eBooks on the Cheap: How the Internet is Becoming Backwater Bargain Village

Photo by goXunuReviews

The Internet is all about CHEAP. Real life is the premium environment. That’s why Amazon’s price cut on eBooks doesn’t surprise me. It’s the invitable Groupon-izing of rich content.

Price depression in eBook publishing will force traditional print into the realm of high art. Books will be fetishistic items for connoisseurs. But what will everyday book-lovers do? How will we continue to read and enjoy a life of the mind?

Libraries. Having spent a week in the Netherlands talking with some of the most ambitious, innovative librarians, I’m convinced that the eBook debate between libraries and publishers is superfluous. It’s based on an antiquated model of production and consumption. Librarians have more power in the discussion than they realize.

If the digital space itself is a category, it’s becoming Filene’s Basement. This smells like trouble.

Photo by Joe Lemonade

Of course, I write this from Café de Pels in Amsterdam. I’m here to speak at a conference. It’s been a terrific day of big ideas. UK author and pundit Ben Hammersley was a stand out. He’s smart, funny and refreshingly kind.

Love that. I will process more of my journey as I find time.