Our platform focus continues this fine Sunday with the e-Book Echo, our take on the week in the digital publishing world. Publishers are learning the hard way that consumers are willing to pay for what they want, and more importantly they don’t like for companies to push them around. That’s what consumers felt was happening when a number of publishers recently stated they would delay the release of e-book versions of best sellers in an attempt to get consumers to buy the expensive hardcover books instead. This is nothing new, having purchased e-books for a decade I can remember when e-book versions of top sellers followed the paper versions by months. What is new is how consumers are fighting back. A few publishers, HarperCollins among them, have seen a number of their books get stuck with one-star reviews on Amazon to mark displeasure at the delay of the Kindle version.
The folks that gave us the netbook are preparing to enter what is becoming a crowded field of e-book readers. The ASUS DR-570 will have a 6-inch screen and the company is claiming it will provide 122 hours of reading on a battery charge. While Eee-Reader sounds better than DR-570, ASUS is raising the bar by including a color OLED screen, and the integrated 3G and Wi-Fi will come in handy to get Flash content that can be played. There is no word on what this jewel might cost.