Rekindling a market for e-books

Sam Eaton Nov 19, 2007
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Rekindling a market for e-books

Sam Eaton Nov 19, 2007
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Scott Jagow: I can’t see myself reading an e-book. I still like the feel of a paperback in my hands. But Amazon.com isn’t giving up on people like me. Today, it launches a new hand-held e-book reader. More now from Sam Eaton.


Sam Eaton: Amazon.com’s new portable device is called the Kindle. Electronic book readers have been available for more than a decade now, but the online retail giant hopes its wireless reader will transform the business, doing for electronic books what the iPod did for music downloads.

And technology analyst Rob Enderle says since Amazon is already in the book business, it may have the advantage:

Rob Enderle: If they can address the historic content problem and provide an-iPod like experience on an e-book, they could in fact cause this platform to take off.

In the past, e-book devices failed to gain much traction. They were clunky, and there wasn’t much to download for a fee other than the latest Star Trek novel.

That’s slowly changing as publishers ramp up their e-book offerings. Random House plans to nearly double the number of electronic titles it offers next year.

But Enderle says e-books still face an uphill battle. He says the main challenge is that their paperback competitors work just fine.

I’m Sam Eaton for Marketplace.

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