This has its fill of generalizations, but here it goes...
I don't the Covey thing means a whole lot at all, other than to serve the "print books must/will die" credo. The reason why is that Covey writes business books. His primary demo is businessmen who also happen to be big readers but often not big book people. In other words, they may read voraciously but once read, the books are clutter that need to be moved out of the house. An eBook reader fits in perfectly with this way of thinking which is why, I believe, this is such a good match. It tells me whoever put together this deal understands this stuff.
I would agree this deal would be hugely significant if the deal were with a J. K. Rowling or someone at the top of their respective genres. At its best, this is simply giving the people what they want. Projecting it across the entire industry, I think, is the mistake.
Digital files render an entertainment experience EXACTLY alike those from DVDs or CDs; those media will clearly continue to dwindle. Books are fundamentally different, though, and it doesn't take a bibliophile to see that. If I want to read by holding a book by whatever edge at whatever angle, if I don't want to worry about the light, or batteries, or splattering it with sand at the beach or water from my cup, I want a book. If I want to walk through my library and browse, if I enjoy the feel and smell, I want a book. If I don't want to have to be sure I'm charged, or, like this week, have to send my Sony Reader back to Sony for a firmware upgrade, I want a book. eBooks have a place alongside, not instead of, print books.
In short, the Covey deal hits his sweetspot of readership right where they want it to be. At this point in time, I don't see any way this has any carryover effect on other genres, nor why it should.
And one last thing: if the only books available were celebrity bestsellers from megastores, I still wouldn't read them. We'd probably enter some kind of small press renaissance which really, would suit me just fine. Also, it doesn't hurt that I likely own more books than I can finish in my lifetime. (Go Ray Kurzweil!)
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 17 Dec 2009 EST