Will e-books kill the printed book?

We started the week with Victoria Barnsley, chief exec. of HarperCollins saying in the Times that publishing was going through the an exhilarating time and that she predicts, “within 10 years, 50% of all books will be read electronically. We are at the equivalent of black-and-white television now, but once the technology is perfected everything will change.”

But at the moment e-books only amount to 2% of books read so how will this leap come about? Publishers are getting their knickers in a twist about what to offer authors in terms of royalties [between you and me, always demand 25% of net receipts] and we are still at a stage when ‘no one really knows what is going to happen’ as one leading publisher told me, yesterday. Will e-books toll the death bell for the printed book? Who knows, for me, nothing beats the smell of a new book….

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