June 13th, 2009

Earth from space

There's more to selling ebooks than just adding an e to books

A recent post on Book Business Magazine credits the Kindle with forcing the issue of ebooks and their effect on publishers' business models.

The post sums the issues and challenges up with three questions for publishers:

1. How can we enhance the reader’s overall experience—not just reading, but browsing, purchasing and library-building, and not just through print or digital media, but through a combination of both?

2. How can we create pricing options that will increase demand for books and offset the decline in book readership?

3. How can we build a new business model that is attractive to authors and sufficiently profitable for publishers and online retailers?

Questions 1 and 3 illustrate the challenges, but Question 2 is the kicker. The threat is not that people will read ebooks instead of print books. It's that they will stop reading books.