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Old 08-16-2009, 07:25 AM   #1
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Infoweek on Sony and ePub

Ran into an interesting article at on Infoweek:

http://www.informationweek.com/news/...yText=&isPrev=

It talks about the Sony direction, ePub, and gives market sales estimates (page 2). It gives Sony sales at 250k units, Kindle at 500-750k.
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Old 08-16-2009, 07:30 AM   #2
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Sony already published a higher number than that nearly a year ago, so whoever did the estimates couldn't even bother to run a google search.
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Old 08-16-2009, 07:44 AM   #3
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eBooks and Paperbacks

Part of the article talks about eBook penetration, and the difficulties with paperbacks as competition. Most readers here will get the eBook advantages, i.e.:
  1. Don't have to run to the store to buy the thing (virtually instant purchasing, gratification, at least with a wireless Kindle)
  2. Cheaper/Sooner - Don't have to wait 2 years to buy the book in a cheaper format like paperback
  3. Wider selection
  4. Don't have to troll through half-price used bookstores (although that can be fun in it's own right)
  5. Much easier/lighter to carry multiple books

Whether or not eBook readers actually go above 2 million sales per year, well that remains to be seen. Sad to say, readership, just in general, is down. People are attracted to other formats, media. eBook readers probably won't ever have the penetration of say TVs (unless you maybe count cell phone variants, but I question if cell phone screens are up to anything but casual reading, granted they're fine for news headlines, etc.) But that said, when the real eBook readers get still cheaper, and have color, and bigger screens, then it is likely that we'll see considerably more sales. I was an early adopter of CD players (ironically, on their way out now, price of progress), but I remember people telling me how much better records (ironically, some are still telling me that) and tapes were, how the selection of CDs wasn't good, they'd never come to dominate, and so forth. But my guess is that once the price and performance come into line, the formats standardize a bit, back-end stores get still better, shopping engines include eBook results, etc., then there will be considerably more eBook reader sales, even then the 2 million number.
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Old 08-16-2009, 07:49 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Who are you? View Post
Sony already published a higher number than that nearly a year ago, so whoever did the estimates couldn't even bother to run a google search.
Could be that they did not, or don't trust some of the Sony numbers. Or that they're just talking U.S., or just per year. Hard to know what the right numbers are.
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Old 08-16-2009, 08:20 AM   #5
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Sales numbers....

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Originally Posted by pwjone1 View Post
Could be that they did not, or don't trust some of the Sony numbers. Or that they're just talking U.S., or just per year. Hard to know what the right numbers are.
I guess I should note the sales numbers I've seen, various places, are also somewhat higher. There was a 300k number (Dec 2008) for the Sony Readers, and estimates as high as 1.5M for the Kindle:

http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/...-amazon-kindle

but those are cumulative (and somewhat speculative). I would hazard a guess, that whatever the true sales numbers, if Sony is in the process of retooling its publishing format, and willing to leave a gap in its device sales perhaps due to that transition, that it must have been getting pretty soundly thrashed by Amazon, or at least feared that occurring. The Sony move to ePub, while I applaud it, wasn't the move of someone doing really well.

What's interesting to me, also, is the eBook sales, here from the IDPF:

http://www.idpf.org/doc_library/industrystats.htm



granted, there's a long list of caveats towards the bottom of the page, sounds like the numbers could be quite a bit off, and you do have to consider the source, but given how poorly everything else is selling in the USA (off 30-40-50% frequently), to see something going up this much in so short a period of time, says they're selling a lot of eBook readers, or people with eBook readers are buying a lot more books (or both, at least according to Amazon).
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Old 08-16-2009, 01:23 PM   #6
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Several years ago when I planned to reduce my house size; the library of hard-backs became an issue for me. Where to put them? So I purchased a Sony PRS-500 to read all my NEW purchases. I could nearly put the same number of books in my Sony as in one of my many book shelves.

Along the way, I found the Sony to be much more comfortable to read than many of the paperbacks or hardbacks. As an example not often mentioned, the book thickness reaches the point where it is very uncomfortable to tote around. Take Tom Clancy's book Executive Orders in paperback. It is over 2" thick and quite un-wieldly to tote around.

For those reasons alone, I find the Sony to be far more practical.

Ralph
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Old 08-16-2009, 02:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Alert View Post
Several years ago when I planned to reduce my house size; the library of hard-backs became an issue for me. Where to put them? So I purchased a Sony PRS-500 to read all my NEW purchases. I could nearly put the same number of books in my Sony as in one of my many book shelves.

Along the way, I found the Sony to be much more comfortable to read than many of the paperbacks or hardbacks. As an example not often mentioned, the book thickness reaches the point where it is very uncomfortable to tote around. Take Tom Clancy's book Executive Orders in paperback. It is over 2" thick and quite un-wieldly to tote around.

For those reasons alone, I find the Sony to be far more practical.

Ralph
I am in a similar situation, just running out of bookshelf space, part of the reason for a Kindle was to start getting that under control. And it is much easier to read than a paperback. But for most people, it just comes down to $s, and a used paperback, half-price or whatever, is generally pretty cheap. $15-20 for a large print paperback becomes $7.50-$10 in a half-price bookstore. People without space or other constraints will tend to go with the cheaper offering.
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Old 08-16-2009, 02:45 PM   #8
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Sony announced they sold 400K Readers back in March. This Howe guy clearly doesn't even know how to use Google.
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Old 08-16-2009, 03:02 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pwjone1 View Post
I am in a similar situation, just running out of bookshelf space, part of the reason for a Kindle was to start getting that under control.
Lack of shelf and carrying space are two important reasons I've gone to ebooks too. Maybe all the things discussed in this thread are related. Maybe the increased sales of ebooks and the decreased sales of pbooks results from a shift by people who read a lot going to the modern format. It's interesting that Harlequin sells subscriptions allowing customers to buy everything they publish each month as a single, less costly ebook bundle. Romance readers are among the most dedicated readers and romances are among the most common books in used bookstores. Harlequin now publishes only ebooks.

Sony's move to support ePub is probably an early indication that they are preparing a color reader. ePub lets them pick up color support without headaches and at the same time, it opens their readers to a wider source of content.
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Old 08-16-2009, 08:35 PM   #10
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Lack of shelf and carrying space are two important reasons I've gone to ebooks too. Maybe all the things discussed in this thread are related. Maybe the increased sales of ebooks and the decreased sales of pbooks results from a shift by people who read a lot going to the modern format. It's interesting that Harlequin sells subscriptions allowing customers to buy everything they publish each month as a single, less costly ebook bundle. Romance readers are among the most dedicated readers and romances are among the most common books in used bookstores. Harlequin now publishes only ebooks.
Sony's move to support ePub is probably an early indication that they are preparing a color reader. ePub lets them pick up color support without headaches and at the same time, it opens their readers to a wider source of content.

No, Harlequin continues a very profitable print book program. All Harlequin print titles are immediately available in E-book form, and even so, Harlequin has publicly reported that E-book sales are less than 10% of their overall sales. (That data is from 2008)
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Old 08-16-2009, 10:13 PM   #11
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No, Harlequin continues a very profitable print book program. All Harlequin print titles are immediately available in E-book form, and even so, Harlequin has publicly reported that E-book sales are less than 10% of their overall sales. (That data is from 2008)
Could the previous poster have meant that Harlequin now offers certain releases in eBook only? I know they are releasing short stories and (I think) it's Historical Blaze line in eBook only. It's possible its one-per-month release in the Luna line is eBook only, although I don't know that for certain. I don't even bother to look in print stores any more!
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Old 08-16-2009, 11:05 PM   #12
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some are mentioning that sony sold 400k. some 200k . which is which?

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Old 08-17-2009, 01:57 AM   #13
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some are mentioning that sony sold 400k. some 200k . which is which?
My guess is Sony gives the number 200K to the tax office, 400K to the shareholders at the annual meeting
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Old 08-17-2009, 05:53 AM   #14
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some are mentioning that sony sold 400k. some 200k . which is which?
You could have just followed the links.

December 2008:
Quote:
Sony has revealed that it has sold 300,000 of its digital e-book Reader globally since the device was launched in October 2006
March 2009:
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He also said that over 400,000 Sony Readers have been sold and that sales during this Christmas season were triple those of last Christmas.
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