9 Responses to This Is Print Publishing’s Final Warning

  1. jenn topper says:

    May I throw another variable into the mix: TomTom claims it sold 80,000 iPhone apps of its navigation service. Key word: SOLD. For $100. Personally, I think people who paid $100 for TomTom on their iPhone are fools. But they still paid, and paid dearly, on top of the cost of the iPhone itself.

    So here’s yet another example of e-books not necessarily meaning free content. Right? Stay tuned for my additional thoughts on ad-supported content — a contention that Google admits is at the very heart of its successful business model.


    • mikecane says:

      >>>May I throw another variable into the mix: TomTom claims it sold 80,000 iPhone apps of its navigation service.

      But that was before the Google announcement. I’d be afraid to see that sales graph as the days go on…

    • stegn says:

      “Personally, I think people who paid $100 for TomTom on their iPhone are fools.”

      Or at least not the fortunetellers you pretent to be. And when Amazon starting selling book tax free, I guess that made all the other book buyers fools. And when Walmart cheapen prices by cutting healthcare, I guess that made all the other retailers fools.

      The question is not what GPS, Google style, costs today. Or does not cost. It’s what will it cost when Google has driven all the other vendors out of the marketplace. then we can determine who the fools were.

  2. Nic Boshart says:

    Not just Google, but BookServer from the Internet Archive too. It’s just going to get easier for people to access content. Sure, readers are a bit expensive but people are willing to pay money for gadgets. You think someone who pays $35.99 for a hardcover won’t pay for an eReader? The people who keep publishing alive and the gadget buyers are the same market.

  3. Don says:

    Manufacturers of eReaders need to follow the home razor model. When they charge $20 for a high-quality reader and $5 for new books, they will become successful. For $200+ per fragile reader and $10+ per book, it’s a toy for people with lots of money.

    Go into a store and spend $35 for a book or $200 for a reader without a book at all? That’s an easy choice when you don’t have a lot of money.

    When the price on eReaders goes way down, it will still take a generation for real books to become a niche market.

  4. Ing says:

    When you don’t have a lot of money, the choice is neither the $35 book nor the $200 reader. If you buy anything at all, it’s a $4 used paperback or that $1 PDF from the self-published author.

    I’m not a Luddite by any means, but for me, there’s no convenience an e-reader can offer that isn’t vastly outweighed by the disadvantages: the biggest being the ever-accelerating obsolescence cycle of electronic technology. I’ll never have to convert my paper library to a new standard just to keep reading, which is what I’ve had to do twice with my music library.

    I don’t just read books, I keep them; the ones I really like stay on my shelves, and I derive great comfort from resting my eyes lovingly upon them. If printed books on paper become a niche market, I’ll be in it as long as I have money to spend.

    Still, I have to admit there’s a lure in the thought of having (say) 50 books to choose from stored in an e-reader rather than one abused paperback in a coat pocket, if I’m (say) on a long plane ride.

    • mikecane says:

      There is also the plus of not having to pack, lug, and unpack cardboard boxes galore when moving. Moving I have had to do about 5-6 times in my life — so far.

      • Ing says:

        Okay, you got me on that one. I conveniently forgot that most of my collection still occupies 15 boxes that have been piled in my living room since I moved in September. I need to get new shelves to put all the books on (vs. upgrading an e-reader? Hmmm…).

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