Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Great eReader Debate

You've all doubtless been reading the over-whelming articles on the launch of the iPAD, what it means, and what it doesn't mean, the MacMillan and scrimish this past's almost as overdone as the The Tonight Show shark scrimmage a few weeks ago. I won't bore you by throwing out links to blogs and articles you've already read.

However, here's a thought for all our publishers, online and offline retailers, and makers of Kindle, iPAD, and the Sony eREADER: get with your demographic and you'll find everything falls in to place! The industrys already tried to hit up commuters, agents, publishers, and reading afficionados who want their entire library held in their hand.

This is just my opinion, but they're all missing a huge target market, which would resolve the "what format are we using?" and "what the heck's DMR anyway"? questions.

We're still in the throes of the TWILIGHT SAGA phenomenon. Until publishers and eREADER manufacturers wake up and target the YA audience, we're all going to be fishing around for formats for years. High school and college students are the ones with their technology attached to their fingertips, quite literally. What if eREADERS became the latest gadget teens HAD to have? They'd be able to toss them in their bags along with their phones and if the content was accessible enough they'd have their full years worth of English texts on their iREADER. Plus Twilight, and whatever new teen phenomenom shows up. The payoff? YA authors would be in ecstasy,and publishers could quit squabbling over prices because the teen and college market would be grabbing up everything they could download. Remember the beginning of iTUNES? I rest my case!

Reading would be "cool" again, as teens everywhere competed to have the latest book on their eREADER. They might even expand their sights beyond the "have to" reads for school, and delve in to literature that broadens their outlook on the "printed" word. Schools could insist on students subscribing to national and international newspapers as part of their studies. The possibilities are endless.

A YA eREADER targeted at this new generation (and I'm including all my nieces and nephews from grade 9 to university) would be the best leg up the publishing world could have right now. Make it snazzy, colour it up with neon covers, throw in some cool Apps, and see what happens. I'd bet next Christmas would be very merry for parents who're praying their offspring could learn something else at school besides how to hide their cell phones from their teachers so they can text that gorgeous girl in the third row.

Hello, Mr. Jobs? Methinks you missed the boat on this one. I'm just saying

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