Best to Wait on Ebooks

After thinking about some comments Steve Jobs made on ebooks, and because of the fact that iBooks hasn’t really entered Canada yet, I think the best decision is probably to wait on making a lot of purchases on ebooks for at least the next 6 months, or until a few things happens.

1. iBooks

It’s not out in Canada yet, but the real impact of iBooks on the publishing industry is going to be made in the States because of the size of that market. The main shifts in ebook publishing, and in pricing are going to come from iBooks’s success in the US. Canada isn’t going to be the source of any major change or innovation in this space.

I think we can start using ebooks and ereading software, but don’t pour too much money into any particular platforms yet until the “real” market develops and makes its way up north.

2. eBook Pricing

I think the key to this is what Jobs said at the D8 conference about pricing. He made the point that for all media, Apple’s strategy has been to price aggressively, and go for volume. When the interviewer pointed out that this was counter to Apple’s strategy on ebooks, pricing them at the higher price desired by publishers, Jobs said that it was all a matter of demand. In the long term, consumers aren’t going to pay the prices for ebooks that publishers think they should. Jobs knows this, and consumers know this. But from Job’s position, if pricing ebooks higher in the short term is what it will take to bring publishers on board with iBooks,  then so be it.

We will see ebook prices drop, maybe even back down to that $9.99 price point Amazon originally offered.

But on iBooks of course.

3. Kobo

My biggest problem with Kobo is that it doesn’t have a track record yet. I’m talking about the seven year track record that the iTunes store now how. Kobo has a good ecosystem, backing by Indigo, and they have a good online store with both good selection and pricing. But they don’t have a track record yet. It’s still possible that we could see  consumers buying all these books through the Kobo service, only to see the company shut-down in 12 months with all the books bought from them locked into discontinued and unsupported software.

What do you think?

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