To most book lovers that notion is akin to blasphemy, but in a recent opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal, the authors believe advertising is indeed coming – to an e-book near you.
Advertising hasn’t been an issue for the traditional book the article states because “ads depend on volume and timeliness to work, and books don’t provide an opportunity for either.” Advertisers want immediacy and books, with their long process from author’s conception to actual publication and purchase by the consumer, just cannot provide that.
And that’s where e-books come in.
They naturally lend themselves to advertising with their digital format; users need to log on frequently to update their ebook reader, meaning advertisements can be updated too – and kept relevant to the consumer. Then there’s the “tempt them” option; provide free sample chapters with advertising but the full product, sans commercial plugs, comes at a premium price.
The results of a recent Marketing and Research Resources survey shows ebook advertising makes good commercial sense to a floundering publishing industry; 40% of the 1,200 ebook owners surveyed said they now read more than with print books. Meanwhile 55% of the respondents thought they’d use the device to read even more books in the future.
And those ads may be closer than you think; Amazon has already filed a patent for advertising for its Kindle.
So what do you think of the idea of ads in books? I’m not an ebook kinda gal; I love the smell, feel and weight of books far too much to go digital. That said, if I did “go over to the dark side” my acceptance of advertising would have to come with some caveats; if we are talking authors being forced to drop commercial product into their prose then ugh! No thanks! But if it’s a tasteful banner ad similar to what many search engines display then I guess I could probably live with it. What about you?