Ben Tarnoff, "The Worst Business in the World "
"Imagine an industry where seventy percent of your products lose money. You knit ten different types of wool socks. Seven don’t sell enough to cover the cost of the wool, while the other three are so popular they’re capable of keeping the whole enterprise afloat. This is the basic math of book publishing, a business model that’s evolved over the course of the last couple centuries and has alternately baffled, unnerved, and outraged the long list of hugely intelligent people who have given their lives to it. The “worst business in the world,” Doubleday’s cofounder Walter Hines Page called it, and even in flush times, the refrain is usually the same." Read the full post
"E-books are to publishers today what subscription houses were to publishers then: ingenious, earth-shattering ideas beloved by ordinary readers. Both make distribution more efficient by putting content into the hands of millions of Americans who don’t live near bookstores."