Now that consumers are accustomed to downloading tunes to their favorite digital music players, book publishers are beginning to bow to a new delivery model and are hoping that digital releases will improve their fortunes. The e‑book market was valued at $100 million in 2008 and is predicted to grow rapidly. This production shift is being accompanied by the release of a proliferation of new software and portable e‑readers.
Amazon leapt into this marketplace early with its Kindle. While publishers and authors have been putting content on the Web for several years now, many in the e‑book industry credit Oprah with giving mobile e‑readers a boost when she discussed her Kindle on her TV talk show. Other mobile device manufacturers have taken notice. Users of Apple's iPod Touch and RIM's BlackBerry can now easily download books. Another indication of the shift was the recent Barnes & Noble purchase of Fictionwise, an exclusive e‑book publisher.
Industry watchers believe the e‑book market is just beginning to gain mainstream status. Whether you're working with book publishers, software developers or hardware manufacturers, opportunities for marketing and advertising programs are clearly growing.[Source: Trachtenberg, Jeffrey and Silver, Sara. "E‑Book Market Heats Up," Wall Street Journal 3.25.09; E‑Book Week]