It’s no secret to any of us following the news in publishing that paradigm shifts in the industry, they are a-comin’. But thanks to a recent blog post of a writer-friend of mine, I became aware of a heated discussion that’s taking place on the Wylie-Merrick blog.
A few passionate people there are suggesting that publishers incorporate advertising right into the e-reader’s experience.
Now we’re not talking here about the product placement that’s already going on in some novels, where brand names are inserted well beyond what’s required for good characterization.
No, this is about incorporating actual ads, then obligating the e-reader to click past them before reaching a critical page. Perhaps an ad for jewelry in a chic lit book right before the climax, for example; or for condoms, just when the hot sexorring is about to commence.
This would increase revenue, allowing the publisher to offer books for free or at drastically reduced prices, thereby improving access for the disenfranchised.
Now I don’t know about you, but I say, bravo! Finally! A clear win for the poor. (And doesn’t it just warm the cockles of your heart to see corporate America waking up to their social responsibility?)
In fact, this argument has so much traction for me that let’s pretend, just for the moment, that public libraries and second hand bookstores are now defunct; and that the prohibitive cost of single-use devices, as discussed in this post of mine, is no longer an issue.
What would I say to the proponents of such an idea in that world?
But I recognize that’s not a particularly brilliant argument. And since sometimes a different medium can convey the same point more effectively…here’s a graphic rebuttal from the Tartitude:
Enjoy! And when you’re done with my little PowerPoint presentation, wouldya come back and tell me your gut reaction to this brave new world?