E-book advocates highlight content evolution

Story in today’s Financial Times:

E-book advocates highlight conent evolution

By Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson

From the story:

But the technology and pricing of e-readers is changing fast, as devices from Interead, Hearst and Plastic Logic, backed by retailer Barnes & Noble, join Amazon and Sony’s brands.  Forrester Research expects the US e-reader market to grow from 1m units to 12m by 2012 as new devices offer wireless connections, touch screens and, in time, colour displays.

Changing fast, but not fast enough.  Today classes begin for 1Ls here at Stanford, and already one professor is reporting that the bookstore does not have sufficient copies of the casebook available.

There’s also a related front-page story from today’s paper:  “French book publisher warns of Google-Amazon pricing threat.  Deep cuts being forced,” says Hachette chief.  By Ben Hall in Paris.

For more www.ft.com/mediachallenge

E-books in the news

The Wall Street Journal, Tuesday, July 21, 2009, p. B1, Barnes & Noble Challenges Amazon’s Kindle, by Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg and Geoffrey A. Fowler.

“The biggest news here is the multi-channel integration of [Barnes& Noble’s] physical store and e-book store via the iPhone ,” said Sarah Rotman Epps, an analyst with Forrester Research Inc. “It makes use of B&N’s biggest asset: the brick-and-mortar store.”

. . .

Mountain View, Calif.-based Plastic Logic is targeting its e-book reader for the business audience, . . .

 

The New York Times, Tuesday, July 21, 2009, p. B1, “Barnes & Noble Plans An Extensive E-Bookstore,” by Motoko Rich.

. . . Barnes & Noble said that it would offer more than 700,000 books that could be read on a wide range of devices, including Apple’s iPhone, the BlackBerry and various . . .  computers. . . .

More than 500,000 of the books now offered electronically on BN.com can be downloaded free, through an agreement with Google to provide electronic versions of public domain books that Google has scanned from university libraries. Sony announced a similar deal in March to offer the public domain books on its Reader device.

E-book momentum

A front-page, above-the-fold story in today’s New York Times about e-books suggests that the devices are finding new readership and acceptance.

According to the story, “Turning Page, E-Books Start To Take Hold,” by Brad Stone and Motoko Rich, “[m]any Kindle buyers appear to be outside the usual gadget-bound demographic. . . . the device is most popular among 55- to 64-year-olds.”

The story concludes with a quote from a book reader who “once railed against e-readers” and who now is “in love with [her Kindle].”

But it’s not just the Kindle.  According to the Times:

Amazon.com’s popular Kindle is unavailable until February, creating an opening for Sony’s Reader . . . The increased competition could signal the public’s acceptance of the idea of reading longer texts on a portable digital device.

In addition to the Kindle and Sony Reader, the story makes reference to e-book applications and devices from Apple (iPhone), Fictionwise, Scroll Motion, Plastic Logic, Polymer Vision, Foxit Software, and E Ink.