Publishers Fighting the Future

Yet another story, this time via NYT Bits, of the publishing industry copying the mistakes made by other content industries. In this case, trying to game the release of titles in different formats due to fear of one cannibalizing the other.

Nick Bilton, the article’s author, I think nails exactly why this reasoning is so deeply flawed.

…these are people who love books so much that they want to carry a collection of them around on a single device and want to interact more deeply with them (such as looking up words in a built-in dictionary, sharing content with others and taking notes about what they’re reading).

Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. I love my print editions, especially my hard covers, and am not planning on stopping buying them any time soon. However, if I could purchase a combined edition, a hard cover bundled with a download link, I would be even more likely to buy and pay extra for that premium.

Nick goes on from there to discuss many more reasons that ebooks have a powerful attraction with the potential to invigorate reading, not curb it. I encourage you to read the entirety of this piece since he puts it all so well.

As many, many others have said, new media flourishes where existing media fails to function. Stifling innovation isn’t going to put the genie back in the bottle. Rather it is going to exert a stranglehold on both. How hard is it to understand that the simple key to success is combining the complementary strengths of the old and the new to the mutual advantage of both?

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