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Amazon to Turn Books Into Magazines With Ads in Books

Amazon has filed for another patent to insert advertisements into ebooks and print on demand books. The patent is 21 pages long and has a number of descriptions about how the advertisements will be inserted including in the margins and in full pages throughout the book.

The consumer will be offered the choice of paying full price for the book or accepting ads to reduce the price of the book.

The ads will be based on both the content of the book, metadata for the book, and user profile information that is either freely given by the user or mined from the users’ past purchases.

For example, if the customer has a history of interest in travel as indicated by the associated user profile, the advertisement component may include, in the printed content, advertisements related to travel, even though such advertisement may not be directly relevant to the requested content.

Depending on the agreement with publishers, Amazon could conceivably roll out advertising for ebooks right away with POD ad supported books coming soon.   Still to be resolved would be whether publishers and content creators a) have any right to control the ads (to some degree it seems that they would not) and b) whether they would be entitled to any ad revenue (off hand, again, I’m thinking that content creators would not be entitled to ad revenue so long as Amazon met its payment obligations such as remitting 30%-40% of the retail cost of the product to the publisher no matter for what price Amazon sells the product).

The danger to consumers is that books will begin to be priced in such a way as to force readers to buy the ad supported books else incur a premium cost.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

60 Comments

  1. KMont
    Jul 06, 2009 @ 09:22:49

    Makes me glad that I didn’t buy a Kindle. I suppose one can learn to live without the POD books. Which is wrong, but hell, who are they kidding?

    Amazon, now I’ve continued to shop with you, but this is just ridiculous. Lemme guess, we’re conveniently blaming the economy, yes?

  2. vanessa jaye
    Jul 06, 2009 @ 09:36:37

    Do. Not. Like. We’re innundated with advertising as it is.

    I was watching something on TV yesterday and the commercial breaks got on my nerves so much I decided to time them. Turns out that that for every 10 mins of acutal show time, we were subjected to 6 minutes of ads. *grrr* (never mind the volume on the commercials jump about 10000000 decibels higher than the tv program).

    No wonder Tivo, On Demand, cable and DVDs are so popular and Network tv is in trouble.

    Sorry for going off topic. Just a pet peeve of mine.

    Blurbs, etc., for other releases in the back of the book is fine. Stuff in the margins (or author product placement within the story) sucks pubicly.

  3. Sara Thacker
    Jul 06, 2009 @ 09:36:51

    Makes me never want to buy a Kindle. I don’t want ads in my books.

  4. Moriah Jovan
    Jul 06, 2009 @ 09:40:11

    You know, for the meager 35% of the Kindle sales I get, I’d just as soon pull my book off Amazon than deal with 35% and customers unhappy with ads Amazon inserts, over which I have no control.

  5. Bianca
    Jul 06, 2009 @ 09:40:53

    @KMont: Don’t kid yourself. If this is successful, you will probably begin to see this at Amazon’s rivals, too – B&N, the Sony ebook store, the other ebook publishers. It may take awhile, but I can this becoming (unfortunately) widespread. If, of course, there’s no real serious public backlash and it turns into a moneymaker for Amazon.

    And it is unfortunate. I mean, must everything be turned into a continual ad campaign for corporate America? I guess that’s a kneejerk reaction, but is anyone else tired of the endless, endless stream of advertising…? I know businesses have to make money, but still. :/

  6. Jude
    Jul 06, 2009 @ 09:41:39

    @vanessa jaye:

    Turns out that that for every 10 mins of acutal show time, we were subjected to 6 minutes of ads. *grrr* (never mind the volume on the commercials jump about 10000000 decibels higher than the tv program).

    LOL…pretty soon there will be more ads than show. Boy, do I dread that to happen though. egads! :P

  7. clutterconqueror
    Jul 06, 2009 @ 09:41:49

    OMG? WTF? Is there no place that will be safe for our brains to go?

    When I was in NY, I was amazed that there were TV’s in the hotel elevators. In Chicago, I was stunned to see an ad inside the bathroom stall door. I’m being force-fed information everywhere I go. The last place I want to see an ad is when I’m trying to get away from it all–between the covers of a good book (or an e-book, even if I don’t have a reader). This just seems to be one more invasion, and I’m sure it won’t stop there. What’s next: “If you’d like to have cheaper water, just intall this ad screen in your shower.” Yikes!

    And KMont said:

    Lemme guess, we're conveniently blaming the economy, yes?

    Here, here. If I have to hear the words, “In these hard economic times,” I think I’m going to scream.

  8. AnnB
    Jul 06, 2009 @ 09:42:37

    Another good reason not to buy e-books.

    And I think having advertising forced on us in this format will hurt e-books in the long run. I would not consider trying e-books if this is what they are going to do to them.

    Seriously, how much money does Amazon need?

  9. Mireya
    Jul 06, 2009 @ 09:50:18

    *looks at her Sony reader lovingly* I HATE Amazon.

    P.S. If as someone said this turns into a “business” model. I will not read ebooks any longer. I am not paying extra money for an ebook for the “privilege” of not having an ad stuck in it.

  10. ASable
    Jul 06, 2009 @ 09:51:20

    Hate, hate, hate, hate this idea.
    Hate. It.
    Will have to reconsider my love affair with my Kindle.
    Except that I agree with Bianca–this will definitely catch on and quickly become the “norm.” Remember when DVDs didn’t have twenty minutes of crap ads at the beginning?

  11. KMont
    Jul 06, 2009 @ 09:51:35

    @Bianca.

    Why would I kid myself? Just because I didn’t mention the other Big Boy Underwear companies doesn’t mean I don’t know it could happen elsewhere. Things like this are a wagon that some like to ogle/drool over and hop onto as well – should it work. That’s nothing new at all.

    But it’s good you pointed that out. I have a Sony Reader and should that come to pass on ebooks I think are already too high priced in some cases, I’ll be ranting. And ranting. And ranting at Sony.

    In reply to your general question, hell yes I’m tired of the endless, endless stream of advertising. I work in a marketing department, too. So yeah, it gets really tough to find ways that not only will work advertising-wise and bring in the folks with their dollars, but also not want to make your customers sacrifice you to their private gods of Oh Hell No You Didn’t.

    Then again, these Big Boy Underwear companies aren’t exactly giving a shit (heh, pun not intended) if this will annoy their customers or not (otherwise surely they’d realize all this IS potentially annoying). And that is not surprising.

    @ASable

    Oh yes, the best DVDs are the older titles that you can buy for $5 in the bargain bins. Those almost never have advertising. Ups my enjoyment level by 100% to just be able to push play after those government pirating warnings.

  12. Lori
    Jul 06, 2009 @ 10:00:39

    If publishing wants to move to ebooks this is not the way to do it. One of the reasons that I love books is that they’re an escape. Inserting ads ruins that for me. And I agree that talking about a discount for those willing to have the ads is totally disingenuous. The reality will be paying a large premium to avoid them.

    Do. Not. Want.

  13. Sherri
    Jul 06, 2009 @ 10:02:17

    However, if there is just enough backlash, the others may decide to position themselves as the ‘alternative’ — especially since Amazon is doing this under a patent, which means they are trying for some kind of exclusivity for the process to do it,.

    I stopped buying from Amazon after Amazonfail and their non-apologetic response. I really wish Sony and the other e-Book manufacturers were more committed to supporting their e-Books, because Amazon is opening up nice holes through which they could tromp — but they don’t seem to be paying attention.

  14. Bonnie
    Jul 06, 2009 @ 10:10:24

    The danger to consumers is that books will begin to be priced in such a way as to force readers to buy the ad supported books else incur a premium cost.

    Yeah, that.

    This sucks out loud.

  15. Elizabeth Burton
    Jul 06, 2009 @ 10:11:10

    Several years ago, shortly after Amazon purchased Booksurge, they issued a “publisher agreement” that included a clause giving them the right to do precisely this: insert content into POD files without the necessity of consulting the content provider. This was roundly rejected by publishers using Booksurge.

    Our position was and is that only the content creator can authorize changes to submitted contact, and that what Amazon proposed was a violation of copyright. If said content creator agrees specifically to allow additional content, that’s fine; but to give a vendor blanket permission to add content without prior approval simply because they can won’t wash.

    Now, that said, be it noted that including ads in printed books isn’t exactly a new idea. Those of us old enough can recall having card stock ads for cigarettes and other merchandise bound into mass market paperbacks, and many mmps still contain publisher advertising for other titles in the back. I’ve also purchased ebooks that include information on other titles with links to purchase.

    So, the issue with Amazon is not what they want to do, but who will control the nature of the included content. If you think about it, it would actually be rather convenient if, having read a series book on Kindle, there were ads for the others or similar titles at the end that could be ordered that moment. So, there is an up side to the concept. Or perhaps a link to purchase the DVD if the book had been filmed.

    The problems would arise, for me as a publisher, if the ads had nothing to do with books. For example, I would not be happy to have, say, ads for Starbucks just because Starbucks is mentioned in the book. Thus the need for a requirement that there be some kind of input.

  16. Keishon
    Jul 06, 2009 @ 10:18:50

    Nightmare! Will be interesting though – will this be a deeply discounted price for the ad in book (like lower than the paperback version?) or the regular paperback version ebook price for books without ads? Any other scenario is unthinkable. I refuse to buy ebooks with ads in them. Amazon sucks with their constant money grabbing schemes.

    ETA: Also, how do publishers feel about this? Having their ebooks inundated with ads.

  17. Susan D.
    Jul 06, 2009 @ 10:25:18

    Every time I read this stuff in the news–versus hearing about it from Azn, because they rarely tell me directly before it hits the news unless they want me to sign a new agreement for a new product or service–I pull out our contracts and see what we agreed to. Their contracts which I am not allowed to discuss are notoriously vague. Will have a better sense of whether we’re screwed after giving the contracts a thorough re-read.

  18. Bianca
    Jul 06, 2009 @ 11:07:15

    @KMont: Oh, no! I didn’t mean the kidding thing as a jab at you. It was just more of a general, paragraph opening segue. ;) I too have a Sony ebook reader (purchased so I wouldn’t have to put up with Amazon’s crap). I’m truly dreading the day that I start seeing this attitude seeping into Sony’s ebooks or any other publisher’s ebooks. That’s “do not want” material for me, honestly. Hopefully, that day will never come.

    Also – it’s interesting to see that you’re in marketing. Remember to try and use your powers for good rather than evil! ;) I’m counting on you.

    @Keishon:

    will this be a deeply discounted price for the ad in book (like lower than the paperback version?) or the regular paperback version ebook price for books without ads?

    I think this is the real question. Some people might embrace a severely discounted book with ads. It depends on how much the book would be discounted, probably, and how much the premium book without ads would be.

  19. KMont
    Jul 06, 2009 @ 11:31:07

    Bianca, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to sound bitchy, just sarcastic about this situation. Read back and realized I did sound meoowrr. Trust me, I’m blushing many blushes of shame! Well, maybe just a few, but you get it. *g*

    Mostly I just saw it as a chance to use “Big Boy Underwear”. *now blushes more with shame*

    If Sony ever employs this kind of tactic, I’ll…I’ll…well trust me, you’ve never actually seen steam exploding from human ears till then.

    And I have powers? *straightens in chair* And here I’d always felt like a monkey in a zoo…

  20. JenD
    Jul 06, 2009 @ 11:51:04

    Do Not Want!

    This is just getting ridiculous beyond all fathomable reason. When do we start advertising in deoderant? Every third use you get an ad letting you know about the latest Axe foul smell.

    I don’t mind having an ad card in a regular book because they don’t talk, they don’t make me wait for them to finish and I can rip them out if I want to. We don’t get that luxury in an electronic format.

    As it stands- Heloooooo Sony. Now I know what I want for Christmas.

  21. jmc
    Jul 06, 2009 @ 12:00:55

    I’ve been a relatively happy Kindle user. But the instant ads appear in my ebboks is the instant I will put the Kindle down. I see enough marketing in my life and I don’t need or want it in my books.

  22. md
    Jul 06, 2009 @ 12:18:46

    Sacrilege.

    Anyone who puts ads in the books in any format I buy will find they have lost at least one customer for good. Not that they care, I’m sure, but a person has to draw the line somewhere.

    Ads in books. That is just vile.

  23. Sandia
    Jul 06, 2009 @ 13:31:23

    I think it’s a good idea. I mean this is the environment we live in now, why is everyone so reactionary on something like this. You view blogs (obviously) which is full of ads, you read the paper which is full of ads, and you probably watch TV which is full of ads. I applaud Amazon for looking for other revenue sources or a way to lower the cost to me of ebooks. I can flip past the ads, just the same way I tune out commercials on TV and ads on the internet.

    I really don’t understand this level of hate towards this idea. If firms like Amazon don’t try to innovate and come up with additional revenue streams, their shareholders lose out and new innovation suffers.

  24. Melissa Blue
    Jul 06, 2009 @ 13:35:52

    “You book has been interrupted for the following messages from our sponsors.”

    Now the authorial intrusion will be the least of our concerns.

  25. Jeff C
    Jul 06, 2009 @ 14:06:02

    The problem i have with it is that reading (for me) is immersive. Running across ads while reading a book would pull me out of experience. I don’t mind it in magazines because I’m not getting “lost” in what I am reading. But with a good book, I am. Last thing I want is some ad for swords while reading a Tolkein ebook.

  26. jmc
    Jul 06, 2009 @ 14:13:47

    @Sandia: Most of the blogs I view do not have ads. I skip the ads in the paper online and gave up reading physical papers and magazines (in part) because of the high ad content. The TV I watch is Tivo’d, so I can fast forward through ads.

    For me, ads everywhere are an intrusion – on the bus, in the elevator, in the bathroom. Reading is ad-less (but for product placements a la J.R. Ward), and Amazon would like to change that. While I applaud them for innovation, I don’t appreciate the invasion of one of the few ad-less entertainment sources that exists.

    Beyond the pervasiveness of advertising, I’m not thrilled with the idea of Amazon or one of its sponsor randomly interrupting my reading. I get to the end of a cliffhanger chapter and advance to the next page and what do I get? An ad for Cialis or Advair or whatever else, because my profile indicates I might be interested? Given the odd recommendations that Amazon gives me, I find it hard to believe that the ads that might be customized for me would be better targeted. Beyond that, I do not appreciate having my reading experience interrupted.

  27. Karen
    Jul 06, 2009 @ 14:40:54

    Well, to add a differing opinion–if the ebook with ads was 50% less than the ebook (at current price) without ads, I just might get the version with ads. I read a lot, my library tends not to carry a lot of mass market paperbacks, and if I can have twice the books for the same budget? I can ignore the ads…

  28. Alice Bentley
    Jul 06, 2009 @ 15:17:06

    Aside from my immediate dislike of the idea of advertising breaking in to my reading, I would be very concerned about how this option would affect payment to the publisher and creator.

    Most of the contracts I’ve seen base payment as a percentage of the retail sales price, and is already badly influenced by things like sales to wholesale clubs, book clubs, and promotional copies. This seems likely to result in even less of a payment back to the source, while the distributor gains from the advertising dollars.

  29. Suze
    Jul 06, 2009 @ 16:20:20

    NO. If I have to put up with advertising like on tv or a blog, then the product had damn well better be free.

    I stopped going to see movies at the theatre because they started putting commercials at the start of the movies AND they started charging a ridiculous amount for 2 hours of my time in a craptastic environment. And they ALL do it. There’s not a theatre to be found that doesn’t do the frigging pre-movie commercial. Previews I’m okay with. Commercials that I see on tv, no. They’re anti-advertising. I will never buy a product I’ve seen advertised before a movie.

    With advertising = free book or I won’t play anymore. This move will DEFINITELY turn me off e-books.

    And just when things were looking so promising with other ebookstores adopting Amazon’s pricing scheme.

  30. Anastasia
    Jul 06, 2009 @ 17:15:17

    @Elizabeth Burton:

    If you think about it, it would actually be rather convenient if, having read a series book on Kindle, there were ads for the others or similar titles at the end that could be ordered that moment. So, there is an up side to the concept. Or perhaps a link to purchase the DVD if the book had been filmed.

    Now, see, I wouldn’t mind that. I’m already used to having ads for other books in the back of my pbooks (and in the front, sometimes). They’re easy to skip and they don’t interrupt the flow of the book. Plus, it’d be super useful when I’m reading a series and don’t want to hunt for the next book.

    But this crap Amazon is proposing, with ads THROUGHOUT the book and in the margins? Hell no.

    (I don’t understand why publishers/booksellers/etc question pirating when they pull stuff like this on us. If Amazon-and-others actually does go through with this pirating will for sure increase, no matter how cheap-o the books are. Sigh.)

  31. Jennie
    Jul 06, 2009 @ 17:21:35

    I really don't understand this level of hate towards this idea. If firms like Amazon don't try to innovate and come up with additional revenue streams, their shareholders lose out and new innovation suffers.

    My first reaction lines up more closely with this comment than most of the other ones here. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I love the idea, but I’m pretty good at blocking out advertising. My wish would be that it would be as unintrusive as possible and that the discount for the with-ads version would be considerable. I’m not sure how realistic either of those expectations are, though.

  32. Robin
    Jul 06, 2009 @ 17:30:10

    Wait. Didn’t there *used* to be ads in books? Is the objection here that the ads will not necessarily be book related or to the advertising itself? Because I own a crapload of older Romance novels with really, really annoying card stock inserts in them for book clubs and lots of pages of adverts at the end for books by other authors.

  33. Becca
    Jul 06, 2009 @ 17:45:42

    re: ads on blog pages: I have AdBlockPlus installed on my computer, and it blocks ads from my web pages, so I don’t have to see them. If they start putting ads in ebooks, I wonder how long it will take someone to find a way to block them from view, too.

  34. Bonnie
    Jul 06, 2009 @ 18:01:02

    Wait. Didn't there *used* to be ads in books? Is the objection here that the ads will not necessarily be book related or to the advertising itself? Because I own a crapload of older Romance novels with really, really annoying card stock inserts in them for book clubs and lots of pages of adverts at the end for books by other authors.

    Yep, Robin, I have seen this and not so long ago. Tacky as hell, but it was easy to rip them out. Now with the insert in ebooks, it’ll be like cold water in the face .

    Dreadful.

  35. Suze
    Jul 06, 2009 @ 18:07:23

    I can flip past the ads, just the same way I tune out commercials on TV and ads on the internet.

    I can’t tune out ads, especially if there’s sound attached to them. If I’m reading, I have to have quiet, or music in a language I don’t understand, otherwise the sound distracts me. I hate to be distracted from the world I’m engaged in through reading.

    I’m hatin’ on this idea of Amazon’s because it feels intrusive. It feels like that law on Max Headroom, where it was illegal to turn off your television. Even having an off button on your television was illegal.

    A bunch of ads for other books at the END of a book, sure. Samhain is already doing this in their e-books, judging from the small sample I’ve read. I can choose to read them, or ignore them (although they do skew the page count, so that the story ends before I’m psychologically ready for it. WAIT! There’s 30 more pages to go before lights out! Oops, I mean… um, nevermind.)

    Avon adds excerpts to the backs of their paperbacks. I’m okay with that. I have even bought books based on those excerpts.

    However, if any book has ads in the MARGINS! And on random pages within the book, so that you’re reading along, and getting deeply emotional because Derek’s warm, firm lips trailed across her skin, sending tingling messages through her nerve endings until she PIRATES OF PASSION! ON SALE NOW!

    Yuck.

  36. Jessica G.
    Jul 06, 2009 @ 18:14:15

    I’m OK with the publisher putting ads in the beginning and the end of the book, not too different than now. Actually, I wouldn’t mind it. That’s one thing I kind of miss with my Sony – seeing what books were coming out soon in the mass market books. But that’s where I draw the line. You are NOT interrupting my reading with ads.

    And I should point out, if they did the above, I wouldn’t even expect a discount on the books and I would even look at the ads.

    Oh I love my Sony. And everyone complains they are behind the Kindle in the times? See, it’s a good thing!

  37. Janine
    Jul 06, 2009 @ 18:34:35

    My first reaction lines up more closely with this comment than most of the other ones here. Don't get me wrong, it's not like I love the idea, but I'm pretty good at blocking out advertising.

    I’m very bad at blocking out anything written. If it’s written, and it’s in front of me, I must read it. Also, when I read books, I like to get caught up in the story. I think an ad would be a disruptive surprise.

  38. Moriah Jovan
    Jul 06, 2009 @ 19:33:08

    …a disruptive surprise.

    Can you imagine if they loaded the ads as pop-up ads and not in-line? I’m sure a good portion of the e-book reading devices on the market are already capable of doing this.

  39. KMont
    Jul 06, 2009 @ 19:37:53

    The thing about innovation is that, while the idea of an innovative way to advertise is all well and good, this isn’t it. It’s intrusion into the personal time of a customer. Annoying intrusions aren’t innovative.

    If I buy an ebook for my Sony Reader one day and Jo Leader is about to confess some huge dark secret to Meg Middleton, I don’t want to turn the page and see an advertisement for car care accessories instead simply because they happen to be going through a car wash. Or a banner for a national coffee shop because they walked into one in the book – and I love Starbucks to little cutsie pieces.

    I bought that book, I’m reading it at home, on my hard earned, personal time. Stay out of my personal time, advertising. What’s next, a billboard in my yard from the phone company because their lines run across it? Where does the entitlement of advertisers end for gosh sakes? They already whine about having the right to call cell phones even though the customer gets charged for it. They can call my direct line at work now, taking up my time at work with useless crap. Enough already.

    The only case where I see this could possibly be effective – and USEFUL for the customer – is possibly in travel books, cooking books, etc. Books that were already meant to be useful to a consumer in the first place. In a work of fiction? I guess I’ll just be a hater.

  40. Jody Wallace
    Jul 06, 2009 @ 19:39:42

    I always ripped the mmp inserts out and used them as my bookmark. I bet anything if Amazon does this boneheaded move, the ad-undated price will be the normal ebook price and the premium price will be some ridiculous number like 9.99.

  41. Lucynda
    Jul 06, 2009 @ 19:52:39

    Christ Anderson talked about this a couple years ago in The Long Tail.

    His theory, though, is that books would be free.

    Lucynda
    http://www.LucyndaStorey.com

  42. DS
    Jul 06, 2009 @ 20:57:26

    When cigarettes were no longer allowed to advertise on TV the tobacco companies when to to books. I also had an account with Wowio (I think) where downloads of books were priced according to ads or not.

    I’m reserving judgment until I see what happens. Should I admit here that I really like the ads in Vanity Fair even though I am highly unlikely to buy anything advertised? This is an exciting time for a reader to live in considering everything that is going on in the publishing/book selling world.

  43. rebyj
    Jul 06, 2009 @ 23:28:44

    It’d be funny if the ads relate to what you’re reading.

    Military suspense – You made them strong, WE make them Army Strong!
    Criminal suspense – CSI Saturday’s at 9pm!
    Contemporary romance- Trojan Condoms, For that natural feel!
    Text books – University of Phoenix! YOU can get a degree!
    Erotica – Singles in YOUR area are waiting for YOU to call! FREE 1 800 -
    Gay romance – The church of Larry Craig and Ted Haggard want YOU!
    Vampire romance – Red Cross, Give the gift of life
    Lesbian romance – The L Word! Thursdays 10pm on LOGO!
    Chick Lit – DSW shoes, prices you’ll love!
    Older chick lit – Viagra,you’re still hot but he’ll still need it.

  44. NKKingston
    Jul 07, 2009 @ 03:49:29

    I’m not against ads in books per se. God knows most of the books I own have something in the last few pages, even if it’s just ads for books by the same publisher to fill up the white space (and usually a “Join the Penguin Reader’s Club, only 5d a year!” ad, because most of my books are older enough to be in old money). I’ve even seen a few books with ads randomly in the middle.

    If it’s to happen to ebooks, though, I want ads like they have in comic books; ads like TV ads, carefully placed to increase suspense and to break up scenes. I want the person placing them to have read the book. I want them to be relevant to the book, not to me (because that’s just plain creepy!), and I want them to be easy to ignore. Full page ads are always easier to skim the margin or mid-page ads. Ideally, I want the author, or at least the editor, to have chosen them and chosen their positioning, and I’d like to know that they’re getting something out of it too.

    Saying this, I find the ads in comic books incredibly annoying, expecially since there seems to be a reduction in content as a result, but I understand the argument behind them. I can live with them. Of course, you can see them coming in your peripheral vision, so you’re turning the page before you’ve even looked at them. Whether I can live with them in an ebook does depend on how quick the page turn is, and how long I’m waiting for the story to continue.

  45. Edie
    Jul 07, 2009 @ 06:09:43

    I could live with them, as some others have said the older books had them at the end or sometimes in the middle.. as long as they are not throughout so I can ignore them if I choose, all is good, especially if they bring down the price. Though I will believe that when I see it.

  46. DS
    Jul 07, 2009 @ 07:34:46

    The cigarette ads did not bring down the price of books. Mmpb books at the time were really cheap compared to the current price, so they may have allowed publishers to hold the line on prices for a while.

  47. Kalen Hughes
    Jul 07, 2009 @ 08:52:01

    When I was in NY, I was amazed that there were TV's in the hotel elevators.

    My favorite are the ones in the cabs!

  48. Kathleen O'Reilly
    Jul 07, 2009 @ 10:01:02

    I actually don’t mind this. As a few people have mentioned, most books contain ads now…. And technically, those “praise from Mary Sue’s other book XX” are ads. Just nicely wrapped… With magazines and books, you have the option to ignore the content. TV (unless you Tivo), not so much. And if it saves me some money on the purchase price, I’m good with that, too. Now, if they deliberately make them annoying (end chapter hook — ad for Coke! — new chapter), then I will be upset. So, that’s my big thing (as both a reader and an author). Don’t take me out of the reading experience. And frankly, if they did that, it would be a massive *fail* anyway.

  49. XandraG
    Jul 07, 2009 @ 10:18:38

    Do. Not. Want.

    And seriously…reduced price? I’m supposed to pay Amazon for the privilege of interrupting a story I’m immersed in, and pay Amazon for the privilege of having to look at yet another “Flat Stomach Obey” ad or stupid dancing-woman mortgage rate ad.

    I don’t effin’ think so.

    But I do know who would get revenue from it. Whatever broke grad student writes a python hack app to strip out the ad content from the book. As long as they have a “feed me” link on their blog, they’d get something from me.

  50. GrowlyCub
    Jul 07, 2009 @ 10:43:30

    I fear anybody, who believes they’d make the ‘ad books’ cheaper than current price tags, is deluded. They’d cost the ‘regular’ price and we’d have to pay extra to get the ad free books. I think the ‘ads’ for other titles at the end of book at least keep it in the family (although I have to admit I’m baffled and annoyed at Avon putting an excerpt for the book I just read at the end of it, talk about wasted ink and paper). I absolutely do NOT want to have any old ads in my reading material. I hate to read books by authors who obviously get paid for their product placement (Ward anyone?)

    I wish with all my heart somebody else had patented this to put it in a drawer forever and to protect us consumers from the greed and commercialization perpetrated by the behemoths, be they Amazon or B&N or whoever else tries to ruin our leisure activity.

  51. FD
    Jul 07, 2009 @ 18:36:01

    Oh wow. I think this could become the story of ‘How Amazon inadvertently encouraged e-piracy.’

  52. Rowan McBride
    Jul 08, 2009 @ 03:40:05

    This reminds me of that Futurama episode where Fry’s having a great dream only to have it interrupted by a commercial. He questions his friends about it and they explain calmly that it was just an ad. Fry’s horrified at the thought and they ask whether the 20th century had commercials. He replies (paraphrasing here) “Well, sure. But only on TV. And the internet. In newspapers… magazines… on the sides of buses… on benches…”

    I love that show but at this point in time I’d really rather not take the first step toward making it my life. ;)

    As a kid I felt like books were sanctuary. As an adult that hasn’t changed. I don’t want it to change.

  53. Jules Jones
    Jul 08, 2009 @ 12:38:34

    I wonder how long before Amazon thinks that it would be a good idea to emulate the German soup ads which are infamous within sf fandom?

    (There’s a nice discussion of German soup ads starting at comment 36 and then 43 in this thread on John Scalzi’s blog.)

  54. it was only a matter of time « Collection Developments @ Sno-Isle
    Jul 09, 2009 @ 09:47:35

    [...] 9, 2009 · Leave a Comment floating around the blog world the last couple of days is the word that Amazon filed a patent to insert ads into ebooks and p.o.d. titles.  advertisements will be [...]

  55. Suzann
    Aug 03, 2009 @ 16:49:24

    Hi Jane,

    The patent link you listed was originally filed December 27, 2007 does not mention kindle or amazon.

    How did you determine that this was specific to Amazon or the Kindle?
    Sounded more like it was for ebooks in general.

  56. Jane
    Aug 03, 2009 @ 19:18:24

    @Suzann: It’s an Amazon patent as Kindle is a product not a business and therefore could not have a patent.

  57. Deb Kinnard
    Aug 07, 2009 @ 20:06:20

    I’m all for it — provided they share the ad revenue with me, the content creator (a.k.a.) author. A nice percentage, around 50% should do very nicely. But the possibilities of that happening are about equal to the lifespan of a snowball in a blast furnace.

    And if I, as author, and my publisher, don’t have some degree of control over the ads’ content, we could be looking at inspirational romances with Cialis or Trojan ads in them. And how about ads for Prozac or Ritalin in kids’ books? Now there’s a marketing strategy!

    Oh, no. Do not want. Not that my not want will affect anything, one iota.

  58. Chris L
    Nov 29, 2009 @ 16:25:20

    Y’know, between Amazon charging me sales tax, and now this. I was going to buy a Kindle, but I will pass. I am also not renewing my prime account.

    Maybe just maybe they could lower the cost of books and other merchandise if companies (all companies) didn’t spend billions on needless advertising. It’s getting ridiculous.

  59. Annie
    Nov 29, 2009 @ 22:39:22

    I don’t see the big deal. If I turn the page and see an ad, I’ll simply turn the page again without reading the ad. Not like it will take a huge amount of time or effort.

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