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15/10/2009 - par Mark Tungate (tungateinparis@hotmail.com)

This week I've been thinking about digital books. As some of you may be aware, I'm no stranger to the book world, having written five non-fiction tomes. Two of them are about to be published for the first time in French (under the titles Le Monde de la pub and Le Monde de la mode). But enough self-promotion – what's my point ?

Well, an article in the International Herald Tribune this week suggested that, thanks to e-books, we authors might end up like musicians, with our works being illegally downloaded and passed around for free, thus cheating us out of royalty money.

Frankly, I'm not so sure that I'm worried about this. I often borrow books from friends. For every book that gets paid for, ten must be acquired for nothing. And as my books are niche professional titles, I'm not expecting to lose a fortune because they are available digitally.

Instead, I'm beginning to think that my books might gain from being digital. After all, I wrote an entire book about advertising without being able to show a single TV spot! Now I can imagine a version for iPhone in which, every time I mention an iconic ad, you can click on an embedded version of it within the text. How cool would that be? Instead of writing books, I'd almost be making documentaries. E-publishing gets my vote.

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