Tuesday, August 4, 2009


Amazon's Kindle has some competition brewing as the e-book industry continues to grow and diversify. Two weeks ago, B&N launched an e-bookstore to compete with Amazon that features e-Books which can be read on most computers and wireless devices. WIRED Magazine reports that Sony will be introducing a reduced-price e-reader at the $200 price point. The newest Kindle actually got more expensive, but they reduced the price of the basic Kindle by $60, so I would look for a reduced-price (perhaps stripped-down) Kindle in the near future. Early next year, Plastic Logic will debut a Kindle competitor, which will be allied with the aforementioned Barnes & Noble site. It will reportedly boast similar features to that of the Kindle, including wireless data transmission, apparently hosted by AT&T. It remains to be seen whether Amazon is going to open up to cross-platform e-booking or if they will pursue an Apple iTunes structure and rely upon their colossal name recognition and industry-leadership to stay on top and allow them to continue to issue content via a single channel. It worked for Apple and Jeff Bezos (chairman and founder of Amazon) is nothing if not a quick study. Love it or hate it, the e-book is what's next. The more that the field diversifies, the more avenues that authors and readers have to communicate. That's a good thing for the publishing industry as a whole... assuming publishers can figure out how to make it work. I suspect that - in a familiar pattern - more consolidation will happen and new spunky and well-capitalized and internet-ready start-ups will take the place of those who fall. (That's a lot of hyphens in one sentence.) It will be interesting to see how this all plays out.


  1. I have both the Kindle reader and the B&N reader on my iphone but have yet to be comfortable reading on either one. Once the right device comes out at the right price point, I will probably give it a try but for now I'm sticking with books. I'm not going to switch just to switch. I want to know that the new format has some permanence.

  2. I agree. At the moment, I'm watching to see what happens because the industrywide changes that this involves are fascinating to me. I haven't been satisfied with any of the platforms I've tried, at least not as compares to the tactile satisfaction of turning a physical page...


Pages to Type is a blog about books, writing and literary culture (with the occasional digression into coffee and the care and feeding of giant robots).