Why do readers steer away from e-books?

Filed in Gather Books Essential by on November 2, 2007 0 Comments

Ebooks have been around for a long time. Publishers have complained that they don’t sell well. Readers have complained about things like DRM (Digital Rights Management) that keep ebooks on a distributor’s server; they believe if you paid for it, you should own it. I believe this too. I am a small online publisher (Speculative Fiction Review) with a mix of ebooks and print books. The more expensive print books sell pretty well, the ebooks don’t. The idea was that if you gave readers a chance to sample a book for free, they would be more likely to buy the much cheaper ebook than the print book. My experience shows that is not true—readers tend to buy the more expensive print version. Why is that? Especially now that so many people have light-weight portable laptops. And, if you go to airports and cafes, you see many people reading things on their laptops. 

What will it take to make ebooks palatable to readers?

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