Whether the launch of Amazons Kindle Ebook Reader has anything to do with it but there is a current surge of major publishers launching electronic versions of their books.
In the UK, two of the biggest publishers – Random House and Hachette – are about to launch downloadable ebook titles by some of their top writers.
Australian Publishers Association chief executive Maree McCaskill is fully supporting the new electronic readers – “It’s true a lot of the early readers were difficult to use, but they are now becoming amazingly good…..I’ve tried some of the new models, and they do provide a comfortable read” Ms McCaskill said. Baby boomers will have some resistance to the technology.
In spite of baby boomers resisting such technology, Generation Y is quite comfortable with all types of electronic media. Ms McCaskill added “But I don’t buy into this whole publishing mythology that says people want the look, the touch and the smell of a book, the whole romance of it.”
Both Sony’s Reader and Amazon’s Kindle allow hundreds of novels to be downloaded onto a device about the size of a book.
In spite of the e-book being around for about 15 years, there is still a way to go before it can be considered mainstream.
And to a large extent, this has been due to big US publishers determined to retain control of the digital rights to all books, international or local, making it more difficult for countries such as Australia to support a viable change to the media.
All good news for digital publishers.