Frankfurt Dispatches: eBook Madness

VP of Marketing Rosemary updates us with a quick run-down on the e-madness at Frankfurt.

My travels through the ebook parts of the Frankfurt Book Fair contined on day three. According to this morning’s ebook panel, Amazon‘s Kindle, Barnes and Noble‘s Nook and Apple‘s iBookstore have 85 to 90 percent of the ebook market. The balance is split between Kobo, SONY, and the independents that sell ebooks from their sites like Powell‘s in the US. Publishers are glad that Amazon’s almost monopoly on this market is less strong, and that there is now more variety in ebook pricing.

Publishers really don’t yet know what ebook prices will be “right” in the consumers minds. Everyone agrees that, as with music sales, consumers acceptance of ebooks is growing due to easy buying models, and attractive pricing. And there’s the hope that this will discourage folks from using sites that host illegal downloads of books.

Bottom line seems to be that the ebook market is set to explode even more in the US. Germany apparently is trailing the US by about 3 years, and there seems to be much less ebook content available in languages other than English. For those of us from the US it’s interesting to think back to the fact that the Kindle was first released in 2007, not all that long ago. It will certainly be interesting to see what the post-Christmas reports are regarding sales of both ipads and ebook readers.

The #1 ebook question at the fair: When will Google Editions go live?

Off to find some Pils. About another hour left here today in Hall 4

Thanks Rosemary!


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