Why are there no advertisements in novels?

As I started reading through a collection of short stories over this weekend, I couldn't help wondering: why aren't there more (or for that matter any!) advertisements in books; fiction or non-fiction?

We've accepted ads in magazines and newspapers. So why hasn't anyone tried it in books? Don't the same economics apply? You can either
  • make smore money by selling these ads (I'm not buying that it'll change the reading experience so much that it'll significantly change the number of copies sold)
  • or this will allow you to reduce the prices of the books, and hence according to basic economics sell more copies....and hence make more money.
So, why isn't this happening? All the time? Are you telling me that some Brand wouldn't have paid tons of money to have the inside page of the last Harry Potter book? or a page in the middle? People send strong signals with the books they buy, and I can't help feeling that numerous advertisers would like to be part of the opportunity.

So what's stopping it? Sure, figuring out what ads to place would be an issue, especially since unlike magazines and newspapers, its much harder to predict when the book will be read. And you'd need a while to figure out pricing, optimal placement, etc. etc.

But if I had to bet on why its isn't happening, I'd pick "status quo". Someone didn't think to put ads in books for a very long time, and so no one has bothered since...

What do you think?


Isaac said…
I'm fighting my gut reaction---which is scornful horror---to this suggestion ;-)

So while we're on this theme, how about cost-plus pricing for novels? And hey, while we're at it how about cost-plus pricing for all art?
Satyajeet said…
Oh, I'm not necessarily saying its a bad thing that it doesn't exist.
I'm just wondering why it isn't the norm. :)
Victor Powell said…
Same reason ads aren't in the middle of movies...
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