The State of e-Books

By Deane Barker on June 3, 2003

E-books are getting a boost at BookExpo: Here’s the latest update on the state of the e-book market.

“To those who say it’s ridiculous to read a book on computer, Nick Bogaty, who runs the Open eBook Forum trade group, retorts: ‘Five years ago, you’d say I prefer getting mail and writing letters, but when was the last time you actually wrote anyone a letter? This is a natural progression.’”

I’ve often thought about writing an e-book, even more so since I found Chris Pirillo’s GnomeTomes. Apparently, there’s a market for lower-end books:

“Amazon’s best-selling e-book is an online-only book about Powerpoint software for $1.99, followed by Star Wars novelizations at $2.99 and $3.99.”

I’m still up in the air about the market, however, ever since reading “The Social Life of Information.” There’s just something about paper, although all the logic and rational reasoning in the world tells me that electronic is better. It’s an emotional attachment, and I think that attachment is the same thing that’s going to do dog the e-book industry for a long time.

A few weeks ago, Anne Holland over at ContentBlog pointed out some movement on this front at Amazon:

“Last night Amazon started running a campaign to pep up eDoc sales. Now when you buy a book, your final thanks-for-your-order page features a new offer: “Go to your [fat orange button reading ‘Digital Library’] to view and download digital items. Also, for a limited time, we have included some free downloads in your Digital Library. Grab them before they disappear!