Ads in Books Debate Divides Twitter

By Jason Boog Comment

mtlg.pngPublishing folk around the Twitter-sphere debated one question all day: Should we put advertisements in books?

The Wall Street Journal touched of the debate with an article about the possibility of advertisements in digital books: “With an integrated system, an advertiser or publisher can place ads across multiple titles to generate a sufficient volume. Timeliness is also possible, since digital readers require users to log in to a central system periodically.”

UPDATE: Reader responses included below. Movable Type Literary Group founder Jason Ashlock started the Twitter hashtag #adsinbooks by writing: “About this advertising in books idea. Is it really that bad? Obv we don’t want it to disrupt the reading experience, but … Isn’t there a way to incorporate select, tasteful adverts that provide revenue, appeal to readers sensibilities?”

Check out the #adsinbooks Twitter stream to add your thoughts. Back in 2009, we posted A Brief History of Ads in Books, collecting some handy links about the topic.

Our Facebook readers posted passionate responses. Here are some highlights…

J.P. Smith wrote: The eminent French paperback series Serie noire (primarily detective fiction) always used to carry cigarette ads on their back covers … which seemed perfect for the hardboiled fiction they published.”

Phyl Good wrote: “No no no and NO. We are harassed by that stuff almost every waking moment as it is. The thought of publishers jamming still more advertisements into a book or ebook is the best argument I can imagine for NOT reading.”

Amanda Rose wrote: “I think that advertisements for other books they have (in print or online) would be fine, as long as you can just flip past them if you choose. I don’t mind the little ads Penguin books often have in the back for their classics or upcoming.”