Nov 14, 2010

Ebooks succumb to poor bandwidth and piratical reviewers?

Perusing the pages of The Bookseller, as you do.  I came across this little gem of information about the symbiotic nature between eBooks and Print publishing.  What caught my eye though, is highlighted in bold italics below:

Print titles are essential to the success of e-books, according to Mark Suchomel, president of the US’ Independent Publishers Group. Speaking at the Independent Publishers Guild conference in London yesterday (10th November), Suchomel said that a "blended" approach was necessary between print and digital.
He said: “You cannot promote e-books without having the book in print format. There is only one trade reviewer [in the US] requesting e-books.” He also argued because of reviewers’ bandwidth limitations and the possibility of piracy, sending e-books to reviewers was not sensible.
[Read More]

Bandwidth limitations?
Are the majority of trade reviewers still on dial-up? Or are they ensconced in decaying turn of the century houses in remote areas of the globe?  I did a rough calculation on how many times I could download Tolstoy's War and Peace(it's a rather large book for you young-uns) on my mobile account (I live in rural Australia, no ADSL connection.) which grants me 5 GB per month.

The result?

About 3800 times.  So let's say I do some casual surfing and only use half my account for work (ie reviewing) that's 1900 copies of Toltoy's killer tome, about 19 years worth of good solid reading.  So on Suchomel's comment on bandwidth I call bullshit.  Roll out the gang plank.

And I wonder who's the one being sensible?

Ahhaaarr me maties!
What really stuck in my craw(yes my craw) was the second comment about reviewers as potential thieves.  Those damned piratical reviewers of the South Cyber Seas.  I mean seriously,  you are not going to send out e-books to a reviewer because they might steal it?  What, you don't have any prior established relationship with your reviewers?  Your reviewers couldn't just scan the hard copy books that you send them?

Thoroughly disappointing comment from the president of an Independent Publishing Group.  Speaks volumes really.

What say ye me hearties?  Are ye offended as I am?


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