Posted June 2, 2009 5:13 pm by with 3 comments

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K, I know that probably 98% of you aren’t rabidly following the blogs of people on the inside of the publishing industry. So here’s the deal: the publishing industry is getting very excited about eBooks, even without Google saying they’re going to get into the eBook business.

We’ve covered the Kindle here a couple times, but I’m willing to bet most of you don’t have one. Sometimes we like to think that means that eReaders and eBooks are nonstarters. But according to new research from Forrester, that’s just not the case. In fact, as RWW says of the report:

the eBook and eReader market has now hit a point where it is ready to break out of its niche and become a mainstream phenomenon

Now this is kind of a big deal coming from Forrester, who initially pegged the Kindle as “a niche device that would only attract a small number of book-loving early adopters.” Now they’ve revised their projections:
This is the year that eReaders are supposed to make the transition to widespread acceptance—and that may already be underway. Seven months ago, Oprah’s favorite new gadget was the Kindle, and she spent quite a bit of a show extolling its features (though it’s possible her love for the Kindle has waned as her love for Twitter did).

This isn’t a format war—there will probably always be a place for paper books in our society, and that doesn’t mean that eBooks can’t have one. But this could well be a turning point—and Google is poised to catch that wave, with its eBook offering reportedly coming out by the end of this year.

What do you think? Is Google getting in on the eBook trend just in time? Or will Amazon, with its eReader and eBook hand-in-hand, continue to dominate paper and electronic book sales?

  • Cheryl

    Well…in a way Google has been in the “eBook” business for quite awhile given their free Google books are all downloadble in PDF which are natively readable on Sony eReaders and easily convertable to .mobi files for Kindles. I do think that Google’s entry into selling eBooks will have some impact although I still think that Amazon’s store and device give them a better position across the board. Their Kindle still has the easiest and most seamless way to download eBooks (wireless) over any other device.

    The last thing I want to do when I’m traveling and want a new book is to have to take out my laptop, boot it up, connect it to a WiFi or wired network, download an eBook, connect my eBook to my laptop and then synchronize them.

  • Great post! If anything, Google’s entry into the e-reader, e-book market signals how potentially large the opportunity is. Interestingly, I think Google is taking the right approach. Let Amazon and Sony be the pioneers and take all of the arrows while Google learns and eventually leap-frogs both with a superior product. They certainly did this with AdWords, Gmail, etc.

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  • Here’s what I think: So far in June, my net publishing revenues are: Paperbacks – $1,189.01. Kindle – $22.67. Scribd – $0.00. Kindle sales got a nice bump when the iPhone app was released, two or three months ago, and have been falling off a cliff ever since.

    Steve Weber’s last blog post..Amazon warns authors it may censor blogs