This Book Brought to You By… Coke?

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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:

E-Book Reader Delight

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?

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13 thoughts on “This Book Brought to You By… Coke?

    1. That’s the sad thing, otherlisa. In 10 years this post will probably look passé. (Can anyone tell that paper books are my Sacred Cow?)

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  1. Makes me think of a late-1950s episode I recently saw of TV’s “What’s My Line,” sponsored by Winston, where during the show, the host lit up and puffed away.

    You should watch the movie “Idiocracy” to see where this all leads.

  2. This reminds me of when I used to subscribe to Harlequin and Silhouette — I think they still do this, but I don’t read categories as much as I used to, so it doesn’t bug me as much now. What they would do was stuff the middle of the book with heavier cardboard inserts — “join now and get free books” — that kind of thing. Contests and scratch-off stuff. But if you tried to tear them out, you’d either rip the pages or otherwise mutilate the book. It drove me nuts!

    This would, too. UNLESS it was at the end. I don’t mind when publishers plug their other books at the end of a book I’ve just read, for example. If it was an ad for Coke, it might tick me off a bit. I guess if it was done in a way that was NOT in the middle of the book, I wouldn’t hate it as much as if they interrupted my reading. Do that and I’ll never buy the product again. Ever.

    1. I happen to be reading a Desire right now, and yes, it came with the cardboard thingie. Would you be surprised to learn it did not make it from the store to the car? Oh, no, you would not. Would you be surprised to learn it got stomped on a few times before hitting the garbage? 🙂

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