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Amazon is making progress getting the major college textbook publishers on board with its Kindle electronic reader. Today, McGraw-Hill Education said it will begin offering 100 higher education titles on the Kindle. McGraw-Hill joins the other major textbook publishers, Cengage Learning, Pearson, and Wiley, which are already selling Kindle editions. Amazon is positioning its new large-screen Kindle DX reader as a replacement for physical textbooks -- and needs to get as many titles as possible into electronic form.
Today, people buy Kindle e-book readers from Amazon’s Web site. But if the e-commerce giant wants to continue dominating the e-reader category in the future, that needs to change, according to a new report from consultant Forrester Research.
Here’s why: Demographics of e-book reader buyers are shifting, as the device starts to enter the mainstream, writes report author Sarah Rotman Epps. In the past, Kindle buyers were mainly comprised of business users, who were mostly male. But “future prospects for the devices look completely different,” Rotman Epps says. “They’re more likely to be female, less tech optimistic, and they read a lot (on average, 5 books per month) but they buy and borrow books from multiple sources, as opposed to buying lots of books online. The big takeaway is that this could spell trouble for Amazon, if competitors can move in to better serve the later waves of adopters who don’t have as strong a relationship with the eCommerce giant.”
Basically, unless Amazon makes the Kindle available everywhere — at competing, traditional bookstores, for example — the device’s growth could peter off.
Apple’s bullies are tossing out e-book offerings for the iPhone even when the copyright risks aren’t that high. I’m not sure how this affects existing items. But either way, it’s bad news and smacks of Apple’s war on Google VOiP—well, assuming that the news reports are correct, which they might not be, considering the extent of the cluelessness ascribed to Apple.
Novelist Moriah Jovan has come up with a plan for a bookstore without books.
From Media Bistro's Galley Cat, Ron Hogan writes:
"You want a book you can hold in your hands," Jovan fantasizes. "You go to Quaint Bookstore and they do not have what you want in their meager stock. NO PROBLEM! You sit down at one of the book stations. You browse the computer catalog (probably Ingram or Baker & Taylor). You pick your book. You punch in your credit card number (tied to the store's point-of-sale system). The order goes directly to one of the Espresso (print-on-demand) machines behind you. You wait 10 or 15 minutes (by which time you've probably already ordered another 3 books), and out pops your book. You are GOOD TO GO."
Jovan's dream store also allows customers to test drive e-book readers, and maybe even keeps a few old-timey books around on a second floor, for those booksellers who aren't ready to let go completely. So what do you think? Is this where bookstores are headed? Is it where they should be headed?
Is a library without books next?
Competition is growing in the eBook reader market. There have been plenty of electronic book devices in the past, but in the past year or so the Amazon Kindle has grown in popularity and built some credibility for the struggling market. Now, Amazon claims that Kindle eBooks account for more than 30 percent of the company's overall book sales for books that are available in the Kindle format, and Sony is jumping in again with two devices to compete with the Kindle.
Conventional wisdom has long held that the advent of the personal computer and the Internet will result in the salvation of billions of trees as paper is rendered archaic and we get all of our information digitally. I have been hearing that for 20 years or so. But then again, I've also been hearing that the United States is going to switch to the metric system…eventually.
Adding to mounting tensions in the publishing industry over the pricing of electronic books, Sony Electronics announced Tuesday evening that it was lowering prices for new and best-selling books in its e-book store, to $9.99 from $11.99.
Bringing education technology into the 21st century is a bit like entering a barge in the America's Cup yacht races.
Even the most skilled, highly motivated, nimble visionaries will find rough sailing in this shark-infested economy, where state government coffers are in distress, entrepreneurs struggle to find startup money, and cheap, flashy distractions often get in the way of real advances.
Novelist Nicholson Baker tackles the Kindle in this week’s New Yorker.
The takeaway is that he’s not very impressed with Amazon’s (AMZN) device, and that all things being equal, he thinks Apple’s e-reader is at least as good. He’s not talking about the yet-to-appear iTablet, of course. Like a lot of other people, he’s fond of Apple’s (AAPL) current iPhone/iPod touch line.
For those that have an iPod Touch/iPhone and use or have tried the Kindle app, what do you think of it? Anyone have both the Kindle and the iPod Touch/iPhone? Any feedback on that experience?
Right now, the price point for a best seller in the e-format is generally $9.99. Is that too much or too little? In April, best-selling author David Baldacci’s book “First Family,” was released at a $15 e-Book price at Amazon, and the comments about the price were scathing. The book is now priced at $9.99 for the Kindle version. Purchasers aren’t the only ones vocal about the pricing structure; it has been a topic of heated debate in the publishing community.