Links for 17th March 2010

Fresh from the clogged tubes of teh intarwubs…

  1. The future of publishing: Why ebooks failed in 2000, and what that means for 2010

    "The problem […] is that publishers bundle two sorts of value when they create a hardcover book: The physical product is more impressive, and you get earlier availability of the book, often a year or more before the paperback version comes out. Unfortunately, book buyers think most of the extra value they're paying for from a hardcover is the physical book. Meanwhile, publishers (and authors) often think the main value of a hardcover is early availability. Many authors and publishers don't want to say this to the public, but hardcover books are a tax on the most enthusiastic fans of an author.<br />
    <br />
    E-publishing breaks that cozy little arrangement, by separating the early availability value from the better production value. Publishers couldn't figure out what to do about that in 2000. So they often did the conservative thing, pricing ebooks the same as hardcovers. To ebook customers, that felt like exploitation, if not outright fraud.<br />
    <br />
    It still feels that way today."

    Tagged with: digitalebooksmarketingpublishingbusinessmarketstechnologypricing

  2. Russian secrets for sale, no questions asked

    "Wrenched from the bowels of government by the forces of runaway capitalism and corruption, the hush-hush databases have made their way to this market in central Moscow where the windows of tiny shops glitter with cellphones, pirated DVDs and porn.<br />
    <br />
    Compressed on discs, frozen in Cyrillic letters, is a trove of petty squabbles and personal tragedies that make up the fabric of this vast and often lawless land.<br />
    <br />
    In a country where you have no right to know, but really you can know anything, anybody can anonymously buy discs burned with private information such as rape victimization, financial holdings and the suspicion of CIA involvement. Asking price (it's negotiable): $40 to $60."

    Tagged with: datatheftprivacydigitalRussiacyberpunkmarket

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