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  • Interesting New Strategy or Just Foolish Desperation?
Interesting New Strategy or Just Foolish Desperation?
Contributor
Written by
Jim Brown
September 2013
Contributor
Written by
Jim Brown
September 2013

Imagine the scenario...

A major car manufacturer releases an electric model of their most popular car, which threatens to make obsolete all the existing models. In an effort to ensure the sales of the existing models, the manufacturer suggests that dealerships adopt the following sales method:

BUY THE OLD MODEL AND GET THE NEW MODEL FOR FREE!

Does that sound a little daft to you? Well, currently, some of the major publishers are trying to encourage authors and small housesto adopt a similar strategy for books. They want you to bundle the ebook version when someone buys the print version. This is being suggested as a means to sustain print sales.

Now, on the face of it, it may appear to have some sense to it. After all, when having the print version put together, you go through the whole editing process and typesetting, so in essence the ebook doesn't 'cost' as much to put together. However what I feel is that this is going to devalue ebooks, which is already arguably happening with so many 99c books and free giveaways.

Regardless of the version (print or electronic) a book is a book and retains the same value as far as the content is concerned. Ebooks have grown rapidly, and gone beyond the 'fad' or 'trend' that so many traditional publishers argued for so long that they were. Ebooks are now firmly established as a mainstream reading method for consumers. Why we should want to do anything that might devalue them is, quite frankly, astonishing.

Ebooks are a growth market, and growth markets should be targets for profit. It makes no business sense whatsoever to start giving away for free what is a prime product for profit.

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Comments
  • Zetta Brown

    An alternate title could be "Is BOGOF a Bad Word?" Sure sounds like one. :) You know me. I'll always buy print even though ebooks are the cash cow. Neither print nor ebooks can allow one to devalue the other, IMO. It may be a matter of convenience to have both the print and ebook versions. When I commuted to work, ebooks were very handy and kept me from lugging tons of books around.