The Plot Twist: E-Book Sales Slip, and Print Is Far From Dead

Alexandra Alter, New York Times, Sept 23, 2015
Commentary by Stephen Downes

According to the article, "E-books’ declining popularity may signal that publishing, while not immune to technological upheaval, will weather the tidal wave of digital technology better than other forms of media." I disagree. If e-book sales are sluggish, it's not because of the virtue of the paper product, but because of the incompetence of e-book vendors. Case in pouint: I am still the frustrated owner of Ex Oriente Lex, a no-doubt fascinating account of theology, but not the book I ordered (although, as though to rub it in, Kobo displays the correct cover on the book). I have tried email, comment forms, surveys, Tweeting and yelling in frustration, but nothing has created even the slightest stir from Kobo. This reminds me of the early days of (trying to) play DVDs on my computer (and, indeed, or current problems I'm having with Microsoft (or xBox - it's never sure what it wants to be) video. Technology that doesn't work will never be popular. Never.

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