Publishers to make readers wait months for eBooks

Simon & Schuster is attempting to arrest the growing popularity of eBooks by delaying their release until four months after the hardback copy.

Publishers to make readers wait months for eBooks

“The right place for the eBook is after the hardcover but before the paperback,” Carolyn Reidy, CEO of Simon & Schuster, [a href=”” title=”Two Major Publishers To Hold Back E-Books

“]told the Wall Street Journal[/a].

“We believe some people will be disappointed. But with new [electronic] readers coming and sales booming, we need to do this now, before the installed base of eBook reading devices gets to a size where doing it would be impossible.”

The publisher will invoke the policy next year, beginning with 35 titles covering authors including Don DeLillo, Karl Rove, and Jodi Picoult.

If other publishers follow Simon & Schuster’s lead, eBooks could become part of the traditional publishing cycle – preventing cheaper electronic copies from cannibalising hardback sales.

That policy may not wash in the UK, however, where eBooks tend to be the same price as hardbacks. In the US, Amazon has applied immense pressure on publishers to bring eBook prices down.

“We’re doing this to preserve our industry,” says David Young, chief executive of the Hachette Book Group, another publisher planning to delay eBook releases. “I can’t sit back and watch years of building authors sold off at bargain-basement prices. It’s about the future of the business,” he concluded.

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