The e-book industry today: A bumpy road becomes an evolutionary path to market maturity

Nancy K Herther

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Purpose - To provide a snapshot picture of the current e-book industry from the perspectives of various key individuals in the industry. Design/methodology/approach - Over 20 interviews were conducted following an extensive review of the published literature and examination of product/technical information. Findings - The interviews revealed varying opinions on the current state of the industry and even on the definition of the e-book industry itself. Key issues identified include: standards, digital rights management, content availability, pricing, device/reader technology, integration and market development. Research limitations/implications - This industry is still relatively young, generally marking its beginnings in 2000; however, its early years have been marked by market hype, investor fallout and slow market development. Today's industry is at a pivotal point: can obstacles to maturity be overcome or will the industry be either subsumed by the larger consumer electronics or web-based industries? Practical implications - Information professionals may find these perspectives useful in framing their own applications of e-book technology in their planning for future technology, collections and services. Originality/value - The interviews, generally conducted with the understanding that comments and other key competitive information would remain unattributed, provide an insider's look at a technology and industry developing in a larger arena of rapid technological and market change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-53
Number of pages9
JournalElectronic Library
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 9 2005


  • Electronic books
  • Internet
  • Standards


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