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Publishers Weekly Finds that the eBook Genie Is Out of the...

Authors’ Guild wants its authors to withhold ebook rights until AG is done looking into the matter, but Publishers Weekly has an article about why ebooks are here to say and how different publishers are experimenting with concepts to harness technology to boost sales.

  • 80% of teens have a cellphone
  • Publishers are using ebooks to seed viral campaigns that promote paper book sales
  • Brand authors like Meyer’s Twilight series is getting its own iphone app that has audio and ebook samples
  • Sourcebooks has released an enhanced digital picture book with    Laura Duksta’s  I Love You More.   This is not the first of its kind as PW has forgot about Kidthing which features animated digital picture books with audio.   My tot listened to Horton Hears a Who every day for a month and  with a few prompts  was able to recite the book   in its entirety.
  • Still challenges with cost, availability but book should equal content, not housing of the content.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and 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


  1. Chicklet
    Feb 17, 2009 @ 16:08:23

    Publishers are using ebooks to seed viral campaigns that promote paper book sales

    Apparently, I have oatmeal for brains, because my first instinct would be to use ebooks to seed viral campaigns to sell more ebooks. It’s a crazy concept I like to call “selling to the growing market.”

  2. Deb Kinnard
    Feb 17, 2009 @ 16:52:48

    Meh! Only now is there some attention given to e-books, when the business model has existed for such a long time? In ’02 and ’03, when I sold my first two books, you couldn’t get anyone to take e-publishing seriously. Only now that the big boys have decided to play, NOW it’s legit. Sheesh.

    And Chicklet, you’re right, as usual, IMO. This is going to catch on, like we e-authors have been saying for years. E-freebie books offered by these publishers will sell more e-books, which in turn may (or may not) sell more print books. The catch is in the pricing. I wouldn’t pay the same price for an e-book as I would for a print book. I gather others feel that way also.

  3. Jamie Harrington
    Feb 17, 2009 @ 23:31:40

    This makes me sooo happy from a green perspective though… just think of the trees!

    But, I totally disagree about the pricing… I have no problem paying the same for an ebook as an in print book, because it is ALL about the convenience… I want to read the latest book? I don’t have to wait in line…. I just have to log in and download it… that is TOTALLY worth the extra cash for me…

    of course… this means that midnight launch parties will soon be a thing of the past, but as long as the books are being READ, I don’t care how they get out there!

  4. AQ
    Feb 25, 2009 @ 06:30:23

    Roy Blount, Jr., president of the Authors Guild, has an op-ed piece in the NY Times on the Kindle 2 text-to-speech function here.

  5. DS
    Feb 25, 2009 @ 09:45:44

    I received my Kindle 2 yesterday and tried the text to speech function. It’s usable with nonfiction and extremely painful with fiction– especially a list of characters such as in the “enriched version” of Silent in the Sanctuary. It does make me truly appreciate punctuation. No punctuation, no pause in the reading. Line spaces are ignored.

    I also own the audio version of this book purchased in 11/07 from Audible read by Jennifer van Dyck and there’s simply no comparison.

    The people who think that a computer reading text is an audiobook keep mentioning this future software that is going to be indistinguishable from the vocal performance of a Jennifer Van Dyck or a Lloyd James or a Kate Reading. I think it would be better to wait until this exists to start complaining about it.

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