Ads in E-books: Resistance is Futile

The Wall Street Journal reports that marketers are looking for ways to put ads in e-books.

Marketers are exploring a variety of formats, including sponsorships that give readers free books. Videos, graphics or text with an advertiser's message that appear when a person first starts a book or along the border of the digital pages are also in the works. Ads can be targeted based on the book's content and the demographic and profile information of the reader.

The advertising business has dabbled with books before without much success as authors howled and revenues proved skimpy. It's not clear that readers and authors would be more accepting now.

But with sales of bound books under pressure, the introduction of sleek e-readers and the emergence in the industry of such big players as Apple Inc., Inc. and Google Inc. is fueling new enthusiasm for e-book advertising.

No doubt there’re a lot of readers and authors who will start kicking and screaming once ads start appearing in e-books. My guess is that a lot of weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth will go away once readers are offered discounts or other incentives to buy books with ads in them and authors realize they can make some extra cash by allowing them in their books.

As the Borg famously stated, “Resistance is futile.”