Year of the eBook?


Yes, it is that time of the week again. State of the eBook is back to bring you the latest eBook news and commentary, just in time for Black Friday and the holiday shopping season.

A few big pieces of news:

Barnes and Noble is officially sold out of nooks. If you didn’t pre-order yours yet it is too late for the holidays. However, now that they are accepting gift cards you could always ask for those to tide you over!

Sony Reader Daily Edition is also (potentially) sold out for the holidays. If you don’t need the wireless capabilities, the Touch and Pocket Editions are still available.

Amazon, meanwhile, is not only still pumping out Kindles, but they’ve also updated the Kindle 2 with some exciting new firmware. Supposedly this will give you an 85% boost over your current battery life with Whispernet on, and even more exciting, the Kindle 2 now natively renders PDFs instead of converting them! I admit, I’ve hung on to my Kindle 1 and been very happy with it, but I am starting to get a bit jealous!

No matter which Kindle you have, check out this website through your Kindle’s experimental browser. It takes you to free, public domain eBooks you can download directly to your Kindle! (via Teleread)

Not really news, but Nathan Blansford, a literary agent, has shared 10 eBook myths on his blog. Definitely worth the read, as it addresses a lot of the misinformation out there today. Would you add anything to his list? (via Mobileread)

The future of eBooks:

So as we head into the end of the year, there are a lot of predictions for the future. Teleread is reporting that Gartner predicts huge numbers for ereaders in 2010. I don’t doubt Gartner, but if we want to pinpoint where eBooks really took off, I think 2009 is it. While sales may be higher in the future, look at what 2009 has brought so far this year; triple digit eBook sale increases, sold out eBook readers, J.C. Penney selling an eBook reader…the list goes on and on.

Barnes and Noble selling the nook and really jumping into eBooks full bore is not to be taken lightly. Don’t forget, B&N just bought Fictionwise in March of this year. They’ve not only determined eBooks are to be a part of their market, but they’ve also vaulted themselves into being serious contenders in a 9 month time period!

It isn’t always the big sales that determine popularity, it is perception as well; what are people saying about a product, how aware are they and how badly do they want it? 2 out of 3 major eBook manufacturers are already sold out for the holidays, and it’s not even Black Friday yet! While next year may mark bigger revenues and marketshare, this is the year that eBooks truly arrived!

Do you agree that 2009 is the year of the eBook? Or is more progress needed? And what did you think of the 10 eBook myths? Share your thoughts below!

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About the Author

Zek has been a gadget fiend for a long time, going back to their first PDA (a Palm M100). They quickly went from researching what PDA to buy to following tech news closely and keeping up with the latest and greatest stuff. They love writing about ebooks because they combine their two favorite activities; reading anything and everything, and talking about fun new tech toys. What could be better?

2 Comments on "Year of the eBook?"

  1. Two things: I think the publishers will pass on the lower margins to their authors, squeezing the authors as much as possible. I think the electronic publishing model has to change significantly before/while the ramp-up occurs.

    2) I still think e-ink needs color, backlighting, and (for me, please, pretty please) a quicker page refresh rate.

  2. Doug-

    I think you are right about the margins but not for a few years. 9.99 for a hardcover is a huge margin hit, and Amazon and friends aren’t taking it forever.

    However, 9.99 for a paperback that’s normally 15.00 isn’t as tight, and might give them some breathing room. We’ll see.

    And backlit e-ink probably won’t come, but we’re seeing more b&w backlit LCD screens pop up…

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