Friday, March 19, 2010

E-Books: Another Round of False Promises?

Link to March 19 Business Insider post by Michael Mace, "Why E-Books Failed in 2000, and What It Means for 2010".

Excerpt:  It’s a great time for ebooks.

There are at least six ebook reader devices on the market or in preparation. A major business magazine predicts that up to seven million of these devices will be sold next year.

A major consulting firm says ebook sales will account for ten percent of the publishing market in five years. And an executive at the leading computing firm predicts that 90 percent of all publishing will switch to electronic form in just 20 years.

But the year isn’t 2010 — it’s 2000, and the ebook market is about to go into hibernation for a decade. What went wrong, and what can the failure tell us about the prospects for ebooks in 2010?

Mace's list of why ebooks failed in 2000.
1.  Not enough ebooks.
2.  Ebooks were too expensive.
3.  The hardware factor form was wrong.
4.  Periodicals weren't ready.
5.  Poor marketing.

Mace feels there are still structural barriers to the mass-market adoption of ebooks.

Lots to ponder here.

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