Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Mike Shatzkin's Ebook Predictions

Mike Shatzkin wrote this very interesting article for Publisher's Weekly featuring his "15 Trends to Watch in 2008." Item #1 will be of particular interest to Kindle fans as he starts his list off with some noteworthy statements about the ebook market and the Kindle in particular.

First off, he predicts that Kindle books will outsell Sony Reader books by more than 2 to 1. I tend to think this is a fairly safe bet, assuming Amazon gets more units in stock and can satisfy demand. Shatzkin goes on to say that "by year end, nearly every straight-text title published with commercial intent will be available for Kindle." That would be impressive, especially considering how few are available today.

He also points out that "Kindle pricing will drive the market." That's the beauty of being Amazon, and soon, the leader in this space. Amazon is undoubtedly studying sales data and analyzing their current pricing model. Assuming publishers get on board, I would also anticipate a slew of interesting pricing experiments in the future including clubs, cluster discounts (e.g., "3 for 2") and hopefully subscriptions as well.

Shatzkin closes this first point by saying that ebooks will still only represent about 2% of total book sales, despite the projected growth rates. That's a safe bet as well, at least until Amazon can turn the Kindle into a true mass market product.