As e-reader sales race ahead of those jumped-up, overpriced, tablets, led by Amazon's (news, site) Kindle, does America just want a really good read? And will the release of the Star Wars novels give them an even bigger boost?
The Force is With Them
In a fortuitous move for e-reader sellers back in May, George Lucas and publisher Random House announced the release of the massive archive of Star Wars novels, hitting e-stores this week. The many-million-selling series joins the world of classics, indie authors and modern hits helping to create a vibrant market for all concerned.
Such vibrance is highlighted by the news that e-reader growth has doubled among Americans since last November from 6% to 12%, outstripping the growth of tablet devices, which are now owned by 8% of Americans, based on a Pew Research survey.
While piracy of e-books is rife, costing publishers and stores almost an estimated US$ 3 billion so far, its rise to a mass-market consumer gadget will help maintain the margins needed to make it a profitable industry, attracting more players and publishers.
Reading the Market
As e-readers are far less expensive than tablets such as the iPad, that and their simplicity in use leads to a clear wider appeal. With massive advertising campaigns for the likes of Barnes and Noble's Nook and Amazon's Kindle, they are almost impossible to ignore, despite tablets having their own e-book stores.
While you might not buy a tablet for a relative, e-readers are in just the right price bracket and sales are only likely to continue to outstrip tablets, especially around the Christmas season. With Star Wars along to give the market a kick, things are definitely looking up for e-books and e-readers.