"Moby Dick" is an acquired taste—like Melville himself. MOBY-DICK, Making Digital Books Into Page Turners
Making Digital Books Into Page Turners
Despite tepid response to its Reader, Sony sees potential in the market--and Amazon may agree
Nearly 10 Months After its debut, the Sony Reader is hardly a game changer. Reviews of the tiny handheld book-reading device have been tepid at best, and Sony Corp. (SNE ) has consistently declined to release sales figures, which just might tell you something. But Sony isn't backing away. In fact, as speculation continues in publishing circles that book e-tailing giant Amazon.com (AMZN ) is planning to come out with its own portable reader, Sony is launching a number of initiatives to give its Reader more sizzle. The market for digital books is nascent, and Sony, despite the Reader's less-than-splashy debut, still sees its potential, believing people will eventually warm to reading on a flat screen everything from books to the magazine you're holding now. The half-inch-thick Sony Reader, which can store about 80 electronic books, allows readers to flip pages and adjust the type size. It sells for about $300, and digital book downloads range from $2 to $20 apiece.
The Reader, however, has not drawn the wows that, say, a new version of the iPod (AAPL ) can still elicit. Many users say they are unhappy with the interface (too many buttons and not intuitive) and complain that books for the Reader can only be purchased at Sony's online service, Connect. Less than a tenth of the titles on the shelves of your average Barnes & Noble (BKS ) or Borders (BGP ) are available at Connect. Lisa Phillips, a vice-president at Random House Direct who received her Sony Reader as a gift last December, is turned off by Sony's closed system. "An open format where you could go to different places and not just use their system would be helpful," she says.
Sony hears you, Lisa. It's now planning to adopt e-book software from Adobe Systems (ADBE ) that will provide the Reader with a format to download books from outlets other than Connect, even libraries that lend e-books. Sony is also expanding where the Reader is sold. Available initially at just Borders and its own Sony stores and Web site, the Reader recently hit the shelves at CompUSA and Best Buy (BBY ). But even with the broader distribution, getting a sense of how well the Reader is selling is nearly impossible. "If [Sony] were selling millions, they would be boasting the numbers," said Evan Wilson, an analyst with Pacific Crest Securities who covers Sony. "Consumers have proven time and again that they would prefer to buy and keep physical books." Osric Burrowes, an inventory manager for a Borders store in midtown Manhattan, said that he was "very happy" with Reader sales, though on average the store sells just five a month.
To stoke sales, Sony has knocked $50 off its original price for the Reader and rolled out a new print ad campaign in publications such as The New York Times (NYT ), USA Today, and Vanity Fair. As part of this marketing push, Sony is offering new buyers, who are also registered Connect users, credit for 100 free classic titles, such as Great Expectations and Moby-Dick. "In terms of timing, with people going back to school, there is a lot of interest in classic literature," said Jim Malcolm, director of marketing for Sony Electronics. "It gives people an incentive to buy."
What's more, the Sony marketing team is gearing up to switch from a broad-based campaign to targeting frequent travelers. Because the Reader holds multiple books, Microsoft Word documents, and PDFs compressed into a manageable nine ounces, Sony says that a commuter or business traveler would be most interested in the device. Ads are appearing now in airports and train stations in New York, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. But this also means a major cutback in geographic reach. Says Malcolm: "What we're doing right now is being a lot more targeted."
Sony will need to gain some kind of traction with Readers, especially if Amazon, which bought e-book service mobipocket.com two years ago, moves forward with its own reader. An Amazon spokesman declined to comment. Sony knows all too well that with any first-generation product, valuable lessons are learned. But in this case, it may be that all the marketing in the world won't help sway book lovers if they are just not ready to curl up with a hard plastic screen.
to persuade someone to believe or do one thing rather than another:
Her speech failed to sway her colleagues into supporting the plan.
(from Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary)
“Now, as you well know, it is not seldom the case in this conventional world of ours - watery or otherwise; that when a person placed in command over his fellow-men finds one of them to be very significantly his superior in general pride of manhood, straightway against that man he conceives an unconquerable dislike and bitterness; and if he have a chance he will pull down and pulverize that subaltern's tower, and make a little heap of dust of it.”
― from MOBY-DICK
Some Blogs of Hanching Chung
- ► 2017 (412)
- The Great Tradition by FR Leavis
- MADNESS AND CIVILIZATION: A History of Insanity in...
- THEATRE/THE PAINTED VEIL by W. Somerset Maugham
- "The Sorrows of Young Werther" (1774) by Johann Wo...
- UNESCO聯合國教科文組織70歲 and the Strange Career of Multic...
- Willa Cather 作品
- 楊允達《巴黎摘星集》《書寫者，看見 (楊允達 篇) ：一夢四十年》(陳文發)；《塞纳河畔》
- Richard Strauss (1864-1949)
- Whatever Happened to the Enlightenment? Peter Gay《...
- 岩波書店發行的雜誌： 『図書』(月刊)；『環境と公害』(季刊)；『思想』(月刊) (1045號): ...
- 法拉第傳：Chemical History of a Candle By Michael Fara...
- The Life of David Hume by Ernest Campbell Mossner/...
- 茶室交易 Tearoom Trade: Impersonal Sex in Public Place...
- "Possession" by A.S. Byatt 《迷情書蹤》
- Jorge Luis Borges 書緣：『書鏡中人：波赫士的文學人生』一句
- 新鮮人入學前讀物.....BOOKS FOR THE FIRST-YEAR EXPERIENCE ®...
- 夏含夷（Edward L. Shaughnessy）教授《溫故知新錄》；《 重寫中國古代文獻》；《興...
- 趙天儀；江自得： 莊紫蓉《面對作家：台灣文學家訪談錄》3
- B. F. Skinner (1904-1990 ) 回憶錄 (多部曲)
- 《契訶夫短篇小說選》/《發現契訶夫》/ Anton Chekhov s Short Stories ...
- Peking Man
- Share books, not selfies. 昆布《移動書房》《完美的番紅花》
- Teffi (1872–1952)
- The Beatles By Bob Spitz, (錯誤多) /調諧》(Tune In). Elv...
- Gabriel Garcia Marquez Meets Ernest Hemingway, Jul...
- "Lawrence of Arabia" , The Arab spring. Do not giv...
- CHINA MEN by Maxine Hong Kingston
- 給眼球世代的觀看指南 How to See the World: An Introduction t...
- Czesław Miłosz: 《攻心記》/《被禁錮的心靈》 The Year of the Hu...
- Consensual Democracy
- 《吳新榮 全集》/《吳新榮傳》/《吳新榮日記全集 11卷》
- TSUTAYA BOOKS 蔦屋書店將在台開幕，蔦屋書店5大經營亮點
- 蔡珠兒《雲吞城市》2003。胡寶林：「失巷的文明」1992;「筆舞江湖 40年」2011
- I Ching: The Essential Translation of the Ancient ...
- BUDDENBROOKS; DEATH IN VENICE by Thomas Mann
- 弗朗索瓦•于連 François Jullien 數書 2005起
- A New Alice in the Old Wonderland
- 《德國歷史中的文化誘惑》The Seduction of Culture in German His...
- Pierre Rosenberg《盧浮宮私人詞典》；Paintings in the Louvre ...
- Book up for a longer life: readers die later, stud...
- A Sand County Almanac (1949) By Aldo Leopold (1887...
- 張深切 (1904-65)《張深切全集》(全12卷 1998)
- 傅雷1908-66：嘉爾曼，約翰克利斯朵夫 Jean-Christophe
- 邱祖胤 《心愛的無緣人》
- 川勝 平太《文明的海洋史觀》
- 柳田 國男《明治大正史•世相篇》
- Praeterita. The Seven Lamps of Architecture......T...
- Chinua Achebe: Hopes and Impediments/ Bearing Witn...
- Computation: Finite and Infinite Machines by Marvi...
- "The Man Without Qualities" By Robert Musil 《沒有個性...
- Top 10 philosophers' fictions
- Subterranean Homesick Blues, Bob Dylan and the 50-...
- Bloom's Literary Criticism 20th Anniversary Collec...
- Portrait of a Genius, Norbert Elias《臨終者的孤寂》
- Ernesto Laclau (1935 – 2014) Hegemony and Socialis...
- 安徒生文集 Hans Christian Andersen； 'Snow Queen' ; Tale...
- Darkness Moves: An Henri Michaux Anthology,
- "Second-hand time"《戰爭女人的面孔沒女人味》 《最後目擊者：少孩老成的故事集》《火...
- 《漢學研究通訊》目錄 (部分)/潘重規；《國際漢學研究通訊》
- Joseph Conrad：《黑暗的心》(Heart of Darkness ,1899), "Lo...
- 高本漢《中國音韻學研究》漢語的本質和歷史 等
- 日本文學十一本必讀書 (李長聲)；安部公房
- Boswell's Life of Johnson; the private papers of ...
- 《臺大出版中心二十週年紀念選輯‧限量版套書》、淡江大學出版中心；《 TQM在淡江：感動服務》2014...
- 李日章《赤峰街5號的那些事》；李日章《中國哲學現代觀》：陳鼓應和王曉波；不是英雄受難故事 ──台大哲...
- 曹永洋著《 荊棘、冠冕、動盪歲月－林恩魁醫師傳 》1922-2015
- 曹永洋著 《都市叢林醫生-郭維租的生涯心路》（1922年－）
- Herman Melville： "Bartleby, the Scrivener", "Omoo"...
- 曹永洋著 《噶瑪蘭的燭光~陳五福醫師傳》1918-1997
- "Moby Dick" is an acquired taste—like Melville him...
- ▼ 八月 (84)
- ► 2015 (616)
- ► 2014 (442)
- ► 2013 (349)
- ► 2012 (451)
- ► 2011 (897)
- ► 2010 (504)
- ► 2009 (236)
- ► 2008 (199)