I have paid for a total of 10 ebooks for my various devices (Palm Tungsten T5, M515 and Sony Reader) in addition to those I got with the $50 credit from Connect (I actually paid a total of $1.50 extra since the books I wanted didn't add up neatly to $50).
I will buy more ebooks as my current favorite author list starts showing up more and more on Connect. I never buy hard-covers because I hate holding them for reading, so I am always buying books at least a year after their initial releases (I buy the paperback releases as soon as I see them, though), so my Sony reader will have no impact on my hardcover purchases. I might, depending on the author, pay the higher ebook initial release price (which appears to equal the hardcover price) where I would never buy the hardcover book, because I will get the book in a format I enjoy reading immediately.
I have bought some back-list books which I would have bought in paperback for a new novelist on my reading list. I will do the same for other authors as I discover them and as their backlists become available.
I think the publishers could do quite well for recent backlist books which they already have in digital format (most publishers want submissions in digital format these days) with very little expense, which could do a lot to spur sales of the Reader (or similar devices) when people find they can ONLY get backlist books in ebook format.
It's the age-old cycle: Initial hardware opens the possibilities, far-seeing individuals push those possibilities with software which rapidly outgrows existing hardware, which then is improved to handle the existing software (and leaves room for growth) at which point the software outgrows the hardware again.
The same would happen for the ebook market if the software providers (authors/publishers) could only study recent computing history and open their eyes. And we all owe huge debts of gratitude to the gamers of the computer world who outgrow existing hardware almost as soon as it hits the shelves. If people had only ever done word processing and spreadsheets, we'd all by using 16MHz 8088 processors instead of the 3.2GHz pentium chips!
I can sense that the ebook market is poised to reach critical mass soon (c'mon Sony, make an even bigger push with this reader!) where the cycle will really catch on after the first few abortive attempts over the past 10 years.
And it will be made more interesting when more other sites besides Connect and Baen begin offering ebooks for Sony Readers. Once publishers discover that they won't have to share the profits with Sony/Connect, they'll find more incentive to open the e-book marketplace.
Last edited by dhbailey; 04-09-2007 at 08:19 AM.