Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Battle for Digital Dominance Heats Up

The numbers coming out of the book industry are staggering and tell the story. The Association of American publishers reports that, in the first part of this year, sales of electronic books increased by close to 160 per cent to $233.1 million. While sales of e-books were heating up, print book sales were tanking: diving 23.4 per cent over the same period in the previous year.

In an environment this clearly receptive to e-books, it’s no wonder both interest and investment in the future of the technology is heating up. If any of this needs confirmation, the news out of Book Expo America last week does just that. After all, with the book business eyes of the world focused on New York City, it proved to be a perfect time for both competition and speculation. As Kobo chief Michael Serbinis told Reuters, “Every second counts. This is absolutely a critical time in the market's development, some would call it a land grab.”

Reuters looks at some of the e-book players and their offerings here.



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