Originally Posted by tomjhansen
For the record, I think the comment comparing the iPod to the Kindle (dedicated device) is just spin. As to why the Kindle isn't taking off - consider that when mp3 players came out, I could convert all my existing music (CDs) to play on it.
I like your analysis and I think you're spot on... but perhaps left out one additional item.
Someone that would 'gravitate' towards an MP3 player was... especially at the time of their introduction either relatively young (having grown up with computers as an appliance) or a tech-geek who was on the net long before it was cool. Those of us born in a time when the Beatles were still an active band! (I guess you know where i land lol) So anyway... you've got a tech savvy young/hip buyer who knows his way around the net and bang instant success... People ripping their collections people sharing their collections jolt cola and pop rocks for everyone
! (they don't sell that stuff anymore do they?) But yea the music world was hit DEAD ON by FULLY LOADED FREIGHT TRAIN
at full speed and the funny part about it was they had no idea they were anywhere NEAR the tracks!
Originally Posted by tomjhansen
I can't convert all my books to play on an eBook reader. So the books need to be really cheap to justify buying a second copy. Until that happens, eBook readers will continue to be niche products. I have an uncle who uses one, but it's only because of his physical condition. No one is going to re-buy (for example) the Twlight books for a eBook reader if they already have them.
Now as you so elequently point out "I can't convert all my books to play on an eBook reader."
You might have a library of books that would rival any of the 'mega' CD collections people brag about. When we got married my wife had boxes and boxes and boxes of em... HEAVY AS HELL and we still got em every last one of them... all taking up space in MY computer room and MOST gathering dust
because as we age our tastes change and our free time isn't so free anymore or as often as we'd like.
Now what I think some of the bigger publishers should do is this...
Provide a way for someone who owns their books to get a free or steeply discounted edition of the electronic edition of the book.
- Yea fat chance!
But I think SOMETHING has to be done to stimulate peoples interest and I'll tell you what, simply offering discount prices on some amazon web page is not going to work... My wife the reader in the house doesn't even know or visit any ebook related sites cause she is NOT a technology geek and that was part of the magic equation I talked about before that made the concept of MP3 players such a huge success. The INDUSTRY needs learn how to market themselves more aggressively but NOT with a pitch man screaming at you on a late-night TV infomercial or a QVC special. The need to get their product into the hands of people...
Donate hardware and books to kids in the cancer wards maybe? Worm your way on to Opera and have her give out a free reader and 25 free books (selections from her book list no doubt) to the audience. Stuff that'll get you noticed... Make commitments to match funding dollar for dollar to help get ebooks into the school systems. I dunno... but they gotta do something... and if they are already doing lots of stuff like this then something is really wrong cause I'm simply not hearing about ebooks except when it comes to rumors of Apple getting into the mix.
Take my silly idea of giving out ebook editions free or at discounted prices to people who own the hardcover... now something like that has the potential to start a ground-swell ... my wife gets a few free books offered to he and she buys the reader, then she tells her friends, it circulates amongst the book centric blogs forums and websites, it also circulates among the MANY 'cheap deals' web sites where people are always looking to buy something CHEAP!
Yea... it would certainly kick-start the market in the right direction... instead of stagnating as its done for years.
I guess NOT selling millions and millions of books (electronic mind you) at the MSRP is better than to sell boatloads of (electronic) books at 60% off. Yes I'm sure writers commissions are involved as is the reseller cut and the fees to deliver the data so they can't simply give the stuff away but they can make a SPLASH big enough to make people pay attention to them.
Right now... NOBODY is paying attention to ebooks but I can tell you right now.. if Apple developed a TRUE honest to goodness (usable) reader that entire market segment could change almost overnight!