E-books gain a foothold at Frankfurt Book Fair

Oct 16, 2009 By LAURA STEVENS , Associated Press Writer

(AP) -- While paper books still outnumber texts that can be read online or on dedicated readers like the Kindle or eBook, use of the electronic versions is growing.

Many publishing firms unveiled electronic editions of their books for the first time this year at the 61st Frankfurt Book Fair. But many publishers, while they are certain that will play a bigger role in their future, say it has yet to be seen just how big the trend will become.

De Bezige Bij, or The Busy Bee, a Dutch publishing company based in Amsterdam, published its first e-books in August, said Pieter Swinkels, a senior editor at the company.

"Everybody is interested in it (but) at the moment it still feels like you're looking into a dark room," he told The Associated Press Friday.

"Books are still a good piece of technology, they can still do everything you need," said Jason Cooper, a director at Faber & Faber, one of the largest independent book publishers in the United Kingdom.

He said that, while books won't vanish, it's important to start rolling out electronic titles, which Faber & Faber did last year.

Unlike many other at the fair, MIT Press has been bringing out e-books since the early 1990s, said Gita Manaktala, editorial director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology university press. Now they've added titles for Kindle, and nearly half of MIT Press' 4,000-strong backlist is available electronically.

"One thing that's really driving a shift toward e-books are libraries," she said. Electronic editions are in demand, she said, because they are more convenient, take up less space and can be made available to more people.

Joachim Leser, a spokesman for the Stuttgart-based publishing company Klett-Cotta Verlag, said the company is working to get e-books out to all kinds of technologies, including iPhones and Sony eReaders.

"The problem right now is that the customers don't have any orientation, and they don't know where to find it," he said. "Personally, I think that everything ... will end up going in the direction of both cell phone and iPod technology."

Peter Prange, a best-selling author of German-language historical novels, including "Die Principessa," said it's complicated for authors to watch the e-book process.

"It's wonderful for the world, but a catastrophe for the authors," since they make almost no money, he said.

Prange said that, while electronic books are convenient and portable, they don't have the familiarity of traditional books.

"Books are friends. And I want the book that I've read to be on my bookshelf. Therefore I believe that paperless will be about as successful as bathrooms without toilet paper," he said.

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Explore further: Dutch student sells his data for €350, but at what price privacy?

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Amazon offers to replace Orwell books on Kindles

Sep 04, 2009

(AP) -- Amazon.com Inc. is offering free books or $30 to Kindle customers whose copies of the George Orwell novels "1984" and "Animal Farm" were deleted from their electronic reading devices in July.

Sony e-book reader gets 500,000 books from Google

Mar 19, 2009

(AP) -- Google Inc. is making half a million books, unprotected by copyright, available for free on Sony Corp.'s electronic book-reading device, the companies were set to announce Thursday.

Coolerbooks.com gets 1M books from Google scans

Sep 02, 2009

(AP) -- Interead, a British company that sells the COOL-ER e-book reader, is adding more than 1 million free public-domain books to its online bookstore. The texts are available from Google Inc. through its ...

Google to launch platform for selling books online

Oct 15, 2009

(AP) -- Google Inc. is launching a new online service that will let readers buy electronic versions of books and read them on such gadgets as cell phones, laptops and possibly e-book devices.

Amazon.com buys Stanza e-book app maker Lexcycle

Apr 28, 2009

(AP) -- Kindle e-book retailer Amazon.com Inc. has purchased Lexcycle, a year-old company that makes the iPhone e-book application Stanza, in a move that ratchets up Amazon's presence in the electronic book market.

Google to sell new e-books online

Jun 01, 2009

Google plans to begin selling electronic versions of new books online this year, posing a potential challenge to market leader Amazon.

Recommended for you

Researchers uncover likely creator of Bitcoin

4 hours ago

The primary author of the celebrated Bitcoin paper, and therefore probable creator of Bitcoin, is most likely Nick Szabo, a blogger and former George Washington University law professor, according to students ...

White House updating online privacy policy

8 hours ago

A new Obama administration privacy policy out Friday explains how the government will gather the user data of online visitors to WhiteHouse.gov, mobile apps and social media sites. It also clarifies that ...

Net neutrality balancing act

Apr 17, 2014

Researchers in Italy, writing in the International Journal of Technology, Policy and Management have demonstrated that net neutrality benefits content creator and consumers without compromising provider innovation nor pr ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Under some LED bulbs whites aren't 'whiter than white'

For years, companies have been adding whiteners to laundry detergent, paints, plastics, paper and fabrics to make whites look "whiter than white," but now, with a switch away from incandescent and fluorescent lighting, different ...

Hackathon team's GoogolPlex gives Siri extra powers

(Phys.org) —Four freshmen at the University of Pennsylvania have taken Apple's personal assistant Siri to behave as a graduate-level executive assistant which, when asked, is capable of adjusting the temperature ...

Researchers uncover likely creator of Bitcoin

The primary author of the celebrated Bitcoin paper, and therefore probable creator of Bitcoin, is most likely Nick Szabo, a blogger and former George Washington University law professor, according to students ...

Continents may be a key feature of Super-Earths

Huge Earth-like planets that have both continents and oceans may be better at harboring extraterrestrial life than those that are water-only worlds. A new study gives hope for the possibility that many super-Earth ...

Researchers successfully clone adult human stem cells

(Phys.org) —An international team of researchers, led by Robert Lanza, of Advanced Cell Technology, has announced that they have performed the first successful cloning of adult human skin cells into stem ...