Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Will E-Books Get Lost in Translation?

Digital formats have yet to drive domestic e-book sales.

WASHINGTON American publishers look at how the Japanese have embraced reading books on mobile phones and wonder if that response can happen here. The sale of electronic books for mobile phones grew there by 331 percent, from 1.6 billion yen (about $14 million U.S.) to 6.9 billion yen ($58 million) in 2006 over the previous year, according to the Digital Content Association of Japan.

The emergence of Apple's iPhone has given one publisher, HarperCollins, new hope. And all eyes in the book business are watching whether two new electronic contributions will significantly alter the interaction with a medium that has been around since the Gutenberg Bible.

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