Book Futures: The Rise of the E-Book

Thursday, August 12, 2010

For our weekly series in August, we're taking a look at the future of the publishing industry.  This week: the rise of the e-book. Michael Cader, founder of Publishers Marketplace and Publishers Lunch, joins to discuss.

Are you a hardcover/paperback traditionalist, or an e-book convert?  What's made you stick or switch - or do you read both?


Michael Cader
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Comments [21]

Eugenia Renskoff from Brooklyn

My novel Different Flags, came out as an e book a few years ago. Then it was print on demand. There were a few copies still around up to a couple of months ago. Now it out of print, The book got excellent reviews and now that I am thinking of finding someone to make it into a movie (The story is about Forbidden Love), I’d like to see it as an e book again. Eugenia Renskoff

Aug. 12 2010 02:01 PM
Beth from Westchester, NY

The more I listen to this debate, the more I wonder... have people totally forgotten the library? My mother took us all the time when I was a kid, & it instilled in me that books are to be shared, and practically never paid for.

If I buy a book, it is because I know I am going to need it as a reference, or a script I am going to destroy. I only ever bought one book, on my Kindle for iPhone app, & I will never do it again.

Aug. 12 2010 01:57 PM
Mary from nyc

@ teal from tarrytown
Actually, electronic is NOT greener. It takes power every time you turn on your Nook, or Kindle. The power and resources used to create a physical book once and read unlimited times, are less than every time you read text on an electronic device.

Aug. 12 2010 11:11 AM
Jac Zagoory from LES, NYC

Fahrenheit 451 is the perfect first download for e-readers.

Aug. 12 2010 10:59 AM
The Truth from Becky

HJS - me too, I dont have to be the first one in line. I will wait until they work out all they work out all the bugs and the newness wears off, then I will get a kindle since I love all things electronic!

Aug. 12 2010 10:58 AM
bram muller from ridgewood, queens

the one thing wrong with e-readers is that they brake. i have thousands of books, most of them over 50 years old. i don't think a e-reader will ever have that kind of life span.

Aug. 12 2010 10:57 AM
Kyle Kibbe

What about libraries?
Why aren't more people using and supporting them.

Aug. 12 2010 10:57 AM
Dave from Brooklyn

I have no less than 7 ereaders on my iphone, and I find that they vary greatly in features and ease of use. Kindle and iBooks are definitely better, but they still lack the ability to scribble in the margins.

Since I'm a cheapskate, I make do with the limited features of the Free Books app which gives me classic books for no charge. I just read "Crime and Punnishment" and "Tom Sawyer," and enjoyed always having a book in my pocket.

Aug. 12 2010 10:57 AM

Can't download books from the library on Kindle!!

Aug. 12 2010 10:56 AM
teal postula from tarrytown, ny

I marched into Barns and Noble last week clutching my nook to my chest and declared to the info person" Hello my name is Teal and I'm a Nookaholic- can you tell me where the 12 step meeting is?
I love my Nook. I have had it 6 weeks and purched 5 books and subscribed to a periodical. I share books with my daughter who has a nook. They give you sample chapters so you can get a feel for the book.
I love my hard books but in truth. THIS is GREENER. I am happy about the trees I save and the small carbon footprint.

Aug. 12 2010 10:56 AM
tash from brooklyn

I've made the switch, and its great, handy for reading books bought fm Amazon and iBook, and also pdfs from the net.

However, I do miss the physical size of a book. Someone asked me how long a book a recently read was, and I had no idea. There is a progress bar, but it doesn't give you the same sense of how far through you are.

Aug. 12 2010 10:56 AM

I have an kindle, but I am quite reluctant to buy books for it. I don't like the digital rights management and don't trust that books that I need to keep will be available to me once my kindle inevitably dies.

If DRM was not an issue, I would probably switch to e-books entirely.

Aug. 12 2010 10:55 AM
William from Manhattan

Books and magazines are a welcome relief from my online life.

Aug. 12 2010 10:55 AM
Marissa from Manhattan

I love using NY Public Library's e-book service to check out books that I want to skim, rather than read - I can do so without having to stop at the library, by downloading them online; and it's a perfect way to catch up on new skills, business strategies, and literature.

Aug. 12 2010 10:52 AM
Gretchen from Delmar, NY

I read e-books (on my iPhone) because I can read them in bed, and I can have a library in my pocket. I buy physical books when they have have charts or illustrations better viewed at 100%, and when I want to flip back and forth between pages, referring what I've already read, that kind of thing

Aug. 12 2010 10:51 AM
Mike from NYU

The trend worries me for two reasons:
1) the price and availability of non-popular academic books that are not read by the general public. Will these just disappear or go up drastically in price?
2) the permanence of e-books. I don't really care if my fiction books disappear after I read them but I need my academic books for a lifetime, not for 3-5 years or whatever the e-books allow.

Aug. 12 2010 10:50 AM
Sally from UES

I'm totally convinced e-books are the future, but I wonder about the speed of conversion for the vast library of back-logged of books.

I read many books that are out-of-print and rare. E-books just don't have the books I want.

Aug. 12 2010 10:49 AM
SSH from Brooklyn

I read both. However, I find that my impulsive book buying habits are worse with e-books. (Fiction and lighter non-fiction) I think that it’s mostly due to the fact that I can get them so quickly and I don’t have the guilt of having them sit there on my shelf or night stand “looking” at me. However, when reading academic texts, I prefer to have them in hard copy. Additionally, for a lot of books in my field there is no substantial price difference and it just seems worth the extra 5 dollars to have the hard copy.

Aug. 12 2010 10:31 AM

just waiting for the price to come down.

Aug. 12 2010 10:30 AM
John from NYC

After working in front of computer screen all day, the last thing I want to do is read a book on a screen.
When reading nonfiction I also like to refer to the glossary/index at the back of the book. That option seems to be very limited when reading e-books.

Aug. 12 2010 10:16 AM
SB from NYC

Brian just said on air that e-books are outselling paper books on Amazon. In fact, e-books are outselling *hardback* print books. Paperbacks are still the most-bought type of book.

Aug. 12 2010 10:04 AM

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