Tag Archives: ereaders

An ebook Netflix?

6 Jun

In a recent post, Mike Shatzkin took an article by Javier Celaya of the Spanish Digital Magazines Association (ARDE) about the concept to “spotify” books and let his imagination run wild.  Spotify, a Swedish peer-to-peer music streaming service, is equal to, Shatzkin says, our Netflix.  He plays with the idea that someday, there may be ebook subscriptions, where for a certain amount of money a month, you may access a pool of ebooks.  Celaya takes the idea from different angles: how it will affect an up-and-coming author versus how it will affect a veteran author.  A new author, he claims, would find having their book included in the pool a great way for them to develop a name for themselves.  Many avid readers are not snobby readers – they do not judge by author or title, but will rather give anyone a shot, especially if it’s free!  Veteran authors may see this as an extreme blow to their salary, making little to no money from being part of a subscription pool.   This would also include ads put into the book that pertain to the subject matter being discussed which leaves even more room for disapproval from authors.  Writing is not meant to be product placement and ads may take away from the text itself.

Shatzkin observes that for more prominent and well-known authors, a specific and more expensive pool could be made.  However, how will someone like Margaret Atwood or Yann Martel feel about their award-winning novels being offered in a group with multiple other authors when they had previously entertained such success on their own?  Ereaders already have a large selection of free titles upon purchasing the device including a multitude of classics such as Pride and Prejudice, Moby Dick and Dracula (to name a few).  But here is a scary thought: I am a Netflix user and my primary thought after watching my first movie was “That was awesome!  I will never have to rent or buy another movie again!”  If this were to happen to books, would the reaction be similar?