A once, I’m sure booming hat factory (Bowler anyone?)
Yeah, so it looks like Kindle and Sony are now going to be challenged by yet another ebook reader. Today Barns and Noble announced they would partner with Plastic Logic to bring B&N’s massive ebook supply quickly and easily to a ereader. PL’s device is WiFi, and it’s a little bigger than the Kindle. About the size of a piece of paper.
I think the demo is interesting, but I think it is showing that ebooks are not going away. On one had we can expect maybe some better technology and easier access to books. I hate pushing my bookcase around town with me. It’s the same old story though, you get something cool, and give up a bunch of stuff like money to pay authors and well, eventually bookstores. B&N will also offer all of their public domain books for free. Right now, if you want to read a pd book in a portable format generally you’re going to have to buy a copy. A lot of profit is still made on pd books. That profit is about to be washed away in a electronic storm.
Free books are good though. I can live with more easily accessible books, but we are always paying a price. Right now we are seeing newspapers crunched. Soon we will see tv and other media having the same problems.
The internet has taught us everything is free, and the more tech each sector gets the more they have to give away for free. Yeah, pd books have been free for a long time on the net, and before that you had the right to them, if you could find a copy for free. The easier and cheaper things get, the less money someone is making somewhere. You know those 1$ videos at your local market, drugstore, drive thru, you know you see those silly things everywhere. Some company right now is making a profit and staying in business by selling those. It is not too far in the future where these ebook readers will be tvs too, right? Computers too, right? So those little 1$ movies are going to disappear, and so is the guy making a living on them. Most of those movies are pd movies, and if you want to watch one right now, for free, go to The Internet Archive, everything is free there.
The ebook readers are great, don’t get me wrong, but we are trading. As these markets break we have to deal with the toppling of the old system.
Writers, I believe, are going to feel this like journalists have felt the switch from print to digital. When we go to an ebook format I don’t think we are far from a world where writers can release a book for free. They do it now on the web all the time. How do you make money on a free book? Right now the only way writers are doing this is by making money on ads on the web, or buy selling products.
I’m just wondering how fast this is going to go. 700,000 books will be able to be read on this handheld. Again, I like ebooks, but someone somewhere is going to be hurting from it.