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Old 10-08-2008, 06:45 AM   #1
anahid
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How to promote ereading and ereaders

Maybe it would be interesting to see if anyone has any ideas on how to promote ereading and ebooks. We all know the advantages, most of us have an ereader (I have a cybook), but it really is a product quite unknown for most people. I heard (I believe it was in Holland) they gave away, as prices, ereaders on television, which is a way to make publicity. Also I think it's a great product for schools, so maybe a way would be to "teach" teachers and school directors, just think about all the books our children have to take to school every day (their poor backs), and the prices of the books would probably make it worthwile economically, even if the parents have to buy the ereader, maybe financed partially by schools or governments...

Probably when the ereader becomes a product used more generally, prices will go down, also publishers will be aware of the tremendous market, and adapt their prices making it more attractive.

Just think of mp3, just 7 or 8 years ago almost nobody knew what it was, now most teenagers have Ipod or some other mp3 reader, although I'm aware that people rather listen to music then read...

I think the problem is that most people never heard of ereaders, whenever I show my ereader to someone they're always amazed, and more then one of my friends have bought one afterwards. It seems that none of the ereaderd manufacturers make any real effort to get their product known by the public.

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Old 10-08-2008, 07:34 AM   #2
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Good post.
I was wondering though if the problem were not a little more basic than that: most young people just don't read, and it's the young ones who tend to buy gadgets.

That's an oversimplification, but I've asked on a few other forums what people are reading at the moment and been met with the equivalent of a blank stare by anyone under 30.

I got into the reading habit when I was young long ago. And I know how fulfilling it can be compared with the evanescent joys of MP3s, MP4s and the like. But today's generation don't seem to have done that.

I'm prepared to be shot down by all the 16 year olds on this forum, but if people don't want/like to read, then a great new reading device will never be popular. It's a great pity, but that's my thinking anyway.
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Old 10-08-2008, 07:40 AM   #3
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Also, there is currently one big showstopper as far as e-readers are concerned as far as I see it. And that is price.

You can go into any electronics store and buy an mp3-player for a couple of euro's anyplace. But as long as e-readers carry the pricetag they do. Most people wont shell out for it to "just" read books.
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Old 10-08-2008, 07:59 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slite View Post
Also, there is currently one big showstopper as far as e-readers are concerned as far as I see it. And that is price.

You can go into any electronics store and buy an mp3-player for a couple of euro's anyplace. But as long as e-readers carry the pricetag they do. Most people wont shell out for it to "just" read books.
And there is yet another showstopper, the (lack of) sturdiness of the devices.

No ereader on the market today will survive a week in an average school kids book case. Maybe the plastic logic reader will change that in the near future...
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Old 10-08-2008, 08:01 AM   #5
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And there is yet another showstopper, the (lack of) sturdiness of the devices.

No ereader on the market today will survive a week in an average school kids book case. Maybe the plastic logic reader will change that in the near future...
Very true, one does tend to handle ones e-reader like a newborn kitteh
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Old 10-08-2008, 08:53 AM   #6
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Sturdiness and lower price would clearly help. But to make e-book readers sell, people have to really want them... or have them forced onto them.

For the latter, converting our schoolkids' textbooks to e-books and requiring the kids to use e-books to access them would get the younger generations used to e-books. Here, sturdiness is more important than price, because at the cost of textbooks, the reader would pay for itself in just a few years (in upper grades, even faster).

For the former, I've suggested before the need for color and more color material available, such as from popular magazines... and for a way to "clip and save" content in customizable folders, like a digital scrapbook. I believe the "e-scrapbook" format would be a legitimate "killer-app" that would make it hard to keep the devices on the shelves, especially for younger people who love to read about and collect snippets from their favorite subjects.

For the e-scrapbook, price will be a non-issue... if kids really want them, they'll actually be willing to work for them (or at least try to be good for a significant period of time to "deserve" one). Sturdiness will be important, but (anecdotal) evidence suggests that kids are more careful with things they earn, as opposed to things they are given... and especially when they contain something they value.
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Old 10-08-2008, 10:12 AM   #7
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I don't think promotion is so hard. I bring my Sony everywhere I go and people are always fascinated by it. All it takes is a chance to play with it to see that they do an excellent job.
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Old 10-08-2008, 10:13 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ErwinOtten View Post
No ereader on the market today will survive a week in an average school kids book case. Maybe the plastic logic reader will change that in the near future...
I can disagree with you here. My son has been using my Sony 500 reader for a while. He has carried it in his backpack and it still works fine. The cover is a little beat up, but the device works fine.

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Old 10-08-2008, 10:33 AM   #9
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In my country (in 2007):

62% of the population over 6 y/o never reads a book.
14,8% reads 1 to 2 books / year
15,2% 3 to 5
8% more than 6

The average expense in books is 65€/year, textbook included.

Is there really a marketplace for ebooks and ereaders?



Somebody talked about iPods.
Here almost everyone under 40 have got one (or more). Given what iPod does with middle frequencies, it's like to have an ebook reader that prevents the reader from reading the final chapter...
Nonetheless everybody's got one or is longing to.
Why?
Because iPod is not a media player, or a tech gadget or an useful device. It's rather a stud, a fashion accessory, like a bracelet or a diamond ring.

So, if somebody wants to get those market shares with an ereader, they have to get Prada design it, and make it fully visible and ostensible.

Or go for that 8% of the people, knowing that at least 1/3 of them will never manage a reading device, for the love they have with tho book as a physical object (NLP experts call them kinestethic people), and another third doesn't read enough to justify the expense...

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Old 10-08-2008, 10:36 AM   #10
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Edit.

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Old 10-08-2008, 12:11 PM   #11
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As far as the US goes, I'd make them more available in retail outlets, for that hands-on experience. I've only seen the Sony 505 in a Target and a Borders store. Not every town has a Target or Borders (sadly). But put them in Wal-Mart, for example, and see how much exposure they'd get-- Wal-Mart is everywhere! It's very hard to consider buying a new and expensive device without being able to try one out. And Sony 's 505 is the only one I've been able to put my hands on. If any other eBook reader devices are available in retail outlets in the US, I'd sure like to know about it!!

As for the younger generation... my young (10 yr-old) daughter got hooked on the "Leapster" years ago, because she saw it at Wal-Mart and played with it everytime we went there, now she's playing with their new product "Didj" and is asking for one of them! I'm fairly certain she'd feel the same way with regard to the eReader devices. She already thinks they're cool by what I've shown via pics and told her, but put it in a store where she can play with it... you've got a customer! Why not capture their enthusiasm when they're in grade school (chapter readers) and have been born surrounded by so much technology!
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Old 10-08-2008, 12:33 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Format C: View Post
In my country (in 2007):

62% of the population over 6 y/o never reads a book.
14,8% reads 1 to 2 books / year
15,2% 3 to 5
8% more than 6

The average expense in books is 65€/year, textbook included.

Is there really a marketplace for ebooks and ereaders?
Do they read magazines or newspapers? A color reader could capture their attention.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Format C: View Post
Here almost everyone under 40 have got one (or more). Given what iPod does with middle frequencies, it's like to have an ebook reader that prevents the reader from reading the final chapter...
Now, I wouldn't quite go that far... more like having a reader with very small or medium-gray type.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Format C: View Post
Nonetheless everybody's got one or is longing to.
Why?
Because iPod is not a media player, or a tech gadget or an useful device. It's rather a stud, a fashion accessory, like a bracelet or a diamond ring.

So, if somebody wants to get those market shares with an ereader, they have to get Prada design it, and make it fully visible and ostensible.
I see your point... though I'd argue the Sony is attractive enough to get people's attention. I think the cost and perceived utility/ease of use, as opposed to the look, is holding readers back. Still, a really snazzy design wouldn't hurt!
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Old 10-08-2008, 01:04 PM   #13
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I think you need to promote recreational reading first. Once you've done that having a reader device so you can consume digital documents is a no brainer for the 21st century.

How can we get 80% of more of Americans, Europeans and Asians to read at least one recreational book a month? Is that too much to ask. I know it will never happen though.

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Old 10-08-2008, 05:21 PM   #14
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As for the younger generation... my young (10 yr-old) daughter got hooked on the "Leapster" years ago, because she saw it at Wal-Mart and played with it everytime we went there, now she's playing with their new product "Didj" and is asking for one of them! I'm fairly certain she'd feel the same way with regard to the eReader devices. She already thinks they're cool by what I've shown via pics and told her, but put it in a store where she can play with it... you've got a customer! Why not capture their enthusiasm when they're in grade school (chapter readers) and have been born surrounded by so much technology!
I totally agree with you! My 5 yr old is always asking me to read to him from my Cybook, and wonders why Daddy doesn't have any kids books on his Cybook!!! I have about 5 kids books loaded and am currently reading him "The Little Prince" (Thanks Patricia!!) a chapter or two at a time. He is loving it! He does make me increase the font size, so that he can "see" the words. I'm more than willing to do it, anything to get him hooked on the written word in any format.

Early exposure to to an eBook reader of any kind has to be a good thing for future sales.
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Old 10-08-2008, 06:40 PM   #15
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I totally agree with you! My 5 yr old is always asking me to read to him from my Cybook, and wonders why Daddy doesn't have any kids books on his Cybook!!! I have about 5 kids books loaded and am currently reading him "The Little Prince" (Thanks Patricia!!) a chapter or two at a time. He is loving it! He does make me increase the font size, so that he can "see" the words. I'm more than willing to do it, anything to get him hooked on the written word in any format.

Early exposure to to an eBook reader of any kind has to be a good thing for future sales.
My mother read to me as a kid, and I picked up the habit early. I had the concept before I could do it myself. She reported skipping over sections to finish faster so she could get on to other chores, and I'd say "No, Mommy, you missed this part, and point unerringly at the skipped section.

By the time I was 5, I was already starting to read on my own, and tended to read anything that didn't read me first. I also tended to read beyond my expected level.

I consider reading to your kids a critical component of getting them want to read, because reading is fun. For too many folks, reading is a chore, done reluctantly because they have to.
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