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Books Advertising Businesses The Almighty Buck

Will Amazon Put Advertisements In eBooks? 226

Posted by Soulskill
from the do-not-want dept.
destinyland writes "A book editor at Houghton Mifflin argues ebook advertising is 'coming soon to a book near you.' (Paywalled unless you go through Google.) Amazon has filed a patent for advertisements on the Kindle, and the book editor joins with a business professor in the Wall Street Journal to make the case for advertisements in ebooks. Book sales haven't increased over the last decade, and profits are being squeezed even lower by ebooks. According to another industry analyst, Amazon is being pressured to make ebook sales more profitable for publishers, partly because Apple offers them more lucrative terms in Apple's iBookstore. One technology blog notes that Amazon's preference seems to be keeping book prices low, and wonders whether consumers would accept advertising if it meant that new ebooks were then free. Meanwhile, Ralph Lauren has confused the issue even more by publishing a 'shoppable' children's storybook online, prompting a fierce reaction from one blog: 'I hope it's the last. Books are one of the last refuges in our world from the constant cry by advertisers to spend money and fill our lives with unnecessary things.'"
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Will Amazon Put Advertisements In eBooks?

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  • (Paywalled unless you go through Google.)

    I apologize for not RTFA but I was brought to the same paywall whether I went through Google or not. Is it some sort of lottery?

    'I hope it's the last. Books are one of the last refuges in our world from the constant cry by advertisers to spend money and fill our lives with unnecessary things.'

    I would just like to say that I welcome both options. Reader A can pay a high premium and enjoy the original novel as the author intended it to be enjoyed and Reader B can pay little or nothing and try to read Fahrenheit 451 with moving advertisements marketing gallons of premium kerosene at wholesale prices (BUY BUY BUY!). And you know what? I'm really not opposed to this. Maybe the authors are and maybe it offends the your *ism but as long as they keep the old model as an option who cares? I haven't noticed a decline in my ability to purchase paperbacks and hardcovers following the advent of e-readers so why should I fear e-readers installing advertisements into books?

    Meanwhile, Ralph Lauren has confused the issue even more by publishing a 'shoppable' children's storybook online ...

    It's a 'storybook' except that the children are real children acting in front of a green screen that has superimposed images of chidren's-bookish scenes done up in a flash video. Congratulations, the "fierce" blog has done little more than positively re-enforce this marketing maneuver because I just watched an advertisement for children's clothes!

    I also am a little bit annoyed that we complain about the RIAA and MPAA as clinging to an old business model and then as book publishers and retailers try something new (or are even rumored to try something new) we hop all over it and denounce it as a crime against humanity. And yet daily I read news sites laden with advertisements. The very site I write this comment on transfers my comments to you, the reader, alongside political advertisements trying to raise your ire about "ObamaCare" or "Barack the Magic Negro [photobucket.com]." Yes, yes, there are tools like AdBlock, NoScript and Flash blockers specifically designed to circumvent this but to the average reader of Slashdot, this is reality.

    And despite the horror of advertising, here we are ...

    • "options" (Score:5, Insightful)

      by butterflysrage (1066514) on Friday August 20, 2010 @08:43AM (#33313012)

      aye, there's the rub... will we have options?

      Do we have the option to get our cable TV without comercials? there are a few pay on-demand channels, but as a general rule, no.
      Broadcast radio? no
      Magizines? no

      Think like a distributer... why charge less for the version with ads in them when you can charge full price AND get the advertising money and make it the only version offered. If I were a heartless corp, I would offer the two versions, then when the next big hit comes out only offer it with ads at full price, then slowly increase the number of ad-only books till that was all I offered in about 5 years or so.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        Do we have the option to get our cable TV without comercials? there are a few pay on-demand channels, but as a general rule, no.

        DVDs? iTunes? Netflix?

        Broadcast radio? no

        CDs? iTunes? Spotify?

        • DVDs? iTunes? Netflix?
          not cable, and when was the last time you bought a dvd without a wad of ads at the start (some they wont let you skip)?

          CDs? iTunes? Spotify?
          not broadcast, and both the brick&morter and the online stores get money from the ads they pelt you with while you are there.

          If the whole "free market" kumbiya actually held true with a small selection of providers, why do we not have comercial-less channels? or more ad-free pay/contribute webpages? because people realize they can have their c

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Part of the variety we see on cable TV is due to the advertising. Without ads a lot of networks would not have the funding to put on the shows we enjoy. With books though this doesn't quite apply. There are a lot of crappy books that already do get published, and I don't see the quality going up with ad revenue. The cost of producing a book is relatively low compared to producing a TV show. Optimally ads in e-books would allow the price to decrease possibly opening up the world to truly free ebooks, but in
      • Do we have the option to get our cable TV without comercials? there are a few pay on-demand channels, but as a general rule, no.

        HBO? Cinemax? Showtime? And why are you comparing books -- a single finite length of words -- to a streaming service that continually offers new and different content? Wouldn't it be better to compare books to DVDs? Your comparison of a 24/7 service that provides semi-unique programming versus a book smacks of an "apples to oranges" comparison.

        Broadcast radio? no

        NPR? XM Radio? If they could sell you subscriptions to FM and AM bands, I bet they would (similar to HBO/SHOW/CINE). Again, try comparing books to CDs instead

        • Why should I could keep paying full price and suffer through advertisements

          because there is no other option? because it is that or you don't get to read it. If the only option is full price, with ads, what do you do?

          • by Ant P. (974313)

            Turn that garbage off and go read a bo- oh wait.

    • I am opposed to it (Score:5, Insightful)

      by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Friday August 20, 2010 @08:50AM (#33313108)
      Why am I opposed to it? Simple: it means more proprietary eBooks and more DRM, and of course, more marketing firms tracking more aspects of our lives. They are not going to allow libre software to render eBooks if they want to shove advertisements down out throats; after all, we could just remove the advertising from libre software. I want to be in control of my books, I do not want Amazon to be in control; did we not learn our lesson with the memory hole scandal?

      As for the tracking, well, what if you want to read a book about explosives? What if that tips off the FBI, and they come to your house demanding to know why you are reading about bombs? Do you really think that the marketing firms are going to keep their databases secret from the government? Do you remember when the PATRIOT act was passed, and librarians publicly denounced the clause about handing library records over to the government, for the exact same reasons?

      Technology is supposed to be improving our lives. Why, then, are we accepting uses of it that do not improve our lives and only serve the interests of publishing and marketing companies?
      • by internewt (640704)

        Technology is supposed to be improving our lives. Why, then, are we accepting uses of it that do not improve our lives and only serve the interests of publishing and marketing companies?

        Because those groups have some of the loudest voices in our societies, and drown out any alternative point of view with their message of "consumer, consume, consume". Everyone is susceptible to be manipulated by this kind of thing, some more than others. Some a lot more than others.

    • I also am a little bit annoyed that we complain about the RIAA and MPAA as clinging to an old business model and then as book publishers and retailers try something new (or are even rumored to try something new) we hop all over it and denounce it as a crime against humanity

      Digital vs physical distribution is a completely separate issue from injecting ads where previously there were none.

      As long as they keep the paid for version separate from the ad supported version as you say, I'm fine with it. If they have ads even in fully paid for eBooks, I'm sticking to paperbacks. Yes, I'm one of those people that see no ads on /. , and I haven't even clicked "disable advertising" on the front page.

    • by morari (1080535)

      Seriously? eBook are already the same price, if not more, than the physical paperback. Lower the price, leave out the advertising!

    • I also am a little bit annoyed that we complain about the RIAA and MPAA as clinging to an old business model and then as book publishers and retailers try something new (or are even rumored to try something new) we hop all over it and denounce it as a crime against humanity.

      Well, usually we know that no matter what anyone does (even if he does nothing) there will be people opposing him. Some of those oppose one action, and we hear their comments and some oppose the opposite action and we hear their comments when appropriate.

      The problem is when we get someone who opposes both actions with no third option available. These are the really annoying people "We don't want the government to make rules that affect the market but we want the government to stop evil corporations". "We wa

  • by Dunbal (464142) * on Friday August 20, 2010 @08:37AM (#33312948)

    According to another industry analyst, Amazon is being pressured to make ebook sales more profitable for publishers, partly because Apple offers them more lucrative terms in Apple's iBookstore.

          This is completely the opposite of the way a "free market" is supposed to behave. Enjoy your oligopolies, America. I just take heart in the fact that if a Kindle can read it, so can any other device. I will wait for the ad-blocking readers before spending one dime on one.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by genghisjahn (1344927)
      You don't have to spend a dime to get Kindle device. You get get the free software for the Mac, PC, Blackberry, Android or iPhone. Of course you'll have to pay for content, but the "device" won't cost you anything extra. There are plenty of free books. Try it..see what you think.
      • by tenco (773732)

        Try it..see what you think.

        Unable to connect at this time. Please try again later.

    • This is completely the opposite of the way a "free market" is supposed to behave.

      Howzat? Apple is offering more competitive terms to publishers and Amazon has to respond to remain competitive. Neither can simply raise prices because the customer won't tolerate it.

      Now I'll be the first to claim that free markets generally don't exist when there are only two participants, but I'm not seeing how this specific instance is a deviation from the classic "supply meets demand" love story.

    • by jgagnon (1663075)

      Ads on the Kindle does not mean ads in ebooks. I imagine Amazon is going down this path to push a version of the Kindle that is much less expensive for the consumer to purchase up front, assuming they are willing to put up with ads. Amazon would sell a LOT more Kindles if the price were $50, even with ads.

      • by CastrTroy (595695)
        The Kindle is already $139. And it's not like computers where the device has to get faster and faster every generation. If they keep the technology at around the same level, they should be able to get the price down to around $50. Once that happens, everybody (in the western world) will have an eBook reader. They could even remove WiFi and put in a USB cable if they wanted to really cut down on the price. If they don't cut the price, some other manufacturer will produce a $50 eBook reader. It's only a
    • Makes me miss the days when Wal-Mart broke the back of the CD market by forcing labels to sell CDs at rational prices. Consumers do control producers when we actually choose to use that power. Wal-Mart just exemplifies (and sometimes vilifies) that point. If you don't like the service Amazon in providing then buy from someone else. If there is nobody else, then start your own business.
      • by morari (1080535)

        I had bought a CD at Wal-Mart a long, long time ago. Turns out that it was censored, despite no forewarning on the packaging or anything. I never bought another CD from Wal-Mart.

  • by Pojut (1027544) on Friday August 20, 2010 @08:37AM (#33312950) Homepage

    $9.99 is already WAY too much for an eBook. Why the need for advertising? ::sigh:: I guess it's a good thing that the only ebooks I put on my nook are either released for free through creative commons, or are now considered public works (or borrowed from our local library). I absolutely love my nook, but no freakin' way am I paying $9.99 for an eBook when I can pay $4.99-$6.99 for a paperback.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      $9.99 is already WAY too much for an eBook. Why the need for advertising?

      Greed. You should look it up in one of Amazon's eBook dictionary offerings ... it's on the page immediately following Snuggles' teddy bear hawking fabric softener.

    • by gstoddart (321705) on Friday August 20, 2010 @08:47AM (#33313052) Homepage

      I guess it's a good thing that the only ebooks I put on my nook are either released for free through creative commons, or are now considered public works

      Hear hear. Project Gutenberg has been the source of all of my eBooks -- I've really been enjoying reading through Jules Verne, HG Wells, Dante, Don Quixote, and all sorts of classics that have been on my list for years.

      There's so much stuff out there that's really good and now freely available that it's mind-boggling. Yeah for Project Gutenberg and their work!!

      • by Pojut (1027544) on Friday August 20, 2010 @08:50AM (#33313094) Homepage

        I get a LOT of the stuff I read from Project Gutenburg as well. I usually donate anywhere from $10-$20 per paycheck to them, depending on how much I've downloaded and read in the past couple of weeks.

        $9.99 per ebook? No freakin' way. Donations to a project whose purpose is making classic works available for future generations? Absolutely.

      • by bsDaemon (87307)

        How come you listed all authors then one character, Don Quixote, instead of Cervantes, who wrote the book? O/T, but just wondering. He wrote some other stuff which is worth reading, too.

        • by gstoddart (321705)

          How come you listed all authors then one character, Don Quixote, instead of Cervantes, who wrote the book?

          In all honesty, I couldn't remember the author's name, and figured the title character would be more recognizable to most people anyway. :-P

          I'm not familiar with any of his other work, but Don Quixote has been on my to-read list for a long time.

    • I wonder how long before they manage to get rid of the libraries..

      Can you borrow eBooks from libraries now? That's pretty cool, if a little strange..

    • by SDF-7 (556604)

      I'd say it is way too little in some cases, unless you can psychically be assured that the ebook will sell many copies. And while lower price / supply and demand may encourage that, I wouldn't be certain that's always sufficiently the case.

      I can't help but think of Stephen R. Donaldson in this discussion -- his General Interview on his website [stephenrdonaldson.com] touches on ebooks, publishing and author's rights several times, and it fairly well boils down to "As long as I receive a reasonable remuneration for my work, things

    • As e-books become more popular, distribution of e-texts on the torrents has become more prevalent. More and more e-book owners are filling their pads/kindles/nooks/crannies/whatevers with non-PD books for which the author is not reimbursed a dime. Money's got to flow from somewhere if novels are to be written. If in the Brave New World nobody's going to be paying for the books they read, then we might as well open the new shelfspace to the advertisers so that the creators can make a buck from someone.

      And

      • by morari (1080535)

        Sorry, but as an author, I wish that my work was well-known enough to be pirated and read.

        • by CastrTroy (595695)
          I think Cory Doctorow said it first. The problem for most authors is not piracy, but obscurity. That is to say, if nobody has ever heard of you, or read your book, very few people will buy it. On the other hand, if you can get your book into the hands of people, and get them reading it, and it is good, then people will buy it. Cory Doctorow offers all his books online for free, in a multitude of formats, released at the same time as the hardcover version. He still sells quite a few copies of his books.
        • So, ummm, work harder, write better. Maybe read a good book on Internet/Social Media marketing.

          What was your point?

      • by inflex (123318)

        And before all the tired and tedious "but, buts..." begin, remember:

        No one has a right to free entertainment.

        It's up to the writer whether or not she wants to give out free promotional samples, not her fans.

        Sadly will you probably be modded to hell for this. It's true though but few people seem to understand why.

        Same applies with software... heck, most things - If you write it, it's your personal choice how you distribute/licence it. Many people who want your stuff seem to have a notion that they have a right to tell you how to give it to them.

    • NYTimes gives a decent rundown of what goes in to ebook pricing [nytimes.com], showing that they make about as much profit on a $10 ebook as they do on a $26 hardcover.

      They don't give pricing on paperbacks, but going off the numbers they give I'd guess a $10 ebook will give them around double the profit that a $7 mass-market paperback does.

      The full article [nytimes.com] goes on to say the reason for obscenely high ebook prices is quite simple: publishers are set up for dead tree books right now. They could face problems scaling down

  • Same here as the comment in the summary. I'll not buy books with ads, and I'll return them as defective if they put them there without telling me beforehand.

    I wonder how long until more people are fed up with being constantly bombarded and there's a counter-movement. We already have adbusters et al, but they don't do it. Too much counterculture. Just counter-ads would be more than enough.

    But then again, the majority of people apparently enjoy being treated like cattle. Would never admit it, of course.

    • by gstoddart (321705)

      I'll not buy books with ads, and I'll return them as defective if they put them there without telling me beforehand.

      Good luck with that. The "license" for the electronic book-like thing you "purchased" will say you can't return it. It will be a take the money and run scenario.

      I agree though. How they can sell an electronic copy of a book for the same as the actual book and not be making truckloads of profit off it completely eludes me.

      • by Tom (822)

        Good luck with that. The "license" for the electronic book-like thing you "purchased" will say you can't return it. It will be a take the money and run scenario.

        We'll see. There is more than enough room between misleading advertisement or misrepresentation (they call it a "book", but it is more like a magazine) and outright fraud that a lawyer would take the case. At that stage, settling silently with me is a ton cheaper than the case, the bad press and the risk of getting a precedent set, however small it may be.

        In the US, small claims court will usually get you settled.

  • Old ads. (Score:3, Informative)

    by gweeks (91403) on Friday August 20, 2010 @08:43AM (#33313008) Homepage

    Books have had advertisements in them for a long time. Magazines too. Usually the book advertisements were for more books, but the advertisements in magazines could be for anything.

    A guitar lessons ad from a 1930 Astounding Stories.
    http://ia311203.us.archive.org/2/items/Astounding_Stories_of_Super_Science_1930/asf193001006a.png [archive.org]

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by rotide (1015173)
      Ads in books were always at the beginning or end of the book, not in the middle of a chapter/paragraph.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by batquux (323697)

        I didn't look too hard, but I didn't see details on how the ads would be placed. I doubt we'll be looking at, "Her heart was pounding as she unlatched the door and BUY VIAGRA!"

        • Well, let's put it this way: why does Amazon need a patent on displaying a list of books by the same author at the beginning of your eBook? Why do they need proprietary software to accomplish that? Project Gutenberg manages to place a short message at the beginning of plaintext eBooks.

          This is not going to be as innocent and unintrusive as the sort of advertisements you see in paperbacks.
          • by morari (1080535)

            Yeah, and those Gutenberg messages are already too long and intrusive. I've edited it out of every book I've downloaded from them, simply because it takes about ten page turns on my Nook to get to the beginning of the book itself. Don't get me wrong, Gutenberg is a great service and I'm more than happy to do a little of my own editing in return for free goods. I would not put up with that after paying an already inflated eBook price from Amazon though.

      • I remember books from 60s and 70s that had inserts in the middle. I still might have a few around.
      • by Zerth (26112)

        Not true, I've got some old SF paperbacks with cigarette ads stuck right in the middle of important scenes.

        Since they are on thicker stock and in color, you can tell when the monster appears or somebody is about to get betrayed, so I call them "foreshadowing". Because the writers usually didn't use any.

    • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Friday August 20, 2010 @09:02AM (#33313244)
      Advertising today is far more intrusive than advertising of 50 years ago. Yes, books have generally included advertisements for more books by the author or publishers, but when you talk about eBook advertising, you are talking about an entirely different ball game. Will the ads report back on what you read? Probably, and they will claim it is only for giving you more relevant advertisements. Will the ads get inserted into random places in the middle of the book? Probably, though they will claim that the places advertisements are displayed are chosen so as not to interfere with your enjoyment (e.g. not in the middle of an exciting section of the story). Will the ads be animated? Probably.

      Nobody needs a patent to put old-style advertisements in eBooks. You do not need proprietary software to do it. These ads will not be the same as the ads you are used to seeing in books.
  • If there are advertisements in books I pay for, yeah I'd be pissed about that and I think there'd be a backlash over that.

    On the other hand, Amazon makes a lot of books available for the Kindle for free. If those books have ads I wouldn't complain, especially if that category got bigger as a result.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MBGMorden (803437)

      If they're doing it with the free books that they're truly giving away, then sure. If they're inserting ads into the freely available public domain books? No thanks, I'll keep looking for a service that doesn't want to bombard me with ads.

  • See, this is precisely the stuff that's been making me gnaw on my brain the last few weeks and even tried in "Ask Slashdot" (I think I need to reform my questions though to be fair).

    Anyhow, the topic is up... there's many options out there to chase for going into eBooks but it seems that short of a plain PDF someone-somewhere is going to be done over a log. I don't want my readers being harassed by adverts or additionally even have the reseller (Amazon etc) modifying the text.

    Maybe the reason why I've not

    • by dwillden (521345)
      PDF's are not the answer. Open formats like epub are. With an open format ad blockers and the like can be created.

      I tried a couple pdf formatted books on my Nook, talk about a pain, the default font size in the PDF's was either way too big or most commonly way to small, when you adjust the font size in the nook, you can get the font where you need it, but with the bdf's I tried it screwed up the formatting, and the page count was a joke, it was reporting the number of pdf pages left, not the number of p
  • Publishers should go pound sand if they don't feel like they can make enough money leeching off authors in the digital world. Perhaps the real problem is that they have all of the sudden found themselves to be completely superfluous middlemen who failed to grab the e-book device and distribution channels when they had the chance.

    I can't imagine why any author would really need a publisher anymore (editors and publicists perhaps, but there's no reason editors and publicists need to own copyrights, they pr
    • by inflex (123318)

      For eBooks, I agree, they're on murky ground. I suppose the 'trick' they're going to use is to make it rather troublesome for people to add independently-purchased eBooks to their readers (or just reject them outright). Convenience does tend to win out over cost so long as the cost difference isn't too severe.

      Still, the glimmer of hope is that someone will produce an eBook reader that works well enough and isn't encumbered and is priced right.

      (for printing, a publisher is becoming somewhat less relevant

  • Dreams (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DIplomatic (1759914) on Friday August 20, 2010 @08:49AM (#33313076) Journal
    Leela: Didn't you have ads in the 21st century?"

    Fry: Well sure, but not in our dreams. Only on TV and radio, and in magazines, and movies, and at ball games... and on buses and milk cartons and t-shirts, and bananas and written on the sky. But not in dreams, no siree.

  • Huh? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mcgrew (92797) * on Friday August 20, 2010 @08:53AM (#33313146) Homepage Journal

    Book sales haven't increased over the last decade, and profits are being squeezed even lower by ebooks

    That makes no sense at all. Ebooks cost the same as paper books, yet there's no transportation, storage, inventory, or other costs associated with publishing them. How could ebooks be bringing profits down?

    How stupid do these people think we are, anyway?

    • How stupid do these people think we are, anyway?

      Do you even have to ask?

    • >How stupid do these people think we are, anyway?

      Very.

      Along with the movie and record industries - all the copyright cartels, basically.

      On the upside, they don't think we're as stupid as the politicians they lie to to get favourable legislation to protect and grow their profits.

    • Re:Huh? (Score:5, Informative)

      by swillden (191260) <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Friday August 20, 2010 @10:13AM (#33314246) Homepage Journal

      Book sales haven't increased over the last decade, and profits are being squeezed even lower by ebooks

      That makes no sense at all. Ebooks cost the same as paper books, yet there's no transportation, storage, inventory, or other costs associated with publishing them. How could ebooks be bringing profits down?

      Baen, a publishing house that specializes in fantasy and sci-fi, mostly with a militaristic bent, says that they've found that e-books significantly increase profits, even though they sell their (DRM-free) e-books for substantially less than they sell dead-tree versions.

      That, obviously, is exactly what logic would tell you. Nice to see there are some publishers who are honest.

  • The belief that any plans to place advertising into ebooks would result in lower prices is fooling themselves. Look at what has happened in the video game market, not only have in game ads become the norm but many of the newer games that use them are coming out at higher prices. The likely scenario is that ads will be thrown in gradually, prices will stay the same and ad free versions will be offered for a higher premium.

  • It is bad enough that I pay for a magazine and get mostly advertisements. I have to time my arrival at a mainstream movie theater in order to avoid the commercials I don't have a TV for.

    If Amazon did this, ebooks would be DOA as far as I am concerned.

    I would not buy or use them.

  • In the past two months, every single paperback, and quite a few hardcovers, that I've bought or considered buying have been cheaper on Amazon itself than Amazon's Kindle ebooks. Do printers, ink makers and paper makers charge Amazon negative dollars?

    And they want MORE money? WTF is wrong with these people?

  • "When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for" society to build a better solution, they will. A massive number of IT professionals around the world have clearly demonstrated that when the world of business takes an industry down a path not in the best interest of consumers, consumers are ready, willing and able to manufacture their own solution. If book publishers (E- or otherwise) take the publishing industry in a direction unsatisfactory to the majority of readers, they may eventually find
  • by Chelloveck (14643) on Friday August 20, 2010 @09:04AM (#33313266) Homepage

    It all depends on how it's done. Advertising in books is not a new thing; many paperbacks have a few pages at the back devoted to ads for other books by the publisher, or sometimes for things like book clubs. And though I haven't seen one in a while, I remember some paperbacks having a bound-in cardstock insert. If ads are limited to this sort of thing, they probably won't be a problem. They're usually relevant to the reader's interest and they're easily skippable. Where I do see a problem is if ads are done like the promos on a DVD -- Pop in the book, and have to sit through three minutes of advertising before you get to read it.

    Still, the only reason why this would work is because of proprietary formats. If ebooks were published using open standards (yay, epub!) someone would just publish a reader which skips the advertisements -- just like you can get DVD players which skip straight over the "mandatory" front-matter on a DVD.

    I'll just keep supporting Baen. Their whole catalog, available in open, non-DRM formats, for paperback prices. Even if they were to start including ads, they'd be easy to rip out of the HTML if they got to be obnoxious.

    • by Zerth (26112)

      Baen is awesome. While they are a little heavy on the war-fic, they make you want to buy hardback because they often include a CD with 20 or 30 other books on it, sometimes entire series.

  • I stopped reading magazines many years ago, not because I could get the same content on the internet. I stopped reading them because 50% or more of the space was advertising. If Amazon decides to insert ads into ebooks, then they'll be killing ebooks before they have a chance.
  • I think the idea of ebooks, free of charge, but paid for by advertisements has some merit.

    I'm not saying I like it or would use it, but it brings up an important point.

    Mainstream movie theaters and magazines force advertisements on you, even though you pay for those things. I think that is where a lot of resentment comes from. When it is not excessive, people don't mind broadcast TV with commercials, because the advertisers are paying for your exposure to their ads with free entertainment. People aren't

  • Congratulate Amazon for discovering the one thing that will kill the ebook!

    Seriously though if they use this technology only for periodicals how would this be different from traditional magazines except that the ads would alway be up-to-date?

    • if they use this technology only for periodicals how would this be different from traditional magazines except that the ads would alway be up-to-date?

      Those ads will be better targeted. Amazon has a really robust recommendations systems that I really like. I think part of the reason people hate having ads jammed down their throat is that many of the ads don't relate to them. Targeted ads that are relevant to me based on my purchasing history will be a lot less annoying than ads for tampons and farm equipment.

  • ... because you'll be giving me the book for free, right?

    But if not, I don't want the ads. You've already made your money off me, thanks.

    One or the other, guys. But not both. This is the one reason I don't subscribe to Sky - I have to pay for it AND put up with ads. Greedy bastards.

    • by mark-t (151149)
      Paying to watch ads seems to work pretty well for the movie industry... You can be looking at 5 to 10 minutes worth of commercials before the movie starts.
  • One reason book sales and profits are limited is cost.

    The cheapest of paperbacks starts at about $8 now. Books were known throughout history to be a cheap medium of the people. They are made out of paper.

    If the publishers want more sales they can lowering the cost for books.

    This is especially true with ebooks where the costs seem to be even lower.

    I hate the idea of ebook, but if I can read one for $3 versus $15 for a book I don't care that much about I might consider it.

    No need to risk pissing off an alre

    • by geekoid (135745)

      "I hate the idea of ebook"

      What? I can understand if you don't like them, but why would someone hate the very idea of an eBook?

  • by tgd (2822)

    That'd be awesome. I'd gladly flip past ads to get them for free.

    Based on my run rate since getting the Kindle, that'd save me $500 a year.

    Better yet, Amazon, give me a Zune-like deal where I can pay $20 a month and read any book I want. I only read them once anyway.

  • Luke 18:22 (Score:5, Funny)

    by The Wookie (31006) on Friday August 20, 2010 @09:29AM (#33313596)

    "Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me."
    Want to "sell all that thou has" really quickly? Try eBay [ebay.com]!

  • The froth at my mouth? Enough for 10.000 bud weisers... provided you can find enough american to supply the piss. I doubt it, considering amazon is taking it.

    My god, and I stopped watching tv becomes of the constant advertising, haven't heard radio in years and now books too? Books I pay for? Pay through the nose for because I have noticed that despite all the savings with ebooks (basically, pay writer/editor, and that is it) the price hasn't dropped a bit.

    Oh and all the bad news about print media? A lie

  • Some of the most respected authors in history - Dickens, Dumas, and Conan Doyle among them - published many of their novels, short stories, etc. in serial form i.e. in magazine and newspapers loaded with ads. (And certainly any /.er who considers comic books real fiction is immune to seeing ads in the middle of the story.) Could we see the return of publishing serious works of fiction as serials in ebooks, including ads? Mind you we'd have to be able to skip over the ads just as easily as we could in paper
  • pay 25 cent more for the book.

    I won't buy an ebook with ads.

  • eBooks should definitely have more than half their readable surface be covered in ads and classified for added revenue. After all, newspapers do that, and they're one of the strongest, most revenue intensive forms of print media, right? [/sarcasm]
  • by mark-t (151149) <markt@@@lynx...bc...ca> on Friday August 20, 2010 @10:09AM (#33314186) Journal

    Yes.

    Will the ads be unskippable?

    Also, yes.

    Will it annoy some people? Yes.

    Will enough consumers keep buying them that the people who try boycotting won't influence them one jot? Yes.

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