The age-old question of atoms vs. bits is epitomized in the hard cover versus soft screen and will never be answered by debates on the merits, only when all trees are cut down and we revert back to oral raconteurs by the campfire.
The only saving issue for the publishers is that ebooks are not very transportable (user to user) like hard bound/paper backs. While the cost is lower to purchase, there is no real overhead (printing/paper/shipping) so the profit should be higher. I would think that the publishers will continue to make good money despite the lower selling price..
Naturally paper book publishing decimates.This is the fact. Every one now wants save place.The Cd's and DVD's ,HDD,Memory cards all store a lot of information and can be kept safe.
Most of the topics are avilable in the down loadable format.Great advantage is no maintanance is required with e books. No dusting,no micro creatures in side the books,no old book smell, no fadding of colors etc etc etc!!!
"To achieve higher profits, e-reader makers must move beyond e-books and offer other items..."
In other words, they need to become general purpose tablet computers. Very shortly, I expect the market for stand-alone e-readers to crash harder than they are causing the physical book market to crash. Sadly, the physical books are on the way to being a dieing breed, but ultimately, it will be second generation tablets that serve up the death blow. Not dedicated e-readers.
One challenge facing e-books (at least the Kindle) is the inability to move to a specified "physical" page number in the table of contents. The electronic pagination uses arbitrary numbers which also make the index difficult to use.
e-books can be more fun and more interesting if they don't remain just a text material. If apart from the text material which one can read like a physical book, if it has the audio version attached to it then the reader will have an option to listen to an e-book ( like someone is reading the book for them). For old people, ill, handicapped this would make and interesting option. I have yet to buy and e-reader and hence not aware if such options exist in the currently available e-books.
I recently bought a Xoom tablet but so far I haven't bought any books for it. The initial versions of the reader apps just haven;t been that impressive, making it hard to browse the collections. I was very impressed with the new Kindle app. It is actually starting to take advantage of the platform. One interesting part of it was the number of books that are essentially self-published under the Amazon program. This is what could really sink the traditional publishers.
I agree. Some of the best books I've ever read are things that I wasn't even looking for but caught my eye in the bookstore. We are losing the whole concept of browsing. But it's happening anyway, regardless of e-reader sales. Bookstores are closing down- they can't compete with Amazon. It's sad, but I think it's unavoidable. The challenge is for someone to replicate that experience of browsing online. Amazaon tries, but it's not the same. We'll have to get used to it, or someone will come along with an idea that will make virtual browsing more like the real thing. Amazon will show you things that you might like based upon your history, but what we all need to do once in a while is step away from our typical tastes and pick up something completely new and different. What's going to spur us to challenge ourselves in this manner?
Very interesting article. While I am a supporter (and early adopter - I've had one for several years) of e-readers, I still enjoy going to the bookstore and browsing and, yes, occasionally buying a real book. And, I have a tough time figuring out how we're going to decide what to buy if we can't at least look briefly through it. Also, I find that I can look at a lot more books in a much shorter time on the shelf than on-line.