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2009: The year of the eReader

Publishing is a business. Yes, most editors get into editing because they love books, but they still have to make money. Somehow with ebooks, that's easier to see right now, because ebooks add a layer of technology not present in print books (go here for a librarian's primer on ebooks if you're not up on the technology).

The other day Barnes & Noble announced they were matching Amazon's $9.99 price limit for ebooks— although frankly, they may be keeping up with the Jones when the Jones have fallen behind. Amazon has slipped in a lot of $13.00 and $14.00 ebooks lately. I'm talking fiction here,not nonfiction, where anything goes.

Now Amazon has dropped the price of the Kindle 2 to $299 (still need to fork over an extra $30 for the cover, though). Why now? Well, eReaders are popping up all over. It's getting hard to keep track. In addition to the still unnamed eReader from Plastic Logic, and the upcoming British entry Cybook Opus, there's soon to be a new eReader called a Ditto Book that will retail for $249. No wireless, but that's a lot cheaper than the previous Kindle price of $359. Plus, the Cool-Er is in the same price range, and Amazon probably didn't want to look overpriced.

So, the question is, is the wireless connection worth the $50 difference?? The answer is hell yes! Unless you live outside of the U.S., the wireless is definitely worth it. In fact, I ordered a Kindle 2 this morning. I'm going to let my husband use my Kindle 1 while I try the new one out. We'll be a two-Kindle family.





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Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
jl_johnson
Jul. 10th, 2009 12:54 pm (UTC)
You know what, you hit the nail on the head. Unless you live in the United Staes, the Kindle is useless.

I wonder what that African school thinks of the Kindles Oprah got them?
karen_w_newton
Jul. 10th, 2009 01:10 pm (UTC)
Well, I wouldn't call it useless since you could still put lots of free books and books from Fictionwise and other ebook retailers on there using the USB cable. It's just not worth paying more than the Sony because the price difference covers the cost of something you can't use.

A lot of folks are breathlessly awaiting the arrival of Plastic Logic's new eReader which will have wifi and 3G connectivity. PL has been mum on WHERE the 3G will work, though. Since it was invented by two Brits, one would hope if would allow for more than just a US option. They're also not saying the price yet, but since it's aimed at business travelers, I doubt it will be less than $250.

karen_w_newton
Jul. 10th, 2009 01:34 pm (UTC)
Doh! I said it was hard to keep track. I forgot to mention yet another eReader, the Cybook Opus, which I think is British. I wonder if they'll match Amazon's price?
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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