When is a Book no longer a Book?
The industry is changing rapidly. In recent weeks, we’ve seen Sony announce a new lineup of electronic readers; bookseller Barnes & Noble form partnerships with forthcoming e-readers from Plastic Logic and Irex; and Google team up with various devices to distribute digital titles from its giant book scanning project. Looming over all this is Apple, which is rumored to be developing a tablet computer with e-reading capability. Apple’s entry into the market — given the company’s success with the iPhone and other consumer electronics — could shake things up for Kindle and other players.
Eric Engleman, A Big Boom in the Universe of Electronic Books
Engleman generated a lot of buzz last week for his graphic representation of the eBook Universe, and some of the comments on his post noted that it was already out of date by the time he posted it.
Responding to Engelman’s post over at the Vook blog, Maria Thurrell asked, “Perhaps one single graph is already not enough to encapsulate this growing industry,” and as if on cue, today Disney announces DisneyDigitalBooks.com, a subscription-based website featuring an interactive archive of “hundreds of Disney books, from ‘Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too’ to ‘Hannah Montana: Crush-tastic!'”
In a must-read post pondering where Disney’s announcement fits in the big picture, self-proclaimed “eBook militant” Mike Cane made this interesting observation:
What I love about this is that Disney is emphasizing these are digital books — not eBooks. They’ve positioned themselves for the future, not settling for the inferior offerings of today.
eBooks, digital books, Vooks, iPhone apps… when is a Book no longer a Book?
And what does that new definition mean for publishers?