Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 3:58 pm
Conventional wisdom says e-books are destroying the traditional publishing business model. People pay less for e-books and that drives down price.
When you talk to publishers though, you realize the story's not that simple. One advantage of e-books is that they allow publishers to test different prices. With a physical book once you stamp the price on the cover, that's it. Online though, you can easily adjust the price weekly or even daily.
The publishing industry has been in flux for years. First chain stores, then Amazon, then e-books — many forces have combined to create dramatic change in the traditional publishing model.
Mike Shatzkin is the founder and CEO of the publishing industry consulting firm Idea Logical. He says one of the biggest changes happening in publishing right now is the planned merger of two of the biggest players in the field, Penguin and Random House — with whispers of further mergers to come.
Have you ever borrowed an e-book from a library? If the answer is no, you're a member of a large majority. A survey out Thursday from the Pew Internet Project finds that only 5 percent of "recent library users" have tried to borrow an e-book this year.
About three-quarters of public libraries offer e-books, according to the American Library Association, but finding the book you want to read can be a challenge — when it's available at all.