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Simon & Schuster imposing four-month delay on e-book versions of major upcoming releases

Ross Miller
December 9, 2009
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After hardcover and before paperback. In Simon & Schuster CEO Carolyn Reidy's mind, this is when we as consumers should be expecting the digital copies of our favorite page turners to come out. Putting money where its mouth is, so to speak, the company has announced that for around 35 of its major releases coming early next year, the e-book iterations won't be out until four months after the physical releases. Seeing as hardcovers can debut at $27 while their digital equivalents can run $10 or less, Reidy notes one of the driving motivations behind this move is to curb consumer expectations that a new novel is worth only one Alexander Hamilton. It's a historically valid concern, especially when you consider how iTunes taught us that songs are only worth $1 apiece, but in the long-term, we don't expect this delay-on-digital trend to stay afloat. The e-book business is growing, and that delay is too artificial for its own good -- at some point, the argument's going to have to shift back to day-and-date pricing tiers. We'll be very interested to see just how this paper-borne release gap pans out from a sales standpoint.

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