Good news for the EPUB eBook format is good news for the eBook Revolution

A special thanks to Jorgen for stopping in with a link to this PCWorld story. China and Taiwan have agreed (in principal) to push the EPUB e-book format for the Chinese-language market. This when officials met at a technology conference last week, with plans to meet next year to settle the deal.

This is huge news considering these two gigantic economies are called home by some of the world’s most avid readers. If ratified, the deal will open a market of 1.3 billion people to publishers offering their product in the standard eBook format (EPUB).

As soon as a standard is selected (EPUB) then publishers can focus on selling books and stop all the duplication of effort, yah?

eBook Revolution Predictions for 2010

Is it that time of year already? I guess with only a month to go, it’s not too early to start rolling out predictions for the coming year.

PaidContent.org has an interesting article “Ten Predictions For The E-Reader/E-Book Market In 2010″ that’s well worth the read.

It suggests that all the positives we’re seeing as 2009 winds down will only get better in 2010. I tend to agree.

Are eBook Readers here to stay?

Here’s a link from Jorgen to a Daniweb story suggesting eBook Readers are about to be made obsolete by the Apple Tablet. It’s worth a read, and while I agree that Apple will have a huge impact (whenever the rumored device is released) I think it will have a greater impact on iPhone and netbook sales than it will eBook Readers.

Don’t get me wrong, there will be poaching of adopters, but it’s like predicting laptops would go obsolete after netbooks arrived on the marketplace. They’re complimentary technologies not competition.

It’s too early to tell, but one thing is pounding home to all participants in the eBook Revolution, it is the biggest marketplace in human history, and there is lots of room for everyone.

It’s all a matter of taste, yah?

The (sch)Nook!

I’m sorry to keep harping about this, but it’s embarrassing for people like myself who have long supported competition in the eBook Revolution. The whole idea is choice creates a stable marketplace with better prices and selection for consumers. And then these ninnies at B&N failed to build enough machines to suit the demand they created!

Oh, here we’ve got Barnes & Noble’s brave solution. On their Nook page, this bold headline: “The hottest holiday gift is out of stock. Order nook today to be first in line for the new year.” (shouldn’t it read, “last year’s hottest holiday gift was out of stock?”)

Since I’ve got a whole year to make a choice now, maybe I’ll see what else is coming onto the market.

eBook Readers are Here to Stay!

Thanks to Jorgen for a link to this enjoyable article at the Thaindian News that pretty much sets it all out there for us to see.  It’s pretty obvious that eBooks are here to stay.

What’s interesting is they were considered to be the way of the future but with the speed of their widespread adoption it seems that the future is not far off, yah?

eBook Price War Approaching

A story over at Unthinkable has analysts predicting an eBook price war between Borders and Barnes & Noble as the two latecomers vie for position in the eBook Revolution. This will also come down to a battle of the gear, because Barnes & Noble has its own Nook while Borders stocks Sony’s eReader. Get the whole story here.

The Kindle sees an Advantage and takes it…

I’m sure this is a hangover from the same market hesitation that brought the traditional publishing industry to the desperate straits we find it in. One can only hope that these industry leaders in the new publishing age will stop playing it safe, and start taking some chances.

This PCWorld story from our friend Jorgen offers a status report on a lacklustre eBook Reader competition. Amazon was/is the front-runner in the eBook Reader revolution, having released now their third version of the Kindle eBook Reader. Each generation of the device has been plagued with a short-fall of supply (playing it safe–order, build and ship) that created an opening for other companies like Sony and Barnes & Noble to use to their advantages, launching their own devices on the wave of interest created, interestingly enough, by Kindle.

Now, as the eBook Revolution charges into its first really explosive Christmas, Sony and Barnes & Noble have run out of machines. (Order only, receive after Christmas.) Was it fiscal cowardice or caution? Who cares? The end result is they’re going to lose BIG TIME during the biggest selling season, and their supply shortfall has ironically opened a door for the Kindle.

God! I wish this was a story that highlighted more heroic efforts. Anyway, the PCWorld story reports Amazon adding (the long-awaited) PDF support to its Kindle. This should help to re-orient the device for home or office use, and guarantee wider scale adoption for the broader marketplace. Coming at a time when the main competitors have left themselves dead-in-the-water without product, it may help Kindle regain some of the lead that it has lost.

So, a lot of accidents and default’s, yah?

Wattpad.com Goes East

Here’s a short Mediabistro interview with Wattpad CEO Alan Lau and an update on Wattpad.com’s recent launch of a version of their mobile phone application for the Indian provider, Bharti Airtel.

Lau makes an excellent point that BHarti Airtel with 110 million subscribers indicates a vast and relatively untapped marketplace (at least from a western perspective). There are mammoth English speaking populations in India and other countries with British Colonial roots–numbers that are simply staggering. The Internet is quickly breaking down the boundaries of old world publishing, and finding new consumers with different habits, histories and approaches to reading.

If you want a “WOW THAT’S INCREDIBLE” moment check out this list of countries with English speakers. And then check out the number of English speakers. Wild, yah?

Free Sony eBook Reader Touch Edition

I’ve been reminded to remind you about a contest to win a free Sony eBook Reader Touch Edition at BentSteeple.com. It’s to celebrate the release of BENT STEEPLE a new Horror novel by Indie author G. Wells Taylor. There are other prizes too.

The draw is Christmas day, so that gives you a full month to enter, yah?

Smashwords Charges Ahead

Well this is a smart move by Amazon.com. What was starting to look like a coalition of Davids formed to compete directly with the eBook retail Goliath has suddenly turned into a love-in. (I’m just being a smartass here. I really couldn’t be happier for the eBook Revolution…) Read the press release here.

We reported earlier that Indie author and small publisher platform, Smashwords had inked distribution deals with Sony eBook Store, Barnes and Noble and Shortcovers, in what looked like a monster eBook distribution group designed to compete directly with Amazon and the Kindle. Well, if you can believe this, Amazon has joined them.

It’s called a democratizing of eBook distribution, where all of the involved members will clear virtual shelf space for Smashword’s growing list of Indie titles. It’s a win-win situation for all. The flexibility and low-cost of eBook publishing should open the market up to future Stephen Kings that the old business model could not afford to take a chance on, or lacked the vision to discover.