07 July 2009

Exactly when should I jump?

For today's blog, I'm going to give you a quick rundown on industry headlines from some of the articles that are currently flooding my desk. All associated with ebooks, e-readers, and the like. In no particular order (and apologies in advance to those I've left off the list):
  • Springer Leaps Ahead in Academic E-book Market (FT) - about how ereaders like Amazon's Kindle are transforming academic publishing much faster than the consumer market
  • Borders kick-starts UK reluctant e-book revolution (Times Online) - BTW the picture of the e-reader looks awful, very basic and unappealing. What were they thinking?
  • Copyright, cost, content - so many barriers between Australians and ebooks (Special report in the Australian Library News)
  • Ebooks: is this their ipod moment? (ALN again)
  • Is Amazon taking over the book business? (Time Online) granted this was more about the Amazon business model but The Kindle featured prominently as did the comment"When it comes to ebooks, Amazon doesn't just sell them; it practically owns the entire medium". Ahem.
  • Amazon vs Google (cut & paste from the web so did not note source) loved the opening line "Amazon's Kindle is not so shiny and new anymore and it was Google that made the biggest ebook splash"
  • Stay Ahead of the Shift: What Publishers Can do to Flourish in a Community-Centric Web World (Online Presentation by Mike Shatzkin, a man I admire for his vision of the publishing industry)
  • The E-book Pricing Conundrum (Publishers Weekly)
  • Kindle DX: Bigger Screen, Higher Price, Many Questions (Publishers Weekly)
  • The Lonely Stand of Print Reference (Publishers Weekly): mentioned purely because the the article has to mention the internet and Google's role in diminishing/changing print reference
  • Commercial eBook Conversion Utilities (post from the web that is in double dutch - how to covert all different files and the software required, I think I'll wait for the Dummies Guide to...)
  • More and More Books Digitally Published (AOL news): this was more about POD (of which I'm a big fan) but it has implications for e, particularly when another article refers to the restructure of Ingram (also a big fan) and the role of content in their future
  • The Random House Group Launches Ebook Reader Apps on Apple App Store (that's nice, anyone using it in Australia? Contact me if you are please!!!!)
  • Reading Mobipocket ebooks on a Blackberry (ditto)
  • Google Books now available through Sony
  • Analyst sees Amazon's Kindle Generating $2B in Sales (Streetinsider.com)
  • Indie Booksellers Debate the E-book Conundrum (Publishers Weekly)
  • Whither interior Book Design: ReadSmart re-creates publishers' book designs on iPhone (Publishers Weekly)
  • So is $9.99 the ebook price point? (Brave New World blog: excellent blog from the UK Bookseller Association)
  • Preparing to sell e-books, Google Takes on Amazon (New York Times): another good opening line "Google appears to be throwing down the gauntlet in the ebook market"
Glancing across my desk it's all e-focused. Is the death of the book finally around the corner? After 20 years in publishing, what do I do next? Exactly when should I jump? The questions start pouring out of me and my heart rate rises. Beyond my desk, I look at the noticeboard in my office where I've been storing these sort of articles for years. I glance for a headline that will restore my confidence in the industry I've chosen to work in all these years and the one I would prefer to stay in. Searching... searching... searching... Yep, there it is one entitled "Why e-book readers don't stand a chance". I breathe again. I start to relax. Then I remember I'm reading e-books onscreen and off a reader. Argh! My eyes focus on another article "How the E-book will Change the Way we Read and Write" a wonderful item from the Wall Street Journal. And I ponder the future silently....

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