Amazon are announcing that over the Christmas period eBooks actually outsold paperbacks. This is another pointer to the future of mass market fiction and comes after Amazon's announcement earlier in the year that eBooks were actually outselling hardback books. The company also cracked the milestone of $10 million US dollars in profit in one quarter, but the results might have been better if Amazon hadn’t needed to slash prices in order to match those at competitor Walmart.
Google are reported to be developing an eReader of their own in order to tackle Amazon and its hugely successful Kindle device.
The writing is, it would seem, on the wall - eBooks are going to crave a bigger and bigger market share of the publishing market. Events that have traditional publishers as well as agents terrified but at the end of the day the new system should give more power to those all important writers.
Judges for the prestigious Man Booker Prize have for the first time been given eBooks rather than traditional books to read. Publishers entering books for the £50,000 Man Booker prize are now being asked to make all submissions available both as physical books and in digital form. This year's judging panel – which includes writers Susan Hill, Matthew d'Ancona, and politician Chris Mullin as well as the Daily Telegraph's head of books Gaby Wood, and is chaired by former M15 chief Stella Rimington – have been issued with eReaders. The move will help them prepare for the 2011 prize longlist, to be announced in July, without hauling around back-breaking numbers of submissions.