-19-2018, 06:55 PM   #6
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[What a click bait subject line.] I wonder how many of the new, money making authors, got going through the ebook publishing process? It seems that there are a lot more new authors showing up, as ebook authors (even if they also end up with paper books out also.) I can't understand how anyone watching the book market could see ebooks as a factor negatively effecting the situation.

Luck;
Ken
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Old 02-19-2018, 07:12 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Maltby View Post
[What a click bait subject line.] I wonder how many of the new, money making authors, got going through the ebook publishing process? It seems that there are a lot more new authors showing up, as ebook authors (even if they also end up with paper books out also.) I can't understand how anyone watching the book market could see ebooks as a factor negatively effecting the situation.

Luck;
Ken
The formula for newcomer success involves print as a secondary "show the flag" format and to make the ebook look cheap. One author I saw refers to her print editions as the "holiday gift edition".

Proper pricing varies by genre but for SF&F a $4-5 ebook looks really good next to a $13-15 POD pbook. Even better next to $10-13 Hachette ebooks.
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Old 02-19-2018, 07:59 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by j.p.s View Post
There's also the seeming ignorance that ebooks predate the Kindle by quite a bit. To be fair, that was from the interviewer, but he didn't refute it.
And if Sony didn't make Readers, there might not be Kindle today.
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Old 02-19-2018, 08:42 PM   #9
rcentros
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This guy is not just insulting eBooks, he's insulting books in general.

Quote:
The ebook is a stupid product. It is exactly the same as print, except it’s electronic.
(emphasis mine)

Then in the next section of the interview he rambles on about 3D ...

Quote:
I’m convinced there is something we can invent using our content and digital properties beyond ebooks but I reached the conclusion that we don’t really have the skills and talents in our companies because publishers and editors are accustomed to picking a manuscript and creating a design on a flat page. They don’t really know the full potential of 3-D and digital.
So what's he saying? That book publishers should be movie makers? The interviewer must have gotten him good and drunk before the interview.
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Old 02-19-2018, 08:52 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by rcentros View Post
This guy is not just insulting eBooks, he's insulting books in general.
Wow, great point!

(I also thought the movie analogy was weird, but didn't catch that he is calling printed books stupid.)
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Old 02-19-2018, 08:57 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by rcentros View Post

The interviewer must have gotten him good and drunk before the interview.
I've seen other interviews with him (during the catfight with Amazon) and he is either always drunk for interviews or that level of cluelessness is his default state. Really makes no difference since he clearly walks the talk.
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Old 02-19-2018, 09:15 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by fjtorres View Post
I've seen other interviews with him (during the catfight with Amazon) and he is either always drunk for interviews or that level of cluelessness is his default state. Really makes no difference since he clearly walks the talk.
I believe "staggers" is a more accurate term. . .
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Old 02-19-2018, 09:21 PM   #13
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I think that's a fairly common attitude in the tech world, too. One of my complaints about reviews of tech is many are primarily concerned with what's new. They often give only a little mention of how good a product is at the things all such products do.

If it's not new it's not anything.

However, in this situation he's also completely wrong in saying that ebooks bring nothing new. They bring light. They bring lots of books in less space than print books need for each single book. They bring the ability to easily get your next book from any nearby Wifi or from anywhere in the case of my 3G Kindles. They bring a built-in dictionary. They bring text search. They bring adjustable fonts.

Ebooks just might be the biggest improvement in reading in history. Hachette might consider renaming itself to Buggy Whip Publishing.

By the way, a couple of years ago I re-read "The Magnificent Ambersons" which dealt with pretty much the same kind of arguments related to the automobile. When it was first introduced most people didn't see the point of it other than as a novelty. The focus of the story was about following the changes in thought and in the nature of society itself brought about as cars became common. They weren't so different from what's happening today. It's a worthy read for anyone interested in the ways tech changes our lives.

Barry
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Old 02-20-2018, 11:21 AM   #14
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By the way, a couple of years ago I re-read "The Magnificent Ambersons" which dealt with pretty much the same kind of arguments related to the automobile. When it was first introduced most people didn't see the point of it other than as a novelty. The focus of the story was about following the changes in thought and in the nature of society itself brought about as cars became common. They weren't so different from what's happening today. It's a worthy read for anyone interested in the ways tech changes our lives.
I just read The Magnificent Ambersons a few months ago and agree it was a great read, watching what was the prestige family in a small town be swallowed up by the march of time.
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Old 02-20-2018, 03:39 PM   #15
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However, in this situation he's also completely wrong in saying that ebooks bring nothing new. They bring light. They bring lots of books in less space than print books need for each single book. They bring the ability to easily get your next book from any nearby Wifi or from anywhere in the case of my 3G Kindles. They bring a built-in dictionary. They bring text search. They bring adjustable fonts.
Yes, exactly, which is what he’s missing when he says “It is exactly the same as print, except it’s electronic.” It’s like dismissing digital audio because it's “exactly the same as CDs, except it's electronic.” Or Tiger Woods because he's “exactly like everyone else, except better at golf.”

The “except” is kind of the whole point. Being electronic allows for most of the things you mention and more: lots of books in less space, online downloads/purchases/loans, dictionary lookups and text searching, adjustable fonts, free access to all the world’s old classics, backups in case of fire or flood, &c.
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