Tuesday, April 27, 2010

iPad vs Kindle: Where Will Publishing Take Us?

Sorry I've been off my blogging schedule. Domesticity has taken me by the claws and flung me in the midst of very Better Crockerly things. I had this awesome post planned about what being a writer would look like on Monster.com, but I've yet to finish it, and my awesome husband called me to say NPR had something interesting on.

Of course, I scoffed, because really, I'm so not to type to enjoy listening to NPR (I like the music, baby!). But I turned it on, and lo and behold, got stuck listening. My hubby is the greatest.

The subject is maybe old news to some, but still something largely talked about. The interviewee was Ken Auletta, writer of The New Yorker, and who recently published this article, Publish or Perish. It's a long article, but very much worth reading if you missed some of the stuff going on between Macmillan and Amazon, but also, about the e-book business in general. How the iPad will change the future of e-books and publishing, and a lot of great information and detail about the whole thing.

I must say, after reading it, I sort of never want to buy anything from Amazon again. While I know I probably will (at the last resort, of course), I'm all for the brick and mortars and other smaller book selling sites.

One of the last things Auletta says is, "No matter where consumers buy books, their belief that electronic media should cost less—that something you can’t hold simply isn’t worth as much money—will exert a powerful force."

What say you?


  1. This is a complex issue. I haven't done a lot of reading up on it yet. E-readers are pretty scarce where I live. I also rarely buy books from anywhere online - I like using my local bookstore. They'll order in anything for me. :)

  2. I agree, it is complex. I really suggest reading that article if you ever have, like, 15-30 minutes to spare depending on how fast you read. It has a ton of info in there.

    My problem with where I live, is I'm all about convenience, and the closest book Book store (not, like, Wal-mart) is at least a 30 minute drive. That's the only time I either a. go to the Library, or b. order online or c. just wait until I can get out there, or brave it with the kids.

  3. People definitely think any kind of digital product should be low cost or free. They don't understand that it still takes money to produce, even if they can't touch it.

    Oh and there's a great indie online bookstore: http://www.powells.com/

  4. Great post, and great article. I hadn't thought really deeply about the e-book issue, and this helped enlighten me a lot.

  5. Thanks, Sarah! That's one of the sites I've checked out before. :D

    Agreed. But not only does it take money to produce, it still takes the same amount of hard work to create.

  6. Thanks for posting that article! I found it very informative and revealing. The most surprising thing is just how cut-throat these book "wars" are becoming. I wonder if Guttenberg knew what he was leading us to...:) Please keep posting great articles like this--so nice to stay informed! This blog is a great resource.

  7. Lydia, Samnuel, thanks so much, I'm glad it was useful for you!

  8. Great post! I read that article and cringed. I think ebooks are inevitable, but I just hope they don't ruin publishing. I do not want graphics, movies, etc. embedded in my books! Am trying not to go off on a rant here. ;-)

    Will just add, on my flight home yesterday, the usual announcement came over the PA to turn off all portable electronic devices, including cell phones, laptops... and "Kindles and other e-readers." My paperback, however, continued to entertain me. :-)

  9. Oh!! Such a good point, there about flights and electronics. And yeah, it's a scary, innovative, changing new world, this publishing. We're on the brink of some big change, I think.

  10. I loved inkwench's comment about her paperback keeping her comfort on the plane after everything else had to be shut off. That sums up for me why I'll never fully succumb to e-books (unless forced). I often forget to charge my iPhone and my camera - I'd be choked if I happened upon a few precious minutes of reading time and found the battery on my e-reader sucked dry :-)


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