Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Kindling an interest in ebooks

In the midst of a disappointing holiday season for the publishing industry, this article appeared in the New York Times: Turning Page, E-Books Start to Take Hold.

I think this is interesting for several reasons. For one, it's hard to believe that ebooks have been around for as long as they have — my awareness of ebooks has developed mostly in the last five years or so, and I have to admit I am a fan, though I don't often sit at my computer and read.

I have never seen Amazon's Kindle in person, though at one time I really wanted one. I have seen Sony's Reader, though, and I have to say if I were going to spend that kind of money on an ebook reader, the Sony would be the way I'd go — partly because I want the one I've had a chance to handle and play with, and partly because I think Amazon is turning into an evil corporation. Just look how many times in this article the author notes that Amazon won't report the Kindle's sales data!

I also was interested to learn that you can download ebook readers for the iPhone. Since eventually I want one, I will have to look into that some more. I might be able to have my phone, music, and my digital library all in one place!

As you may know, I self-published my own short ebook, How to Restring a Strung Doll, for collectors of vintage dolls. I've sold well over 200 copies now, and thinking back to when I first started selling, I think I have definitely seen an increase in sales — although, considering the nature of my ebook, that is probably due to more successful marketing rather than ebook readers gaining in popularity.

As much as I love ebooks, though, I can't say that I think they will ever overtake regular books in popularity — at least not those of us who really love to read. There is just something so comforting about the feel of a book in one's hand!

What about you? What are your experiences with the ebook industry, either as a reader or a writer? What do you think the future holds for ebooks?

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