Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Trading e-books for p-books: Why don’t publishers start doing it? - pretty soon you won't be able to give them away

Trading e-books for p-books: Why don’t publishers start doing it? | TeleRead: Bring the E-Books Home:
"Why don’t publishers go into the used book business themselves? Set up a kind of “Gamestop for books”: let consumers send their old, in-resalable-condition paper books in, maybe charge a buck or two per book for handling, and send them an e-book copy of the book in return. Since digital media doesn’t have a per-unit manufacturing cost, they’d be turning a profit right there—getting physical goods (and possibly a handling fee) in return for something that cost them nothing to produce. The publisher gets something for “nothing”, the consumer gets the electronic copy he wanted and reclaims the space that book formerly took up—it’s win-win."


A great idea, but I doubt it will ever happen. Its a shame though; scanners are cheap and OCR software is incredibly powerfuly compared to only a few years ago. Books are going digital despite the recalcitrance of the publishing industry. All those p-books will end up donated to the public library.