The World Turned Upside Down
A special Heartbleed edition of Book Plug Friday!
April 11, 2014 - 4:39 pm
Sarah here. One thing for sure is that the publishing industry (following the footsteps of the music industry, the newspaper industry, and all the lemmings who went before it) would rather die sure of its convictions than change.
They will keep insisting that the old model was right, the new model is wrong, and dang it, people will soon realize and come back to them crying… or something.
My friend Amanda Green posted about this at Mad Genius Club this week. Yet another consultant telling the publishing industry what they want to hear: that ebooks are underpriced at…. what they’re selling for, that people should want to pay more for the “convenience”, that it’s just a rental of a service, and of course if you want it in more than one device, you should pay again.
Really, how many times have we heard this? It started with the traditionals manfully declaring that no, ebooks would never take a significant chunk out of paper sales. They were a specialty, a fad, a curiosity. No one really wanted to read on the computer screen (this while the kindle was becoming popular.) Then we were treated to the spectacle of senior VPs in New York Publishing talking about how much they gave their authors in terms of support, of covers, of editing. Well, that is only going to sound good if you don’t know any mid-list authors who talk. And even then, the reading public doesn’t care. Once indie upped its game a little, it competed handily with the bottom of the publisher “support.” And customers bought indie.
Now we’re back to “we really should be able to charge a lot more” and the new twist of “ebooks are so much more convenient.” (Apparently they got that we’re not lugging our CTR monitors to the bathtub to read there. Who knew?)
From Amanda Green’s article:
Now we have someone who calls himself a pricing consultant telling everyone that e-books aren’t a product but a service. Yep, those publishers and their bean counters are doing dances of glee. Someone finally understands!
“Ebooks should be more expensive than they are, more than print books — a lot more,” said Luby, adding that ebooks are relatively cheap because publishers and retailers don’t properly explain their benefits, namely, convenience.
And now those same publishers and bean counters are singing as they dance. Hallelujah! Someone is finally saying what we’ve said all along.We should be able to charge the reader more for something that costs us less, much less, because it is convenient for the reader.
The astounding thing is that they prefer to do this, to actually looking at other industries that have faced catastrophic change, and which went down the merry path to h*ll by holding on to their old model and paying high-priced consultants to tell them to keep jumping, everything was fine.
My friend and co-blogger Dave Freer has some ideas on how the Publishing Industry could restructure. His ideas are good and he gives them for free, but they won’t listen. They want to be told everything will go on as it has been, and that their model is viable.
I imagine King George was told that the rebellion in the colonies was a passing fad too.
This is how the world turns upside down. The old model can’t and won’t adapt, and the new model becomes the only model.
Other industries caught in catastrophic change should take note. And even those of our governing elites who think that applying an early twentieth century model will work, (and at that one that never worked anywhere) should take note. The world is changing. Technology is changing. If you don’t think of new ways of doing things, the world will change OVER you.
Like King George, they should realize that new places, real or virtual, create a new spirit and the old cudgel won’t bring the desired results. But they won’t….
They’ll go to sleep, telling themselves pretty fairytales. And while they sleep, we’ll build the future.
Charlie here. This is late again because I’ve spent the whole week dealing with issues caused by the Heartbleed bug. No, that’s not an emo band. I’ll have more about the bug up, but let me just say, I’m usually the guy telling you “Oh, it’s not that serious.” Well, this one’s pretty bad. Check every website you use often, and as soon as they are confirmed to have updated, change your passwords. In particular, if you use Amazon — and I’m guessing you do, since these links aren’t much use otherwise — you should change your password.
Go do it now. I’ll wait.
Remember, tell all your writer friends to send the AUTHOR, TITLE, a SHORT BLURB, and an AMAZON LINK AMAZON LINK AMAZON LINK to email@example.com to be plugged here on PJ Media.
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