Editor's Note: E-books and Our Future
In this issue, we’ve packed content galore on many of the most significant changes facing the industry. In addition to the features on the evolving retail landscape and ways to cut time and cost from production and manufacturing, there are three important articles on e-books.
While a few of our I-hate-everything-e-book-related readers may not be too happy about such extensive coverage, these stories explore important questions regarding the e-book market’s progress and future. I’m no doubt starting to sound like a broken record, but I have to say it again: The impact of e-reading on the industry can’t be ignored, and if this issue doesn’t convince you of that, I don’t know what will.
Of course, print is still most publishers’ bread and butter. And many people disagree about how significant e-books’ impact will be. Those who anticipate an impending “iPod moment” for books disagree about what form, or what technology, will bring this about.
Most players in the e-ink world believe the impact will be monumental.
According to the “E-Paper Displays Report” by display-technology information provider and consultancy DisplaySearch, the e-paper display market will grow from 22 million units to 1.8 billion units within less than 10 years—81 times its current size.
The cover story also paints a vibrant picture of today’s e-book landscape, and the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead. It also paints quite a portrait of the global e-reader market, with a roundup of 30 e-readers currently being sold. Representatives from E Ink Corp. have been cited as saying that there are 45 e-readers out there, but it’s unclear which devices they include in that tally. New devices seem to launch monthly now, while others have been discontinued as quickly and quietly as they came.
The fact is that the market continues to grow exponentially—so much so that it’s getting hard to even keep track of what’s out there.