The next chapter of e-books will have less to do with Stephen King and more to do with chemistry and history. Despite hype and high hopes, dedicated hardware e-book readers and downloadable novels have been slow to catch on. But that doesn't mean e-books won't be a hot trend in 2002. Andres Nannetti, CEO and co-founder of e-book platform company Rovia Inc., points to textbooks and self-publishing as areas ripe for growth.
Located in Boston, Rovia was founded in early 2000 around an e-textbook platform that allows customers to rent access to material from any machine with a Web connection. "The real activity for e-books is in active reading, which is what you do with textbooks, research and reference materials," says Nannetti, 25. Forrester Research predicts that digitally delivered textbooks and custom-printed books will make up the majority of what will be a $7.8 billion market within five years.
"Publishing in general is in for a big surprise as the Internet really takes over, because a lot of the physical barriers to entry are removed," says Nannetti. Marketing-savvy entrepreneurs can find big opportunities in releasing e-books to niche markets that are underserved by volume-oriented traditional publishers. "There are a lot of things out there that can sell less than 50,000 copies," Nannetti says. "For a small business, you can make a living off of that."
- Planet eBook: Resource for ebook news with an extensive tools and technologies list, glossary, articles and forum
- eBookWeb: Comprehensive site with news, opinions and community features, covering everything from writing ebooks to reviews
- Open eBook Forum: Organization dedicated to the creation and maintenance of an open ebook standard
What Do You Think?
Are our picks for what's hot in 2002 on target or way off base? Tell us what you think.