I am convinced that this year will be the tipping point for eBooks. On Monday, at 10a, Amazon.com will release the new version of the Kindle eBook reader. They’ve already made billions in revenue from Kindle 1.I believe Kindle 2 will sell more units, and see a steady migration of media to the Kindle format.
Things are loosening. According to this article, the actual cost of producing and delivering the New York Times for one year is more than twice the cost of buying every one of their regular subscribers a Kindle. Now, the article was not a rigorous analysis, but close enough to make the point that there are tremendous savings available to the New York Times and every other paper in the country by embracing the transition from paper to electronic media.
I am an avid reader. I am an environmentalist as well and hate the waste of the daily paper. No doubt, there is a convenience to reading the paper, as opposed to reading those same articles on my computer. But devices like the Kindle are slowly changing that convenience model. The key is the “grab-ability factor”. I can grab the paper, walk out the door, or out to the back porch. Much harder to do, even with the lightest of laptops. I can grab a device like the Kindle, no problem. It is as light as a book and is not tethered by a power or media cable.
I started, and later sold, an electronic publishing company. Ever since I saw a demonstration of e-Ink technology, about 10 years ago, I’ve been a believer in the inevitability of the eBook. On Monday, I believe we’ll finally embrace that tipping point.