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Old 09-14-2009, 11:58 AM   #1
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CNN: Ebooks are catching on

E-books catching on with readers

Quote:
It seems the time is right for these advances. E-book sales are seeing a significant upswing, said Hugh McGuire, CEO of Book Oven, an online company that builds Web tools for publishing e-books and print-on-demand titles.

"The U.S. wholesale e-book market was about $50 million in 2008 (retail would be about double), but it's growing exponentially," McGuire said, citing figures from the International Digital Publishing Forum, a group that tracks the e-book market. McGuire said that in the first quarter of 2009, the wholesale market was about $25.8 million, an increase of 53 percent over the previous quarter.

McGuire concedes that e-books are only 1 to 3 percent of the overall publishing market. But the success of the Kindle, and moves by Google -- who, along with Sony, is offering free titles online -- indicate a bright future, he said.

"I would expect 20 percent of book sales to be digital by 2014, but some have predicted an even bigger percentage by then," he said. "Twenty percent of the current book market is something like $5 billion."

That raises the question: What will happen to printed books?

"E-books will gain, especially in the indie publishing market, making it far easier for a company or individual to sell a quirky, unique book for little money and see profits almost immediately," said Jessup, the Pennsylvania author and e-book reader.
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For e-books to reach their full potential, McGuire said, a shift in thinking is in order.

"[Publishers] have long operated in an environment where printing a book was expensive," he said. "Shipping it around, stocking it in stores and selling it all represented significant costs. They still think in this mindset."

Publishers need to realize that e-books can get titles to more readers for less money, he said.

"Successful publishers will be those who embrace the benefits of e-books and pay more attention to what their readers want."
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Old 09-14-2009, 12:04 PM   #2
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As a companion piece, here's an article from Publisher's Weekly on how (paper) books are not in danger of going away anytime soon, if ever.

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History shows us that one medium does not necessarily displace another—at least not in the short run. Manuscript publishing flourished long after Gutenberg's invention; newspapers did not wipe out the printed book; the radio did not replace the newspaper; television did not destroy the radio; and the Internet did not make viewers abandon their television sets. Every age has been an age of information, each in its own way. In my new book, The Case for Books: Past, Present, and Future [PublicAffairs], I make that very point, because I believe we cannot envisage the future—or make sense of the present—unless we study the past. Not necessarily because history repeats itself or teaches us lessons, but because it can help to orient us when faced with the challenges of new technologies
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Old 09-14-2009, 12:39 PM   #3
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Unfortunately, most of those are probably ADE.
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Old 09-14-2009, 01:49 PM   #4
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The Quote from Publisher's Weekly is not, I think very sound. Lets look at it in detail:

Manuscript publishing and Gutenberg: Yeah it is true that Manuscripts did survive for a while. That however was more because the costs with setting up a print run were substantial and for many more specialized books, in an era when literacy rates were low, it was not profitable to print them. However, when was the last time you saw someone commission a new Manuscript? Outside of copies of the Torah anyway.

News papers did not kill printed books for the simple reason that news papers never targeted the same market.

Radio may not have been killed by Television, but it was radically altered. The radio of 1940 was filled with many dramatic and comedic presentations; by 1960, radio had been taken over mostly by music with many of the programs formerly on radio migrating to television.

Need I go on?

To put it in simple terms. Ebooks may not spell the end of print publishing, but they will dramatically reshape the print publishing landscape.

--
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Old 09-14-2009, 02:58 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bill_mchale View Post
To put it in simple terms. Ebooks may not spell the end of print publishing, but they will dramatically reshape the print publishing landscape.

--
Bill
A good few years from now... when both the technology and the market matures sufficiently to be a viable replacement to print books in general.

That... or eBooks will become synonymous with pulp fiction.

- Ahi
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Old 09-14-2009, 04:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bill_mchale View Post
Radio may not have been killed by Television, but it was radically altered. The radio of 1940 was filled with many dramatic and comedic presentations; by 1960, radio had been taken over mostly by music with many of the programs formerly on radio migrating to television.
Except for the BBC, thankfully.
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Old 09-14-2009, 06:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bill_mchale View Post
The Quote from Publisher's Weekly is not, I think very sound. Lets look at it in detail:

Manuscript publishing and Gutenberg: Yeah it is true that Manuscripts did survive for a while. That however was more because the costs with setting up a print run were substantial and for many more specialized books, in an era when literacy rates were low, it was not profitable to print them. However, when was the last time you saw someone commission a new Manuscript? Outside of copies of the Torah anyway.

News papers did not kill printed books for the simple reason that news papers never targeted the same market.

Radio may not have been killed by Television, but it was radically altered. The radio of 1940 was filled with many dramatic and comedic presentations; by 1960, radio had been taken over mostly by music with many of the programs formerly on radio migrating to television.

Need I go on?

To put it in simple terms. Ebooks may not spell the end of print publishing, but they will dramatically reshape the print publishing landscape.

--
Bill
Agreed. The scroll is long gone, and it may take another 100 years but the p-book may follow.

What saved radio was putting them in cars. People began listening during the new "commute time".
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Old 09-14-2009, 06:31 PM   #8
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Just hope technology makes some gains soon so that ebooks can develop more readily into something worthy of visual appreciation.
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Old 09-14-2009, 08:07 PM   #9
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What we may eventually see is something akin to Vinyl .vs CD. Most books getting ebook releases with special Hardcover releases.
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Old 09-14-2009, 10:13 PM   #10
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CNET is reporting "E-book readers still owned by small niche" and uses Forrester Research data to show the price point is still too steep for widespread technology adoption by the general public.
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