The Present and Future of E-booksPresentation Transcript
The Present and Future of E-Books
Veronica Rutter Reynolds
Web and Collection Development
New City Library, New York
The Book is Not Doomed!
History of the E-Book
1971- Project Gutenberg begins. All text was entered manually until 1989.
1985-mid90s- Many publishers offer books on CD-Rom
1995- Amazon starts selling physical books on the internet.
1998- The first two e-readers appear on the market: Rocket ebook and SoftBook.
2002- Major publishing houses start offering their works in a digital form.
2006- Sony Reader released with e-ink.
2007- Amazon creates the first Kindle.
2008- Sony and Adobe agree to share
2008- The first e-books appear for iPhone.
2009- Barnes and Noble releases the Nook.
2010- Bookboon.com announces 10 million downloads of their free e-books in one
In comparison, iTunes sold their 10 billionth song this February.
• Technological convergence is a long way away for e-books.
• The devices are still almost prohibitively expensive for most.
• A new competitor Kobo has one of the lowest prices at
$149. The price of about 7 hardcover books or 21
• Unifying devices are in the vogue.
• Phones that also play games and act as GPS > GPS,
Nintendo DS and a phone.
Kindle, Sony Reader, Nook (Barnes and Nobles),
Devices that can be e-readers :
iPhone, iPod Touch , iPad, Droid, Blackberry
Windows Mobile Smartphones
What are the major formats?
.txt - The original plain text format, neat and simple and can be
created using WordPad or NotePad which come with most
.html- Another simple, accessible format that can be read on all
.pdf- Familar and useful format that can be used with most e-
readers. Used by Overdrive.
.azw - Kindle's format.
.opf- Open eBook is based on XML and is open for all use.
.mobi- Formatted for reading on a cellphone. Used by
.ePub- Created by the International Digital Publishing Forum
(IDPF) to complly with DRM. Used by Overdrive.
iPad: The Kindle Killer...or not
• Far from the first tablet computer on the market. The
others never caught on.
• Too heavy for comfortable use while standing.
• Many people dislike that it won't work with Flash.
• It does not multitask as well as it should for a device
being sold on that premise.
• No easy to read e-ink display that makes Kindle popular.
Libraries are Stuck Thanks to DRM
DRM (Digital Rights Management) was meant to ensure that
authors got money and credit for their work. Instead, it's
crippling the use of e-books in libraries.
We use technology to increase ease of use. How easy is it to
get an e-book onto an e-reader for the first time using
Overdrive? Has anyone here tried?
Steps to Getting Your First Overdrive E-Book
1.Find a book. (1 of 2000 titles held on
2.Add to cart.
5.Check Out Book.
6.Read...unless you run into one of the many
technological glitches experienced by average
Getting Your First E-book on the Gutenberg Project
1.Find a book. (1 of 30,000 titles).
3.Drop into e-reader.
Who Owns an E-reader?
According to Techcrunchies.com:
Gender ratio : 56.3% men and 43.7% women
Average age : 35-54 years
Average household income : $100K+
Average minimum education : Bachelors’ or Post Graduate
Who Owns a Smartphone?
According to Nielsen Wire:
Gender Ratio: 58% men and 41% women
Average Age: 25-34 years
2x as likely than the average cellphone user to have a
$100,000+ yearly income.
Smartphones are still predominantly for business use only.
Average Income in Rockland County
In 2008, the U.S. Census
Board reported the average
median household income in
Rockland County to be $84,076.
In New York overall, it was
However, prices drop.
The first commercial cellphone emerged in 1983 and cost
In 1985, it was estimated that 91,600 people owned a cell
In 2007, 250 million people have a cell phone. That's 82% of
According to the Pew Internet Survey, in 6-9% of household in
2006, owned ONLY a cell phone.
Libraries Must be Early Adapters
• E-books may fizzle like betamax or boom like
• They're cost effective.
• They will lead us to shape the next generation
of library users.
• Flexible screens.
• Some convergence.
• Best Guess?
o People will choose to read on their phones,
• Hybrid books with some streaming
information. Think CNN.
• Books as social media.
X-Library: The Best Mutant Ever?
• Form larger, more powerful consortiums to negotiate
directly with publishers.
• Exist both virtually and physically. Service larger areas
with a single physical site.
• For every copy of a physical book purchased, an e-book
blinks into existence.
• Bring in your super-combined, multitasking device and
get an instant download of what's going on at the library
that week, when your books are due and a follow up on
your last reference question.
What Can We Do Right Now?
• Try new devices as they come out.
• Read technology blogs like Gizmado and Wired.
• Ask your users what if what devices they read
• Give them printed instructions on how to use
Overdrive with their device.
• Investigate ways of engaging mobile users with
things like Foursquare.
• Expand our online libraries in any way possible.
Limited collections have limited interest.