Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Not quite gear lust, but gear intrigue

Jeff Bezos says that, where Kindle editions of their books are available, they now make up 35% of those titles' sales. That would seem to indicate that the market for e-books is more robust than I'd assumed. Also, the new Kindle comes with a bigger screen and reads PDFs natively.

What will this do? Jump-start the market for pirated e-books, I'd wager. But no, I'm sure university students would never find creative or surreptitious ways to save themselves hundreds of dollars a year.


adam said...

Heh, I still have a few textbooks from my computer science classes that were intended for developing markets only. I didn't even buy them on purpose, but a lot of Ebay deals turn out to be these.

Of course, I might feel vaguely guilty about it if fewer of them had phrases like "only very modern processors like the 386" (the 80's called, they want their...), and weren't simultaneously trying to convince us that $170 is a reasonable retail price.

Oh, and if it helps with the lust part: new Kindle.

Anonymous said...

What will this do? Jump-start the market for pirated e-books, I'd wager.I would hope that the book publishing industry has looked at the music industry and the movie industry and the television industry and are figuring out exactly how to handle this emerging market.

I'd hope that, but I imagine they're more likely freaking out and running around like madmen because their business model is about to change in ways that they haven't accounted for.

FWIW - the price of electronic textbooks relative to printed textbooks should become dramatically smaller. One of the many reasons that textbooks are so expensive is because of the small print runs. The best way to fight piracy is to charge a reasonable price for your product in the first place. There's really no reason that an electronic version of a $100 textbook should cost $90 - that's just stupid pricing. Especially when the student knows he can't even sell the electronic book back for beer money at the end of the semester.