There has always been some form of advertising in books in print. Whether its an advertisement for another book by the author, or books by the publishers other authors, or like the punch-cards in paperbacks of years ago.
It may not be blatant, but it’s always there.
It doesn’t stop readers from buying and reading books, and I doubt e-ads in e-books or e-magazines or e-newspapers will stop anyone from buying or reading them on-line or on their e-reader, any more than banner ads stop readers from visiting websites or reading their snail-mail because of the junk-mail advertising they find in their mailbox.
… or from reading the print newspaper, chock full of advertising, that arrives on their doorstep each day.
It’s easy to ignore ads…we do it all the time. No one can ‘force’ you to read them, whether they’re in-line or on a billboard along the highway. We regularly ‘tune-out’ radio ads. Television commercial breaks are an excuse to go to the bathroom or get another cup of coffee or raid the refrigerator for a snack.
We have laws regarding junk-mail, telephone spam and subscription scams. We have laws requiring that we be opt-out-by-default rather than being opt-in unless you otherwise notify someone… thereby saving us expenses we’d rather not be charged for without our knowledge.
As long as the reader is paying for the content, there will always have to be some form of an opt-out.
Regardless, I think it is inevitable, especially in future of the e-frontier. Electronic publishers are looking at ways of increasing revenues to offset their costs, and authors want to increase their profits by increased sales.
If an author winds up having to agree to sell their e-book version of their twenty-five dollar print book for… say a dollar and ninety-nine cents, just to sell books, then the idea of offset revenue that is to be gained by subsidised advertising becomes an attractive offer that is hard to ignore… for both author and publisher.
It’s not the final frontier, but it’s pushing the boundaries.
Still, I wonder… are we far from the days of floating, sub-orbital billboards?