New eBook Initiatives from Amazon and Google

bookreader2.jpgIn case you missed it, The New York Times published a piece yesterday previewing two new efforts to bring electronic books to the mass market. In October, Amazon.com will roll out the Kindle (check out leaked pictures here), an ebook reader, priced somewhere between $400 to $500, that will wirelessly connect to an e-book store on Amazon’s site, from which readers can download books in electronic format. (Think iTunes for ebooks.) Meanwhile, Google will start "charging users for full online access to the digital copies of some books in its database" and share revenue with publishers. The whole idea here is to disrupt the $35 billion book market in much the same way that the Apple has dislocated the music market with the iPod. But whether consumers will see digital books as having comparable advantages to the iPod remains TBD, and the doubters are certainly out there. Read more here. And, in the meantime, if you want a lot of free audiobooks, check out our Audiobook Podcast Collection.

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