I’m heading to make a couple predictions based mostly on what I’ve found occurring this 7 days in the Book market. As with any style of prognostication, I probably have a 50-50 possibility of currently being completely wrong. But guessing about the long run, especially in the quick-paced realm of know-how, is my kind of pleasurable.
First off, how do you spell e book? Or is it e-reserve? Newspapers like the NY Times use the hyphen, and trendy rulebreakers do not. I am betting with the stylish rulebreakers mainly because, hey, they’re the rulemakers of tomorrow (which is subsequent 7 days).
The function that much more than nearly anything obtained me heated up about the pre-Christmas hype for e-audience (hyphen here for readability?) was an advert I noticed on on TV just two evenings ago for the Sony Reader. Now, this unit has been on the marketplace for a few of a long time. It was a single of the first of its variety, predating the Amazon Kindle. But Sony’s approach was evidently to market it to start with mainly to students and librarians, using print advertisements in some of the snobbier journals. I complained in my site, even back then, that Sony was preaching to the choir and wasting its lead time by not addressing individuals immediately. I wished to see a billboard marketing campaign with some glitzy, techno counterpart to silhouettes of dancers jumping close to carrying white earbuds.
And I was mystified that Apple appeared to be disregarding that market deliberately. In fact, I was appalled when Steve Employment reportedly remarked that little ones you should not examine any longer, so no position in launching a reader. I hoped that was intelligent disinformation, substantially as I dislike the use of disinformation in any type, for any motive. (You can read through ebooks on an Apple iphone working with several third-party apps. I will not imagine that’s a main strategy for Apple, nevertheless.)
So I did a little bit of knowledge drilling on the Sony ad and uncovered that people documented observing it as early as final thirty day period (August 2009) in some regional markets. I reside in the Los Angeles area, and I would hardly ever noticed it. But this limited exposure final thirty day period seems to me like exam marketing. I would bet that now, post-Labor-Working day and pre-holiday getaway, you will see that advert a lot, on all main networks, broadcast and cable, and nationwide.
Personally, I think the advert sucks, depicting a panel of experts (some/all actors), who are touting the issue. One promises to be the environment-champion speed-reader, and I wager he basically is. But gyrating pop-icon silhouettes, they are not. As soon as all over again, Sony is pitching the geeks. (I depend myself as a geek so don’t assume I’m disparaging my peers. It truly is just that we are not the the greater part of the inhabitants or anyone in the U.S. would have experienced Medicare years in the past.)
Insert to this portentous enhancement the connected evidence that Philips iRex is now remaining released in a enterprise with Finest Buy and Verizon, as reported in yesterday’s NY Instances. The iRex reads the open-supply EPUB format. Sony not long ago declared that the Reader would shortly guidance that format, as very well, along with its proprietary LRF format and Adobe PDF. A single huge difference is that EPUB publications ordinarily the deficiency electronic legal rights management (DRM) digital copying constraints imposed by LRF, Amazon Kindle, and some Adobe PDF variations.
For my section, I made a decision to be a part of the club and beefed up my membership and presence on Book distribution company Smashwords.com, which supports EPUB and LRF, as properly as a lot of the other formats. I’m considering a large thought for E-book customers ought to be the very long-phrase cost of purchasing material. Price ranges of ebooks differ greatly, but numerous Amazon Kindle versions are advertised at just underneath ten bucks. Lots of Smashwords EPUB versions assortment from free to a buck or two, though bestsellers usually price more. Then too, there is certainly the general public area library offered by Venture Gutenberg, wherever anything is each totally free and about a hundred yrs old. But if you are hunting for Charles Dickens relatively than Dan Brown, you can find him and countless numbers of other well-known authors there in EPUB, HTML, and “basic-textual content” formats.
It seems to be as though the Sony Reader Pocket Version is priced cheapest amid its competition, but it lacks wi-fi connectivity. Probably that is no significant deal and the price stage is the critical variable. Other Sony Reader designs, as perfectly as the Kindle and the iRex, have constructed-in wi-fi (with bundled company), which I’m guessing is the primary cause for the cost differential.
All this will adjust, possibly by the time I click on the Post button to put up this write-up.
And what about Apple? Can we be expecting an announcement any day? I’m betting on a plug-in pill-sized monitor as an accessory to the current iPods. Yrs back, I saw a “leaked” YouTube slide presentation on this kind of a unit, as though it had been geared up for an Apple advancement staff briefing. Whether or not the online video clip was bogus or not, the strategy would make perfect feeling, both of those technically and commercially. The Apple iphone is a useful reader, but I would not browse a novel on it.
And I also believed Amazon’s approach to introduce the much larger-structure Kindle 3 into the faculty textbook design was a amazing transfer–into a industry niche you’d feel Sony would have owned by then.
I will not know whether it means something, but I won’t be able to find that leaked Apple online video on YouTube any more…