From M-novels to the Death of Paper Publishing: Part 2

From M-novels to the Death of Paper Publishing

by Roz Foster | a Ruelle Electrique Reprint

Part 2: Kindle, nook, Google Editions and Rumors of a Tablet PC

Just after Barnes and Noble’s hand-held book reader, nook, was released, Amazon’s stock skyrocketed. Why? Because the other major American bookseller had decided to participate in the hand-held reader market. It wasn’t just Sony’s failed publishing experiment anymore. Now, Amazon’s Kindle was the market leader in a big, booming, brand new business: digital book publishing.  Even Google is going for the monetized digital book.  Google is emerging with a service called Google Editions, which will let readers buy books and read them on any gadget with an internet browser (http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2354272,00.asp).

Yes, it’s really happening. Books made of paper may eventually go the way of Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

From my perspective, Apple’s next device, the unborn Mac tablet is what fans of the paper publishing industry ought to be conducting black ops to thwart.  But first, let’s talk about smart phones for a moment.  Compared to the Kindle or nook, smart phones, like the iPhone, double as very, very small e-readers. However, note that across Japan, China, Taiwan, Europe and now South Africa, hordes of people have already embraced m-novels—which are read on even smaller cell phone screens than, say, iPhone’s 3.5 inch display.

Truly, what Kindle and nook have going for them (against cell and smart-phones as e-readers) are their easy-to-tote slimness and their highly readable, six-inch matte-screens. Those relatively sizable matte screens are pretty tough to beat. And the fact that digital readers are smaller than your standard magazine makes them very appealing.

Yet, e-book readers are one-trick ponies. All you can do is read books on them. Plus, the majority of the e-reading market already has a cell or smart phone. This makes the Kindle or nook just one more device to carry around and to manage.  Although, if Apple comes out with a tablet, my bet is many will opt for both an iPhone and a phone-ready tablet—because answering a tablet PC on the go isn’t terribly feasible.

A pair like an iPhone and an Apple-made tablet may be very well-integrated, making frequent transitions between the interfaces a cinch.  Kindle or nook will not have the same integration.  So, if digital readers are non-PC-integrated, one-trick ponies that are just another hand-held for consumers to manage and tote, then this may greatly diminish their appeal in a market that also contains an iPhone and an integrated tablet PC…. READ MORE.

This was a Ruelle Electrique Reprint and was originally published at Glopilot.

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