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Old 09-17-2011, 11:42 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by VicLavigne View Post
There's already people who own both -eink reader and fully fledged tablets. People like me. I'm not about to shift my reading habits from my reader to my tablet. It's not necessarily about "cannot read" on the LCD screen, it is the preference for long-term reading (several hours at a time) on the eink screen. I like to browse the web and read news stories on my tablet..... but when I'm ready to read a book, i really really prefer the eink screen.

Vic
I totally believe there is a market for eink, don't get me wrong. I just believe that color tablets are still held back because of their pricing. Look what happened to the Kindle Dx. When the price is close to the same, the tablets will vastly outsell the single function reader.

I'm speaking of several years from now, when every family will have a tablet as most have computers today.

Lee
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Old 09-18-2011, 12:16 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by stonetools View Post
I thought millions of Kindle owners would be spitting fire at the idea that their beloved e-ink reading devices were not the end and pinacle of the ebook reading experience and would be replaced by tablets.
The end, beginning and pinnacle of literature is text. There may be better ways to display text, but the problem with LCD is that it is technologically inferior to physical pigment for that role (as electronically manipulated ink particles, e-ink readers only barely qualify as digital imo). Something new? Sure, but they haven't found it. imo. edit: I refer to leisure reading of lit, not quick text consumption. I have no problem with tablets in this regard.

You know what's been around for 500 years or so and hasn't been surpassed in quality by a digital version? The violin. There's a reason classical musicians don't use computerized violins, and it's not just because of tradition; it's because we have not yet invented anything better. No artificial recreation has been able to match the harmonic qualities of a Stradivarius. They've actually tried, and can't. Some human inventions are so well executed that they stand the test of centuries. I rant.

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Old 09-18-2011, 01:40 AM   #18
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I see several flaws in this business model:

1. Advertising supported entertainment only works when the end user can't skip the advertising. The demise of television started when home VCRs came on the market, and people could fast forward. Cable, initially without ads, accelerated it. DVRs today continue the destruction of the ad supported TV model.

Book readers are far too accustomed to no having to put up with ads to start doing so. The internet has lowered the barriers to entry to the market to the point where a homeless bum could become the next Stephen King, through his local library's computer. There will always be ad free books available; the market cannot possibly be constricted to prevent this. And the big publishers will find that, while readers are not their customers, advertisers are, advertisers will not pay to advertise in books nobody will read.

2. While cloud services have obvious advantages for content sellers, they don't seem to be paying attention to the fact that they are a distinct disadvantage to consumers. Technology cannot make them anywhere near as realiable, overall, as downloading a copy to your own computer/reader/smart phone. And again, with the non-existent barriers to entry to the market, there will always be books available for straight sale/download purchase. The market will gravitate towards that.

3. Anything that can reasonably be called a tablet will be significantly more expensive to manufacture than an eink book reader. It will have to sell for more (50%-100% more, at the moment, if the nook/nook color/nook STR if any indication). That will put the tables in to a different price bracket than the eink devices, and for people who buy books, there is no advantage to the tablet format.

4. People who buy books aren't interested in multimedia extravaganzas. We've had multimedia publishing for 15+ years; it's called the World Wide Web. And, about 99.999999% of the time, the more multimedia it is, the more thoroughly it sucks. It is not a replacement for books, and will not kill the market for books.

And, last but not least, this is not about "personalizing and tailoring" books to the reader, it's about personalizing and tailoring advertising to the individual reader. And while that might actually be of benefit to the consumer, lying about it won't fly. If it's a medium people won't tolerate advertising in to begin with, it cannot be personalized enough to make to acceptable.

I forsee a period in the near future where I, personally, will be reading a lot more stuff from Project Gutenburg, and a lot less new stuff.
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Old 09-18-2011, 02:12 AM   #19
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I've heard tablets will eventually replace all portable devices such as, ebooks, phones and computers and we'll all be surfing, reading, calling on our tablets on the cloud. I see at least 3 problems with that:

Size.
An all purpose cloud connected tablet would be too big if used as a reader for me. Yet still too small to be used as my main computer, while I find it cute to see people surfing on their I-pad sized tablets, I don't like such a small screen to display web pages (as my main computer I mean). I won't even get into the right size debate when used as a phone.

Luminosity.
To make it short, If I liked to read on a computer type of screen, I'd have the I-pad. I love e-ink because it is easy on the eyes to use for hours on end.

Portability.
Again a decent size for it to be called one's main computer would make it ipso facto not as portal as an e-reader or a phone. While we have some portability with our laptops, we don't carry them around everywhere as easily as we do our phones, do we.

For those reasons I don't think that e-books will come to a generational end any time soon. They will evolve yes but the fact that we need something that fits in our pocket will not change IMO.
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Old 09-18-2011, 04:45 AM   #20
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And for those places, people will read books that they have downloaded, just like they watch Netflix streaming at home and watch movies they've downloaded on their laptops on airplanes. It will be another option , just like streaming and downloading movies are options. I agree with you that it will never be the ONLY option.
The way I took it as, from the article, would be that things are going to eventually be entirely cloud based, so entirely streamed.

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You could make the exact argument about movies-yet somehow, there is a flourishing movie rental/streaming market. Pricing will be key, as well as which books may be in the subscription pool. That will be worked out over time, the way it was for movies.
Difference is consuption rate. We're in a group of extremely higher than average readers, and people here are trying to read 2 books a week. The average consumer doesn't even do 2 a year. Unless the rates are low enough, to where they verge on unprofitable, subscription book sales isn't going to take off well since they need to target the population at large. It works with movies, because people commonly watch movies, so they'll pay a subscription because they expect to make use of it. Magazine subscriptions work, because they break things down to bite sized chunks that people are willing to read without much effort, and even that industry is having issues.

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Or not. I grew up with all kinds of ads in comic books and there are ads in magazines to this day. There were ads in paperbacks , too. Free, ad-supported games in which you pay to remove the ads are commonplace and widely accepted.
How the ads will be implemented is an issue. There are people who will never accept ads, no matter how they are implemented, but that's the minority. I discuss this HERE.


The difference is, Magazines and the like are more structured to allow for ads, since they have breaks in the flow. Pop in an ad between articles. You could argue putting them in between chapters, but people would balk at that because it removes them even more from the immersion (which for many people, immersion is more difficult with reading than it is with more visual forms, such as tv, movies, and comics).

Also, people complain when things they're used to having be ad free now has ads. Even if they have ads normally, if people are paying a premium, they expect an ad free environment (look at how many people complain about ads on Hulu Plus).
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Old 09-18-2011, 08:43 AM   #21
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I totally believe there is a market for eink, don't get me wrong. I just believe that color tablets are still held back because of their pricing. Look what happened to the Kindle Dx. When the price is close to the same, the tablets will vastly outsell the single function reader.

I'm speaking of several years from now, when every family will have a tablet as most have computers today.

Lee
I don't disagree that colour will trump b&w eink ereaders down the road. But it's not just price: it's battery, weight, easy on the eyes, easy to use for the task of just reading.

The Kindle DX is bigger (better screen real estate for magazines, newspapers, layouts inn general) but at the cost of weight and esp. cost. When the DX was $389 and Kindle 2 was $259 the 50% price gap already shut down part of the interest. When the Kobo introduced the $150 price point and Kindle and Nook fell over themselves first to $199 and then $149, $139 and now $114 ... the DX fate was sealed.

If your time horizon is "several years" it's really impossible to say since technology moves so quickly. And anyway, eink was ultimately successful not for the techology and price, which was led by Sony, but by Amazon which created the content infrastructure. It's hard to imagine that tablets won't be ubiquitous in ever home by then. But if B&W eink devices are $29 ....
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Old 09-18-2011, 09:21 AM   #22
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The cloud is great IF you have Internet connectivity.

Which is NOT everywhere in the US, much less in the world.

Also great as long as you don't worry about the secutiry of your data.
There's a sucker born every minute, and two to take him ~ P.T. Barnum.

There will always be a new generation who hasn't learned the hard way about data security.
They always seemed so shocked when (upon data they paid good money for ceasing to be) they receive ridicule and "I told you so"s instead of sympathy.
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Old 09-18-2011, 10:28 AM   #23
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(What?! It's just as relevant as the lawyer's opinion from the article )
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Old 09-18-2011, 10:33 AM   #24
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The author seems to see eink ... tablets ... cloud as some sort of progression. Yet the first two are consumption tools and the latter is a delivery mechanism.
That was unclear analysis- but make no mistake, Amazon views the Kindle and the Amazon tablets as delivery vehicles, and actually, retail channels.

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I don't see any need to fuss much with the ebook purchase model: some set fee per title obtained which flows back to the retailer, publisher and author. Except for niche markets, any subscription model gets to be clumsy.
On this forum, there are always 2-3 threads complaining about "agency price fixing", etc, etc. On this forum, there are a lot of people that want to change the model . The people who object to "high agency prices" may be attracted to a model in which you pay much less per book but don't get to own the book. And there is also the whole DRM thing : authors don't want to give up DRM protection, Mobile Readers want to get rid of it. With the cloud subscription model, there is no need for DRM.
Netflix and music subscription models seem to work across the board: why not something similar for e-books?
Even if cloud streaming models don't work, why not rental models- ala movies?

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And I agree that at around $100, eink as a dedicated reader is a pretty strong value proposition. There's a camera built into virtually every smartphone these days but people continue to buy dedicated digital cameras. Tablets and other devices will take a chunk of the market but eink is likely to hold value in being simple, inexpensive and convenient.
After some thought, I think you may be right about this. What will happen is that the focus and research and development will move to tablets. I don't think its a surprise that that you hear lots of buzz about Amazon tablets, but not a peep about the Kindle 4. There will be a Kindle 4 sometime next year, IMO-probably a knockoff of the Nook Touch. But I think that will be about it for Kindle development. They'll continue to make Kindles-just not new and better Kindles.
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Old 09-18-2011, 10:33 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by stonetools View Post
Actually, I thought that the most controversial statement was that the Kindle was just a transitional device. I thought millions of Kindle owners would be spitting fire at the idea that their beloved e-ink reading devices were not the end and pinacle of the ebook reading experience and would be replaced by tablets.
Many of us Kindle owners also have a tablet, and are very well aware of the pros and cons of the two devices.
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Old 09-18-2011, 10:53 AM   #26
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1. Advertising supported entertainment only works when the end user can't skip the advertising. The demise of television started when home VCRs came on the market, and people could fast forward. Cable, initially without ads, accelerated it. DVRs today continue the destruction of the ad supported TV model.
Its been proven that consumers don't mind targeted ads-for example, the Kindle Special Offers. Anybody who even glances at TV will see that the ad supported TV model is very much alive. Also, too, most people who have TVs don't have DVRs

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Book readers are far too accustomed to no having to put up with ads to start doing so.

Again, depends on the ads.

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he internet has lowered the barriers to entry to the market to the point where a homeless bum could become the next Stephen King, through his local library's computer.
Lots of potential Stephen Kings upload stuff to the Internet every day. Guess what, no new Stephen Kings yet. People won't read crap, even if its ad-free-even if its free.

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. While cloud services have obvious advantages for content sellers, they don't seem to be paying attention to the fact that they are a distinct disadvantage to consumers. Technology cannot make them anywhere near as realiable, overall, as downloading a copy to your own computer/reader/smart phone. And again, with the non-existent barriers to entry to the market, there will always be books available for straight sale/download purchase. The market will gravitate towards that.
Technology didn't stop in 2007, mate. Things have moved on. It doesn't have to get as good as downloading a copy to your own device. Netflix and the various music streaming services show that consumers will settle for less than that, if the price is right.

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4. People who buy books aren't interested in multimedia extravaganzas. We've had multimedia publishing for 15+ years; it's called the World Wide Web. And, about 99.999999% of the time, the more multimedia it is, the more thoroughly it sucks. It is not a replacement for books, and will not kill the market for books.
People who buy books also buy and read other content. They buy magazines, children's books, illustrated books, etc, etc. The shift to tablets is meant to serve those consumers
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If it's a medium people won't tolerate advertising in to begin with, it cannot be personalized enough to make to acceptable.
A medium where SOME people won't tolerate advertising . FTFY.
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Old 09-18-2011, 11:16 AM   #27
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The way I took it as, from the article, would be that things are going to eventually be entirely cloud based, so entirely streamed.
He was wrong about that. It will most likely become a popular option, beside download and rent and download and buy.

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The difference is, Magazines and the like are more structured to allow for ads, since they have breaks in the flow. Pop in an ad between articles. You could argue putting them in between chapters, but people would balk at that because it removes them even more from the immersion (which for many people, immersion is more difficult with reading than it is with more visual forms, such as tv, movies, and comics).

Also, people complain when things they're used to having be ad free now has ads. Even if they have ads normally, if people are paying a premium, they expect an ad free environment (look at how many people complain about ads on Hulu Plus).
I think HOW ads are implemented will be key. I've argued that one way would be modelled on the KSO. I suggested this earlier:

Quote:
MMMMMMMMMM
I kind of see a way forward here, based on the KSO model
( looks into Crystal ball)
In the future you will have two options for ebooks at Amazon:
The Kindle Edition and the Kindle Edition Special Offers (KESO)
Choose the KE and you get the same , private , ad-free experience you always have gotten, in return for paying full price.
Choose the KESO and you get access to Special Offers. Maybe you get three pages of Special Offers at the start of the book, with a link to the Special Offers home page. Maybe when you open your KESO, you get a prompt asking whether you want to be taken to the Special Offers home page, or continue reading.
The KESO will be offered at a discount. Its hard to figure out what the discount would be for the KESO, but based on the runaway success of the KSO, it's got to be worth more than the $1 Elfwreck is talking about. Let's say $5. For some KESOs, you would get the ebook free. Even if you pay a price, the value of the Special Offers is such that the ebook pays for itself over time or even makes you a profit.
Writers can opt whether they want to offer a KESO or not along side the KE. If they choose to offer a KESO of their work, they get a cut from the advertisers. I expect that independent writers will swarm over this opportunity, with bestselling authors joining later. Later on there are Nook Book Special Offers and Kobobooks Special Offers as the model spreads.
How's that for a vision of the future?
A lot of people on that THREAD disagreed with me, but I still think that's ONE model that might work

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Old 09-18-2011, 11:46 AM   #28
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People who buy books also buy and read other content. They buy magazines, children's books, illustrated books, etc, etc. The shift to tablets is meant to serve those consumers
Magazines, yes, but I don't see a big shift for children's books, yet. Parents aren't all keen on the idea of their child's developing eyes staring at a backlit display for hours on end. Also children destroy things. Maybe illustrated books that are practical in nature, like guides/craft etc. Tablets serve ephemeral multimedia content, imo, which is why magazines/newspapers, lightly read and disposable, work well for tabs.

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A medium where SOME people won't tolerate advertising . FTFY.
When it comes to books, my guess is most people won't tolerate it. They don't tolerate it in paper books now. I'm not talking about the occasional ad stuck in the back of an mmp, which is itself even rare, but embedded advertising. Advertising works best in a low/shifting attention span environment.

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When the DX was $389 and Kindle 2 was $259 the 50% price gap already shut down part of the interest.
The DX still being priced at $379 kinda puzzles me.
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Old 09-18-2011, 12:04 PM   #29
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Magazines, yes, but I don't see a big shift for children's books, yet. Parents aren't all keen on the idea of their child's developing eyes staring at a backlit display for hours on end. Also children destroy things. Maybe illustrated books that are practical in nature, like guides/craft etc. Tablets serve ephemeral multimedia content, imo, which is why magazines/newspapers, lightly read and disposable, work well for tabs.
A big part of the NC's success is because of its emphasis on children's books

NOOK KIDS

Parents with kids love the iPad.

IPAD CHILDREN"S BOOKS


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When it comes to books, my guess is most people won't tolerate it. They don't tolerate it in paper books now. I'm not talking about the occasional ad stuck in the back of an mmp, which is itself even rare, but embedded advertising. Advertising works best in a low/shifting attention span environment.
Again, how the ads are implemented will be key. The KSO shows that you can introduce ads into a reading environment in a way consumers will accept.
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Old 09-18-2011, 12:35 PM   #30
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The KSO shows that you can introduce ads into a reading environment in a way consumers will accept.
By paying consumers (in discounts with the KSO) to put up with the ads. That's it. That's all that will work.

Without being given a "cookie," no one will volunteer their books to be ad-ed up. You keep touting the KSO as model that works, but it's just too young to make that call. I think you'll find that many KSO owners are noticing that the special offers (the main attraction in the first place) start tailing off relatively quickly. Once consumers stop receiving "payments," what reason will they have to even glance at the ads? The problem isn't only on the consumer end, either. Manufacturers don't pay for advertising if they see no return on it. And judging by the looks of things... not many companies are following Oil of Olay and Buick down this particular path. I wonder why that is?
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