The Growth of E-readers

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Mange
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Fri Oct 23, 2009 7:56 pm Post

About different formats: You guys do know that there's an excellent program called Calibre that not only let's you catalog and store your ebooks, download newspapers and magazines but also convert between different formats, don't you?

And to add my 2 cents to this discussion: We (in the bookstore I own) have just started selling ebook readers in Sweden (the first bookstore to do so) and it's been a crazy couple of weeks. Calls and emails from customers and people wanting to know more. Newspapers, journalists and even radio have been calling and done interviews.

So the interest is there. People want to know more and check these things out for themselves.
The skepticism I get is from my colleagues, other book store owners. They seem to think that this will take over the paper version of books.
Strange!
They never raised any such notions when the audiobooks came out.

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kewms
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Fri Oct 23, 2009 8:47 pm Post

Pink Ink wrote:How those lessons translate to book publishing I dunno. How people consume music is different than for books. Songs are an impulse item. People buy digital songs on impulse likewise, they share and trade them impulse too as they always have starting with mix tapes and mix CDs. Whereas, people don’t buy ebooks on impulse, but them being digital might make sharing them an impulsive thing to do which is something that doesn’t happen with printed books.


Paper books are an impulse item for many people. (That's why there are books near the cash register at the grocery store.) Why wouldn't electronic books be?

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AmberV
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Fri Oct 23, 2009 9:13 pm Post

Pink Ink wrote:But I think the key lesson is that people want seamless support across multiple devices that they own — computer, cell phone, e-reader, portable gaming device. I think the future is heading towards a consumer that will own multiple electronics devices and DRM or not, support and seamlessness will be the most important things for the customer.


That is a good point. Something I quite like about my current setup is that I can read off a few pages on my iPod, even take notes or highlight a line, and when I go back to the Kindle my progress and annotations appear on that that device, too. I don’t always want to carry the Kindle around; but I nearly always have my iPod with me.

Mange wrote:About different formats: You guys do know that there’s an excellent program called Calibre that not only let’s you catalog and store your ebooks, download newspapers and magazines but also convert between different formats, don’t you?


I agree there are a few applications actually that allow format conversion. I don’t think open formats are ever really going to be a problem. The problem isn’t some book published in clear MobiBook or ePub—it’s books published in DRMed and encrypted formats that are distributed to a single device profile and cannot work on competitor’s devices.

That kind of foolishness doesn’t do the consumer any good at all. If I want to switch to Sony because I like their touchscreen e-ink surface, I shouldn’t have to worry about bringing my books over just because I bought them at eReader or Kindle. The only way to liberate these formats is a violation of licence agreements at best, and a national (even international in some cases) crime at worst.

So the interest is there. People want to know more and check these things out for themselves.


Ditto Sony’s Reader displays in Borders. That was a smart move, by the way, for both Borders and Sony. I see people standing around and looking at the demos often. So commendations on doing likewise in your store as well.

They never raised any such notions when the audiobooks came out.


That’s a good point, and what I was trying to say above regarding there being a market for luxury cars. E-books don’t have to replace paper books, and indeed they probably shouldn’t, for them to still be a viable and lucrative mechanism for publishing. They address a peripheral need that wasn’t being addressed, just as audiobooks have. The notion that once people get e-readers they’ll disappear from shops is not really based on anything. Even someone like me who has been reading e-books for nearly a decade and owns many hundreds of them—I still find myself regularly (at least once a week) in one bookstore or another. I think this is again, another fallacy of comparing the market to music. People have stopped going to music stores; the main chains are all battered or gone, here. But again I think that is due to the market differences. Most do not browse for music as much as they browse for books. As an aside, it might just be a personality thing. In-bookstore-music-sections still seem to be doing fine. Perhaps book browsers don’t mind browsing music, too.

Maybe some day in the future, when e-ink is as cheap as paper and people use it to wipe their chins off, old books will be dead, but such is hardly worth speculating over. It’s flying cars.
.:.
Ioa Petra'ka
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Hu
Hugh
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Sun Dec 06, 2009 5:44 pm Post

'Listen, some quiet night, when you've shirked your work that day. Do you hear
that distant, almost inaudible clicking sound? That's one of your
competitors, working away in the night in
Paris or London or Erie, PA.'

Hu
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Wed Dec 09, 2009 10:59 am Post

'Listen, some quiet night, when you've shirked your work that day. Do you hear
that distant, almost inaudible clicking sound? That's one of your
competitors, working away in the night in
Paris or London or Erie, PA.'

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AmberV
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Tue Dec 15, 2009 6:58 pm Post

.:.
Ioa Petra'ka
“Whole sight, or all the rest is desolation.” —John Fowles

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Typo
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Wed Dec 16, 2009 7:52 am Post

I have enough of discussing e-readers. So I've finally ordered a Sony 505. I'm really eager to find out if it works for me as good as I expect.

mr
mrkwr
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Thu Dec 17, 2009 1:11 pm Post

Here's a video of what looks like a genuinely usable e-reader (unfortunately imaginary):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_vBb3_aZN7g

(the first 45s are blank and can be skipped)

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Hugh
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Thu Dec 17, 2009 1:59 pm Post

Brilliant! If...
'Listen, some quiet night, when you've shirked your work that day. Do you hear
that distant, almost inaudible clicking sound? That's one of your
competitors, working away in the night in
Paris or London or Erie, PA.'