Commentary by Sheila English
I didn’t get to make it to the CEO panel much to my regret, so like many others I waited for PW to send out their daily review of what was going on at BEA so I could find out what was said.
Of course e-books was a hot topic and the panel had a variety of opinions. The panel included ABA CEO Oren Teicher, Workman Group publisher Bob Miller, Authors Guild’s new president Scott Turow, ICM executive v-p Esther Newberg, Ingram CEO Skip Prichard, Penguin CEO David Shanks and FSG president Jonathan Galassi. That’s a lot of publishing leadership!
I found it interesting that some felt piracy was a big issue with ebooks, and I agree it is, but like someone on the panel pointed out, piracy happens when people scan in the printed pages too. If someone wants to pirate a book to sell it illegally they will. My own observation is that people can, if motivated, re-type an entire book. Yes, that would be time consuming, but let’s face it, if it is a top seller it is worth doing it, or so I would think a criminal would consider it worth it. And criminals are not worried about the quality of the final product. So piracy is going to live with or without ebooks.
Still, let’s not make it easy for the bad guys. I’m all of looking into the best way to make piracy difficult.
I love the quote in the PW magazine by Skip Prichard saying that ebooks “did not cause piracy” which is 100% correct!