Thursday, December 06, 2007

e-Book Update

Benjamin Franklin once said, "Guests, like fish, smell after three days." He should have thanked his stars he hadn't smelled a cast after three weeks.

Everyone tells me I'm imagining things, but I KNOW this flipping cast stinks. A close friend has started calling me LB--for Lady Macbeth. Shakespeare's character was made crazy by the blood on her hands; for me, it's the smell of the hand.

I go back to the surgeon for X-rays on Monday, and I'm determined to get a new cast. A friend tells me that would be a mistake. He argues that the swelling has gone down, giving me a tiny but crucial bit of extra room inside, and says that a new cast would be tighter and more uncomfortable--for the next month.

Peter Svensson, the Associated Press' Technology Writer, had an article on Tuesday titled "Slow-Starting e-Books Find Niche Markets."

Svensson says, "if you look away from the mainstream publishing industry, e-books are already a success in a few niches, where they are giving rise to new ways of doing business. The standout example is role-playing games, but buyers of college textbooks and even romance novels are warming to e-books.

Steve Wieck, publisher of role-playing games, and Michael Skarka, an e-book publisher, "estimate that e-book sales make up 10 percent of the $25 million in annual RPG (role-playing games) sales...By comparison, the Association of American publishers puts 2006 e-book sales at $54 million, .02 percent of total book sales of $24.2 billion."

Role-players buy shorter length books containing the elaborate rules for their games in e-books; school and college textbooks are also turning up in e-books; and homeschoolers are getting interested in e-books.

"Toronto-based Harlequin Enterprises Ltd. publishes 120 to 140 romantic novels per month, all of which are also sold as e-books. But it's also started selling short stories exclusively as e-books, selling them for 89 cents. E-book sales still make up less than 1 percent of Harlequin's sales, according to Malle Vallik, the company's director of digital content."

No comments: