It truly is Going to Be an E-Reader Xmas

I am heading to make a several predictions centered on what I’ve seen occurring this 7 days in the Book market. As with any style of prognostication, I most likely have a 50-50 prospect of staying completely wrong. But guessing about the upcoming, significantly in the fast-paced realm of engineering, is my kind of enjoyment.

Initially off, how do you spell e-book? Or is it e-book? Newspapers like the NY Times use the hyphen, and trendy rulebreakers never. I am betting with the fashionable rulebreakers for the reason that, hey, they’re the rulemakers of tomorrow (which is next 7 days).

The celebration that far more than anything received me heated up about the pre-Xmas hype for e-readers (hyphen listed here for readability?) was an ad I saw on on TV just two evenings back for the Sony Reader. Now, this product has been on the current market for a couple of several years. It was one particular of the initially of its type, predating the Amazon Kindle. But Sony’s technique was seemingly to advertise it initial generally to scholars and librarians, taking print ads in some of the snobbier journals. I complained in my weblog, even again then, that Sony was preaching to the choir and squandering its lead time by not addressing buyers instantly. I desired to see a billboard marketing campaign with some glitzy, techno counterpart to silhouettes of dancers leaping close to wearing white earbuds.

And I was mystified that Apple appeared to be disregarding that current market deliberately. In actuality, I was appalled when Steve Work reportedly remarked that kids do not read any longer, so no level in launching a reader. I hoped that was clever disinformation, much as I dislike the use of disinformation in any form, for any purpose. (You can examine ebooks on an Apple iphone making use of different third-bash apps. I don’t feel that is a core tactic for Apple, although.)

So I did a little bit of facts drilling on the Sony ad and found that people today described viewing it as early as previous thirty day period (August 2009) in some regional markets. I dwell in the Los Angeles area, and I might by no means observed it. But this limited exposure very last thirty day period would seem to me like test internet marketing. I would wager that now, write-up-Labor-Day and pre-holiday getaway, you are going to see that ad a large amount, on all important networks, broadcast and cable, and nationwide.

Personally, I think the ad sucks, depicting a panel of specialists (some/all actors), who are touting the factor. A single promises to be the entire world-winner speed-reader, and I bet he actually is. But gyrating pop-icon silhouettes, they’re not. As soon as once more, Sony is pitching the geeks. (I rely myself as a geek so never imagine I’m disparaging my peers. It can be just that we are not the greater part of the population or everybody in the U.S. would have had Medicare many years back.)

Add to this portentous advancement the similar evidence that Philips iRex is now remaining released in a enterprise with Very best Invest in and Verizon, as claimed in yesterday’s NY Times. The iRex reads the open-source EPUB format. Sony not long ago announced that the Reader would shortly aid that structure, as properly, together with its proprietary LRF format and Adobe PDF. A single significant distinction is that EPUB publications ordinarily the deficiency electronic rights management (DRM) electronic copying constraints imposed by LRF, Amazon Kindle, and some Adobe PDF versions.

For my component, I decided to be a part of the club and beefed up my membership and existence on Book distribution services Smashwords.com, which supports EPUB and LRF, as properly as lots of the other formats. I am considering a significant thought for Ebook buyers really should be the prolonged-term price of shopping for articles. Costs of ebooks fluctuate broadly, but several Amazon Kindle versions are marketed at just beneath ten bucks. Lots of Smashwords EPUB variations selection from cost-free to a buck or two, although bestsellers ordinarily price much more. Then too, there is the general public area library presented by Venture Gutenberg, where all the things is both no cost and about a hundred yrs previous. But if you’re looking for Charles Dickens instead than Dan Brown, you can come across him and thousands of other famous authors there in EPUB, HTML, and “basic-text” formats.

It appears to be as while the Sony Reader Pocket Version is priced least expensive amid its rivals, but it lacks wireless connectivity. Most likely that’s no huge offer and the price tag place is the crucial aspect. Other Sony Reader styles, as perfectly as the Kindle and the iRex, have built-in wi-fi (with bundled provider), which I’m guessing is the principal purpose for the price differential.

All this will alter, possibly by the time I click the Post button to put up this article.

And what about Apple? Can we hope an announcement any day? I’m betting on a plug-in pill-sized screen as an accessory to the present iPods. Decades in the past, I saw a “leaked” YouTube slide presentation on these types of a gadget, as even though it had been prepared for an Apple progress group briefing. No matter whether the video clip clip was bogus or not, the notion helps make great perception, both equally technically and commercially. The Iphone is a helpful reader, but I wouldn’t examine a novel on it.

And I also considered Amazon’s strategy to introduce the bigger-structure Kindle 3 into the school textbook product was a fantastic shift–into a marketplace area of interest you would assume Sony would have owned by then.

I never know no matter whether it usually means nearly anything, but I can not obtain that leaked Apple video clip on YouTube any more…