E-books – Not all good news

Although I am a self-confessed believer in the future of ebooks, the future isn’t entirely rosy for everyone.  The BBC has reported that Cambridge University Press has announced plans to cut nearly 160 members of staff from their printing and publishing departments.  A CUP spokeswoman has declared that this is in no small part due to the advances in technology and the predicted impact of the ebook:

“We expect the introduction of eReaders to have a similar effect on the printing and publishing industry as the iPod has had on the music industry.

“Knowing that we were having problems making a profit now – and forecasting future changes – we had to take the difficult decision to scale down.”

Such drastic action is premature to say the least, and I hope an institution like the CUP doesn’t live to regret such a rash move.  As I have said before, I do not believe that ebooks will replace paper copies altogether, they will complement them.  It will not have the same impact as mp3s had on the music industry as there are a great many differences between the two.  One hopes that other publishers do not jump to such rash conclusions, particularly in the current economic climate.

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2 thoughts on “E-books – Not all good news

  1. That’s very worrying. I was reading on TechCrunch the other day this guy whose Kindle is wearing out v quickly and starting to play up. So how old must that be? A couple of years tops, it’s just too early on in the evolution of ebooks to throw everything in with them. I have no doubt they’ll be great one day, but let’s let them get robust first!

  2. I agree, I think this is a pretty rash move by CUP. I don’t know if it due to the combination of the economic situation combined with the developments in technology, but it is too early to take such drastic measures based on the emergence of ebooks. As the Kindle episode shows, there are still a number of issues that need to be resolved before we can even consider throwing our lot in with ebooks entirely.

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