BookExpo America 2009
BookExpo America 2009 has wrapped up, and while I did not attend (it would be fun someday), I have been watching the major trends of this year’s conference. E-books seemed to be the major theme this year, with Google joining the competition with plans to sell e-books and Borders.
Below is a quote from the ZDNet web site that discusses Google’s announcement:
And so the Googlization of the world continues. Google announced it would enter the e-book market by letting publishers sell online-access only to their books via the great search engine, as the Wall Street Journal reports. This is key:
Google spokesman Gabriel Stricker said consumers would not be able to download books in the same way Amazon’s customers can buy copies of specific titles and store them on their Kindle. Instead, people who access books through Google would be able to read titles online and temporarily cache them in their Internet browsers so they could also read them offline.
And this is also interesting:
Google said it would allow publishers to set their own prices, although the company reserved the right to discount titles at its own expense.
… The books go… onto Google servers, Google collects all manner of usage stats, Google (not the publisher) sets the retails price, conceivably Google runs ads along the content, at a minimum it promotes the books in its search results.
Many of the vendors at the Book Expo were selling e-books, and while I still think that e-books continues to get traction in the market place and in society, they have a long way to go. There continues to be an increasing amount of books available electronically as print-born books are digitized (scanned) and as new books become available in both print and electronic formats.
There also appears to be a growing demand for ebooks, which is not surprising. Read Write Web posted a great graphic outlining some of the driving forces for ebook sales. As outlined in a recent PC World article, with the new players joining the ebook business, it may create a standards war. While this may not be bad in the long-term to have additional competition, it may hamper the growth of ebooks in the short-term as people potentially wait to see which standard will prevail.
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