The current combination of technological innovation and economic crisis makes the triumph of paperless books seem inevitable. Again. John Siracusa, a scarred veteran of past attempts to make e-literature the norm, discusses the barriers, from consumer reluctance (death will take care of that, he argues, just the way those who refused to ride in horseless carriages eventually left the scene) to publishers, who “you’d think would have learned from the travails of the music and movie folks, and they did, in a way. Unfortunately, what they learned was fear.” In fact, some of very same music executives, who lost their jobs during the changeover from CDs to digital, “ended up at publishing houses, arriving with the digital equivalent of PTSD and harrowing tales of a business model’s collapse.”
Why don't people get e-books?
As Amazon's Kindle launches, a survivor of the industry explains why the revolution is slow — but coming