The following is a guest post by Richard Denoncourt.
If you could save six dollars on an eBook, but it meant flipping past a few advertisements during your reading experience, would you do it?
What if the advertisements were only at the beginning and end of the book, to keep the actual reading experience untainted?
What if they weren’t?
The question of putting advertisements into eBooks has been asked before, but not nearly as often as it should.
Look at Facebook and Google.
At one point, over a billion dollars of Facebook’s worth came from ad revenues. Google generated more than six times that figure from ads alone.
Now, with tablets and color eReaders, clickable ads can be a reality in electronic books–and a major potential source of income resulting in cheaper eBooks for you, the reader, and larger advances and royalties for your pal, the writer, so she can keep typing away.
No one’s suggesting putting ads for carpet cleaners and insurance into The Great Gatsby, of course. But would you mind if the eBook version of Stephen King’s next novel came with an ad for James Cameron’s upcoming film? How about an ad for Netflix? Goodreads?
What if the next 50 Shades came with ads for lingerie?
Advertisements have become a standard part of the media experience
Advertisements are a part of our lives and have been since most of us were kids. We tolerate them in magazines, newspapers, and along our highways.
Everywhere except in books.
Books, according to the masses, are sacred. Untouchable. But are they really that sacred?
That’s what everyone thought about paper books, until the eBook changed the marketplace completely. Now, reading a book on your tablet or your phone is no big thing. Even kids are doing it! (Ever hear of Wattpad?)
And what’s more sacred than the idea of writers getting paid extra so they can create more of the stories we’ve come to crave? Why should writers and publishers ignore a whole world of revenue that has helped every other format in the entertainment industry thrive?
Heck, even the new Kindle Fire is going to display advertisements. Jeff Bezos saw the opportunity, and he went for it.
But I don’t care about Jeff or TV or what anyone else thinks is sacred. I care about underpaid writers making more money, and readers having access to cheaper books.
Speaking of cheaper books, this one will really make you think…
What if Amazon, B&N and iTunes, and all the other major retailers, gave you a choice when it came to buying your favorite author’s latest book?
What if you could pay $2.99 for the eBook version of Stephen King or Suzanne Collins’s latest novel WITH advertisements, or $9.99 for the eBook WITHOUT advertisements?
It’s a difference of $6, and we’ll assume there are only two ads: one at the very beginning, before the Table of Contents, and one at the very end, before the author bio.
Would you pay $2.99 or $9.99? With or without ads? Why? And do you think ads in eBooks will ever happen?