Wednesday, August 18, 2010

the golden paradox of e-books

For a neophyte, publishing electronic books offers golden opportunities to publishers. They save on paper, printing costs, distribution. The profit should be maximum, the expenses, minimal.

However, in real life, things look a bit different. The transfer to an electronic format is costly. E-books sell at a much lower price then print books: between 25 and 40% less and yet, authors want to keep their income and ask the same amount of rights. Moreover, to be delivered through Amazon or Apple, one has to leave up to 70% of the final price. The end result is only too obvious: selling e-books is not as promising as it should be. If you add the risks of piracy, you realize that for publishers, the outlook is not all that good. And yet, the job of editing has never been so necessary. Some people think of self publishing and sending their texts through the web to reach their expectant readers. They forget that a book is not produced to please ten, fifty, one hundred people. A book must attract its full readership with a professionnal know how. Editing is a full time job, just like journalism. Remember what Internet fans said about news on the Net, five years ago?