Those of you who follow this blog know that I have been defending paperback books. To recap, a major publisher said e-books would replace mass-market paperbacks in five years, a major editor said it would be three to four years, and a major agent said it would happen “eventually.” (I liked that last answer much better.)
Last Saturday, I had to admit to one of my proofreaders that things are looking bad. The figures are in from the latest (September) issue of Locus -- the major trade journal for science fiction and fantasy publishing. As of June for all genres, year-to-date (YTD) sales for adult hardcovers were up, which is good during a recession. YTD trade paperback were up. YTD mass-market paperbacks were down 7.3%. E-books were up 207.4%.
Now the crack of doom has appeared: A Netflix model for e-books by Amazon.com:
In another walk-up to the release of its hotly anticipated tablet device, Amazon is in talks with book publishers to launch a digital library for customers, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The service could allow users to gain unlimited access to older digital book content for a single, annual price . . . .
Would you subscribe?