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Saturday, January 16, 2010


Here we go again. Reading Judith's blog below about the possibility of ereader wars, maybe e-reader "auctions' for rights brings me back to what I remember as the early days of auctioning reprint rights, how much fun and exicitement, how racy and sexy the auctions were--people sitting in their offices until late at night--anyone remember the Ragtime auction?

And before that (or was it after) the auctions for the books in the english speaking world.

Are we going back where we started in terms of how books are sold? I don't know where the price war ended between WalMart and Amazon but if e readers begin warring for rights then the retail price will ultimately be affected. The printed word will take another blow because ebooks will be even cheaper than now.

I think we should have ebooks but I dont want to lose the printed word as it is sold in book and mortar stores. That would be like losing Staples, where Karl relaxes or Marshall's where I am about to go to unwind--You can't just hang out and browse wherever ebooks are sold. Start now to form a 'Save the Printed Word' Coalition.' I'll make the tee shirts.


  1. It's hard for me to picture publishers agreeing to exclusive deals with a particular e-reader company--Kindle, say--that prevent them from offering the same book on a competing gadget. (In the same vein, I don't think there are movies available on Blu-Ray and NOT on DVD.) So I think the idea of competitive auctions may turn out to be illusory--but that's just a guess on my part.

    As for the demise of the printed book, I think that's a long long way off. You'd need to get something like 85 or 90 percent penetration of e-readers among the reading population, which I don't see any time soon. And it's hard to imagine anyone deciding to trash the countless millions of physical books that people have in homes, libraries, schools, etc. Which means that the habit of reading books in at least two ways (the e-reader way and the old-fashioned way) should remain current for at least the next couple of generations.

  2. I can't remember if I read it or heard it but one chain was working to get rid of its brick and mortar stores. As far as that goes, Norma Kamali is working on technology that makes it possible to buy her clothing without ever going in her store. You stand outside and click on an outfit. The future is here. I'm leaning toward stepping over the line.