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Old 12-31-2012, 10:33 AM   #1
regstuff
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Three Predictions for book publishing in 2013

Something I found over at Forbes.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeremygr...shing-in-2013/

Something I found most interesting was that they predict ebook readers will lose popularity. That may be so in North America & Europe, but I think Asian & African markets will really drive sales for these up. Especially when you consider the population of India, it could keep ebook reader devices going a while.
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Old 12-31-2012, 11:00 AM   #2
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There may be truth in what the article says. It is almost a no brainer, if given a choice of having a dedicated book reader or a tablet that can be a reader and also do much more with the cost of tablets getting cheaper. I know there have been roaring debates on this forum about this subject. But in my view if money is tight the better bang for the buck would be the tablet to read on. Tho the dedicated eBook reader probably will always have its place. The tablet is the next huge thing no mater where people live and internet connectivity spreads. A tablet is sorta like a Swiss army knife that you can read books on, but also does much more that just being a reader.
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Old 12-31-2012, 12:25 PM   #3
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There may be truth in what the article says. It is almost a no brainer, if given a choice of having a dedicated book reader or a tablet that can be a reader and also do much more with the cost of tablets getting cheaper.
That would be the case, if a tablet were an equally good reader, but the simple fact of the matter is that it's not. eInk devices are generally cheaper, smaller, and lighter than tablets, plus they have enormously longer battery life, and many people find that eInk provides a more pleasant reading experience than an LCD tablet.

It doesn't have to be an "either/or" thing. Many people own both a tablet and an eInk device. I'm sure there will continue to be room on the market for both for the foreseeable future.

I would personally recommend a tablet to someone who wants a general-purpose entertainment device, which includes reading as a minority part of that entertainment, but a dedicated eInk reader to someone who's a prolific reader.
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Old 12-31-2012, 12:52 PM   #4
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There was a piece in my paper a few days ago about how pbook sales have risen and had their best month in ages. There was a lot of talk about a paper fightback, but it seems to me that maybe ebooks have increased the overall popularity of reading, but don't make good gifts.
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Old 12-31-2012, 05:02 PM   #5
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Is it possible that in the future, e-ink technology expands so much to be used in tablets? Obviously right now, that would not be an option but is it possible?
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Old 12-31-2012, 05:24 PM   #6
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Certainly in a few years it's very likely that new screen technologies will remove the distinction which now exists between tablets and eInk devices, but I suspect that they're 5-10 years away still.
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Old 12-31-2012, 06:34 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by DrNefario View Post
There was a piece in my paper a few days ago about how pbook sales have risen and had their best month in ages. There was a lot of talk about a paper fightback, but it seems to me that maybe ebooks have increased the overall popularity of reading, but don't make good gifts.
The Telegraph piece in question is mostly spin:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/b...tal-world.html

...and it led to a lively discussion over at the Passive Voice:
http://www.thepassivevoice.com/12/20...digital-world/

Basically, the pbook "increase" they touted was lower than the rate of inflation so the increase was actually a minimal decline. Against a *solid* increase in ebook sales.

A recent PEW poll in the US found a slight decrease in the number of readers that was within the margin of error and thus statistically insignificant, so there is no evidence that ebooks are bringing in new readers to the industry.

http://www.teleread.com/ebooks/lorem...ipiscing-elit/

Realistically, the ebook evolution is plateauing in the US but what happens elsewhere is anybody's guess because the combination of the US's wide open publishing market and recreational reading culture is not replicated elsewhere.

For those that might have missed it, Nook has *again* underperformed during the holiday season:

http://www.the-digital-reader.com/20...holiday-sales/

And B&N has sold off another chunk of Nook (to Pearson) to make up their revenue shortfall.

http://www.the-digital-reader.com/20...of-nook-media/

Even Amazon ended up with somewhat lower than expected sales (witness the one-day sale on the FireHD8.9, within the 30day return window for pre-orders and the quiet refunds they offered).

At this point there is no guarantee that *any* recent trends will continue.
And that applies to tablet penetration as well as ereader sales. eReaders sales could rebound with new tech, new features, lower prices--the tablet bubble could just as easily pop, what with fifty companies, each angling for a 5% share of the same market and nobody but Apple, Amazon, and Samsung with even vaguely significant installed bases:

http://www.nbcnews.com/technology/te...cond-1C7753000

Factor in the proposed BPH mergers (with the attendant layoffs to follow) and the uncertainty from hardware sales and the next year is guaranteed to be full of surprises.

I doubt any predictions will come to fruition.
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Old 12-31-2012, 06:39 PM   #8
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Certainly in a few years it's very likely that new screen technologies will remove the distinction which now exists between tablets and eInk devices, but I suspect that they're 5-10 years away still.
Most likely.
But there are a few hints of low-power LCD screens to come sooner than that. A 20 hour LCD-based color reader could possibly be available in 2013-14.
I woulldn't hold my breath, but it is possible.
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Old 12-31-2012, 08:48 PM   #9
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but what happens elsewhere is anybody's guess because the combination of the US's wide open publishing market and recreational reading culture is not replicated elsewhere.
In what way do you think it differs from the position in the UK? I would not have said, personally, that the UK had any less open a publishing market, or less of a culture of reading than the US.
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Old 12-31-2012, 09:07 PM   #10
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^^ Great post (#7).

I am surprised at the statistic that reading has declined overall, even if it's a statistically insignificant decline. My household's consumption of books has at least trebled since we got into ebooks, though we hardly buy anything printed on paper these days. This Christmas seemed to show that the same holds true for the rest of my family.
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Old 01-01-2013, 12:46 AM   #11
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In what way do you think it differs from the position in the UK? I would not have said, personally, that the UK had any less open a publishing market, or less of a culture of reading than the US.
Book price fixing is apparently (somewhat) more acceptable in the UK and definitely so on the continent.
Looking at the settlements over the conspiracy, the Gang of 6 got off without even a fine over there. They simply promised not to do it anymore and all is suddenly just fine. No restitution to consumers, no punishment. And no monitoring of BPH contracts or accounting.
That portends a less competitive environment moving forward.

Based on that alone I would expect the mergers to sail through uncontested.

Last edited by fjtorres; 01-01-2013 at 12:51 AM.
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Old 01-01-2013, 12:50 AM   #12
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^^ Great post (#7).

I am surprised at the statistic that reading has declined overall, even if it's a statistically insignificant decline. My household's consumption of books has at least trebled since we got into ebooks, though we hardly buy anything printed on paper these days. This Christmas seemed to show that the same holds true for the rest of my family.
The reduction is in the percentage of readers not the amount of reading being done. As in, older readers die and the number of yousters picking up the habit is less than the ones that die.

But the percentage drop measured is lower than the accuracy of the poll so the reduction might not be a reflection of reality, just a fluctuation in the sample of people polled. So nothing significant can or should be read into that even though a lot of sources have been taking the numbers at face value.
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Old 01-01-2013, 01:37 AM   #13
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The people that I know who have tablets and read, all have readers. I dont know anyone that really reads more than the odd pdf on a tablet. The emerging markets are huge for readers, and no one is really targetting them. If the books are priced low enough, they'd be massive. SA has only just got Kobo, no official support for Kindle. Given that, I've never seen someone reading a book on a tablet (and there are loads of those), tho I've seen countless people reading on imported readers. The closest I see is newspaper readers on larger tablets.
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Old 01-01-2013, 03:05 AM   #14
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The people that I know who have tablets and read, all have readers.
Ditto. I cannot imagine many avid readers using a tablet as their primary reader. As far as books go, I only use mine to view color pictures occasionally. Most often it is used for games or internet surfing.

Even if I was comfortable reading on my tablet, the battery would run out too quickly considering the amount of reading I do.

As far as the earlier statement that ebooks don't make good gifts (forgot to quote it,) that is certainly a matter of opinion. I think they make fantastic gifts and it's something I love to receive. Other than some elderly people, most folks these days understand and appreciate virtual goods.

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Old 01-01-2013, 03:16 AM   #15
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Ditto. I cannot imagine any avid readers using a tablet as their primary reader. As far as books go, I only use mine to view color pictures occasionally. Most often it is used for games or internet surfing.

Even if I was comfortable reading on my tablet, the battery would run out too quickly considering the amount of reading I do.
My Kindle Touch is my main reader, but I've found reading on my Nexus 7 and my phone to be quite acceptable with the brightness turned down. While I don't use my tablets as readers all the time I know at least a dozen people who use them for that purpose all the time and are quite happy.



Quote:
As far as the earlier statement that ebooks don't make good gifts (forgot to quote it,) that is certainly a matter of opinion. I think they make fantastic gifts and it's something I love to receive. Other than some elderly people, most folks these days understand and appreciate virtual goods.
Agreed. I was quite happy to get some eBooks as gifts this year.
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