Linda came in to my office waving a flier from Barnes and Noble. "I think they're getting desperate," she said.
Offering $25 off Nook; 40% off hardcover bestsellers.
"How do they make any money?" she asked.
I wonder if the divide I see with digital versus book/book is one of perception.
I simply don't believe that digital books are the same experience as reading a book/book. Based on my trying the two methods, I much prefer the book/book.
Others see no difference, apparently, and I'll take them at their word.
But fundamentally, I don't think books are the same as music. I don't think pirating is as big a problem, either.
I remember about 5 or 8 years ago when Topps was offering "digital" cards. If ever there was a more acquisitive group of customers than sports card collectors, I don't want to know it. I mean, that was just about the stupidest thing I'd ever heard. And yet, someone came up with the idea, and someone at Topps greenlighted it.
WTF? Really? Did they really think that would work?
Not everything digital is an improvement, just because it's digital.
I think books will be just fine.
I'm not so sure about Barnes and Noble. There was an article in the Bulletin today that fake iPads were "flooding the market;" which just points out that pirating and stealing is going to be a problem no matter what approach the manufacturers and producers take.
So, you don't stop selling something just because it might be stolen, do you?
The whole scenario about digital music and dvd's -- that if you can't beat them, join them, just seems the wrong approach. Make the physical more attractive -- but don't just give up! Lot of good it did the music publishers!
I guess I'm saying, I believe the physical book and comic still has inherent virtues, and the solution isn't to subvert the platform, but to support it.
There is a hypocrisy at the root of Barnes and Noble and Amazon; they are book sellers who don't care enough about books to support them. Now, they are content providers. But who needs them? I can put my own damn book online, if it's going to be digital. (Yes, I'm conscious of the irony but I'm not going to try to explain it...)
4 days ago