Let's arket e-books to new readers!

This article actually went up briefly, early, “by accident” on Huffpo… but not taken down soon enough to prevent MobileReaders from discussing one of its (actually minor) points.  But the full article is up again, and Pinter’s points are well-taken:

Ebooks don’t need to cannibalize their printed brethren, but right now they’re being marketed to do just that. People shouldn’t be buying ebooks just to save money. Advertisements for e-readers seem like they’re aimed at the same people who subscribe to the New York Times Weekender.

Yes, e-books are being marketed to people who already read… but to no one else.  Where are the hip visuals to draw in the young ones?  Where is the content that will get people’s attention?  It’s certainly not in any ad I’ve seen.


  1. [blockquote]
    Ebooks should expand the book buying market, not be used as an alternative for the print edition.

    I think Pinter is wrong here. Ebooks can be an alternative for the print edition, especially casual reads. They are great for novels and some non-fiction. An ebook might not be so good when the layout of the text like poetry is important or there are illustrations or pictures like Richard Dawkins new book. Other times a reader may just want the hardcopy of some titles to collect, but otherwise ebooks are a great to just read.

    I don’t see how an ebook could expand the market for print editions. Should an ebook only be an marketing tool to sell more print editions? While maybe someday I’ll read an ebook that is so good I just have to own a physical copy, that has yet to happen, though it can be ruled out. More likely, I’ll get an ebook edition of a printed edition I already own, then I’m able to get rid of the physical copy.

    Books are not meant to be chopped up and consumed in pieces. You don’t read one chapter of the new James Ellroy and then flip to Margaret Atwood’s latest and back again

    I don’t read ebooks in pieces. I read them in the same way I’d read a printed book: start with the beginning and read through to the end. Why does he think I do otherwise? Just because my Kindle has many books available to me immediately does not mean I’ll be reading them all at once.

    As for ereaders targeting people who all ready read, well, of course they do. What else should be done. Target people who rather watch football on TV than pick up a book?

  2. Target people who rather watch football on TV than pick up a book?

    Isn’t that why Sony hired Peyton Manning for their ads? 😉 (Also perhaps because Peyton is a funny young man who doesn’t seem to mind mocking his image in ads. I like him a lot.)

  3. @Greg: I think the “reading in pieces” bit was designed to show the difference in the e-book and digital music markets, ie, an album can be carved up into pieces and enjoyed a piece at a time, but an e-book isn’t designed to be carved up and used like that. (Unless it is a textbook or reference book, perhaps.)

    I agree with you, an e-book is a product in itself, not merely a device to use to sell other books. But as the self-proclaimed hardback-loving reader the author paints himself, you can easily imagine him to be the type who collects books. I don’t collect hardbacks… on the other hand, I collect DVDs of favorite movies, including movies I’ve already seen, so I suppose it’s not that different.

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