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Section :: Rants and Raves

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Piracy, Kindle and Cheap eBooks

Why buy when you can download free?
Thursday 14 October 2010.

Interesting article in The Daily Telegraph newspaper this morning.

Adrian Hon (whose career path alone would be enough to fill a book - "Founder and Chief Creative at Six to Start, an online games company; he originally trained as a neuroscientist at Cambridge and Oxford. He takes a strong interest in the controversies surrounding intellectual copyright.") says that:

“If book publishers want to see the next decade in any reasonable health, then it’s absolutely imperative that they rethink their pricing strategies and business models right now.”

In essence he argues that the eBook revolution is already with us but conventional publishers have been far too sluggish to respond. Their books cost too much and the Kindle-savvy public is turning to piracy to get the books they want quickly and cheaply (or for free).

“Most publishers won’t go bust," he says, "eBook prices will be forced down, margins will be cut, consolidation will occur. New publishers will spring up, with lower overheads and offering authors a bigger cut. A few publishers will thrive; most publishers will suffer.”

I have to say that it has been my observation that established music and film companies have wasted much time, effort and money trying to fight against new technology rather than embracing it. They seek to maintain the status quo and leave innovation to smaller, younger companies that see opportunities to exploited rather than threats to be resisted. And it may well be the case that the same will happen in publishing.

More on the Telegraph Blogs.

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