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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