E-Books are front page news!!

So, the idea of e-books finally made the front page of a broadsheet newspaper in Australia. Sure, today’s a public holiday and a slow-news day but even so, it’s nice to know that the word is spreading, albeit in the normal stuttering way. Today’s Sydney Morning Herald has a piece which says in part:

Like the music industry, which has fought and partly won the battle over free music downloads from sites like Kazaa and Limewire, the publishing industry is about to face a similar struggle with piracy as electronic books become a reality.

Nothing like a single sentence to frame the entire debate. Much more interesting was a comment (about Google’s new e-publishing venture):

But it [google] now plans to set up a new store to allow authors to publish their works and set their own price, in an arrangement that will allow authors to keep 80 per cent of the revenue.

Google is offering more than 60 per cent, which will pose a real challenge to the traditional publishing industry standard of 20 per cent royalties to writers.

To me, that’s a much more interesting story, but it changes the angle from one which threatens authors (which will resonate to readers) to one which threatens publishing companies (which will cause readers to care less…)

Still, nice to see belated front page recognition on something I’ve been banging on about for ages 🙂



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