Memo To Steve Jobs: People DO Still Read!

Let me repeat the big story for you, Steve:

Oprah’s fans downloaded OVER A MILLION COPIES of the Suze Orman free ebook, Women and Money!

Oprah Winfrey plug makes business book, ‘Women & Money,’ a Web sensation

NEW YORK (AP) – The Oprah touch doesn’t just work for traditional books.

More than 1 million copies of Suze Orman’s ”Women & Money” have been downloaded since the announcement last week on Winfrey’s television show that the e-book edition would be available for free on her Web site, http://www.oprah.com.

”I believe ‘Women & Money’ is the most important book I’ve ever written,” Orman said in a statement released Saturday by Winfrey. ”So this was not about getting people to buy the book, but getting them to read it, and that was the intention behind this offer.”

According to Saturday’s statement, more than 1.1 million copies of Orman’s financial advice book were downloaded in English, and another 19,000 in Spanish. The demand compares to such free online sensations as ”The 9-11 Commission Report,” which the federal government made available for downloads, and Stephen King’s e-novella, ”Riding the Bullet.”

Remember what you recently said? Let me repeat that too:

The Passion of Steve Jobs

Today he had a wide range of observations on the industry, including the Amazon Kindle book reader, which he said would go nowhere largely because Americans have stopped reading.

“It doesn’t matter how good or bad the product is, the fact is that people don’t read anymore,” he said. “Forty percent of the people in the U.S. read one book or less last year. The whole conception is flawed at the top because people don’t read anymore.”

Emphasis added by me.

So, Steve, what do you think now, huh?

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3 Comments on “Memo To Steve Jobs: People DO Still Read!”

  1. MonkeyT Says:

    Not to dispute your argument – because I don’t believe him either, but available evidence can only prove that people downloaded these free files, not that they actually read them. If you look at the state of the publishing industry right now, the reading habits of americans has dramatically altered since the seventies, in that the quantity of books sold has gone up but the number of books published has gone down, creating a blockbuster-centric culture, and making it much harder for specialized pieces to see print. Jobs has made broad arguments like this before, usually before the launch of products that addressed whatever issues he had – generally involving the ease of use of existing solutions. I’m expecting a competitor to Kindle, possibly incorporating speech synthesis technology as well as a higher resolution display than the Kindle uses. Remember, Jobs cares deeply about typography.

  2. mikecane Says:

    >>>creating a blockbuster-centric culture, and making it much harder for specialized pieces to see print.

    I’ve made the same point in posts over at teleread. It’s not just specialized pieces. It’s mainstream stuff that hasn’t (yet) been able to reach a critical mass and break through to a larger audience. I know several writers coming up against this. This is why I advocate for ebooks and getting rid of the print publishers in that process.

  3. Andrys Says:

    To MonkeyT, 3 years later :-)
    People keep buying these ‘retro,’ ‘dull,’ gray dedicated e-readers, good for nothing much but … reading.


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