As the mass market paperback is steadily being replaced by eBook versions it makes me realize that we are not really talking about ebooks as just an additional format but as a change in media. This is very much like the music industry in the 1980s when music albums were moving from cassettes (and in many cases vinyl) to CDs. It didn’t feel like we were getting a new edition of the album but instead an easier to use, portable new media. To me, eBooks feel much the same way. They should be released at the same time as the print version because they represent a change in media not format. By the way, I love the idea that I have all of the books I am reading ( I usually have four books going at the same time) in one place in the palm of my hand.
Of course, publishers want the best of all worlds but there is evidence that they may actually make less money on eBooks than they did on mass market paperbacks. I believe the difference represents the cost of the publishers resisting the future. Fortunately, the real winner is the author. This new media gives them a powerful position in which they get to decide how to publish and for how much. Change is inevitable and fluid. The book industry is riding on this wave of change and large publishers are scared of what beach it may crash down on.
I have mentioned a few related points here but what do you think?