The world of e-book devices, apps, providers and acquisitions is fast-changing and very complex. Keeping up with it all is a challenge for any publisher. A colleague drew my attention to a very helpful map of the e-book universe brought to us by the folks at TechFlash.com.
As Eric Engleman puts it:
In recent weeks, we’ve seen Sony announce a new lineup of electronic readers; bookseller Barnes & Noble form partnerships with forthcoming e-readers from Plastic Logic and Irex; and Google team up with various devices to distribute digital titles from its giant book scanning project. Looming over all this is Apple, which is rumored to be developing a tablet computer with e-reading capability. Apple’s entry into the market—given the company’s success with the iPhone and other consumer electronics—could shake things up for Kindle and other players.
TechFlash also has created a version of the same map in an interactive format—just click on any icon and get more information. It’s a large file, but it may prove worthwhile for you.
To keep things in perspective, sales of e-books still amount to less than 1 percent of the total book market. Few expect things to stay at that level, however. Keeping current on the shifts and changes is a key and major task in this fast-moving and very unstable field.