e-Book Echo: Read an e-Book Week; Apple to Boost e-Books


Our platform focus continues this fine Sunday with the e-Book Echo, our take on the week in the digital publishing world. You know a technology is beginning to make an impact when it gets recognized on the web. Get ready for “Read an e-book week“, March 7 – 13. Actually, according to the promoters this week first occurred in 2004 so maybe it’s not so new after all. The purpose behind the week of recognizing the e-book is summed up best by those behind it:

Read an E-Book Week educates and informs the public about the pleasures and advantages of reading electronically. Authors, publishers, vendors, the media and readers world-wide are welcome to join in the effort. We encourage you to promote electronic reading with any event. These could include: public readings, library displays, reading challenges, school visits, newspaper and blog articles, chat show appearances, internet radio interviews, e-book give-ways, and banners on your website.

All eyes will be turned to Cupertino on Jan. 27th, with the expectation that Apple (s aapl) is going to introduce the world to its new tablet. Speculation has run amok about what the tablet will bring to consumers, but there is little doubt the tablet will be leveraged by Apple as an e-book reader. This is significant for the e-book world, not for the tablet itself but for the e-book ecosystem that Apple will surely introduce along with the device. It has been reported for quite some time that Apple has been in discussion with publishers to get content deals for the table. While it may not be critical for Apple to become a huge e-book seller, a venture of this nature will definitely add big momentum to the growth of the e-book business.



Unlike the zealous Mordeth13, I don’t want a superfancy ebook reader with… really? games? I should also put an xbox 360 in my home office. Maybe a playground. My books don’t have games, why should my reader? It’s a distraction at best. My take on the simplicity of the ebook is that it’s quite perfect. I want to read. That’s it. I have other devices for silly games.

And “an AFFORDABLE APPLE PRICE???!” (Emphasis and flabbergasted punctuation mine) Really? Where? Anywhoo.. market competition, not Steve Jobs, is what makes content cheaper. Amazon has done that with $9.99 books. Not to mention the largest selection of (modern and relevant) ebooks in history. You want books cheaper than 10 bucks that, before Kindle, we were paying over $20 for? My God, boy. What’s gone on in your head?

Yes, content is king, and my loyalties for ebooks go to the highest bidder in that regard. That happens to be Amazon at the moment (who, by the way, was probably Apple’s biggest push to remove DRM from music, again – competition). if Apple has more content and a better way to consume it, then so be it. But their usual (yes) high price points and unabated insistance on cramming every feature and its second cousin in one device is NOT good for the dedicated ebook reader world. That’s what my phone is for. Dedicated ebook readers should remain just that – dedicated. I’m too easily distracted enough as it is.

Chris Smith

James, I hope you are right about all of this. If the Apple Tablet is just an over-sized iPod Touch, a ton of geeks will be disappointed. This brings up a good point.

Do you think that people other than us geeky individuals will even find this gadget useful? eBooks are sort of geeky. Music and videos are mainstream and very popular. That is why the iPod has done so well. Do you really think that the masses are that eager for books and magazines on a device especially when they can just content through a web browser?


Actually I hope that Apple becomes the largest e-book seller in the World by the end of 2010. They could stabilize the prices like they did with the music industry. And they could offer a wide selection of magazines, tv shows and games on their tablet which there are few (if any) on the existing e-books out their. Hopefully in the near future all books would be release on the iSlate FIRST before any other media format, now that would really be something. Face it, the book stores and publishers don’t have a clue how to properly create a good content viewing device that the masses really want, sorry but current crop of B@W plastic flickering poor display and poor UI ain’t gonna cut it. This is Twenty Ten and we want better, we want COLOR and a GREAT UI and VAST SELECTION OF CONTENT at an affordable APPLE PRICE and USER CREATED ADDON OPTIONS (ie APP STORE) and …… I think you get the picture.

I can only hope that on January 27th the e-book world will be shaken to the core and never be the same again. Let’s go Apple, Rock’em good, you can do it !

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