Amazon Kindle Fire? the end of printed media?

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Amazon Kindle Fire? the end of printed media?

Postby trang » 05 Oct 2011 10:28

the various kindle models are pretty handy and costs have come down a lot. This new Fire is pretty nifty ( i know it does more than E-books) but is color and under 200 bucks.

Are we headed to the days of no more printed/hardcopy books? how long will it be? 5 years, 10 years? when will the last book be printed? will that make having any book in printed form that much more valuable?

I thought of this when I was dragging 40+ book boxes from my basement in new place up the stairs to put on shelves. I have over 1000 books of various forms (hardback, paperback, encyclopedia, other reference, old school books, etc) and I was thinking it sure would be handy to have all them on one device that fits in my pocket.

I enjoy my collection and plan to continue adding to it, but wonder if it will be a futile effort with kindle fire and sub kindles and other ebook readers coming into their own?
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Re: Amazon Kindle Fire? the end of printed media?

Postby Freakzilla » 05 Oct 2011 10:30

I've been saying print is dead for years.
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Re: Amazon Kindle Fire? the end of printed media?

Postby Spicelon » 05 Oct 2011 11:01

trang wrote:the various kindle models are pretty handy and costs have come down a lot. This new Fire is pretty nifty ( i know it does more than E-books) but is color and under 200 bucks.

Are we headed to the days of no more printed/hardcopy books? how long will it be? 5 years, 10 years? when will the last book be printed? will that make having any book in printed form that much more valuable?

I thought of this when I was dragging 40+ book boxes from my basement in new place up the stairs to put on shelves. I have over 1000 books of various forms (hardback, paperback, encyclopedia, other reference, old school books, etc) and I was thinking it sure would be handy to have all them on one device that fits in my pocket.

I enjoy my collection and plan to continue adding to it, but wonder if it will be a futile effort with kindle fire and sub kindles and other ebook readers coming into their own?


The Kindle Fire is basically a direct competitor to the Nook Color, and significantly cheaper. I am willing to bet that Amazon pushes out an updated version of the Fire with 3G or 4G built in, probably around Christmas. Either way it is still a lightweight "tablet", so if Amazon's strategy is to market this a tablet product then that would be a bad move.

I am a full on convert to e-readers. I think of them as more like media player hardware than e-readers, to be honest. Face it, most people who buy tablets are paying out the nose for computing power that they simply don't need or use. Most people. I'm sure there are exceptions. Regardless, if all you want is a "tablet-esque" device to read books, listen to music and stream video and audio, then one of these e-readers is for you.

And I don'rt really miss the tactile properties of real books anymore. I thought I would, but I don't. Getting used to reading on an e-reader took no time at all, and I like it that I have a single device that has my next several months of reading material queued up and accessible whenever I want.

Also, check out the program Calibre. It is to ebooks what iTunes is to mp3s. Awesome library functionality. Highly recommend it.
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Re: Amazon Kindle Fire? the end of printed media?

Postby A Thing of Eternity » 05 Oct 2011 14:16

The last book will be printed when the last humans are dead! Seriously, there will always be a market for them, but it will be a niche thing, like vinyl is today. As far as how long before "new" bookstores end up going the way of HMV and slowly dying? Probably at least 10 years.
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Re: Amazon Kindle Fire? the end of printed media?

Postby Freakzilla » 05 Oct 2011 14:32

What's an HMV?
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Re: Amazon Kindle Fire? the end of printed media?

Postby DuneFishUK » 05 Oct 2011 14:52

E-readers are the future, but I don't think I'm going to get one - Most of the time I eyeball read pretty slowly (ie: why I love audiobooks so much), so I only ever have to take one physical book with me if I go anywhere.

What will die though is Hardbacks. They're big, clumsy and over-priced... people say they last longer, but that's not really much of a selling point in a world where data is free and immortal.

Print on demand paperbacks FTW. :)

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Re: Amazon Kindle Fire? the end of printed media?

Postby Hunchback Jack » 05 Oct 2011 19:23

A Thing of Eternity wrote:Seriously, there will always be a market for them, but it will be a niche thing, like vinyl is today.


Yeah, that.

I'm surprised how quickly it's happening, I must admit, but I think it will still take more than 5 years before the majority of new books are ebook-only releases. There's still some inertia there, I think. Eventually, I think books will be ebook-only by default, but on-demand printing will become cheap enough that you'll be able to get a hardcopy for not much money.

And I think there'll still be signed limited editions at the usual inflated prices for book fetishists like me :).

BTW, I was pleasantly surprised by the Kindle Fire. It doesn't look bad at all, and the price is very attractive. The new low-end Kindles also look like a great way to get skeptics and kids into the market. I'm not into ereaders, but I think Amazon are making some pretty shrewd moves here.

Much more impressive than the iPhone 4S, at any rate.

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Re: Amazon Kindle Fire? the end of printed media?

Postby A Thing of Eternity » 05 Oct 2011 19:46

Before a majority of new releases are e-book only you might be right, could potentially be as soon as 5 years, but even that's most likely a little fast, if it's anything like downloadable music the format takes off fast, but the old one sticks around for a fair while.

I'd say 10 years at before you're looking at a minority of books being released only as e-books will be seen - but 5 years before the majority of SALES are e-book seems totally realistic to me.

Freakzilla wrote:What's an HMV?


Big CD retailer, now they hardly have any music, it's mostly DVDs, and they'll be completely out of business soon.
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Re: Amazon Kindle Fire? the end of printed media?

Postby Omphalos » 05 Oct 2011 20:19

A Thing of Eternity wrote:
Freakzilla wrote:What's an HMV?


Big CD retailer, now they hardly have any music, it's mostly DVDs, and they'll be completely out of business soon.


Her Majesty's Video?

You guys up there still kow-tow to her, right?

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Re: Amazon Kindle Fire? the end of printed media?

Postby A Thing of Eternity » 06 Oct 2011 00:12

Omphalos wrote:
A Thing of Eternity wrote:
Freakzilla wrote:What's an HMV?


Big CD retailer, now they hardly have any music, it's mostly DVDs, and they'll be completely out of business soon.


Her Majesty's Video?

You guys up there still kow-tow to her, right?


Ha... wonder if it does stand for that... :shock:

And yes, as a figurehead "we" do. Personally I'm for abolishing all that sillyness (and the monarchy itself frankly), but it'll probably come in handy when you guys invade.
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Re: Amazon Kindle Fire? the end of printed media?

Postby Hunchback Jack » 06 Oct 2011 02:22

A Thing of Eternity wrote:... if it's anything like downloadable music the format takes off fast, but the old one sticks around for a fair while.


Yeah, I agree. Also, I think books have a more tactile appeal than CDs, so there will be more people preferring them for longer. I don't think many people preferred the physical aspects of CDS versus that of an iPod. Ereaders have that same convenience factor, but people still like holding books and turning pages, I think.

A Thing of Eternity wrote:I'd say 10 years at before you're looking at a minority of books being released only as e-books will be seen - but 5 years before the majority of SALES are e-book seems totally realistic to me.


I think Amazon have already had at least one quarter where Kindle book sales were greater (in number) than print book sales. (Googles) Yep, here:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/1 ... 64387.html

HMV stands for "His Master's Voice". I believe it used to be a music publisher before (or at the same time) with being a music store. HMV's logo was a dog listening to a gramaphone - the idea being hat the sound quality was so good, a dog hearing a recording would recognize his master's voice.

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Re: Amazon Kindle Fire? the end of printed media?

Postby A Thing of Eternity » 06 Oct 2011 02:30

I'll be darned, no idea the sales had gone that high already...

Quite a few people do still buy CDs, just because they like the artwork and having something physical, but I don't think it'll be long, 5 years probably before they're really toast (down to the same level tapes are now).

If I was releasing my own band's work right now I'd just do download cards for sale and vinyl for the collectors.
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Re: Amazon Kindle Fire? the end of printed media?

Postby Freakzilla » 06 Oct 2011 08:20

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That image was also used by RCA:

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Re: Amazon Kindle Fire? the end of printed media?

Postby JustSomeGuy » 06 Oct 2011 08:49

Hunchback Jack wrote:people still like holding books and turning pages, I think.


Yes... just yes.
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Re: Amazon Kindle Fire? the end of printed media?

Postby Spicelon » 06 Oct 2011 11:49

A Thing of Eternity wrote: . . . - but 5 years before the majority of SALES are e-book seems totally realistic to me.


Amazon's e-books sales already outnumber their physical book sales. That part of the equation is happening NOW.
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Re: Amazon Kindle Fire? the end of printed media?

Postby A Thing of Eternity » 06 Oct 2011 14:05

Spicelon wrote:
A Thing of Eternity wrote: . . . - but 5 years before the majority of SALES are e-book seems totally realistic to me.


Amazon's e-books sales already outnumber their physical book sales. That part of the equation is happening NOW.


Right, but are e-book sales outnumbering actual book sales overall yet, or even in any specific country? One company yes that's impressive, but they're online anyways.
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Re: Amazon Kindle Fire? the end of printed media?

Postby Spicelon » 06 Oct 2011 14:28

A Thing of Eternity wrote:
Spicelon wrote:
A Thing of Eternity wrote: . . . - but 5 years before the majority of SALES are e-book seems totally realistic to me.


Amazon's e-books sales already outnumber their physical book sales. That part of the equation is happening NOW.


Right, but are e-book sales outnumbering actual book sales overall yet, or even in any specific country? One company yes that's impressive, but they're online anyways.


Barnes & Noble too
http://www.itworld.com/internet/132089/ ... le-website

Granted that's online also. But I think that it's still some pretty solid trending.
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Re: Amazon Kindle Fire? the end of printed media?

Postby Freakzilla » 06 Oct 2011 14:40

B&N used to have real stores.
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Re: Amazon Kindle Fire? the end of printed media?

Postby Spicelon » 06 Oct 2011 14:40

Followup, did some Googling.

http://productivewriters.com/2011/02/16 ... ates-2010/

An excerpt:

E-books grew a dramatic +164.8 percent in December 2010 vs the previous year ($49.5 Million vs $18.7M). In the AAP’s ninth year of tracking this category, E-books once again increased significantly on an annual basis, up +164.4 percent for 2010 vs 2009 ($441.3M vs $166.9M). E-book sales represented 8.32 percent of the trade book market in 2010 vs 3.20 percent the previous year. A chart tracking nine years of E-book sales is included below.


I assume 8.32 percent of the trade book market is a dollar value, not units. But what is more telling is the increase from 2009 to 2010.
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Re: Amazon Kindle Fire? the end of printed media?

Postby Freakzilla » 06 Oct 2011 14:42

Schools seem to be pushing the idea of etexts, too.
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Re: Amazon Kindle Fire? the end of printed media?

Postby A Thing of Eternity » 06 Oct 2011 15:11

I'm not surprised by that at all, that seems to fit with my guess that the e-book sales will pass real-book sales in 5 years-ish.

The real change will be when all the big bookstores close, and we're left with just those smaller used bookstores (which will also be the source for new books), the same as what happened with vinyl. Now THAT I expect to be a lot slower, not within 10 years - people are going to cling to books a lot harder than they clung to any audio/video format.
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Re: Amazon Kindle Fire? the end of printed media?

Postby Hunchback Jack » 06 Oct 2011 15:37

The huffington post article said that amazon had an estimated 2/3 of all ebook sales, so their numbers are skewed compared to the average. You can't deny the trend tho.

Speaking of barnes and noble, their online site is killing their own stores. They often have deeply discounted books online, but the same books are full price in the stores. No wonder bookstores are dying!

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Re: Amazon Kindle Fire? the end of printed media?

Postby Ampoliros » 07 Oct 2011 00:23

Well I'm still employed, and I work for a major chain. (3 guesses as to which now...)

e-book sales sure have cut into sales, but I don't see physical bookstores dying out. As someone who sells e-readers for a living, I can say that physical books aren't going anywhere. Borders died because it moved way too late to get into electronic sales; ebooks have irreversibly changed the sales model. Internet sales have too, but even that won't totally kill the physical bookstores.

As for the Fire, as a consumer of tech and peddler of direct competition, I think the greatest assets of the Fire will be its greatest hindrances as well: practical restriction to Amazon content. For anyone who already uses a kindle, the Fire is the way to go, but you'll pretty much be locked into their services: subscription to Prime for your media content and use of the Amazon cloud. The lack of an SD slot makes the Fire a "thanks, but no thanks" for me. My rooted Nook has netflix, movies/audio on SD AND could run the amazon instant video if I wanted to.

Besides, whenever someone lays down the gauntlet like Amazon did (The pricing for their new range was a kick to the nads for the entire Android tablet economy: The Fire unit is being sold at a $50 loss) it turns into a buyer's market. All the other tablet makers are going to have to gut their own prices or simply smother the Fire in other areas.

In the end I see Amazon carving off a piece of the pie like Apple did creating a more loyal and trapped customer base. I don't see them dominating the market with this move.
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Re: Amazon Kindle Fire? the end of printed media?

Postby Hunchback Jack » 07 Oct 2011 08:24

Okay, perhaps I was extrapolating too much from my own experience. :)

A couple of Borders near me closed during the latest of their reductions, which made me very sad. Then, just the other day, I was in a Barnes and Noble looking for a particular book - the third Abarat book by Clive Barker - which I'd much prefer to buy from the store myself than have posted to me. The bn.com online price - under $14. The Store price - $25. If they had split the difference, they'd have a sale. As it is, I'm looking elsewhere.

I *like* bookstores. I'm willing to pay more to be able to hold the book I'm going to buy in my hand before I buy it. But it frustrates me that when a company's own website sells the same book for almost half what their store does, they're putting their own stores at a huge disadvantage.

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- Carl Sagan

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Re: Amazon Kindle Fire? the end of printed media?

Postby SadisticCynic » 07 Oct 2011 12:18

Don't like E-readers, don't like downloading music.

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