eBook Winners: RH And S&S

Random House recently announced it will increase its eBook offerings thanks to exploding sales.

The publisher already has more than 8,000 books in the electronic format and will have a digital library of nearly 15,000. The new round of e-books is expected to be completed within months; excerpts can be viewed online through the publisher’s Insight browsing service.

And now Simon & Schuster announces it’s been a big eBook winner too.

Simon & Schuster expects to have nearly quadrupled e-book sales by the end of 2008, according to its c.e.o. Carolyn Reidy. In her end-of-year letter to staff, Reidy said that in response to the growing demand the publisher was making an additional 5,000 titles available.

This is good news, but still not the best news.

Thousands of titles sounds great, but there have already been that available and I’ve noted significant gaps in writer collections and entire authors not yet available in eBook format here at The eBook Test blog.

I don’t think these moves will make a significant dent in that deficit.

I think for every current title one of these publishers releases as an eBook, anywhere between five to ten of the mid- and back- list should be released too. Stop allowing Google to steal from writers!

One thing I have to comment about is Random House’s earlier announcement that it’s changing the formula to calculate royalties to writers.

I’ve stayed more or less mum about this but now I think it’s time for me to take a stand: It’s a good thing.

Yes, I know it will cause immediate pain to writers, but the Right Now isn’t my concern. I take the Long View.

Random House is recognizing that eBooks cannot continue to be sold at price parity with printed versions. The majority of book buyers will not stand for that. I don’t stand for that.

So lower prices are the future.

But with these lowered prices will come many more sales. I’m convinced of that.

Take the pain today, writers, for tomorrow’s better profits.

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