How to ruin reading

I just got an e-mail offering “the first platform in the world that can put advertising in eBooks”. I’m an author; I want people to know about my books, so I read further. The ad went on to describe ads to appear in the book – only at the start of each chapter. They could be video clips. The reader can’t start reading until they wait 15 seconds for the ad.

The problem is that I’m also a reader. I applaud these folks for coming up with an innovative marketing technique. Unfortunately, it sounds guaranteed to ruin the reading experience. Imagine you’re reading George Martin’s next Game of Thrones novel. Arya is about to escape from captivity; there’s a cliffhanger ending. Then…

“How would YOU like to save 25% on hemmorhoid medication?!”
or
“StarTrader – the new novel from Fitzning Gorbunkle! The alien Bargnarfs go head to head with Bolt Snazzle and his gamma blasters!”

Kind of draws you out of the moment, doesn’t it? Kudos to these folks for a novel (so to speak) marketing idea, but here’s hoping it doesn’t take off. It seems to me that while they may understand software, they don’t have a good grasp on what reading is all about.

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