Apple announced a new iPad with a 7.9-inch screen starting at $329 yesterday. The move puts Apple into more direct competition with the Kindle Fire, Google Nexus and many other seven-inch tablets.
The question for readers – and therefore for publishers – is not whether they will buy an iPad Mini, because they will in great numbers. (The iPad Mini is expected to drive the seven-inch tablet market to double in 2012 and double again in 2013.) The question is whether it will spur them to read more, to buy more e-books.
Tablet readers may not buy as many books as those who read on dedicated e-readers. Still, with so many tablets flooding the marketplace, it could be a net gain for publishers. And, Apple did seem to indicate that it was taking books seriously by unveiling the new version of iBooks and iBooks Author at the same time as the smaller iPad.
Only time will tell whether millions of new e-reading enabled devices flooding the marketplace will help publishers sell more e-books even if they’re not dedicated e-readers. Our money is on a very merry holiday season for publishers.
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The rest of the day’s top news:
The iPad as Cathedral (LJNDawson)
Why would you buy an iPad Mini knowing full well that Apple will probably release the next iteration of the device in six months, making yours look like a fax machine from the 1980s? Because digital development is never done, like building a beautiful cathedral, and we all understand that.
S&S Reorganizes Into Fewer Publishing Divisions (DBW)
In an effort to streamline operations, develop more editorial synergies and to help build a stronger brand, Simon & Schuster has reorganized its six adult publishing divisions into four. There were several promotions and two senior executives will be leaving the company.
French VAT Flap (The Bookseller)
The European Commission is giving France a month to raise its value-added tax on e-books or be taken to court. France’s rate is 7%, compared to 20% in the UK, giving booksellers who locate there a competitive advantage. It’s 3% in Luxembourg. The issue could have implications for Amazon, Kobo and others.
Israeli Skepticism (Pub Perspectives)
Israel’s 300 bookstores (a huge number for its population of 7.8 million and a lack of a good, Hebrew-language e-reader has kept the e-book revolution out of the country for now.
Hyperion Enhances the Rolling Stones (DBW)
Hyperion is now selling an enhanced e-book celebrating the rock band The Rolling Stones on its 50th birthday. The book was designed specifically for the iBookstore and will retail at $19.99. Hyperion has had uncommon success with enhanced e-books with its Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy. Related: Book Publishing Business Model Is Broken, says Hyperion CEO.
The E-Book Rewards Credit Card (DBW)
Forget frequent-flier miles: Use this new credit card and choose your own rewards, including free e-books.
App Converter (DBW)
Bowker has teamed up with Impelsys to launch an app-making app. Put a PDF or EPUB in one side and get an Android app out the other.
New Bookish CEO (PW)
Bookish has a new CEO. Ardy Khazaei, a consultant, had been CEO of the community writing site Webook and prior a senior vice president of electronic media for HarperCollins. He takes over for Caroline Marks, who departed in Sept. after about a year at the helm.
Definition of ‘Own’ (PW)
When Random House said last week that libraries that bought its e-books “owned” them, it didn’t mean “own” exactly in the way you – or anyone – would think. It basically meant “license.”
Pew: Young Reader Survey (PaidContent)
In 2011, 19% of readers aged 16-to-29 read an e-book. Fascinating but out of date. Still, the study offers more confirmation of the things we thought we knew about e-reading and e-books.
Bricks-and-Mortar News: New B&N Store (DBW)
Barnes & Noble has launched a new store in Fredericksburg, Virg. To celebrate the opening, B&N will offer the Nook Simple Touch at the store for $59 from Nov. 14 to Nov. 23. It is normally priced at $99. In its release about the store, B&N touted its newsstand, Nook boutique, toys department, café, school department and its role as a community center.