Wednesday, July 15, 2009

When to publish e-books

The question of when to publish e-books seems to be a hot one. As a comparison, in classic publishing, the hardcover comes out first, and the paperback comes out about a year later. Standard stuff. The e-book, like the paperback, is considerably cheaper than the hardcover. E-book purveyors want titles the minute they're published. What to do, what to do, if you're a writer or publisher.

The Times summarizes the situation here.

Booksquare gives a personal view of the situation: Robert Gottlieb, literary agent, says “he doesn’t allow any of his authors’ books to be published simultaneously as an e-book when he can prevent it.” In the same article, agent Richard Curtis is just as blunt, saying, “We don’t want to undercut the sales and royalty potential of the printed hardcover.” This makes me wonder: does withholding product from the market actually help sales? Are Curtis and Gottlieb assuming the ebook customer will shrug and purchase the print book? More...

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