Wednesday, November 26, 2008

40,000 ebooks a day downloaded through Stanza

According to Hugh McGuire at the Huffington Post,

"40,000-a-day. That's how many e-books are getting downloaded through Stanza, the simple e-book platform for the iPhone/iPod. I've got 35 of them sitting on my iPod. All of them free, public domain or creative commons, and DRM-free.

40,000-a-day. If you are a publisher, think long and hard about that number.

The reason I have 35 books downloaded onto my Stanza is: a) it is easy, b) it is free.

What does this mean for your business model? I don't know, but I assure you that when I finish War & Peace, I'll be buying a hard copy. And I also assure you: I love reading on that little thing."

With services like the Daily Lit, masses of public domain works available on the Net, and publishers waking up to the increasing utility of ebook readers with fantastically improved screen resolution and readability, reading habits are changing but there is one remaining fly in the ointment for me - the need to cart around the charger for whatever device we happen to be currently using to enjoy our electronic literature without interruption. Until I can get through the collective works of Tolstoy or Anthony Horowitz for that matter, without having to repeatedly plug my dedicated ebook reader (e.g. Kindle) or my Stanza-enhanced iPod Touch into the wall, I won't be entirely happy with ebooks. Convenience beats free and the paperback still retains its edge. However, in the kind of bite-sized chunks that the Daily Lit serves up is it possible that I might one day complete Joyce's Ulysses, something I never managed to do with the paperback?

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