Thursday, May 26, 2011

Will Paperback Books Come in Shrink-wrap Soon?

Should Paperback Books Come with a Free eBook?:
"When you look at the movie industry you always get the digital version for free when you buy the hard copy. When you buy a Blu-ray Disk it normally comes with a free digital edition for your computer, ditto with DVD Disks. Considering that eBooks are so popular, why is it that the leather bound tomes we have come to love are not accompanied by the digital version?"

The sales pitch for ebooks/readers that annoys me the most these days is the one that glorifies the ability to buy a book when you are on a plane or the beach. How big is the plane/beach market? My belief is that most people who buy ebooks would like to plan a little ahead of time and try to shop for bargains. The impulse buy and the immediate purchase when their favourite authors come out with a new book is only part of the equation.

I suppose the mechanics of providing the electronic copy of the book could be problematic. Music and DVDs have the advantage of packaging and shrink-wrap protecting either a memory stick or a code for a free download. Books are sold as-is: I don't think that shrink-wrap, or even a sticker of some sort would be particularly effective in a brick-and-mortar book store.

I'd like to see some innovation in the marketing of e-books. Michael Koz has some good ideas in his article. One idea I would like to see explored is the use of cover art to up-sell or add value to an e-book purchase (making piracy less desirable). High quality color prints of book covers could be sold as artwork, trading cards, or stocked at bookstores with QR codes printed on the back.

Its a brand new publishing world out there and I'm sure that we'll see everything under the sun tried sooner or later.