Most authors are on record as opposing ads in their books. Previous experiment with print books (the Bulgari mystery) have been mocked and sneered at.
However, since publishers own the material and since they like to make money, this could happen anyway. How much to charge advertisers will depend on sales figures. It will probably affect only the big names, like King or Patterson.
Conceivably, an advertiser could offer to carry the entire book promotion.
I'd be in favor of it. It's outside money coming into the world of e-publishing.
Remember when they introduced commercials into movie theaters? Remember how everybody threw a big hissy fit, saying it was contaminating the cinematic experience and all that? Remember how they all said they were boycotting theaters that showed commercials?
Well, the commercials didn't go away. The outside money came in and helped to save the movie theater. It helped to build the stadium seating which is now common throughout the industry.
This same concept will help the e-publishing business. And that can only help, not hurt, the author.
And, like John says, we can really ignore the advertising if we want to, just like we do on TV.
As with everything, it depends on how it's implemented.
I suspect that if it's more intrusive than ads have historically been in printed books, it won't fly. And yes, advertising in printed books used to be very common - sometimes just at the end, or sometimes in non-fiction books they were laid out like ads in magazines.
Yes, Garry! Exactly. The publisher is making money off your novel, so you should at least share.
And I think we're talking about different forms of advertising here: a) coming books by the same author (that's already being done) and books by other authors of the same publisher, or b) other advertising, like toothpaste, cars, cornflakes, and prescription medications. How disruptive this is depends on how many ads and what type the publisher inserts (and where).