I’ve been a bit off blog this week, but there are a couple of interesting developments that I feel the need to comment on. First of all Kobo has been busy tying up deals with retailers in the UK and Australia but also it would seem finalising plans to become a publisher. Amazon, it would seem has become both an model and a target.
Secondly, much gnashing of teeth has attended the UK OFT decision not to interfere with Amazon’s take-over of the Book Depository. Plenty of comment here and here. Personally, while its obviously an issue for UK bookshops, I wonder whether we might see increased pressure on the Australasian markets. Scribe clearly thinks so by changing its formats in order to reduce its prices. Money quote from Henry Rosenbloom:
Something has to give. We can’t keep pumping out books at prices that seem high by international standards, and that consumers aren’t prepared to pay.
My hugely scientific morning Kindle Count has grown significantly this past few months (today 3 kindles, 1 iPad representing 75% of the people reading on my bus) but not perhaps by as much as Bloomsbury’s ebook sales. 564% over the six months to August.
We are nowhere near an equilibrium point in terms of what will be the eventual ebook share, but I’m certain the speed is picking up and I expect the end point will come much quicker and be a much higher penetration than many think possible.
And on that slightly sombre note this, from the London Book Fair earlier this year is worth another look. Cory Doctorow, Richard Charkin, James Bridle and Andrew Franklin debate the continuing relevance of publishers.
And we should remember that Steve Jobs is watching.