Scott Marlowe, fantasy author

Scott Marlowe

Author of the Alchemancer and Assassin Without a Name fantasy series

iPad: The Day After

The iPad's iBookshelf The wait is over. Apple debuted their all-new entry into the tablet market and it is called the iPad.

I wanted to post this as a follow-up to my post of a couple of days ago where I wondered if the iPad was really the "Kindle-killer" everyone was thinking it might be. Even now, I don't think the question has been answered as there are people continuing to argue both sides with others who believe the two can happily co-exist. We may not know for sure until the iPad is actually released for sale in a couple of months.

Personally, I think there's room for both. The only crossover in functionality is both devices' ability to act as an eReader. The iPad has the advantage of a backlit color screen, but only 10 hours of battery life. The Kindle has the advantage of eInk, which while black and white is so crisp it's like you're reading a page from a paper book. Also, there's no eyestrain with eInk and the Kindle can literally last for weeks without a charge (with the 3G wireless turned off). People looking to read eBooks will likely go with the more specialized eReader device. People looking for more, the iPad. Regardless, we'll likely see more and better features emerge for both devices, something that is a win-win for consumers.

Of particular note is Apple's iBookstore announcement, which is essentially an app that allows you to purchase/read eBooks. In addition, iTunes will begin selling eBooks. What hasn't been mentioned is if Apple will open iTunes to self-published authors similar to how Amazon has done so with the Kindle store. This model would be similar to developers selling apps for the iPhone through iTunes. It's not that far of a step to include eBooks in on this. For right now, though, eBooks will only come from the major publishing houses. Whether the iPad is the publishing industry's savior remains to be seen.

I'll leave you to formulate your own opinion with some related stories I found interesting:



Comments (1) -

  • Jarrett Rush

    1/30/2010 8:23:49 PM | Reply

    The entire publishing world is changing. It was before the iPad but those changes may have been sped up because of its release. I agree that a serious reader is probably going to go with a dedicated device (kindle, nook) if they are going to buy an eReader. But the iPad is opening up ebooks to a whole new subset of consumers.

    I wonder what kind of changes publishers have seen in ebook sales after the kKndle app for the iPhone hit. I would imagine there was a slight uptick, but nothing dramatic. I am not sure you won't see a more dramatic rise after the iPad comes out.

    I would like to get an ereader at some point, and the fact that the iPad is multifunctional is a huge draw. If I am going to spend that kind of money on something then I want it to serve more than one purpose.

    But to the larger point, I think we are seeing a shift and ebooks are putting more of the power in the hands of the author. Amazon opening the Kindle store to unpublished writers is, no doubt, helping some good writers finally find an audience.

    JA Konrath has has some interesting posts recently on ebooks and how much money he has been able to make by posting some of his earlier works in the Kindle store. He has the benefit of being an established writer, but it's interesting the figures he's been able to put together. His address is jakonrath.blogspot.com.

Loading