Nicholas Carr: Why Publishers Should Give Away E-Books

Nicholas Carr argues that book publishers should include e-book versions with print books:

So why give away the bits? Well, traditional book publishers have three big imperatives today: (1) protect print sales for as long as possible (in order to fund a longer-term transition to a workable new business model); (2) help keep physical bookstores in business (for the reasons set out in this article by Julie Bosman); and (3) do anything possible to curb the power of, the publishers’ arch-frenemy. Bundling bits with atoms helps on all three fronts.

Disney, for one, does this with their Blu-ray movies. You buy the Blu-ray and you get three editions of the same movie: a Blu-ray disc, a DVD disc, and a digital download. You pay once and you can effectively play the movie anywhere.

Thursday, 23 February 2012