The Future of Electronic Publishing

Written by Sam Vaknin

UNESCO's somewhat arbitrary definition of "book" is:

"Non-periodical printed publication of at least 49 pages excluding covers."

The emergence of electronic publishing was supposed to change all that. Yet a bloodbath of unusual proportions has taken place inrepparttar last few months. Time Warner's iPublish and MightyWords (partly owned by Barnes and Noble) wererepparttar 108366 last in a string of resounding failures which cast in doubtrepparttar 108367 business model underlying digital content. Everything seemed to have gone wrong:repparttar 108368 dot.coms dot bombed, venture capital dried up, competing standards fractured an already fragile marketplace,repparttar 108369 hardware (e-book readers) was clunky and awkward,repparttar 108370 software unwieldy,repparttar 108371 e-books badly written or already inrepparttar 108372 public domain.

Terrified byrepparttar 108373 inexorable process of disintermediation (the establishment of direct contact between author and readers, excluding publishers and bookstores) and byrepparttar 108374 ease with which digital content can be replicated - publishers resorted to draconian copyright protection measures (euphemistically known as "digital rights management"). This further alienatedrepparttar 108375 few potential readers left. The opposite model of "viral" or "buzz" marketing (by encouragingrepparttar 108376 dissemination of free copies ofrepparttar 108377 promoted book) was only marginally more successful.

Moreover, e-publishing's delivery platform,repparttar 108378 Internet, has been transformed beyond recognition since March 2000.

From an open, somewhat anarchic, web of networked computers - it has evolved into a territorial, commercial, corporate extension of "brick and mortar" giants, subject to government regulation. It is less friendly towards independent (small) publishers,repparttar 108379 backbone of e-publishing. Increasingly, it is expropriated by publishing and media behemoths. It is treated as a medium for cross promotion, supply chain management, and customer relations management. It offers only some minor synergies with non-cyberspace, real world, franchises and media properties. The likes of Disney and Bertelsmann have swung a full circle from consideringrepparttar 108380 Internet to berepparttar 108381 next big thing in New Media delivery - to frantic efforts to containrepparttar 108382 red ink it oozed all over their otherwise impeccable balance sheets.

But wererepparttar 108383 now silent pundits right allrepparttar 108384 same? Isrepparttar 108385 future of publishing (and other media industries) inextricably intertwined withrepparttar 108386 Internet?

The answer depends on whether an old habit dies hard. Internet surfers are used to free content. They are very reluctant to pay for information (with precious few exceptions, likerepparttar 108387 "Wall Street Journal"'s electronic edition). Moreover,repparttar 108388 Internet, with 3 billion pages listed inrepparttar 108389 Google search engine (and another 15 billion in "invisible" databases), provides many free substitutes to every information product, no matter how superior. Web based media companies (such as Salon and have been experimenting with payment and pricing models. But this is besidesrepparttar 108390 point. Whether inrepparttar 108391 form of subscription (Britannica), pay per view (Questia), pay to print (Fathom), sample and pay to buyrepparttar 108392 physical product (RealRead), or micropayments (Amazon) -repparttar 108393 public refuses to cough up.

Want to be an eBook Reseller?

Written by Ana Hamid

Starting your own Internet business is as easy as .. 1,2,3

1. Visit our site for access torepparttar best eBooks with resell rights on repparttar 108365 market! 2. Become a member ofrepparttar 108366 best selling

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