For those who dwell in the land of P rather than E (that’s “P” as in print), Digital Book World, held last week in New York, is the summit of electronic publishing and produced the latest word on it. Bet you didn’t know:
10.5 million people in this country now have ereaders
10 million have tablets
1/3 of people who have iPads also own Kindles
$1 billion was spent on ebooks last year
$1.3 billion is the 2011 prediction
There was lots of stuff like that, guaranteed to make some people think the world’s coming to an end long before 2012, as promised, but, according to a survey referenced at the conference, guess how Big Pub feels about it? Good! More fun facts:
89% of publishing execs are optimistic about the future
66 % think people will read more
74% say readers will be better off
46% think tablets will win over readers
85 % now release ebooks simultaneously with print books
ebook sales will increase 139 times this year
by 2014 half of all sold will be ebooks—some say this yr or next yr
As was announced a few days ago, at Amazon, that's already happened there.
All this is what a CEO I know calls the view from 70,000 feet. Very heady indeed. But when I got home these questions awaited:
1. How do I sideload the ebook I just bought on the Kindle app on my iPad?
2. I'm trying to download my book but the message keeps popping up that
the page can't be found.
3. From an etailer: Where are your TOCs? (Umm—right there in the books?)
Is there a disconnect here? Both our customers and vendors seem a bit fermished, and frankly, on the rare occasions we're ahead of them, it's only by about half a step. Mike Shatzkin, one of the DPW organizers, did say the point of the conference is to talk about the problems technology causes businesses. But somehow, I don’t think this is the level of technology he meant. Do these kinds of things ever happen to Jane Friedman? More tomorrow.