There were the panels: “Giving It Away: When Free eBooks Make Sense and When They Don’t,” “Red Hot Readers: Market Adoption of Mobile eReading Devices” and “Jumping Off a Cliff: How Publishers Can Succeed Online Where Others Failed.”In a way, it seems the publishing world is unsure how to feel about ebooks. Publishers originally weren’t too happy about them, and, it would seem, some still aren’t.
Tina Brown … kick-started a discussion with the chief executives of four New York publishing houses by asking if they were shocked when Amazon.com began charging $9.99 for e-books — “that paltry, pitiful sum.”Authors seem to want to be in ebook form, although most seem to still covet being in print also.
So far e-books represent 1 to 3 percent of total book sales. But they make up the fastest growing part of the industry, and publishers, authors and booksellers have no idea just how big they will become and how they might affect profits and reading habits in the future.It would appear that a few authors are dead set against ebooks and ereaders.
At a panel of authors speaking mainly to independent booksellers, Sherman Alexie, the National Book Award-winning author of “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian,” said he refused to allow his novels to be made available in digital form. He called the expensive reading devices “elitist” and declared that when he saw a woman sitting on the plane with a Kindle on his flight to New York, “I wanted to hit her.”He wanted to hit her? Because she was reading a book on her Kindle?