E-books

Amazon reports that sales of e-books have surpassed sales of hardcovers. Does this mean e-books have reached the mass adoption phase and printed books are on their way out? Or does this mean that hardcovers are overpriced and people who don’t want to wait for paperback versions are switching to e-books?

What is the option for publishers? Should they just get rid of hardcovers or should they reduce prices to stay afloat?

Will e-books destroy the publishing industry?

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15 thoughts on “E-books

  1. The odd thing is that it’s ebooks that are overpriced! Believe it or not, they cost the same as physical books and in many cases are more expensive.

    It really bugs me when I see this cause I gave up reading physical books in 2004 and have read on a Palm Tungsten T, an O2, and iPod Touch, and now recently a Kindle.

    The publishing industry is actually terrified. Logically ebooks should cost much less than paper books for obvious reasons – not more. But the book industry feels that if they open that door then it’s all the way towards zero cost – just like songs on iTunes are now sold for $0.99 (low by american standards.)

    So yes – the future is ebooks. But publishers are going to have to be dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century.

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  2. For me book reading means actually holding it physically while curled up on bed or easy chair. I have never liked e books. What about the pirated books?? I think they are threats too!

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  3. Sadly, the demise of the paperback and hardcover seem imminent, as does the death of the broadsheet newspaper. The publishing industry can’t hold out forever. E-books will eventually become more affordable. The economics will dictate the shift.

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  4. I hope to God not! It would be such a shame. The magic of holding a real book and turning over pages is something I know I could never get tired of :) But then again, the demands of an new age, can put paid to magic!

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  5. Hey Bones , this is obviously for Amazon , not in general. In the US around 9% of all books bought by consumers in jan-May 2010 were E-Books , so 90% is still the physical product. Of course , its changing rapidly. For eg , the fig for Jan-May 2009 was 3% …someday quite soon , they’ll be very close. personally speaking , nothing beats the feel of a book …:)

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