Thanks for the pingback. As someone who works with publishers all the time (and is a book author myself), I can tell you with 99.99% certainty that the reason you couldn’t get an e-book of Lanier’s new book is a matter of publisher policy, and Lanier himself has nothing to do with it.
Simon & Schuster does have the capability to fulfill e-books itself. At one level, it would make sense for S&S’s PR department to send e-books as review copies – it’s faster, cheaper, etc. Reviewers who want e-books instead of hardcopy would simply have to register on S&S’s retail website. The fact that they don’t do this makes me believe (though I have no proof) that S&S is concerned with piracy of pre-released review copies. If they’re going to send you a print copy for review before the book’s release, they can send you something that wouldn’t pass for “the real thing” – e.g. it’s a paper-bound book with a generic cover with “REVIEW COPY – NOT FOR RESALE” on it.
Now having said that, I have to admit being just a little bit miffed at not getting a similar email from S&S myself… given, as you saw, the rave review that I wrote about Lanier’s previous book (not to mention several positive citations of it in subsequent blog posts). With all due respect to you and your blog, someone at S&S’s PR department is asleep at the wheel…