E-books should be faster, and cost more


If book publishers could build a time machine and prevent the e-book from being invented, they probably would. But they can't, so instead they're stuck with finding ways to defuse the new technology's potentially fearsome impact on their business model -- even it it means antagonizing some readers.

Their newest idea is to delay the release of a given title's electronic version until the hardcover edition has been on sale for at least a few weeks or months. Sourcebooks, an independent publisher, is withholding the e-copy of a much-anticipated young adult novel, Bran Hambric: The Farfield Curse, for at least six months, and new books due out this fall from Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown and Sen. Ted Kennedy may get similar treatment.