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Old 09-27-2008, 07:15 PM   #1
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Quickly and slightly sneakily, ebook readers are beginning to take over.

An article in the Saturday Guardian started with this line. It rapidly becomes more on a discussion on the dominance of Amazon, what this means for ebooks in the future, and takes the position that ebooks may be bad for authors (not that well argued in my opinion, but I suspect that was more due to space than anything).

Still, it is interesting to see an article after the fuss over the initial release of the PRS-505 in the UK has died down.
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Old 09-27-2008, 08:33 PM   #2
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Now if only eBook prices will reach a level that rightly reflects production and distribution costs.

I disagree that Sony vs. Kindle is like VHS vs. Betamax. I think reformatting eBooks is much more accessible than changing video formats. Unlike VHS/Betamax, there is no physical medium that is used--eBooks are entirely software.

Clearly, Amazon has become all-powerful, but the idea of accessible print on demand is very attractive. I hate to see Amazon dominate this sector, though.
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Old 09-27-2008, 10:08 PM   #3
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Well, I've spoken to four publishing reps this trip ... and my point is always the same. Namely that they NEED to start getting as much content out as possible and in as many formats as may be necessary to give their books the broadest appeal, both to those of us who already own devices and to those trying to make a decision. The publishers who embrace the technology are the ones who will ultimatly win the game.
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Old 09-27-2008, 10:37 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by RickyMaveety View Post
Well, I've spoken to four publishing reps this trip ... and my point is always the same. Namely that they NEED to start getting as much content out as possible and in as many formats as may be necessary to give their books the broadest appeal, both to those of us who already own devices and to those trying to make a decision. The publishers who embrace the technology are the ones who will ultimately win the game.
So they agree then that Amazon is doing bad for eBooks with their exclusivity.
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Old 09-28-2008, 06:39 AM   #5
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I disagree that Sony vs. Kindle is like VHS vs. Betamax. I think reformatting eBooks is much more accessible than changing video formats. Unlike VHS/Betamax, there is no physical medium that is used--eBooks are entirely software.
Whilst what you say is true (reformatting is relatively accessible), I think that for the general public the comparison is a fair one. They can't just copy/move the ebook from one device to another. Traditionally, when consumers perceive that there are two competing formats, they shy away until it is resolved. Some of this can be solved by the bookshops allowing you to download in any format, or for the likes of the mobipocket or Sony applications to have the necessary inbuilt cross-device support.
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Old 09-28-2008, 07:56 AM   #6
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He doesn't seem to know much about the hardware on sale. No mention of the iLiad, Cybook, or Bebook, just the two well known ones.
No apparent understanding either of the fact that the Kindle has a wireless connection to a network not avaialble outside the USA. I don't see it ever going on sale over here. It's USP is not needing a computer to download books.
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Old 09-28-2008, 10:43 AM   #7
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So they agree then that Amazon is doing bad for eBooks with their exclusivity.
No ... most of them don't know that much about ebooks. I am telling them that they need to do whatever it takes to reach the most customers they can. I have been telling them that, if the books are available in multiple formats - or the sooner they can agree on a single format that works everywhere - the sooner they will have more companies making readers, and the sooner they will be able to sell entire legal libraries (with update subscriptions) to solos who do not have space for the books.

Granted, they are available on the computer, but it is not always convenient to have to do your research that way. Especially if you are somewhere that you are stuck with dial up. In addition, I hate it when I have to pay (again) to look at the same case (again), where it didn't get saved to the computer that I have with me, and I don't have the case file.

What I am telling them is .... you produce the books, and the ebook readers (and by "readers" I mean the human beings who read ebooks) will come, and they will buy the books you publish. Get on board soon, or you will be left behind because the law students of today will already be getting their legal reading AND their recreational reading from you competitors.
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Old 09-28-2008, 10:52 AM   #8
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Are any of these publishers also fiction publishers (or related to same), or are they all specialty houses dealing only with legal documents?
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Old 09-29-2008, 04:42 PM   #9
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Are any of these publishers also fiction publishers (or related to same), or are they all specialty houses dealing only with legal documents?
A few of both. Some are legal specialty arms of general publishing houses, some are legal specialty publishing houses.

However, in my view, no matter how they get there, the more people who begin reading in various eformats, even if it is only work related at first, are going to want to have their recreational reading in that format too. It is simply too convenient.
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