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Christopher Mims

A View from Christopher Mims

Advertisements in Books Latest Thing to "Save Publishing"

BookBoon’s books are free and ad-supported. Oh the humanity.

  • May 23, 2012

I hope the Department of Justice is happy – now that ebook monopolists like Amazon can charge whatever the hell they want, the price of books, like all other content, is rapidly approaching zero. The latest broken-down show pony to enter this race to the bottom is BookBoon, which publishes free ebooks that are supported through advertising.

BookBoon’s titles include subject matter-appropriate advertisements

Paging through their “business” titles, I randomly downloaded the book Motivation Skills, expecting hilarity to ensue. And it did not disappoint! The opening line of this book is:

One of the most commonly debated and researched fields in the business world is motivation.

TELL ME MORE.

Why do people do what they do and how can we motivate others to do what we need them to do in the business place?

The ‘business place,’ is where motivation happens! Wait what do they mean. The place of business? The business? I don’t know what language these books are translated from, but I’m starting to get the same sinking feeling I experienced the first time I hit the homepage of the Huffington Post.

From BookBoon’s press release:

While traditional book publishers are still struggling to find a viable business model for eBooks, Bookboon.com is taking a different approach. With their free eBooks they offer an alternative for the often unfair priced eBooks.

It’s true, the price of the average eBook is outrageous. The last time I paid the about the same for an eBook as I do for my lunch, when the former required years of effort but the latter is delicious, I just about spit nails.

Now that books = content, I look forward to a decline in the already abysmal wages of most authors, lots of talk about the “long tail,” and a missive from Seth Godin about how if only I knew how to market myself, none of this would have happened in the first place.

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