eBooks, schmEbooks. What began as an issue that turned writers and lovers of printed books alike into Chicken Littles who ran through the streets screaming ‘The Kindle is falling!’ (I can’t help but feel this must be grimly satisfying to the ghosts of the long-dead monks who warned everybody about this Gutenberg asshole), has rapidly devolved into a latter-day spectator sport as the variety of interests involved jockey for position.
How the eBook industry is going to end up is something I’m still thinking about. I’m not sure that people are ever going to get the same kind of experience from an eBook as they do from the hard-copy equivalent, but, at the same time, that’s an impression that isn’t really quantifiable (unless you start poring over sales reports, which I won’t, as I’ve got a couple of episodes of The Vampire Diaries to catch up on).
In the meantime, we’ve got the gladiatorial competition between Apple, Amazon, Google, and the massed phalanx of publishing houses (led by their bold generals at Macmillan) to watch. This guy has some interesting things to say on the topic; and it remains anyone’s guess as to who’ll be left the victors once the dust has settled.
We live in interesting times.