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The recent spate of eReader launches, plus the upcoming CES show in Las Vegas have a lot of folks thinking about digital publishing. And then GalleyCat posted piece by Richard Nash, former head of Soft Skull Press, in which he attempts to predict the next ten years of publishing. Along with a surge in "digital reproduction" he also foresees "the supply chain book publishing and retail model is ending." He says not only will book retail chains disappear, but the big corporate publishers will also "all but disappear." Nash looks to India, China, Brazil, Indonesia as likely dominating (at least numerically) the production of fiction.

Wow! Even I, Kindle evangelist that I am, find it hard to think things will change that fast. For all that to happen (in ten years, too!), a lot of readers' attitudes and habits would have to change, too. I'm wondering just how easy that will be. So, I tried my hand at another poll. If you're reading this on an RSS reader or on FaceBook, please click through to the original post so you can take the poll. Let me know what you think!

Poll #1507581 eReader Survey

Do you currently own an eReader? Please check all that apply.

Kindle (original, 2, or DX)
iPhone or iTouch app
Other PDA app
Non-e-ink eReader like Rocket ebook
PC app like Kindle for PC

How many poeple do you know who own and/or use one of the above means of digital reading?

11 and up

What is your opinion of digital books and eReaders?

It's a great idea!
It looks interesting but I'd like to try it before I answer
Meh. So what?
they're probably inevitiable, but it's a shame print is withering.
I loathe digital books! If I can destroy them, I will!

Would you prefer a dedicated eReader with a book-sized screen, or or multipurpose device like a phone or a netbook?

Mulitpurpose! I don't ever want to get something just for reading.
Give me a dedicated device; I never want to read on a small screen.
I want both-- multipurpose device for reading while on the bus and the dedicated eReader at home.
I would sooner crawl over broken glass than buy either one!

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Jan. 8th, 2010 01:58 pm (UTC)

I'm unapologetic in my preference for printed books; I love the feel, the eye candy (cover), the blurbs on the back, and even the scent of the paper. However, my wife shocked me the other day when she said she didn't like mass market paperbacks because you can't bend them back like a hardcover or trade. She also emphasized that the print was too small for her these days too -she just got her first set of bifocals this past fall, and she's not thrilled about that.

In my wife's case, an eBook would be a great idea; you can increase the font size and not have to worry about the breaking of the spine on the paperback. For the record, $7-$9 for a mass market is not an insignificant investment for us, and we'd like to have our investment last a while. (We still haven't impressed that on the kids, however, as they are beating their trade copies of Harry Potter to a pulp.)

As it is, I'm conflicted on eReaders. The Kindle seems nice, but the brouhaha over 1984 (of all things) made me realize that an eBook from Amazon isn't the same as a regular print book. I'm not sure about the other eReaders and how they handle eBooks, but the Kindle gets all of the sexy press and will be the major influence on people's buying decisions.

What would be nice would be a scenario like what you get from some DVD manufacturers, where you buy a DVD and on the inside is a code for one free download of the movie. I know I'm not going to be able to go back and get free eBooks for all of the print books I've got, but it would be nice to kill two birds with one stone rather than have to buy the same book twice.
Jan. 8th, 2010 02:04 pm (UTC)
Oh, and thanks to Jon for highlighting this in his weekly post on writing, otherwise I'd never find this poll. It's a great idea, Karen.
Jan. 8th, 2010 02:22 pm (UTC)
Thank you! And thank, Jon, too. You know for folks who get creeped out by the 1984 thing, if your eReader doesn't have wireless, the vendor can't touch your content. But honestly, Amazon got so much flack for that that I don't thing they would ever act in quite the same way. The real problem is their small publisher upload interface is automated enough that no one realized copyrighted books had been added to the Kindle store. Hopefully, they put check in place for that now.

And I'm very empathetic on the bifocals thing. The font key is used often on my Kindle; I vary the font size with the available light-- more light, smaller font & less light, larger font. It's a great feature, and virtually all eReaders have it, although the range of sizes varies.

But the important thing is to be reading, no matter how you do it.

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