How many books are on your “to read” list right now? 10? 20? More? The real truth about ebook purchasing—really about any content acquisition these days—is that we are so overwhelmed by choices that our to-be-experienced list is already quite overwhelmed. That doesn’t even take into account the revisiting of older content! So when publishers threaten to withhold ebook versions of new releases for a few months, who is it really hurting?
Joe Wikert, currently publisher at O’Reilly Media (with former executive experience at Wiley and Macmillan) shared his thoughts on the issue in a blog post yesterday that asked if you can force a customer to buy print instead of ebooks. Short answer? Maybe for bestsellers, but not otherwise. And the real reason for this shows up in the first comment: “As an avid (over 100 books a year) reader: If a book I want isn’t available in ebook format, and for a reasonable price, then I’ll just leave it on my TBR list until it is, and go on to reading all the other books on my list.”