Back in the forgotten past of about two weeks ago, we at Zeta made a prediction that eBook sales would soon overtake sales of the printed word, and it seems we may have been right, in the US at least. (Read Brad’s previous post)
Reports released this week (21 July 2010) state that Amazon has sold 143 eBooks for the Kindle (Amazon’s own specifically designed e-reader) to every 100 hardback books in the past three months. Amazon has gone on to claim that over the last month sales of eBooks have continued to creep, now reaching almost double that of hardbacks.
This may be a reason for Amazon to celebrate, but not everyone is over the moon, book lovers have hit back at Amazon by pointing out that the low cost of eBooks leaves them lagging behind in terms of quality compared to hardbacks.
The US market surrounding e-readers is starting to look decidedly saturated as interest in the technology grows, with new e-readers being introduced by Barns & Noble, Borders and Sony over the past few months.
Strangely, the biggest threat to Amazon and the Kindle is not from any of the existing e-readers, but from Google. The internet giant has announced that they plan to bring out their own e-reader in an attempt to take a bite out of Apple and Amazon. With Google already having access to over 12 million books scanned into their database, their virtual bookshelf will already be far superior to any of their competitors.
The question we all want to know the answer to is, “Will this growing trend of e-literature reach as far as the UK market?” A London publisher is quoted in this week’s Guardian as saying that even though the US market is 2 or 3 years ahead of the UK market, there is no reason why the same trend could not be replicated here.
As the Kindle is still only available on Amazon’s US site, an aspect that is putting some UK buyers off, it seems we may have to wait a while to see if our predictions were totally correct. But for the next few months we will definitely have a keen eye trained on the growing interest in e-readers … that and trying our new found talent on the National Lottery.