Friday, November 4, 2011
Amazon's newest freebies
Amazon Lights the Fire With Free Books, David Pogue article.
Obviously, the notoriously e-terrified book publishers wouldn’t sign off on Amazon’s free-book deal without a lot of reassurance — and a lot of payments. And sure enough, Amazon says that these free Kindle books aren’t really free. It’s paying publishers for the right to distribute them.
That's as expected. But it's the same old story. When radio became popular for real, music publishers fought it with teeth and claws, thinking it would kill record sales. But when they found out how much it actually helped sales instead, they started to pay radio stations to play their records! (I think that's illegal, not sure.) Maybe next year ebook publishers will fight for the right to have a book in Amazon's new free (for Prime members) library, maybe they'll try to bribe Amazon even. But til then, it's the same old scared-cat-hiding-under-the-sofa attitudes, like we always see.