Penguin boss game to take on ebook, iPad revolution

July 30th, 2010 - 6:53 pm ICT by ANI  

London, July 30 (ANI): Penguin chief executive John Makinson has shared his views on ebooks and how they are becoming more popular than hardbacks.

He also said that piracy is still not yet a significant issue and lessons have been learned from the music business.

“You have to give the consumer what the consumer wants - you can’t tell the consumer to go away,” the Guardian quoted him as saying.

“So we didn’t participate in this experiment where a number of publishers deferred publication of the ebook until a certain number of months after the hardcover publication.

“I thought that was a very bad idea. If the consumer wants to buy a book in an electronic format now, you should let the consumer have it,” he added.

He also said there would still be the need for publishers in the digital world.

“I used to have this discussion with [Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy author] Douglas Adams. He created this thing called the digital village, an online publishing platform,” he revealed.

“Douglas’s argument was, ‘all of my friends will come along and publish on digital village and you the publishers will be disintermediated, you will be irrelevant’.

“Well, it hasn’t happened. I am not aware of any successful direct to consumer publishing model that exists.

“The reason it doesn’t work is that the publishers do actually perform quite a useful service: they edit the book, then they publicise it.

“In the physical world, they make sure it is stocked in bookshops,” he added. (ANI)

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