I don't have a Kindle or any other e-reader. It isn't that I am a Luddite, and it isn't that I wouldn't prefer something easier to hold than a large, hundred-year old print copy I don't want to ruin - it's mostly that online books are costly, I only get a 'license' to read them, the resolution is far lower than what eyes can see and, most of all, there is no enhanced value to compensate for any of the other shortcomings.
Sourcebooks, an Illinois company, would like to change all of that. iDrakula, for example, is another in a long list of vampire rehashes but it is separated from the pack because readers can get samples online but also get e-mail, photos and text messages detailing the characters via their Apple iPhone things. If a reader then wants the whole book they can buy it inside the app for $1.99 - or spend 10 bucks for print.
See, already there is a benefit to readers - $2 versus $10. If I want to buy "Great Expectations" I can spend $10 to get a digital copy or get one printed in the 1800s for $6 on eBay. I am choosing eBay in that case. Old books are cool and cheaper makes it a no-brainer.
"We are at the tipping point," founder Dominique Raccah told Sandra Guy at the Chicago Sun-Times. To address the 'added value' I mentioned in the first paragraph, Sourcebooks says they are working on the ability to link to a specific page or paragraph or to link to a URL in the books.
Is it working? 95% of their revenue is still paper so the revolution hasn't happened yet and, Raccah believes, digital book prices will stay at $10 or more but prices for the equipment will drop, much like DVD players or digital music devices have. Maybe, if the enhancecd value stuff is there - otherwise, I suspect someone will put an ad in e-books and then charge $2 for their whole catalog and bust the $10 golden egg.
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