Daily Thoughts 12/19/2009
Library Journal has an article on the book Moral Panics and the Copyright Wars which I reviewed earlier. They are reviewing it partially because of many publishers decision to not release ebooks until the hardcover has come out for a while. When two formats of books come out at the same time and compete with each other at the same time, it is called cannibalization. One format eats into the other formats profits. This is why first the most expensive format, hardcover comes out, then trade paperback, then mass market paperback afterward. Where ebooks come in this value chain is an interesting issue.
When do you release a format to maximize profit for the publishing company? I know that Baen books releases its electronic advanced readers copies before it releases its hardcovers. This is an example from Baen http://www.webscription.net/p-1180-the-crucible-of-empire-arc.aspx . They have created a revenue stream from their electronic advanced reading copies.
The article from Library Journal http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA6712145.html raises some interesting issues. Are publishers creating the same kind of panics which occurred with the music industry. I know that if you want to, you can find many copyrighted works on Scribd which are available for download. I also have seen, but not downloaded pirated copies of the bestsellers on torrent sites. It is getting quite difficult to protect electronic works.
This morning I went through the donated books from the newsroom. The material which we already had went into the book sale which the Friends of the Library. There were a few interesting books. Right now, I am looking at A Village Life by Louise Gluck which won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry. We also just got a copy of Digital Barbarism A Writers Manifesto by Mark Helprin. This is a statement about the changes which are occurring in copyright. There is also a donation of botanical books which I have to look through.
Am really looking forward to reading Scott Westerfield Leviathan. The trailer looks very good.