eBooksfuture of publishing

eBooks: end of the page-turner?

Interesting article in today’s Independent about eBooks – including plenty of quotes from Jeff ‘Print is Dead‘ Gomez:
In just a few short years, MP3 downloads and the iPod changed the face of the music industry. CDs are going the way of the dodo, and high-street music stores fear for their future. Now there’s a new revolution on the horizon; this time in the realm of books.
For nearly 600 years – since the invention of the printing press – the printed book has reigned supreme as the “technology” of choice for reading. But this looks set to change as more publishers, and even authors, put out their titles in digital format as “ebooks”.
These come in a number of formats, the most ubiquitous being PDF, which is readable on computers and mobile devices (including Palm handhelds and the iTouch), as well as on dedicated ebook hardware such as Iliad Reader.
A number of pointers suggest that the ebook revolution is about to break big. The book publisher HarperCollins, for example, has launched a new ebook service tailored to work with Apple’s iPhone. The new “Browse Inside” service will allow users to view the first 10 pages of the first two chapters of upcoming publications. After reading the pages, users will be given the option of pre-ordering the book.
And, just last week, the Booker Prize Foundation announced that – in conjunction with the British Council – it would release this year’s shortlisted books as ebooks, including the winning title The Gathering by the Irish novelist Anne Enright. The hope is to pick up new audiences, particularly in Africa and Asia, which currently aren’t able to access the titles.
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Jon Reed

Jon Reed is a content writer, author, screenwriter, lecturer, blogger - and the founder of Publishing Talk. He was previously a publisher for 10 years. Publishing Talk aims to help new and emerging authors write, publish and sell books. Advice is available via the blog and our masterclasses and membership programme. More...

One thought on “eBooks: end of the page-turner?

  • Won’t happen until publishers get realistic about the price of e-books, and even then it will only reduce the dead-tree-version market, not destroy it. E-books will find their place in the market as the most disposable form of any text. In current prices the right level for an E-book is probably £3.99 or a new release, down to £1.99 after a year or so.

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