Sunday, June 14, 2009

Examining the changing book industry



The book industry as we know it is changing. Google, the latest contender, seems to possess the clout to give the Amazon Kindle a run for its money.

The Kindle is a compact, electronic book with instant wireless access to tens of thousands of books sold by Amazon, an audiobook player, and a wireless Web browser. Kindle uses a cellular data network to deliver books, newspapers, magazines and weblogs to you immediately.

Amazon sells e-books specifically formatted to work with Kindle. A few days ago, the company started shipping the Kindle DX, the large-screen version of its line of e-book readers.

Meanwhile, Google announced plans to launch a program that will let publishers sell digital versions of their books directly to consumers. The Internet search giant plans to let Google Book Search users "buy access" to copyrighted books with any Web-enabled computer, e-reader or mobile phone.

National Public Radio explores the e-book challenge.


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6 comments:

Andre said...

This move by Google will be most welcomed. Since Google has always been a power player in every circle (search engines, virtual maps, video hosting, etc), this will cause its competitors (Amazon, in this case) to do some serious price reduction. If this is to be the next big wave - especially for college students - lower prices are important.

Shirazi said...

I would always want to hold the book. To smell, to take note on and to turn corners of the pages. I love that. Call this resistance to change but I still look hard copies.

mrwriteon said...

I'm just an old-fashioned paper page kinda guy. Hi, nice to see you again, my friend.

Deb S. said...

Andre, Shi, and Ian: When it comes to books, I would rather hold the publications in my hands, but I can respect those who are into ebooks.

Martin Lindsey. said...

Google and Amazon are continuing the chase for the long tail.

I like paper in hand too but I'm wondering when book stores are going to start closing in record numbers like record stores because they can't keep an infinite volume or selection of books on hand like a server can.

Especially when your digital book can be delivered straight to e-reader tablets like these.

Deb S. said...

Martin: You bring up a very good point. It seems that as a bookseller, Amazon.com has the best of both worlds. It can satisfy the needs of those who prefer e-books and meet the needs of those who are more comfortable with traditional publications.