Not only that, smartphones, cellphones, and even MP4s /MP5s are also offering eReader applications. We can only glean one conclusion from this: these tech companies will not jump into the ebook market unless they see huge and long-term profits in it.
The increasing amount
More and more books are being converted to digital form. Last year, GoogleBook Editions were only half a million. Kindle started with just more than 200,000 ebooks; now there are more than half a million paid titles available. Of the 10 hardcover fiction and nonfiction on the February 28 list, only one was not available in digital format.
So is digital book really the future of reading and publishing?
There are more than a dozen models in the market today. In 2009, approximately 4 – 5 million eReader units were sold. Analysts are predicting the number will double in 2010 and grow up to three times in 2015.
Last year, Steve Jobs underestimated the ebook market saying it was not huge. This year, Steve Jobs changed his tune. Apple released a tablet complete with an eReader application and bookstore.
More and more companies are entering the digital book market – Google with its Google Editions, iPad with iBooks, Kobo with its Kobo eReader, etc. eReader companies, like the Kindle, are expanding globally.
It’s not just the tech giants that changing their tunes. For instance, John Grisham, bestselling author of The Firmand other legal thrillers, has refused to convert his books into digital format. In fact, John Grisham branded ebook publishing as “a disaster in the long term for the publishing industry.” Just this March, Grisham’s publisher announced they will be converting all his books into electronic form. It’s not far before will see other purist authors convert to digital form if they wish to earn more profits?
EBooks are cheaper to produce now than in 2000 or earlier, and they sell cheaper than traditional books, too. As there are many who consider price as critical factor factor, ebooks will continue to sell well.
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