walkitout (walkitout) wrote,
walkitout
walkitout

innumeracy strikes again

Once again, h/t all of this stuff to The Digital Reader. Brilliant blogger. Okay, now to the embedded stuff.

http://www.arthurmag.com/2010/09/29/rushkoff-why-i-left-my-publisher-in-order-to-publish-a-book/

That's interesting. The biggest bummer I see in selling it exclusively over at OR is the difficulty of assessing the book via a reviews mechanism such as the one I am accustomed to over at Amazon. There are problems with Amazon reviews, but that's a devil I've known a long time. OTOH, Rushkoff is a relatively well known quantity, and the ebook being sold is readable on the kindle and DRM free -- that's damn fine, no matter how you look at it. Loss of curation, also an issue. Sort of a push; I haven't bought the book, but I might. Rushkoff's statements are not obviously flawed.

http://www.evilreads.com/blog/2010/10/2/rushkoff-most-books-sell-more-in-ebook-version-than-print-um.html

That didn't stop this blogger, however, from taking issue with the amazing statement by Rushkoff:

"Well, most books sell more electronic versions than print ones anyway, and Amazon already sells more of most books than all real-world retailers combined."

Evil's response is just innumerate.

"If ebooks outsold "most" print books in the numbers that Rushkoff is claiming, then they should have a much larger marketshare than 6-8%."

For all I know, the collective total market share of most print books is sub sub sub 1%, and the collective total market share of that same collection of e-titles is a bit more. Books are a classic long-tail plus bestseller arena. A million distinct titles might sell a total of 1000 copies. That same million distinct titles might sell a total of 2000 e-copies (2 e-copies for each print copy). And then there'd be the hundred or so other titles that sold millions and millions of copies in print, and somewhat fewer e-copies. Rushkoff could be right. I'm not saying he is; I'm just saying he could be right.

Evil adds:

"Amazon is the biggest North American bookseller, but they do not sell more books than "all real-world retailers combined."" Er. That's wasn't the claim. The claim was that they sell more of _most_ books than all real-world retailers combined. I would bet just about anything (not a person, of course) that this statement is true, and Evil has mistaken selling "more of most books" for "most books". Again with the innumeracy.

It has become increasingly clear to me that a lot of my blogging is complaining about bad rhetoric: stupid rhetoric, incorrect rhetoric, immoral rhetoric, bigoted rhetoric. There's a lot of stuff out there that I don't agree with, but I don't really blog about it. I blog about the stuff that gets presented badly.

I must be a very shallow person. (Altho I feel compelled to point out that in addition to this being sarcastic and not true, it also does not follow from the preceding paragraph. This is a really tough reflex to suppress.)
Tags: e-book coverage
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