@ eBook Summit: Advertising Is Coming To E-Books


There were a few things that attendees and speakers appeared to have decided on by the end of the two-day MediaBistro eBook Summit: case in point, the $9.99 standard price for a digitized title — as established by the space’s leader, Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN) — is not enough to support content creation and distribution. Still, there was no clear idea about what would be a good standard price point. In kind of mirror image of the kind of fevered discussions that goes on at most newspaper conferences, the consensus of the last group of panelists — (pictured, left to right: Random House’s Matt Shatz, Adobe’s Nick Bogaty, and Skiff’s Gil Fuchsberg) was that the future of e-books will likely depend on ad-support to some extent.

Although the books industry has always been the more pure paid content business model, advertising has often played a part, said Shatz, Random House’s VP of digital. He named a few examples belonging to his company, involving the Fodor’s travel guides and ads in the back of pop financial adviser Suze Orman’s books. “Advertising has always played a small part and it will become more prominent for e-books. But it will remain a small part of the digital side as well.”

Fuchsberg, the president of Skiff, was even more certain that advertising will be part of the support system of books general e-reading materials. But he’s certain that if it looks like what’s on the web, the attempts will fail. “If e-books are where more consumers are spending their time, ads will inevitably follow. I just hope it won


Sheila Tofflemire

I have no problem with ads on one condition: These ads must not interrupt the flow of reading. Like movies we buy — on DVD or Blu-Ray — put the ads at the beginning where people can simply skip over them to get to the content.


Okay… these people actually think anyone is going to buy this? The cost of a regular book, minus the cost of actually physically producing anything, with even more profit for the publisher because people can’t resell them, and now we’re supposed to suffer ads as well?

How about this? Any publisher who tries this can sell no ebooks, and eventually authors will sell direct to the devices, cutting them out of the loop.

These morons are their own worst enemy. Their short-term greed is going to get them cut out of the loop entirely.

Bernard Zimmermann

I think it will work

Many books are not in demand. To the owner once produced the unit cost of an ebook is free. So I expect many will think that some income from advertising is better then no income,

Matthew Caylor

It will be interesting to see which the market would bear – a higher price point for eBooks (which I would immagine many hold the same opinion as myself and should be a lower cost then the print edition) or interuptive ads within my book.

I would think a better strategy would be to increase the audience for eBooks and thus break down the fixed costs over a wider audience.

Douglas MacIlroy

Placing ads in e-books will only diminish the experience on the part of the reader and drive them elsewhere. New programs will evolve to strip the ads from e-books, whether through making them invisible or having all the letters fall like a gentle rain to the bottom of the books last page where they can be swept into the dust bin of history. You are simply trying to keep your jobs. The system is going to evolve until you are no longer trying to force the reader to tolerate what he does not want in order to enjoy the content he does want.

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