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How to Choose an Online Bookstore Selling E-Books

May 28, 2010

Tags: e-books, book publishing

Geoffrey A. Fowler's piece, The Chapter and Verse on E-Bookstores, in the Wall Street Journal (5-7-10), will confirm any suspicions you may have had that competitors fighting to capture the e-book (and e-book reader/gadget) market are making it tough for book lovers to decide what gadget to buy. Fowler outlines many of the problems: "Amazon buyers should know that they're likely stuck using the retailer's software forever" (because of its proprietary format, you must read a Kindle book in the Kindle "bookstore"). A book bought on iBook opened as blank pages on a Nook, so you can't switch books across e-book readers.
Do read the many comments, so you can learn which e-book readers show page numbers and which don't (and just show what percentage of a book you have read) and other details of interest to the cautious shopper.

I was struck by comments made about the e-book readers at the recent Bio International (first annual) conference: that a sizable proportion of readers on the Kindle belong to the population of older, voracious book readers.
What do you think of all of this?

There's a round-up of links to stories on e-book markets, rights, and audiences under
Publishing and e-publishing on Writers and Editors


  1. May 30, 2010 12:47 PM EDT
    Further Thoughts of a Novice E-Reader (Verlyn Klinkenborg, Editorial Notebook, NY Times 5-28-10). Among drawbacks of the e-book, as Klinkenborg sees them: ugliness of the print (as opposed to the text), the system for showing where you are in a book, the fact that you may be reading an earlier, inferior version of a book, and the fact that most e-readers don't permit short-term borrowing (as of library books)--that you have to own the book to read it.
    - PM