Earlier this month I posted about the incredible change we have already seen in the eBook space in 2010. A colleague asked for some of my predictions for the rest of the year. This was my response:
1. A $99 eReader. Controversial I know, but device makers are pouring into the space and while $99 may not come until 2011, I would not be surprised at all to see it this year. If you are selling an eReader north of $249, it had better sing and dance, clean the house… and make a mean soufflé.
2. The $4.99 Bestseller. Yes, eBook prices are going up, but what happens when some pubs go agency and some don’t? Prices will be all over the map, and publishers and retailers will test all kinds of pricing schemes. We may also see a class action on pubs going with agency.
3. Amazon Launches the Super Kindle. Lab126 (Amazon’s holding company that makes the Kindle) is hiring enough hardware engineers to launch a smartphone, tablet, and a line of high efficiency home appliances. Are they making a SuperKindle? Thanks to the NYT’s Nick Bilton for starting yet another hype cycle for a device that doesn’t yet exist but will descend from heaven and make all our lives better.
4. eBook buyers are collectors too, only faster. We’ll see a growing population in the Millennium Club in 2010 (ebook readers with more 1000 ebooks in their libraries)
5. Google Announces Google Editions. Again. And (a picture of) a Tablet.
6. We will share our eBooks in 2010. Sharing our favorite books is a natural and essential practice. Customers expect it, we’re ready, we just need publishers to come to the table
7. Over 15 million new eReaders sold in 2010. My best guess is that 3-4m were sold in 2009, mostly by Amazon and Sony. Forrester guessed 6m for 2010, but from my perspective they are missing the mark by about 2.5x. New entrants will diminish Amazon and Sony’s share (and I don’t mean B&N).
8. By 2015, At least 50% of eBook sales will come from entrants that don’t even sell hardcopy books today.
9. The Google Book Settlement (G.B.S., let your imagination run with other meanings for the acronym) saga continues. World governments, competitors, authors continue to block Google Books Settlement.
10. We’ll look back at 2009 as the zenith of hardcopy book sales in America.