The answer of Hachette's CEO Michael Pietsch to the Amazon readersunited.com appeal has sparked the discussion of how different or how similar this two revolutions which have and which will change the business and democratizing reading for ever are.
Matthew Ogle has recorded the Paperback revolution 1935 - 1960 on straightforward facts. Mentioning of how furious publishers, booksellers and book-culture advocates where about Paperbacks ... more here
Michael Pietsch explains the Paperback revolution as a well-thought, financially logical step by publishers in making the most money for out of marketing the cultural good of literature
The invention of mass-market paperbacks was great for all because it was not intended to replace hardbacks, but to create a new format available later, at a lower price.
The auto-response letter of Michael you find here
Edward Robertson points to the weakness / fallacy of Michael Pietsch arguments and concludes that Michael (or his PR staff) either doesn’t know about the history of his own industry, or is openly lying to the public about it, to the people complaining about Hachette's quarrel about pricing ideas of Amazon
Well, technically, it isn’t false — it’s true that mass market paperbacks weren’t invented to replace hardbacks. But they weren’t published in the modern fashion, with a publisher releasing them months after the more expensive hardback. Rather, paperback rights were purchased by competing publishers who were able to sell their paperbacks for 10% of the price of the original hardcovers.
In other words
Paperbacks were invented to disrupt the hardcover industry... more
eBooks are invented to disrupt the paper book industry, whether you like it or not