Thursday, September 29, 2011

A virtual battle.

Several of you have pointed out that the new Kindle Fire is offering 100 DC graphic novels.

What pops out at me is the word "exclusive."

See, this is why this whole thing may not work. I can see e-books eating into real books if each device can get any book you want. But if each device can only get SOME of the books you want, that seems a whole lot less useful. Annoying. A deal breaker.

Besides, I'm convinced -- in the end -- that it will be an Apple device at a relatively high price, and a bunch of cheap Korean knockoffs on the other end. The middle will get squeezed out, as usual.

And if the middle is an actual bookstore -- well, enjoy your Kindles while you can. Enjoy your Nooks while you can.


In fact, it seems to me that if Kindle and Nook can't compete with Apple in tech and status, or with the cheap usable versions that are undoubtedly on their way -- then they can only compete through content.

And thus sow the seeds of their own destruction.

Imagine where a percentage of books are exclusive to Ipad, another batch are exclusive to Kindle, and another batch to Nook, and the rest are available to all. Even if 80% area available for all, if the 20% that are exclusive are ACTUALLY WHAT PEOPLE WANT! then it's going to be a problem.

And even in the "exclusivity" realm, who has the most clout? The most money? In fact, as physical books decline, and Barnes and Nobles brick and mortar stores decline -- they'll have LESS clout. If they succeed in replacing book/books with e-books, they lesson their importance.

I don't think this is going to go well for them.

Meanwhile, you can just skip on down to your local independent bookstore and just buy the actual book.

You know, at a bookstore.

And pass on the whole debacle.


RDC said...

In most cases that is not the model how ebooks are wroking so far. In most cases if a publisher is putting out a book in e-book format it is generally being offered on both kindle and nook.

The difference in the volume of books is how much effort have they spent going after backlist and self published titles.

To be honest you can get a tablet and run apps for each on it so you don't care who offers it. I only go to Nook if I cannot find it elsewhere and I only go to kindle format if I cannot find it anywhere else with an ! (including on nook).

The biggest weakness of e-books offerings today is the design of the websites that really do not support browsing looking for books. That is as much of hurdle as the negotiating with authors and publishers for the ebook providers.

Anonymous said...

Don't underestimate the power of money and number of "members". Notice how Spotify is now requiring new members to be a member of Facebook to sign up for their music site. Me thinks that Amazon will battle mightily for e-book reader eyeballs - especially with the money and market share involved and will join forces with who knows what in the near and longer term future to that end. Yes, "real" books are nice [and I dearly want you to make it to retirement] but e-books will continue their unrelenting competition with physical books (and comics). Note the recent announcement in the Bulletin by the Deschutes County Library to offer more Kindle e-books. And, as more readers turn to e-books, related websites with improve and technology standardization will happen (and evolve).

Leitmotiv said...

It will probably be one of those things where you get the exclusive on your product for a few months before the rest of them get it.