Simon & Schuster and Hachette Book Group (Stephanie Meyer, James Patterson) in delaying e-books months after their hardcover releases? HarperCollins, home to Neil Gaiman and the Lemony Snicket series. Beginning in 2010, five to ten books released each month will be given a physical head start lasting anywhere from four weeks to six months. Similar justification as before, the prevailing worry is that the cheaper digital copies so early in a title's release will make for "fewer literary choices for customers" because publishers won't be as willing to take a risk on new writers. It's not necessarily the most sound of arguments, but still we can imagine some short term harm to the e-book industry. Question is, how long can these arbitrary delays last?