This merely reinforces my belief that the long-term future of books lies in bifurcated markets: Half in cheap or reasonably priced e-books and the other half in high cost collectable volumes (be it what it may – art, photography, or even leather bound volumes of fiction).
The days of mass merchandising $35 hardcover topical nonfiction books and midlist fiction are, as we all know, ultimately numbered. Don’t believe me – just ask Harper UK CEO Victoria Barnsley. She just told the London School of Economics as much in a speech earlier this week.
The economy might just hasten the change: Those $35 hardcovers start to look like a real luxury in a recession.
No, it won't happen immediately ($350 Kindles and Sony e-readers also look like luxuries), but you can bet a whole lot more people are going to give them a try. There will be converts, guaranteed.