Last month, Barnes & Noble launched an online store for digital books with 700,000 titles. Moreover, they intend to stock more than a million eBooks in the coming 12 months. To read them, you can download the free eReader from their website which is compatible with iPhone, iTouch, BlackBerry, PC and Mac. It is interesting to note here that it is not compatible with either Kindle from Amazon or the Sony Reader. To get ahead in the battle of eBooks, Amazon recently released a free software to turn our iPhones and iTouch into Kindles.
If all this wasn't enough, now there are talks of placing ads in e-books! Imagine scrolling down Pride and Prejudice to find an ad for a toothpaste. Thankfully, the ads will try and be contextual or be based on the customer's user profile. As if that is any relief.
Don't get me wrong here. Though I love the smell of a brand new book and lose track of time in a bookstore, I am not really averse to the idea of eBooks. I am all for technology and moving on...and of course, marketing.
I see the bright side like how ads in eBooks will bring down the cost of both the books and the reading devices.
The ad revenue will positively impact the author, the publisher, the e-book store, the device manufacturers.
The competition between Amazon and Barnes & Noble will result in more and more eBooks and also a better reading experience.
The printing world is anyway trying to revamp itself through this digital revolution. One more change wouldn't hurt.
But what if this trend trickles down to print? According to Austin Modine in The Register, it is a possibility for anybody who wants to avail of a lower price in an on-demand book from Amazon.
Now that may be taking things too far. Or is it the future of reading?