The Container is not the Content

Digital Publishing Costs, Concerns, and Pricing

Michael Jon Jensen, Electronic Publisher
The Johns Hopkins University Press

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The Internet is a giant disintermediation machine.

online meme

Disintermediation is a mundane revolution, seemingly obvious, but changing everything.

mundane, obvious, revolutionary truth







General Points







My Prejudices







Concrete Examples







Most publishers are floundering

(or is that "exploring"?)









More than at any time,
price is form-, content-, and use-driven, not container-driven







Pricing Issues:

Publication Form(s) Spectrum







Pricing Issues:

Use(s) Spectrum







Pricing Issues:

Audience(s) Spectrum







More than at any time,
institutional sales can dramatically affect individual sales







New and Semi-New Pricing Models














Don't be fooled into thinking e-publication is dirt cheap:







Principles of Purchase: some spectra








Vote with your budgets, speak out, avoid reflex responses,
and be willing to listen to the fears (and visions) of nonprofit publishers.

Work with publishers over the next two years to influence the
digital information eco- (or econo-) system.

Work especially with the publishers and nonprofits whose goals match your own.

May the best model win.

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