Certainly many people are buying more music thanks to digital downloads rather than CDs. Of course, many people are stealing more music, which is what publishers are afraid of for books, and I don't blame them.
A big problem for me is, well, ego, as I discussed in a previous video. I really do want physical books on my shelves. I like seeing them so I can think that I'm so literate (if only) and, at least as important, making sure other people see all my books! Books help define who I am (which is an argument for halting book publishing!).
However, much as I like "having" books (I never use the library for books; I buy everything), I think the advantages of digital publications will, for the most part, win out for me. (If only Amazon would offer a digital + paper discount!)
Some books, such as big photography and art books, are still better in paper. But the more I think about it, the more I think reading digitally is more enjoyable -- and I am never without dozens of books because they're on my phones.
I can "get over" my love of paper, and I believe that, as I've written many times, within a relatively short time (10 - 20 years), most people in more developed countries will not buy paper books.
Thanks for the reply, Alan. Sounds like you're well on your way to converting from paper to digital. Even though I haven't switched from print to e-books, I agree with this statement, "it's also possible that e-readers will increase sales of books, not decrease them."
I see that happening. Buying digital goods feels different than buying physical goods. I know that I buy more music now than I did when I was buying physical CDs and I doubt I'm the only one. To be able to purchase something from anywhere and have it instantly is a very different experience than going out to buy a physical object or, worse, ordering it online and waiting days for its arrival. So I do see e-readers increasing sales... once publishers get with the program.
Yes, good points. I lumped dedicated (or mostly dedicated) e-readers and tablets into the same video.
I believe many people/households will have both e-readers and tablets, especially as more e-readers break the $100 barrier and become impulse or even disposable ($50?) items.
As with all or most technology, devices for reading will decrease in price, and older versions will sell for less. Yesterday, Woot sold refurbished seven-inch Samsung Galaxy Tabs for $265.
Both consumers and enterprises might have numerous tablets and e-readers around the house and office, so documents should be formatted and designed for their use. (Yes, I know there are standards issues.)
From what I know about publishing, the cost of printing and distribution isn't the main cost. In fact, it's sometimes about just 15 percent of the overall costs that include the editors, marketers, etc.
However, there's no doubt that printing and distribution add some cost, and too many publishers are just milking digital prices -- not all publishers and not all cases, but too many.
As for killing trees, yes, that's a problem but, unlike some depletion of natural resources, at least trees are renewable.
Exactly! The publishers are acting in many ways like the music labels. They are simply postponing the inevitable, which is what they want. Publishers want to milk hardcover sales for as long as they can.
It's a losing battle, but many figure it's better to generate as much income as possible now, than to completely embrace digital. They figure the eBook "fanatics" will buy digital publications even though the price isn't appropriate, just as they assume book lovers will purchase hardcovers instead of waiting for the cheaper paperbacks.
As for me, I am finding that using an e-reader is often more comfortable than even the trade paperbacks I typically prefer. (I find hardcovers to be somewhat cumbersome.) I can change the typeface, type size, margins, colors, backlighting (on LCDs), look up words immediately, check Wikipedia and Google (all within the app), turn pages at least as quickly (or quicker), and read with one hand while eating (assuming I don't need to use two hands!).
All of those features are significant for my reading enjoyment.
The more I read eBooks, the more I'm beginning to prefer them to paper. I love paper books, but until relatively recently, there weren't any alternatives! (I started reading eBooks on phones years ago, starting, I think, with the Palm Treo.)
Last night I was reading a sample of a new novel (Embassytown by China Mieville) to see if I wanted to purchase it. I was reading it on an Android phone, and after I finished the sample, I purchased it as an eBook -- even though I could get the paperback for less than the digital version. That's actually quite a switch for me, but the instant gratification was worth it.
That's a major reason why people with e-readers purchase many more books that they used to. And it's also possible that e-readers will increase sales of books, not decrease them.
I personally see a difference between a tablet type device and an e-reader. E-readers are specific (for the most part) to being used for books that are provided through Amazon, B&N, and other e-book outlets. Whereas a tablet (such as an iPad) has a much broader set of uses available and can easily be incorporated into an IT deployment as an internal device to be utilized.
That is a very good emphasis about publishers not being willing to make published works available in digital format. I know that Alan covered this in the video but you both are correct that every publisher should seriously look at how they are positioning themselves for the long haul. Paper books are wasteful and add cost to the bottom line of book sales that do not need to be there. Digital is cleaner and requires basically the same space they would already be using as part of their print publication process.
My point is as more people use tablets and e-readers for reading -- and tablets become increasingly important for businesses -- employees should be able to easily read corporate documents on these devices. In short, the tablet/e-reader will become the preferred way to view documents, so corporate documents should be formatted for them.
As for security, there are a variety of ways to protect documents, such as password protection.
Thanks for the video, Alan. As you well know, I am a print lover and have no use for e-books, BUT it disturbs me to see that publishers are making the same mistakes as their comrades in the record industry by making nonsensical business decisions regarding pricing and by not releasing some books in digital format. This is just silly, it's postponing the inevitable, and it's resulting in bad blood all around.
While I agree that companies need to better embrace digital formats for their internal documents, I do not see a direct connection between E-book readers and internal company documents. Many companies already have taken the steps to have all internal documents coverted to digital formats (which do include linking and video content). But these companies are running the "internal" documents on their intranets, not to some e-reader format.
What goals would they be able to achieve by making private corporate documents available as an E-Book? None that I can think of. It lends itself to a lack of internal security and the inability to control who sees these documents and when.
Businesses helped neighbors with Internet access and mobile device charge-ups during Sandra. Following that example, enterprises should consider preparing Internet disaster plans to help the public during disasters.
The risk the iPad now faces is less from feature competition than from price competition, and the players most likely to compete in price are Amazon and Barnes & Noble. By subsidizing their "tablets" with ebook sales these guys may field affordable products that could redefine the market.
Mobile TV is everywhere, and yet, nowhere. Nobody uses it – because the handsets aren't good, the pricing is too high, and the coverage is not good enough. But Qualcomm's FloTV Personal TV aims to change all of that.
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