Some publishers are already getting into the seminar and education businesses. But it would be good for their bottom lines if they more closely linked these services to actual books—something that interactivity will allow. The higher the percentage of revenue associated with services, not just e-files, the less vulnerable publishers will be to losses from piracy.
OK, now back to The News—about the Sony Reader in this case: The p-edition of this Sunday’s Washington Post book supplement—and I suspect newspapers in other cities—carries a full page ad on the back for the Sony Reader. That suggests commitment to the product. I’m not a big fan of the reader, but apparently enough people disagree with me to justify the increased advertising. The Post ad, which mentions Borders and other outlets for the Readers, shows an airport lounge and reads in part: “Fit 80 books in your carry-on,” and offers $50’s credit toward book purchases. Cool so far. What I don’t like is a little photo that may lead some readers to conclude that the reader screen can glow on its own. Hey, Sony, let ’em know that the paperlike screen reflects light rather than creates it—this isn’t the optimal device for a less-than-fully-lit lounge, at least not without an auxiliary light.
Update, April 23: Alex at MobileRead has a color image of the ad. I’ll repro it here.