E-readers share similar features such as making annotations and notes. Each unique e-reader also corresponds to a electronic bookstore in which digital copies can be downloaded wirelessly through networks.
This chart shows that e-readers is a growing market of viable profit for companies. Beside the Kindle, Sony Reader, and the forthcoming Nook, other companies have also gotten into the e-reader business.
Currently libraries have to pay a higher fee for digital copies than the retail price. For example, The Lost Symbol on the Sony Reader’s book page is $9.99, but libraries have to pay $29.99 for the same book.
Steve Jordan, a self-published science fiction novelist has six different formats of his book that he sells online in order to contend with the different digital platforms.
The current business model of publishing still gives priority to physical hardcover books. E-books cannot be resold in the same way that physical books have a used book market.
Electronic Books: The Future Model for Publishing? By: Amanda Starnes
Timeline of Electronic Publishing <ul><li>1971 – Gutenberg Project is launched. </li></ul><ul><li>1993 – First software to read digital books is developed. The first 50 digital books are created in Floppy disk format. </li></ul><ul><li>2000 – Stephen King releases his book Riding the Bullet exclusively on the Internet at $2.50. The e-book could only be read on the computer. This is a turning point since it facilitated digital formats of e-books. </li></ul><ul><li>2002 - Random House and HarperCollins start to sell digital copies of their works. </li></ul><ul><li>2006-2009 – Major companies such as Amazon. Sony, and Barnes & Noble develop e-readers as well as online digital bookstores. </li></ul>
Project Gutenberg <ul><li>Michael Hart founded Project Gutenberg in 1971 as the first and largest collection of free electronic books. </li></ul><ul><li>The collection includes nearly 30,000 e-books that can be easily downloaded to computers, e-readers, and iPhones. </li></ul><ul><li>The project allows for the spread of books in the public domain to be freely available to mass society in an electronic form. </li></ul>
E-Readers Amazon’s Kindle Sony Reader Barnes & Noble Nook
Growing Popularity of E-Readers <ul><li>The Kindle relies on a file format that is not compatible with books bought from other e-bookstores; therefore, they have established a business model that solely benefits Amazon. </li></ul><ul><li>Sony Readers utilize the ePub format, which allows users to check out material for 14 days from specific public libraries that support this feature, including the New York Public Library. </li></ul><ul><li>As the newest e-reader on the market, the Barnes & Noble’s Nook has created a unique feature called LendMe in which users can lend out their e-books to people with a specific e-reader application. The Nook also has WiFi capabilities. </li></ul>
E-Books and Libraries <ul><li>About 5400 libraries now offer e-books as part of their collections. </li></ul><ul><li>The New York Public Library has about 18,300 e-book titles, which is a small number compared to the 860,500 print titles in circulation. Purchases of digital books only accounts for 1% of the library’s overall budget. </li></ul><ul><li>One potential future model for e-books and libraries is buying one digital copy and paying a licensing fee for each time users download it. </li></ul><ul><li>Another model has libraries paying a subscription fee to obtain unlimited access to certain books. </li></ul>
1984 Disaster <ul><li>Amazon’s terms of service for Kindles do not seem to give them the rights to delete a purchase, since customers have a right to keep a “permanent copy of the applicable digital content.” </li></ul><ul><li>In July 2009, Amazon rescinded specific editions of George Orwell’s novels 1984 and Animal Farm from people who had legally bought the e-books. </li></ul><ul><li>Amazon received word that the books were added to the Kindle store by a company who did not have the rights to them. Amazon then remotely deleted the copies from people’s Kindles. </li></ul>
E-book Platform <ul><li>Authors now have many electronic formats in order to choose from when publishing their books digitally. </li></ul><ul><li>One of the most popular is ePub format which allows for libraries to lend out books to the public. </li></ul><ul><li>Other formats include e-reader specific formats such as those for </li></ul>B&N, Amazon, and Sony; Stanza e-book reader application for iPhone and iPod Touch; and Wattpad which allows for publishing, sharing, and reading e-books on hundreds of phone models.
Piracy of the Future <ul><li>Because the popularity of e-books is growing, new ways to circumvent paying for e-books is also growing. </li></ul><ul><li>Enter websites such as RapidShare, a file-hosting company based in Switzerland. This company often gets take-down notices in order to remove the copyrighted material from being stolen. </li></ul><ul><li>RapidShare has made comments that they do not attempt to prevent the uploading of infringing material because they do not perform content filtering. </li></ul>
E-Books and Copyright <ul><li>The digital rights management (DRM) that is placed on content bought from Amazon restricts users from downloading content to a non-Kindle e-readers. Even though you have legally bought the e-book, there are restrictions on your digital version. </li></ul><ul><li>In 1996, The National Writers Union proposed a system of collective licensing. Authors would pay a one time fee and submit a work while maintaining the electronic rights. The Publication Clearinghouse (PRC) then offers the work to a 3 rd party publisher. The publisher pays the fee to PRC, who then distributes the royalties to the authors. </li></ul>
Tasini et al v The New York Times <ul><li>In the landmark case, Tasini et al v The New York Times , the National Writers Union brought a copyright case against the New York Times Company and its affiliates claiming copyright violations in reference to their electronic reuse of works produced on a freelance basis. The NY Times Company was selling freelance articles to LexisNexis without compensation to authors. </li></ul><ul><li>The court ruled that this was a violation against the freelancer’s copyright, which includes electronic rights. </li></ul>
Future Business Model? <ul><li>Sarah Rotman Epps, a senior analyst for Forrester Research, does not think that “e-readers will do for e-books what the iPod did for MP3s.” Epps believes the trend will look more like the gradual decade-long growth in popularity of digital cameras. </li></ul><ul><li>The $200-plus cost of e-readers probably has something to do with the lack of explosion in popularity of e-books. </li></ul><ul><li>The average price of an e-book in 2009 is $8.30 as compared to the cost of a hardcover, which is $14.55. </li></ul><ul><li>Often publishers will postpone selling the digital copies in order to help bolster hardcover sales, which is the most profitable part of publishing. This has occurred with Sarah Palin’s memoir Going Rogue which will not be available digitally until after Christmas. </li></ul>
E-book Trends <ul><li>According to the Association of American Publishers, sales of electronic books have increased 68.4 percent in 2008 and skyrocketed 177 percent to $96.6 million for 2009 through August. </li></ul><ul><li>Despite the jump in sales, e-books still only compromise 1.5 percent of the overall publishing industry. </li></ul>