wake up, publishers! it seems like they’ve been asleep for the past decade and fail to take heed to those that came before them whose businesses have been devastated by the digitalization of all media. despite lessons learned by the RIAA and those being learned by the MPAA, the publishing industry seems to insist that they’re somehow different. like the others, they insist on fighting the inevitable rather than embracing it. had the music industry embraced digital downloads and chosen to give the people what they were wanting, the rampant piracy of music would never have gotten as bad as it had. industry profits would not have been substantially affected nor their reputation damaged beyond repair. it’s that damage that further fuels a general public desire to continue pirating music, if only to protest the RIAA and their blatant greed.
the MPAA is facing this same problem as they insist on making the legitimate purchase and use of films more restrictive than it needs to be in a selfish attempt to eliminate current fair-use laws. their stance is to eliminate fair-use rights, forcing consumers to purchase multiple copies, in multiple formats, simply to increase sales and profits. at one time, it was legal to record television shows or to make copies of purchased films for personal use. now they are working fervently to make copying, even for personal use, illegal. instead of being able to buy once, play infinitely, they want to force consumers to eventually have to pay per view, and instead of being able to transcode a DVD or Blu-Ray film to work on different devices, force you to buy multiple copies.
publishers, like the RIAA and MPAA, want to prevent ebooks from going mainstream. they want to push paper books even though ebooks are more profitable due to simplified distribution with no materials or assembly costs. to prevent the inevitable, publishers have established ebook pricing at or above that of print and fighting with modern distributors like Apple and Amazon over pricing. this effectively helps to prevent massive uptake of ebooks as buyers just cant see the value when the price is artificially inflated. there comes a point when the public will spite you right back.
so, publishers, take heed to the lessons learned in the recent past. accept the ebook. price them fairly to account for their reduced cost of manufacture and distribution. if you dont, expect to see your profits decline until you cease to exist, because you’re easily replaced by writers who are willing to go around you to get their stories out to the masses. you could very easily boost profits by proving a desire to “go green,” campaigning to save trees by pushing ebooks at a reasonable percentage less than their printed equivalent… or you can keep killing your own profits by pricing your clients to the point of pissing off your buyers.