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Will Amazon Put Advertisements In eBooks?

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the do-not-want dept.

Books 226

destinyland writes "A book editor at Houghton Mifflin argues ebook advertising is 'coming soon to a book near you.' (Paywalled unless you go through Google.) Amazon has filed a patent for advertisements on the Kindle, and the book editor joins with a business professor in the Wall Street Journal to make the case for advertisements in ebooks. Book sales haven't increased over the last decade, and profits are being squeezed even lower by ebooks. According to another industry analyst, Amazon is being pressured to make ebook sales more profitable for publishers, partly because Apple offers them more lucrative terms in Apple's iBookstore. One technology blog notes that Amazon's preference seems to be keeping book prices low, and wonders whether consumers would accept advertising if it meant that new ebooks were then free. Meanwhile, Ralph Lauren has confused the issue even more by publishing a 'shoppable' children's storybook online, prompting a fierce reaction from one blog: 'I hope it's the last. Books are one of the last refuges in our world from the constant cry by advertisers to spend money and fill our lives with unnecessary things.'"

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Let the Reader/Consumer Decide If It Works (5, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#33312934)

(Paywalled unless you go through Google.)

I apologize for not RTFA but I was brought to the same paywall whether I went through Google or not. Is it some sort of lottery?

'I hope it's the last. Books are one of the last refuges in our world from the constant cry by advertisers to spend money and fill our lives with unnecessary things.'

I would just like to say that I welcome both options. Reader A can pay a high premium and enjoy the original novel as the author intended it to be enjoyed and Reader B can pay little or nothing and try to read Fahrenheit 451 with moving advertisements marketing gallons of premium kerosene at wholesale prices (BUY BUY BUY!). And you know what? I'm really not opposed to this. Maybe the authors are and maybe it offends the your *ism but as long as they keep the old model as an option who cares? I haven't noticed a decline in my ability to purchase paperbacks and hardcovers following the advent of e-readers so why should I fear e-readers installing advertisements into books?

Meanwhile, Ralph Lauren has confused the issue even more by publishing a 'shoppable' children's storybook online ...

It's a 'storybook' except that the children are real children acting in front of a green screen that has superimposed images of chidren's-bookish scenes done up in a flash video. Congratulations, the "fierce" blog has done little more than positively re-enforce this marketing maneuver because I just watched an advertisement for children's clothes!

I also am a little bit annoyed that we complain about the RIAA and MPAA as clinging to an old business model and then as book publishers and retailers try something new (or are even rumored to try something new) we hop all over it and denounce it as a crime against humanity. And yet daily I read news sites laden with advertisements. The very site I write this comment on transfers my comments to you, the reader, alongside political advertisements trying to raise your ire about "ObamaCare" or "Barack the Magic Negro [photobucket.com] ." Yes, yes, there are tools like AdBlock, NoScript and Flash blockers specifically designed to circumvent this but to the average reader of Slashdot, this is reality.

And despite the horror of advertising, here we are ...

Re:Let the Reader/Consumer Decide If It Works (0, Troll)

stanlyb (1839382) | more than 3 years ago | (#33312978)

Thank you, but NO, thank you. If there is even a shadow of any kind of advertisement, spyware, whatever-ware, then i would never never buy such a book, in fact even if you pay me to read this book, i will REFUSE to. Period. In fact, if it becomes impossible to do so by using eReader, then i will move to the standard, plain, wood-based book. Period.

Re:Let the Reader/Consumer Decide If It Works (3, Insightful)

danking (1201931) | more than 3 years ago | (#33313056)

Did you read the comment? It specifically said that it would be okay if they leave option A and option B open to let people decide. That way you will be able to continue having your ad-free books and others, who wish not to pay or pay a lower fee can read their ad-laden books.

Re:Let the Reader/Consumer Decide If It Works (3, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#33313178)

More likely, if this goes through, we will be asked to pay more for books with advertising, and never be given to option to get the books without. Do you really think the publishers are interested in what is best for you or anyone other than themselves?

Re:Let the Reader/Consumer Decide If It Works (1)

tophermeyer (1573841) | more than 3 years ago | (#33313440)

If there is a market for it, I can absolutely see publishers offering a premiumly priced advertising free edition. It all depends on what the market will support. The publishers are interested in making big piles of money, so if there is money to be made by selling an edition without ads then they will do it.

Re:Let the Reader/Consumer Decide If It Works (3, Insightful)

butterflysrage (1066514) | more than 3 years ago | (#33313732)

The publishers are interested in making big piles of money

exactly... now, what gives you more money:

option a:
Sell book X with adds for $1, and without for $10. Ad mone makes $9 per book, average net for each book sold: $10

option b:
only sell book X with adds for $10 because the only three other e-book retailers are doing the same. Ad money still makes $9 per book, average net is $19.

Why cut your net in nearly half? It is the same reason why your cellphone company can get away with charging 25c a text, because every other cellphone company is charging 25c a text, not because it actually costs that much to do.

It will start with the next huge blockbuster book, think the next harry potter or twilight... it will ONLY come in full price, ad-saturated books, and because everyone wants one, they will pay it. Next big book, maybe not as popular, same thing, then another, and another... within a few years, every book will be full price + ads.

Re:Let the Reader/Consumer Decide If It Works (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#33313154)

Newline, carriage return. Best wishes, comma newline newline carriage return, StanleyB. Period.

Re:Let the Reader/Consumer Decide If It Works (1)

gront (594175) | more than 3 years ago | (#33313200)

I seem to recall various mass market paperback sci-fi novels from the mid 60s to 70s having mail-away cards for book clubs, ads for other books in the series, and the occasional cigarette or booze ad. So the precedent is there.

"options" (5, Insightful)

butterflysrage (1066514) | more than 3 years ago | (#33313012)

aye, there's the rub... will we have options?

Do we have the option to get our cable TV without comercials? there are a few pay on-demand channels, but as a general rule, no.
Broadcast radio? no
Magizines? no

Think like a distributer... why charge less for the version with ads in them when you can charge full price AND get the advertising money and make it the only version offered. If I were a heartless corp, I would offer the two versions, then when the next big hit comes out only offer it with ads at full price, then slowly increase the number of ad-only books till that was all I offered in about 5 years or so.

Re:"options" (2, Interesting)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 3 years ago | (#33313118)

Do we have the option to get our cable TV without comercials? there are a few pay on-demand channels, but as a general rule, no.

DVDs? iTunes? Netflix?

Broadcast radio? no

CDs? iTunes? Spotify?

Re:"options" (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33313502)

DVDs? Ha! How many ads do you have to fast forward through to get to what you actually paid for?

Re:"options" (1, Offtopic)

morari (1080535) | more than 3 years ago | (#33313660)

None. AnyDVD takes care of that for me.

Re:"options" (2)

butterflysrage (1066514) | more than 3 years ago | (#33313536)

DVDs? iTunes? Netflix?
not cable, and when was the last time you bought a dvd without a wad of ads at the start (some they wont let you skip)?

CDs? iTunes? Spotify?
not broadcast, and both the brick&morter and the online stores get money from the ads they pelt you with while you are there.

If the whole "free market" kumbiya actually held true with a small selection of providers, why do we not have comercial-less channels? or more ad-free pay/contribute webpages? because people realize they can have their cake and eat it too... you will pay full price for your DVD and they get the ad money on top.

Re:"options" (2, Insightful)

GiveBenADollar (1722738) | more than 3 years ago | (#33313342)

Part of the variety we see on cable TV is due to the advertising. Without ads a lot of networks would not have the funding to put on the shows we enjoy. With books though this doesn't quite apply. There are a lot of crappy books that already do get published, and I don't see the quality going up with ad revenue. The cost of producing a book is relatively low compared to producing a TV show. Optimally ads in e-books would allow the price to decrease possibly opening up the world to truly free ebooks, but in reality it would probably mean a new standard where all books have ads and still cost nearly the same. With ads appearing on everything these days it makes me wonder what will be the last product we purchase? You can't subsidize the price of everything with advertisements without actually selling something in the end.

Confusing and Fallacious Comparisons (2, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#33313646)

Do we have the option to get our cable TV without comercials? there are a few pay on-demand channels, but as a general rule, no.

HBO? Cinemax? Showtime? And why are you comparing books -- a single finite length of words -- to a streaming service that continually offers new and different content? Wouldn't it be better to compare books to DVDs? Your comparison of a 24/7 service that provides semi-unique programming versus a book smacks of an "apples to oranges" comparison.

Broadcast radio? no

NPR? XM Radio? If they could sell you subscriptions to FM and AM bands, I bet they would (similar to HBO/SHOW/CINE). Again, try comparing books to CDs instead of a 24/7 service of semi-unique programming. No advertisements on CDs.

Magizines? no

There are specialty magazines that don't have advertisements. It just turns out that people are used to magazines and newspapers having advertisements so they use this to subsidize the cost. Just like television used these same advertisements to pay for costs, it seems we are used to this and will accept it largely. I highly doubt it will be the same with books, albums and movies. I subscribe to Specialten and it has no advertisements. The subscription price is also outrageous. I think people put magazines in the "service" category and accept advertisements with services. This isn't always the case as ISPs have suffered from trying to put advertisements into failed DNS request redirects.

Think like a distributer... why charge less for the version with ads in them when you can charge full price AND get the advertising money and make it the only version offered. If I were a heartless corp, I would offer the two versions, then when the next big hit comes out only offer it with ads at full price, then slowly increase the number of ad-only books till that was all I offered in about 5 years or so.

The simple answer to that is to think like the consumer. Why should I could keep paying full price and suffer through advertisements, I know that they are supposed to reduce the cost unless I've been living in a cave on Mars during the advent of the internet? I have faith in the market in this one and speculate books -- both physical and digital -- will remain mostly advertisement free as most albums and movies have.

If the Kindle provides me a service to access a vast array of copyrighted books for free or cheaply, I would expect that to change though and would assume advertising would be necessary to mitigate the costs.

Re:Confusing and Fallacious Comparisons (1)

butterflysrage (1066514) | more than 3 years ago | (#33313792)

Why should I could keep paying full price and suffer through advertisements

because there is no other option? because it is that or you don't get to read it. If the only option is full price, with ads, what do you do?

I am opposed to it (4, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#33313108)

Why am I opposed to it? Simple: it means more proprietary eBooks and more DRM, and of course, more marketing firms tracking more aspects of our lives. They are not going to allow libre software to render eBooks if they want to shove advertisements down out throats; after all, we could just remove the advertising from libre software. I want to be in control of my books, I do not want Amazon to be in control; did we not learn our lesson with the memory hole scandal?

As for the tracking, well, what if you want to read a book about explosives? What if that tips off the FBI, and they come to your house demanding to know why you are reading about bombs? Do you really think that the marketing firms are going to keep their databases secret from the government? Do you remember when the PATRIOT act was passed, and librarians publicly denounced the clause about handing library records over to the government, for the exact same reasons?

Technology is supposed to be improving our lives. Why, then, are we accepting uses of it that do not improve our lives and only serve the interests of publishing and marketing companies?

Re:Let the Reader/Consumer Decide If It Works (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#33313126)

I also am a little bit annoyed that we complain about the RIAA and MPAA as clinging to an old business model and then as book publishers and retailers try something new (or are even rumored to try something new) we hop all over it and denounce it as a crime against humanity

Digital vs physical distribution is a completely separate issue from injecting ads where previously there were none.

As long as they keep the paid for version separate from the ad supported version as you say, I'm fine with it. If they have ads even in fully paid for eBooks, I'm sticking to paperbacks. Yes, I'm one of those people that see no ads on /. , and I haven't even clicked "disable advertising" on the front page.

Re:Let the Reader/Consumer Decide If It Works (1)

morari (1080535) | more than 3 years ago | (#33313634)

Seriously? eBook are already the same price, if not more, than the physical paperback. Lower the price, leave out the advertising!

constitution! (0, Offtopic)

astar (203020) | more than 3 years ago | (#33313736)

As it happens, few would attribute to me an ideology of environmentalism, but I do wonder about how many penis enlargement products I really need to pursue happiness. Yah, the semantics here are not quite on point, but an argument against pointless excess is sort of the "ism" some are using to be anti-advertising. As a practical matter, they probably package this rather obvious principle in some sort of nutty ism. Anyway, given the general cultural level, even principles end up indistinguishable from ideology.

Now as it happens commercial speech has significant local ,legal protections. Different kinds of speech have different protection rules, but there is not a big fundamental difference between commercial speech and political speech. So one way to look at this issue is that people are complaining about a corporate "person" exercising their constitutional rights. This is a common argument form. For instance, I notice some Islamic types are exercising some constitutional rights around building a mosque in NYC and there is quite a political firestorm.

As far as commercial speech is concerned, there is actually may not be a big constitutional issue involved in effectively suppressing it, IMO.

Corporate personhood
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The corporate personhood debate refers to the controversy (primarily in the United States) over the question of what subset of rights afforded under the law to natural persons should also be afforded to corporations as legal persons.

In the United States, corporations were recognized as having rights to contract, and to have those contracts honored the same as contracts entered into by natural persons, in Dartmouth College v. Woodward, decided in 1819. In the 1886 case Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad, 118 U.S. 394, the Supreme Court recognized that corporations were recognized as persons for purposes of the Fourteenth Amendment.[1][2] Some critics of corporate personhood, however, most notably author Thom Hartmann in his book "Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights," claim that this was an intentional misinterpretation of the case inserted into the Court record by reporter J.C. Bancroft Davis.[3] Bancroft Davis had previously served as president of Newburgh and New York Railway Co.

Proponents of corporate personhood believe that corporations, as associations of shareholders, were intended by the founders and framers to enjoy many, if not all, of the same rights as would the shareholders acting individually, such as the right to lobby the government, the right to due process and compensation before being deprived of property, and the right, as legal entities, to speak freely. All of these rights have been upheld by the U.S. courts.

etc.

The way I look at it, SCOTUS gets its cover on this from not even from Congressional statutes, but from "intent".

Ah well. This sort of issue is not going to immediately generate an estchaton, so who should actually have it on the top of their priority list? It is fun, but life is short. In the meantime, having both option A and B available would look pretty good.

                   

Hah, more profits for publishers (3, Interesting)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#33312948)

According to another industry analyst, Amazon is being pressured to make ebook sales more profitable for publishers, partly because Apple offers them more lucrative terms in Apple's iBookstore.

      This is completely the opposite of the way a "free market" is supposed to behave. Enjoy your oligopolies, America. I just take heart in the fact that if a Kindle can read it, so can any other device. I will wait for the ad-blocking readers before spending one dime on one.

Re:Hah, more profits for publishers (2, Interesting)

genghisjahn (1344927) | more than 3 years ago | (#33312992)

You don't have to spend a dime to get Kindle device. You get get the free software for the Mac, PC, Blackberry, Android or iPhone. Of course you'll have to pay for content, but the "device" won't cost you anything extra. There are plenty of free books. Try it..see what you think.

Re:Hah, more profits for publishers (1)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 3 years ago | (#33313168)

This is completely the opposite of the way a "free market" is supposed to behave.

Howzat? Apple is offering more competitive terms to publishers and Amazon has to respond to remain competitive. Neither can simply raise prices because the customer won't tolerate it.

Now I'll be the first to claim that free markets generally don't exist when there are only two participants, but I'm not seeing how this specific instance is a deviation from the classic "supply meets demand" love story.

Re:Hah, more profits for publishers (2, Interesting)

BlackCreek (1004083) | more than 3 years ago | (#33313274)

Howzat? Apple is offering more competitive terms to publishers

Define competitive. So they don't have to compete by price? Having all books at $10-$15?

Amazon also has a deal where publishers get 70% of the pie. But in that case the price range of the books is set lower.

In any case, this is not a Free market, not as far as the readers are concerned:
http://www.techradar.com/news/portable-devices/other-devices/apple-and-amazon-slammed-for-e-book-pricing-707275?src=rss&attr=all [techradar.com]

Re:Hah, more profits for publishers (1)

jgagnon (1663075) | more than 3 years ago | (#33313232)

Ads on the Kindle does not mean ads in ebooks. I imagine Amazon is going down this path to push a version of the Kindle that is much less expensive for the consumer to purchase up front, assuming they are willing to put up with ads. Amazon would sell a LOT more Kindles if the price were $50, even with ads.

Re:Hah, more profits for publishers (1)

GiveBenADollar (1722738) | more than 3 years ago | (#33313438)

Makes me miss the days when Wal-Mart broke the back of the CD market by forcing labels to sell CDs at rational prices. Consumers do control producers when we actually choose to use that power. Wal-Mart just exemplifies (and sometimes vilifies) that point. If you don't like the service Amazon in providing then buy from someone else. If there is nobody else, then start your own business.

Re:Hah, more profits for publishers (1)

morari (1080535) | more than 3 years ago | (#33313700)

I had bought a CD at Wal-Mart a long, long time ago. Turns out that it was censored, despite no forewarning on the packaging or anything. I never bought another CD from Wal-Mart.

Get the fuck outta here. (4, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33312950)

$9.99 is already WAY too much for an eBook. Why the need for advertising? ::sigh:: I guess it's a good thing that the only ebooks I put on my nook are either released for free through creative commons, or are now considered public works (or borrowed from our local library). I absolutely love my nook, but no freakin' way am I paying $9.99 for an eBook when I can pay $4.99-$6.99 for a paperback.

Re:Get the fuck outta here. (2, Funny)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#33313004)

$9.99 is already WAY too much for an eBook. Why the need for advertising?

Greed. You should look it up in one of Amazon's eBook dictionary offerings ... it's on the page immediately following Snuggles' teddy bear hawking fabric softener.

Re:Get the fuck outta here. (4, Interesting)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#33313052)

I guess it's a good thing that the only ebooks I put on my nook are either released for free through creative commons, or are now considered public works

Hear hear. Project Gutenberg has been the source of all of my eBooks -- I've really been enjoying reading through Jules Verne, HG Wells, Dante, Don Quixote, and all sorts of classics that have been on my list for years.

There's so much stuff out there that's really good and now freely available that it's mind-boggling. Yeah for Project Gutenberg and their work!!

Re:Get the fuck outta here. (5, Interesting)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33313094)

I get a LOT of the stuff I read from Project Gutenburg as well. I usually donate anywhere from $10-$20 per paycheck to them, depending on how much I've downloaded and read in the past couple of weeks.

$9.99 per ebook? No freakin' way. Donations to a project whose purpose is making classic works available for future generations? Absolutely.

Re:Get the fuck outta here. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33313374)

I usually donate anywhere from $10-$20 per paycheck to them, depending on how much I've downloaded and read in the past couple of weeks.

Mod +1, Hero.

You, sir, are a shining example of the right way to support projects such as these. It's a shame there aren't more like you (I count myself amongst the freeloaders, shamefully).

Re:Get the fuck outta here. (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 3 years ago | (#33313384)

How come you listed all authors then one character, Don Quixote, instead of Cervantes, who wrote the book? O/T, but just wondering. He wrote some other stuff which is worth reading, too.

Re:Get the fuck outta here. (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#33313710)

How come you listed all authors then one character, Don Quixote, instead of Cervantes, who wrote the book?

In all honesty, I couldn't remember the author's name, and figured the title character would be more recognizable to most people anyway. :-P

I'm not familiar with any of his other work, but Don Quixote has been on my to-read list for a long time.

Re:Get the fuck outta here. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33313070)

I like the lie about profits being sqeezed by ebook. $10 for a 100k text file with a little embedded market, compared to chopping down trees, making pulp, storing it, shipping it, converting to press supplies, printing, binding, warehousing, shipping, retail storage and shelf rental, checkout etc. Even if these are very efficient, there's no way an ebook should be more than a few cents *after* the initial release and massive hardback profiteering has been done. By the time paperback editions are kicking about in the street and being left on public transport, ebooks should be a buck a piece, especially as you can't give them away, sell them, and can only "lend" then in proprietary land.

Re:Get the f... outta here. (1)

dwillden (521345) | more than 3 years ago | (#33313476)

One nitpick and then the rant: At least with my Nook, most the $9.99 and up books are the new releases still in HB only. I don't really have a problem with that price, it's the books that have been out in paperback for 10 years that they want $6 for that I have issues with.

Paying $9.99 for a new release can be worth it, just as previously I might have plunked down the $30 or more for the hardback from the favorite author or series that I'm really motivated to read or collect. But come on, no book that has been out in paperback for more than a couple years should cost anywhere near $6 for the eBook format, when the paperback is only a couple dollars more. I'm thinking $2 or $3 bucks tops. I don't expect them to be free, but the publishing and marketing costs were most likely paid by the HB release, all books are processed in electronic formats already so it's not like they're even having to pay someone to type in a book, it was submitted in electronic format, or was entered into electronic formats to be typeset and published.

As to ads, as long as I can get the books in the epub format for my nook, I've already found an open source editor and can delete them out if they get annoying.

Ads in general are not necessarily a bad thing, books have had ads and order forms in the back of them for decades. If they want to keep doing that, well it just tells me when that book is finished and I can close the book and open another one.

Re:Get the fuck outta here. (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#33313190)

I wonder how long before they manage to get rid of the libraries..

Can you borrow eBooks from libraries now? That's pretty cool, if a little strange..

Re:Get the fuck outta here. (4, Informative)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33313314)

Can you borrow eBooks from libraries now?

Yup yup! [nytimes.com] It generally uses ePub, which my nook accepts natively. To my knoweledge, most ereaders out there now can read ePub as well.

Re:Get the fuck outta here. (1)

SDF-7 (556604) | more than 3 years ago | (#33313304)

I'd say it is way too little in some cases, unless you can psychically be assured that the ebook will sell many copies. And while lower price / supply and demand may encourage that, I wouldn't be certain that's always sufficiently the case.

I can't help but think of Stephen R. Donaldson in this discussion -- his General Interview on his website [stephenrdonaldson.com] touches on ebooks, publishing and author's rights several times, and it fairly well boils down to "As long as I receive a reasonable remuneration for my work, things are fine."

And here's the catch -- it is pretty obvious to me (as very much a non-writer), that it is a serious level of work. And as such, I'm more than willing to pay a reasonable price as compensation. $9.99 for all his books (given he's more than a little of an acquired taste and unfortunately doesn't seem likely to build a huge new readership)? Unlikely to be enough unless we could ensure that money went mostly directly to him. So -- in the same way I prefer acquiring his work in hardback to both get a product that lasts better through multiple reads and to knowingly pay the "early adopter" fees that funnel more money his way than el-cheapo paperback editions, I would pay more for an e-book as a support mechanism.

I'm sure others have similar niche or less popular authors, or can cite other examples such as more limited interest books (some of the more arcane history texts probably fall into this category).

Back more on-topic, there's no way I'm ever buying a serious book with anything jumping, wiggling, flashing or spamming me. Nor do I want a book which requires a net connection to update or check anything. Probably why I have no interest in an ebook reader in the first place.

Not So Expensive When They End Up on Torrents (1)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 3 years ago | (#33313402)

As e-books become more popular, distribution of e-texts on the torrents has become more prevalent. More and more e-book owners are filling their pads/kindles/nooks/crannies/whatevers with non-PD books for which the author is not reimbursed a dime. Money's got to flow from somewhere if novels are to be written. If in the Brave New World nobody's going to be paying for the books they read, then we might as well open the new shelfspace to the advertisers so that the creators can make a buck from someone.

And before all the tired and tedious "but, buts..." begin, remember:

No one has a right to free entertainment.

It's up to the writer whether or not she wants to give out free promotional samples, not her fans.

The bottom 99.5% of writers aren't going to make jack from "performing."

Re:Not So Expensive When They End Up on Torrents (1)

morari (1080535) | more than 3 years ago | (#33313782)

Sorry, but as an author, I wish that my work was well-known enough to be pirated and read.

Re:Not So Expensive When They End Up on Torrents (1)

inflex (123318) | more than 3 years ago | (#33313850)

And before all the tired and tedious "but, buts..." begin, remember:

No one has a right to free entertainment.

It's up to the writer whether or not she wants to give out free promotional samples, not her fans.

Sadly will you probably be modded to hell for this. It's true though but few people seem to understand why.

Same applies with software... heck, most things - If you write it, it's your personal choice how you distribute/licence it. Many people who want your stuff seem to have a notion that they have a right to tell you how to give it to them.

NYTimes ebook pricing rundown (2, Informative)

PhrostyMcByte (589271) | more than 3 years ago | (#33313538)

NYTimes gives a decent rundown of what goes in to ebook pricing [nytimes.com] , showing that they make about as much profit on a $10 ebook as they do on a $26 hardcover.

They don't give pricing on paperbacks, but going off the numbers they give I'd guess a $10 ebook will give them around double the profit that a $7 mass-market paperback does.

The full article [nytimes.com] goes on to say the reason for obscenely high ebook prices is quite simple: publishers are set up for dead tree books right now. They could face problems scaling down their current model too quickly, so they're biding time and slowing down ebook adoption by increasing prices.

eMagazines are not eBooks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33312952)

can't call it a book if its a magazine, and whos paying for it?

ebooks will be less ad-driven than /. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33312954)

That's my prediction.

I've seen lots of adverts for similar books in pap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33312956)

I've seen lots of adverts for similar books in paper books before (usually right at then end of the book).

Re:I've seen lots of adverts for similar books in (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 3 years ago | (#33313042)

AC has a point. Advertisements in books are already common, I could find dozens easily in the paperbacks I have, so everybody can get off their high horse about how this is some kind of unprecedented sign of the contemporary consumerist apocalypse. It's the same business as usual as the rest of the last century of publishing.

Re:I've seen lots of adverts for similar books in (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33313142)

No, you and the advertisers can fuck off, even though those 'ads' are currently limited to the last couple of pages in the book.

In past years there used to be a stiff paper ad in the middle of some books, but I have not seen that in decades.

Re:I've seen lots of adverts for similar books in (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 3 years ago | (#33313366)

Ah, I see, I can 'fuck off' for stating facts. Classy. I also like how you put the reference to ads already in use in scare quotes, as though by some virtue of their location they are somehow less 'ads' than other 'ads'.

Re:I've seen lots of adverts for similar books in (2, Insightful)

dwillden (521345) | more than 3 years ago | (#33313564)

I agree, as long as the ads stay similarly confined. However today's advertisers are going to want product placement within the books, and when you hit that product, up will pop a video ad that you can't skip. Or the next page will be the ad.

Can I get a pop-up blocker for my Nook?

That's the kind of advertising I think most of us fear. The "Hey you might also like these books" ads currently found in the back of many old and new books are fine. But can the advertisers, publishers and sellers fight the temptation to fully leverage the advertising potential of these modern multi-media capable readers?

On free books only right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33312962)

It better only be for free/trial books... but that might just bite them in the ass if people figure out how to crack it and disable the ads.

totally there (1)

Tom (822) | more than 3 years ago | (#33312982)

Same here as the comment in the summary. I'll not buy books with ads, and I'll return them as defective if they put them there without telling me beforehand.

I wonder how long until more people are fed up with being constantly bombarded and there's a counter-movement. We already have adbusters et al, but they don't do it. Too much counterculture. Just counter-ads would be more than enough.

But then again, the majority of people apparently enjoy being treated like cattle. Would never admit it, of course.

Re:totally there (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#33313090)

I'll not buy books with ads, and I'll return them as defective if they put them there without telling me beforehand.

Good luck with that. The "license" for the electronic book-like thing you "purchased" will say you can't return it. It will be a take the money and run scenario.

I agree though. How they can sell an electronic copy of a book for the same as the actual book and not be making truckloads of profit off it completely eludes me.

Re:totally there (1)

Tom (822) | more than 3 years ago | (#33313788)

Good luck with that. The "license" for the electronic book-like thing you "purchased" will say you can't return it. It will be a take the money and run scenario.

We'll see. There is more than enough room between misleading advertisement or misrepresentation (they call it a "book", but it is more like a magazine) and outright fraud that a lawyer would take the case. At that stage, settling silently with me is a ton cheaper than the case, the bad press and the risk of getting a precedent set, however small it may be.

In the US, small claims court will usually get you settled.

Old ads. (3, Informative)

gweeks (91403) | more than 3 years ago | (#33313008)

Books have had advertisements in them for a long time. Magazines too. Usually the book advertisements were for more books, but the advertisements in magazines could be for anything.

A guitar lessons ad from a 1930 Astounding Stories.
http://ia311203.us.archive.org/2/items/Astounding_Stories_of_Super_Science_1930/asf193001006a.png [archive.org]

Re:Old ads. (2, Insightful)

rotide (1015173) | more than 3 years ago | (#33313082)

Ads in books were always at the beginning or end of the book, not in the middle of a chapter/paragraph.

Re:Old ads. (2, Insightful)

batquux (323697) | more than 3 years ago | (#33313160)

I didn't look too hard, but I didn't see details on how the ads would be placed. I doubt we'll be looking at, "Her heart was pounding as she unlatched the door and BUY VIAGRA!"

Re:Old ads. (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#33313286)

Well, let's put it this way: why does Amazon need a patent on displaying a list of books by the same author at the beginning of your eBook? Why do they need proprietary software to accomplish that? Project Gutenberg manages to place a short message at the beginning of plaintext eBooks.

This is not going to be as innocent and unintrusive as the sort of advertisements you see in paperbacks.

Re:Old ads. (1)

morari (1080535) | more than 3 years ago | (#33313830)

Yeah, and those Gutenberg messages are already too long and intrusive. I've edited it out of every book I've downloaded from them, simply because it takes about ten page turns on my Nook to get to the beginning of the book itself. Don't get me wrong, Gutenberg is a great service and I'm more than happy to do a little of my own editing in return for free goods. I would not put up with that after paying an already inflated eBook price from Amazon though.

Re:Old ads. (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 3 years ago | (#33313428)

I remember books from 60s and 70s that had inserts in the middle. I still might have a few around.

Re:Old ads. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33313516)

Reading a copy of "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes" printed in the 70s recently, there was a card (bound) in the middle of it for subscribing to the Encyclopaedia Britannica.

I'm not saying it's a good thing, but fact is, it was there.

Advertising of yesteryear (3, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#33313244)

Advertising today is far more intrusive than advertising of 50 years ago. Yes, books have generally included advertisements for more books by the author or publishers, but when you talk about eBook advertising, you are talking about an entirely different ball game. Will the ads report back on what you read? Probably, and they will claim it is only for giving you more relevant advertisements. Will the ads get inserted into random places in the middle of the book? Probably, though they will claim that the places advertisements are displayed are chosen so as not to interfere with your enjoyment (e.g. not in the middle of an exciting section of the story). Will the ads be animated? Probably.

Nobody needs a patent to put old-style advertisements in eBooks. You do not need proprietary software to do it. These ads will not be the same as the ads you are used to seeing in books.

How will this be used? (1)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 3 years ago | (#33313026)

If there are advertisements in books I pay for, yeah I'd be pissed about that and I think there'd be a backlash over that.

On the other hand, Amazon makes a lot of books available for the Kindle for free. If those books have ads I wouldn't complain, especially if that category got bigger as a result.

Re:How will this be used? (2, Insightful)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 3 years ago | (#33313084)

If they're doing it with the free books that they're truly giving away, then sure. If they're inserting ads into the freely available public domain books? No thanks, I'll keep looking for a service that doesn't want to bombard me with ads.

Physical Books (1)

guppysap13 (1225926) | more than 3 years ago | (#33313038)

Not that this isn't something to worry about, but ebooks aren't the *only* sources of literature. We do have books made out of paper...I've heard they don't have advertising in them. Then again, ebooks are going to increase in popularity, and the last thing we want is a precedent of putting ads in them.

Re:Physical Books (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#33313346)

ebooks are going to increase in popularity, and the last thing we want is a precedent of putting ads in them.

Which is precisely why we are concerned. My biggest fear is that Kindle-type devices (iPad included) will become dominant for digital textbooks. Advertising in textbooks? It may happen. DRMed textbooks? It already happens: my institution has a number of subscriptions to online electronic textbooks for our libraries, and they are DRMed, though thankfully not as badly as the Kindle.

The way I see it, eBooks should be improving our lives, not just padding the wallets of publishers. We should never have to worry about a book being "rare" or "out of print;" in fact, there should be no scarcity at all with eBooks, since everyone has the equipment necessary to copy an eBook in their home. We should be able to share books faster and more easily than ever before. Why is none of this happening?

Re:Physical Books (1)

Professor_UNIX (867045) | more than 3 years ago | (#33313696)

The point is that eBooks take the vast majority of the cost of publishing out of the equation and yet they want those books to cost as much as, if not more, than a physical book made out of paper. Then on top of it they screw you by not letting you resell, loan, or just plain give the book away to someone else despite the fact that it is perfectly possible for a DRM scheme to be created that allows the transfer of electronic content while removing your access to read it.

Precisely what I was trying ask in "AskSlashdot" (1)

inflex (123318) | more than 3 years ago | (#33313040)

See, this is precisely the stuff that's been making me gnaw on my brain the last few weeks and even tried in "Ask Slashdot" (I think I need to reform my questions though to be fair).

Anyhow, the topic is up... there's many options out there to chase for going into eBooks but it seems that short of a plain PDF someone-somewhere is going to be done over a log. I don't want my readers being harassed by adverts or additionally even have the reseller (Amazon etc) modifying the text.

Maybe the reason why I've not been able to get clear answers thus far is that because this is simply too new a market for anything to have been determined well enough.

I'd love to offer the book through as many channels as possible - so do I just let the resellers "do as they please" and when readers moan I point the finger back and say "Wasn't me!" (or if the DRM goes to hell and everyone loses access).

Happy to hear some insights and guidance... please.

Re:Precisely what I was trying ask in "AskSlashdot (1)

dwillden (521345) | more than 3 years ago | (#33313668)

PDF's are not the answer. Open formats like epub are. With an open format ad blockers and the like can be created.

I tried a couple pdf formatted books on my Nook, talk about a pain, the default font size in the PDF's was either way too big or most commonly way to small, when you adjust the font size in the nook, you can get the font where you need it, but with the bdf's I tried it screwed up the formatting, and the page count was a joke, it was reporting the number of pdf pages left, not the number of page turns needed to finish the ebook.

I'll stick to epub format thanks.

Re:Precisely what I was trying ask in "AskSlashdot (1)

inflex (123318) | more than 3 years ago | (#33313760)

Thanks for that. I did look at the ePub format previously, it's one that is sitting in the 'preferred option' pile.

Publishers suck (1)

AtomicDevice (926814) | more than 3 years ago | (#33313044)

Publishers should go pound sand if they don't feel like they can make enough money leeching off authors in the digital world. Perhaps the real problem is that they have all of the sudden found themselves to be completely superfluous middlemen who failed to grab the e-book device and distribution channels when they had the chance.

I can't imagine why any author would really need a publisher anymore (editors and publicists perhaps, but there's no reason editors and publicists need to own copyrights, they provide a service that authors can choose to pay for at their leisure). I want to write a book? I write it, send it to an editor I know, pay him some money, get my friend to do the cover art, put it on amazon. If i'm good, I'll get a publicist to help me advertise and get the word out. Just like authors (and musicians and every other kind of artist) before big media.

Re:Publishers suck (1)

inflex (123318) | more than 3 years ago | (#33313128)

For eBooks, I agree, they're on murky ground. I suppose the 'trick' they're going to use is to make it rather troublesome for people to add independently-purchased eBooks to their readers (or just reject them outright). Convenience does tend to win out over cost so long as the cost difference isn't too severe.

Still, the glimmer of hope is that someone will produce an eBook reader that works well enough and isn't encumbered and is priced right.

(for printing, a publisher is becoming somewhat less relevant as well, as you say, editors, proof readers, publicists, yep, you need those - but with LSI/Lulu and similar along with internet sales they're becoming profoundly less relevant... finally!)

Literate TV. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33313064)

Book sales haven't increased over the last decade...

Of course because TV has taken over as the medium of choice when it comes to a literate public.

Dreams (3, Insightful)

DIplomatic (1759914) | more than 3 years ago | (#33313076)

Leela: Didn't you have ads in the 21st century?"

Fry: Well sure, but not in our dreams. Only on TV and radio, and in magazines, and movies, and at ball games... and on buses and milk cartons and t-shirts, and bananas and written on the sky. But not in dreams, no siree.

Devaluation of art is a serious problem. (1)

Irick (1842362) | more than 3 years ago | (#33313088)

Modern literature can't hope to even hold a candle to the established canon if it allows such glaring holes to creep into the distribution medium. Beyond that we seem to be giving less and less mind to the value of information, given our trend to create more and more and more. If we continue to allow this sort of dilution of culture into corporately funded blurbs then we will never see any more truly ground breaking literature. Those artists that decide to deviate from the established cultural norms won't be able to get those advertisers to support their message. We must fight against such encroachment of culture if we are to keep any medium diverse. I for one do not want to see everything become vinilla.

There've been ads in real books, like, forever (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33313096)

Many real books have a tear-out order form for other books bound right in. What about the subscription cards bound into magazines? Nothing new here.

Huh? (3, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#33313146)

Book sales haven't increased over the last decade, and profits are being squeezed even lower by ebooks

That makes no sense at all. Ebooks cost the same as paper books, yet there's no transportation, storage, inventory, or other costs associated with publishing them. How could ebooks be bringing profits down?

How stupid do these people think we are, anyway?

Re:Huh? (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#33313362)

How stupid do these people think we are, anyway?

Do you even have to ask?

Does anyone really believe this would lower prices (1)

grapeape (137008) | more than 3 years ago | (#33313196)

The belief that any plans to place advertising into ebooks would result in lower prices is fooling themselves. Look at what has happened in the video game market, not only have in game ads become the norm but many of the newer games that use them are coming out at higher prices. The likely scenario is that ads will be thrown in gradually, prices will stay the same and ad free versions will be offered for a higher premium.

Not for me (1)

assertation (1255714) | more than 3 years ago | (#33313206)

It is bad enough that I pay for a magazine and get mostly advertisements. I have to time my arrival at a mainstream movie theater in order to avoid the commercials I don't have a TV for.

If Amazon did this, ebooks would be DOA as far as I am concerned.

I would not buy or use them.

Paperbacks are currently cheaper than ebooks (1)

Nicolas MONNET (4727) | more than 3 years ago | (#33313234)

In the past two months, every single paperback, and quite a few hardcovers, that I've bought or considered buying have been cheaper on Amazon itself than Amazon's Kindle ebooks. Do printers, ink makers and paper makers charge Amazon negative dollars?

And they want MORE money? WTF is wrong with these people?

To Paraphrase our Nations Forefathers (1)

psbrogna (611644) | more than 3 years ago | (#33313240)

"When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for" society to build a better solution, they will. A massive number of IT professionals around the world have clearly demonstrated that when the world of business takes an industry down a path not in the best interest of consumers, consumers are ready, willing and able to manufacture their own solution. If book publishers (E- or otherwise) take the publishing industry in a direction unsatisfactory to the majority of readers, they may eventually find themselves in a position of irrelevance.

Depends on how it's done (5, Insightful)

Chelloveck (14643) | more than 3 years ago | (#33313266)

It all depends on how it's done. Advertising in books is not a new thing; many paperbacks have a few pages at the back devoted to ads for other books by the publisher, or sometimes for things like book clubs. And though I haven't seen one in a while, I remember some paperbacks having a bound-in cardstock insert. If ads are limited to this sort of thing, they probably won't be a problem. They're usually relevant to the reader's interest and they're easily skippable. Where I do see a problem is if ads are done like the promos on a DVD -- Pop in the book, and have to sit through three minutes of advertising before you get to read it.

Still, the only reason why this would work is because of proprietary formats. If ebooks were published using open standards (yay, epub!) someone would just publish a reader which skips the advertisements -- just like you can get DVD players which skip straight over the "mandatory" front-matter on a DVD.

I'll just keep supporting Baen. Their whole catalog, available in open, non-DRM formats, for paperback prices. Even if they were to start including ads, they'd be easy to rip out of the HTML if they got to be obnoxious.

Turning ebooks into emagazines (1)

zero_out (1705074) | more than 3 years ago | (#33313280)

I stopped reading magazines many years ago, not because I could get the same content on the internet. I stopped reading them because 50% or more of the space was advertising. If Amazon decides to insert ads into ebooks, then they'll be killing ebooks before they have a chance.

Hold your trigger finger (1)

assertation (1255714) | more than 3 years ago | (#33313302)

I think the idea of ebooks, free of charge, but paid for by advertisements has some merit.

I'm not saying I like it or would use it, but it brings up an important point.

Mainstream movie theaters and magazines force advertisements on you, even though you pay for those things. I think that is where a lot of resentment comes from. When it is not excessive, people don't mind broadcast TV with commercials, because the advertisers are paying for your exposure to their ads with free entertainment. People aren't laying out money and then getting spammed.

I think it sends an important idea for advertisers. They realize people don't want to be exposed to ads and that if they want the attention of consumers they have to give them something in return as well as they can't expect the consumers to pay for something they want to avoid in the first place.

Congratulate Amazon for... (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | more than 3 years ago | (#33313308)

Congratulate Amazon for discovering the one thing that will kill the ebook!

Seriously though if they use this technology only for periodicals how would this be different from traditional magazines except that the ads would alway be up-to-date?

Re:Congratulate Amazon for... (1)

tophermeyer (1573841) | more than 3 years ago | (#33313834)

if they use this technology only for periodicals how would this be different from traditional magazines except that the ads would alway be up-to-date?

Those ads will be better targeted. Amazon has a really robust recommendations systems that I really like. I think part of the reason people hate having ads jammed down their throat is that many of the ads don't relate to them. Targeted ads that are relevant to me based on my purchasing history will be a lot less annoying than ads for tampons and farm equipment.

Make them more worth while... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33313320)

" Book sales haven't increased over the last decade, and profits are being squeezed even lower by ebooks. "

Couple years back my wife wanted a series of books, totally forget which ones, but to get 6 crappy books I had to order 2 off of amazon, drive to books a million on the other side of town, drive to barnes and noble on the other side of town from books a million and a independent book shop

like a fucking scavenger hunt, 100+ dollars for paperback books + gas + 2 days + shipping

and I found out they had a crappy "made for TV movie-series" with Katherine Heigl

fuck books, you want them to sell more? Dont piss off your customers
 

Ads? Sure, I don't mind... (1)

bhunachchicken (834243) | more than 3 years ago | (#33313348)

... because you'll be giving me the book for free, right?

But if not, I don't want the ads. You've already made your money off me, thanks.

One or the other, guys. But not both. This is the one reason I don't subscribe to Sky - I have to pay for it AND put up with ads. Greedy bastards.

Want more profits? Make Books Cheaper (1)

assertation (1255714) | more than 3 years ago | (#33313350)

One reason book sales and profits are limited is cost.

The cheapest of paperbacks starts at about $8 now. Books were known throughout history to be a cheap medium of the people. They are made out of paper.

If the publishers want more sales they can lowering the cost for books.

This is especially true with ebooks where the costs seem to be even lower.

I hate the idea of ebook, but if I can read one for $3 versus $15 for a book I don't care that much about I might consider it.

No need to risk pissing off an already dwindling group -- readers -- by shoving advertisements down their throats.

Re:Want more profits? Make Books Cheaper (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33313484)

Books were known throughout history to be a cheap medium of the people.

This is so wrong, I don't even know what to say.

another cycle, old becomes new again (1)

Linnen (735667) | more than 3 years ago | (#33313446)

It is not like it is unheard of as in magazines and comics. But those are not books, simply ... reading material. I have old pulp sci-fi paperbacks with adverts on the back cover, inside the front and back covers and inserts. I have seen this with old classics as well as other pulp genres. Some publishing houses even did this with hardbacks. I seem to remember some publishing lines doing this even more recently, although that fad seems to have been relegated to other reading material, like magazines and comics. My issue with this is just how obtrusive will this be. Will we see ebook adverts that are un-skippable? Don't care which company pulls this, I'd rather vote with my pocket-book elsewhere.

Woah (1)

tgd (2822) | more than 3 years ago | (#33313592)

That'd be awesome. I'd gladly flip past ads to get them for free.

Based on my run rate since getting the Kindle, that'd save me $500 a year.

Better yet, Amazon, give me a Zune-like deal where I can pay $20 a month and read any book I want. I only read them once anyway.

Luke 18:22 (4, Funny)

The Wookie (31006) | more than 3 years ago | (#33313596)

"Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me."
Want to "sell all that thou has" really quickly? Try eBay [ebay.com] !

The froth at my mouth? Enough for 10.000 bud weise (1, Troll)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 3 years ago | (#33313642)

The froth at my mouth? Enough for 10.000 bud weisers... provided you can find enough american to supply the piss. I doubt it, considering amazon is taking it.

My god, and I stopped watching tv becomes of the constant advertising, haven't heard radio in years and now books too? Books I pay for? Pay through the nose for because I have noticed that despite all the savings with ebooks (basically, pay writer/editor, and that is it) the price hasn't dropped a bit.

Oh and all the bad news about print media? A lie actually. Dutch newspapers were literally printing money before 2K and right now they are just photocopying it. The recession? Good for more newspapers. Yeah yeah, some are in trouble but check their books, most likely because they spend fortunes on idiotic ventures. It is kinda like MS claiming it is going bankrupt because they are loosing money on the x-box project. It is true, they are, but they are raking it in with Windows and Office and that is what counts.

Book publishers that are loosing money do so because they got insanely ineffecient work practices and print tons of books that nobody wants to read. Rather then cry about lost revenue on books that don't sell more then 2 copies (and that is both parents are still alive), be a bit more commercial. Ebooks should have happened a long time ago, why was Amazon first? Because not a single publisher could be bothered.

Advertising in bought books? Good, give me more reasons to pirate.

Insanity, thy name is big business.

A return to serials? (1)

RevWaldo (1186281) | more than 3 years ago | (#33313726)

Some of the most respected authors in history - Dickens, Dumas, and Conan Doyle among them - published many of their novels, short stories, etc. in serial form i.e. in magazine and newspapers loaded with ads. (And certainly any /.er who considers comic books real fiction is immune to seeing ads in the middle of the story.) Could we see the return of publishing serious works of fiction as serials in ebooks, including ads? Mind you we'd have to be able to skip over the ads just as easily as we could in paper form.

.

Correction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33313746)

As an employee of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt I'd like to point out the line at the bottom of TFA where it says "Mr. Vincent is a former book editor at Houghton Mifflin." [emphasis mine] He does not speak for the company.

Bull (1)

bickle (101226) | more than 3 years ago | (#33313784)

and profits are being squeezed even lower by ebooks

Bull. Ebooks now usually cost the same as their physical counterparts, yet do incur the costs of physical production (which has traditionally been cited as the main reason for high prices). So if production costs are down and sales are the same, profits would be up.

I have some old paperbacks with ads. (1)

amanicdroid (1822516) | more than 3 years ago | (#33313812)

This was tried in the past with cheap paperbacks. I don't know why they stopped.
I prefer books because they keep the ads to the front and back, which is less distracting and more useful than inline ads.
If ebook publishers/distributors choose the inline advertising method for their wares, I'll start buying printed books. It's simple as that.
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