E-books – On The Up…

Some interesting facts about ebooks from The Association of American Publishers, via Gutenburg.com:

  • As of the end of October 2008, trade e-book sales were up more than 57% over their sales in 2007.
  • In November of 2008 it was reported that nearly all of the titles on the New York Times bestseller list were available in both print and electronic editions.
  • The AAP has been working to adopt the .EPUB format as standard.

It is certainly encouraging that there has been such a strong increase in ebooks sales compared to 2007, and it is also good to see that the number of ebooks is growing.  The apparent attempt to adopt a single standard format is also a positive move as it should make it easier for the format to grow in popularity if there is a broad ranging agreement between all publishers and manufacturers. 

Given these trends and developments, it seems likely that the industry is on the right track regarding ebooks, but there is still a long way to go.  Purchasing ebooks is still a difficult process (and relatively expensive one compared to the differential between other e-formats and their physical counterparts- mp3/CDs etc) as there is just not the provision at the moment.  Until more retailers offer ebooks  for download, they will remain a fringe technology teetering on the edge of mainstream acceptance but never quite getting there.

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