Sony’s electronic book reader is up against the Amazon Kindle. The key to the Kindle’s success is that it is paired with the largest book store in the world, where most people likely to buy an electronic book already have accounts.
Sony fights back by using the open ePub format and pairing with Google who is offering one million public domain books in the ePub format.
With the Sony Reader you can also “check out” any ePub book from libraries, starting with the New York Public Library, for free for 21 days.
Sony’s strategy is to sell the readers, encouraging anyone to sell electronic books in the open ePub digital book format. Amazon’s strategy is the opposite: to drive sales of ebooks on Amazon. Not surprizingly, the Amazon Kindle does not support the ePub format.
Interestingly, seniors are the largest group of users of the Kindle. (Source: bookbusinessmag.com)
The LDS Church hasn’t yet published any content in electronic reader formats, but is preparing the entire gospel library of scriptures, manuals, magazines, and other Church publications in XML format. Simple Web services could easily convert that XML into ePub or any other reader format. What if members with technical skills coded the conversion routines for various e-readers and they were made available on LDS.org? Then anyone could simply click on the format they wanted, and could download their favorite magazine, manual, or other materials to their e-reader at will? Get the free LDS Gospel Library mobile app.
How would you like to see it work? How could members help make this happen?