eBooks Suddenly Getting More Attention

from the really? dept

Every few years there’s a big fuss about the future of ebooks, and they never seem to get very far. Sure, a few early adopter types buy into the whole concept, but with clumsy readers, annoying digital rights management and a lack of content, they usually don’t get very far. Here’s yet another story, though, suggesting that, perhaps, the time has come for eBooks. The article quotes a study saying that eBooks are “the fastest growing segment of the publishing industry” which really isn’t that impressive when you realize from what a small base they’re starting, and considering that most of the publishing world is pretty well established. In absolute numbers, ebook sales are still a barely noticeable blip on the very distant outskirts of the radar.

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Comments on “eBooks Suddenly Getting More Attention”

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Oliver Wendell Jones (profile) says:

I love ebooks

I’m a voracious reader. I go through anywhere between 2 and 5 pocket novels each week.

Most of my books I either get from the library or from a used book store just down the street from me.

After I have read the books, I either return them to the library or trade them back into the book store.

Then I got a PocketPC and discovered ebooks and have moved almost entirely away from dead-tree books. With 5 GB of storage in my Ipaq, I can carry around quite a library with me.

What irks me is that there is no market for used ebooks due to their DRM and their price is seldom much lower than the hardcover version of the same book.

I’m looking at Adobe’s ebook store and some of their ebooks are MORE EXPENSIVE than a ‘real’ book (i.e., Isaac Asimovs “Have Robot, Will Travel” is $11.24 in ebook format vs. $13.75 for the dead tree edition from Amazon).

Thankfully there are plenty of ebooks floating around the various UseNet newsgroups and P2P services to keep me stocked up.

thecaptain says:

Re: I love ebooks

I TOTALLY agree with you.
Unlike you, I don’t enjoy libraries much anymore because I love most books so much I want to own a copy (and I really enjoy having a big library), so I have not minded buying the paperbacks and occasional hard cover (for my VERY favorites).
Then I got my PDA.
I thought to myself…well I’ll look into getting my favorite books in e-format so I can read them anywhere (Note: I never really considered at the time buying NEW books in e-format…I don’t want e-format only…if I’m going to pay for something I want something I can hold…). I was WILLING to pay for them.
Until I saw those prices you refer to. Outrageously high. Especially for books I already own.
So I started downloading them, yes, I’m infringing, and you know what? I don’t care!
– if the prices were reasonable (ie: substantially lower than for a paper edition), then I’d be feeding these people a lot of money by buying e-format editions of books I already bought and love.
– if they had reasonable specials where you could buy a combination of the hardcover/paperback AND the e-format to download, I’d be giving these people money EVERY paycheck…
but 12 bucks US for an ebook isn’t reasonable, its simply a money grab…

Dan Neuman says:

eReader DRM

I’m actually pretty happy with the eReader / Palm Digital Media / PeanutPress DRM. They use your credit card number as the encryption key. I don’t mind giving my number to my sister so she can read a book I bought, but no way am I going to put it on a P2P server.

They also keep a list of all the books I bought in a library section, which I can have recoded if I get a new credit card number. So the eBook isn’t tied to a particular computer/palmtop, and I can lend it to friends. I can’t ask for much more, although being able to copy and paste in other documents (say a list of memorable quotes) would be nice.

I’ve bought about 15 eBooks (which I can keep on my Tungsten all at once). Some eBooks come out before the hardcover book is even published (I think Arthur C Clarke did this), and often they are at softcover prices. eReader also has deals where you can get 2 for 1 from a certain author, and they have lists of books that drop in price. And they are NEVER out of print.

I’ve been a pretty big fan since I got my Tungsten with it’s 320×320 screen (the minimum usable, I’d say). It’s almost always with me, so whenever I’m in a lineup or waiting for something/someone, I always have a book to read.

thecaptain says:

Re: eReader DRM

I have a tungsten so I can relate with what you say, and I have NO problem with DRM like you mention.

I have a problem with paying 10 bucks for a book in eformat…OR more.

However, I’d pay 2-3 bucks for it alone, maybe. To me that’s reasonable.

OR I’d pay for say a deal like 12 bucks for the hardcopy(softcover) plus a download edition. That would make me jump for joy. It would make it worth it to spend money that way.

Til then, I’ll download away…the second I can get that tho…that company will have my money as there will be definite advantages to spending it with them.

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