Saturday, November 21, 2009

Publishers try to get into our good e-books
Rosemary Sorensen ,From: The Australian
Saturday,November 21, 2009

E-BOOKS are about to catch on here after a slow start, predict some book industry leaders, and within a year the market for hand-held electronic book reading in Australia could grow to more than 10 per cent of total book sales.
Although the take-up of e-readers, the devices dedicated to book and other print downloads, is less predictable, even some dedicated readers of paper-based books will find the e-book option irresistible.

Digital books inevitably will be cheaper, but if they get too cheap in the battle for market share the publishing industry will be depleted, affecting profit, authors' royalties and the ability to publish new books, according to experts.
E-versions of old, out-of-copyright books have been available for download for years thanks to Project Gutenberg. Free book downloads are challenging games as the most popular applications on mobile phones. Google has been working through a range of complaints about its use of out-of-print but still-in-copyright books, but the search-engine giant next year hopes to launch Google Editions, a bookshop with access to 500,000 titles.

E-readers, in particular the Kindle launched by by Jeff Bezos's US-based online retailing giant, are available in Australia. So it is possible to purchase thousands of e-books from leading publishers within the terms of copyright agreements. US book chain Barnes& Noble is bringing out an e-reader called Nook, Sony has one too, and books can also be downloaded on to smartphones such as Apple's iPhone.

As Elizabeth Weiss, publisher at Allen & Unwin, says, the e-reader provides "instant gratification . . . It's not like browsing online, and it's not nearly as satisfying as walking into a bookshop, but I have to say I find it pretty attractive.
"The printed book is still not going to go away, but e-books will definitely take market share in the near future and this will [affect] the sales of printed books. It's a period of instability and, if e-books continue to grow, they could be at 5 or 6 per cent [of] market share very soon."
Read the full piece in The Australian online.

1 comment:

Keith Mockett said...

Thanks for pointing this article out. Very interesting. I have posted it to the Digital Publishing Forum, with acknowledgement to this blog. Cheers, Keith.