Thursday, August 9, 2007

eBooks in the New York Times

The New York Times had a great piec about eBooks: An Entire Bookshelf, in Your Hands. Really worth a look!

Shocking news -- eBooks are going mainstream. Of course, we’ve known that for awhile which is why we started eBooks About. After all we like a market that is doubling annually: The International Digital Publishing Forum, estimates that retail sales of e-books in the 2nd quarter of 2007 was $8.1 million compared to $4 million in the same time period last year.

The author talks a lot about hardware and software and their impact on eBook reading. Certainly better reading software and hardware devices are major factors in this growth, but I believe that the greatest single factor is content. Major publishers are creating eBook versions of titles along with the hard cover release. And Harlequin who announced last week that it has started (August, 2007) to create an e-book edition of every new book it releases,

Yes, we have had content In the past. Thanks to Project Gutenberg there have always been titles available. I, however, have trouble getting excited over the idea that I can read Middlemarch on my phone. I suspect I am not alone.

New variety in title choices and major author’s books generate eBook sales. And the market is changing! Our store sales reflect the trends talked about in the article – we sell more romance and ‘chick lit’ (women’s fiction for the more politically correct) than any thing else. But we also sell a great number of non fiction and reference titles. You’d be amazed at how many manuals we sell.

As an eBook reader I got a real kick out of the article . . . it was more or less a case of preaching to the choir. Of course I would have liked to have seen eBooks About Everything mentioned, but I have to remember that we are still the new kid on the block and it all takes time.

But the best part for me was that the writer talked about my two personal favorite reasons for reading an eBook: the backlighting so I can read in bed in the dark and the fact I never feel the need to tear off an embarrassing cover.

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