I could paste the entire email that arrived this morning, “Important Kindle request” in order to clarify this matter, but I won’t.
I’m not sure how much personal knowledge Michael Orwell has concerning the paperback market. There were a lot of changes occurring before and during World War II, part of the changes were because of our need to conserve our resources for the war effort.
I recall Bantam as the first paperback I saw. Even more common was the pulp fiction, a comic book size reader chucked full of Wild West stories that cost a nickel. Then there was the serialized fiction published in the Sunday newspapers and the weekly Saturday Evening Post.
Information moved more slowly in those days. We lived in a town too small to support a bookstore. The corner drugstores were the place where we went for their reading material, those and the local library. Of course we knew nothing of the turf war between paper and hardcover. Would we have cared? Probably not, as long as the publications continued arriving.
And now we have ebooks.
I can understand the publishers concern about where the ebook is going to take them. There are more than the printers and binders involved. There is storage, transportation, sales, a network of folks who depend on the industry for a living. It’s almost like asking the automobile manufactures to abandon the internal combustion engine and go to electric. Serious changes are in the wings, but they won’t occur overnight.
But in the end, the buying public will speak with their dollars, and the market will seek its own level, just like water.
Those who resist will eventually perish.