Thu 21 November 2019
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Simon Armitage: ebooks to put writers out of business
The growing popularity of ebooks is threatening to put writers out of business, one of Britain's leading poets has warned

Making books available in digital form puts them at risk of being pirated over the internet, according to Simon Armitage.

Once this happens, he said, authors could find their works being shared for free in a similar fashion to the way music was being distributed online ten years ago.

Speaking at the Hay Festival in Kerala, India, Armitage warned that the growing use of iPad and Kindle devices could have a 'potentially huge' impact on writers and publishers.

'Somebody will be able to crack ebook files in the same way that people cracked music files a decade ago. An author could have worked for three years on his book, have someone buy it for their Kindle for £6.99 and then see it shared with everyone in the world for free.

'How does that add up to a living? The implications are for both publishing and authors. It seems inevitable that it's going to affect something.'

Armitage - who has won numerous awards for his poems, plays and novels - said that writers were facing a difficult time as people talked about 'the death of the book'.

'We don't know where print is going,' he told the audience.

He said he understood why some holidaymakers would see the attraction of being able to take five books in digital form rather than packing them in their suitcases.

But he said he hoped that many serious readers would still like to own a physical copy of books. 'People who read poetry, for example, like the feel, the heft and the smell of a book,' he added.

For the full article

The Telegraph

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