July 21, 2008
Big Screen Kindle Aiming for $5.5 Billion Textbook Market
Sometime ago I wrote, "while the Kindle buzz has stimulated interest in the legal academy, the development model will not follow along the lines of Kindle" because the digital text-study aid functionality law schools students want is not gizmo-dependent and products are or can be expected to integrate their computer-based apps with online research services. The AspenStudyDesk is leading the way and, in Professional Reading: Is Open-Source the Future of eBook Legal Publishing?, I predicted that "Lexis and Thomson-West [will] join this market and dominate it eventually by allowing their eBooks to be customized and updated via their online research services. Hopefully, both will offer two options for their eBooks: (1) an word processing application that can be downloaded and (2) a web-based service that allows students to work collaboratively." See also our Beyond the Kindle Hype LLB post, and Law School Innovation posts: Kindle won't catch fire in law schools and Advances in Book-Hauling Technologies.
Of course, before any of this can happen, legal publishers like Thomson-West, LexisNexis and Aspen, have to start offering eBook editions of all the titles in their law school catalogs first. Not yet happening but may be forthcoming now. I might have to eat my e-words about the development model not being Kindled because a new large-display Kindle model, reported to be "shaped like an 8 1/2 x 11-inch piece of paper," may become available next year. See CrunchGear and TechCrunch posts. It is highly unlikely that digital text-study aid functionality identified above will be incorporated into the new Kindle model so the sheer market presence of Amazon may prove once again that bad technology will trump consumer needs.
It's clear that that Amazon is targeting the $5.5 billion textbook market with it's new big screen Kindle. This can't be a good development if legal publishers accept Amazon's Kindle Terms of Service agreement, [Everyone Understands Jeff Bezos (Amazon's Kindle Terms of Service Agreement)], and distribute their e-titles using Kindle's proprietary and user-unfriendly document creation code.
Who needs a Kindle? [video parody] Law students may not have a choice if they want e-text editions of their casebooks, treatises and study guides. In E-Textbooks — for Real This Time?, Inside Higher Ed observed that "It’s the central paradox of 21st-century college students: Despite embracing radically new ways of communicating with each other and learning about the world, they still remain wedded to the old-fashioned, paper-bound textbook." Even more true for law school students considering that legal publishers embraced full-text e-publishing long before most other publishers. (Ever try to obtain digital versions of print titles from legal publishers for students with disabilities?)
Stay tuned. Meanwhile, news about the big screen Kindle is generating asinine commentary like the following blog post: "And why aren’t University libraries being set up around Kindle technology? Why keep all those crazy books? Set up a server in a basement somewhere, create some sort of library checkout licensing scheme (Amazon would administer this), and voila! Everything is computerized." [JH]
TrackBack URL for this entry:
Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Big Screen Kindle Aiming for $5.5 Billion Textbook Market:
» Kindle DX to be launched Wednesday from JUST IN CASE: The blog of The Judge Ben C. Green Law Library
Law Librarian blog PC World WSJ textbook trials expected in selected subject areas (e.g. Chemistry) at CWRU and several other... [Read More]
Tracked on May 5, 2009 1:29:47 PM
Oh, the Kindle 2 is out, and I really like the "listen" to book thing.
Posted by: Kindle 2.0 | Feb 16, 2009 1:24:11 AM
I heard that the Kindle 2 was coming out on Feb 9, 2009. I'm probably going to get a Kindle but I'll wait till then and see if the new one comes out or not.
Posted by: Kindle 2 | Feb 5, 2009 8:09:49 AM
I haven't seen this latest Kindle but is it better than the Irex offering, "iLiad" ? I ask because I bought one of these last month and so far only minor drawbacks. Either way the legal publishers' interest is going to be key and I don't see them converted to the technology yet! Perhaps the entry of non-lawyers into the field will give them the needed push?
Posted by: Marianne | Jul 27, 2008 3:41:37 PM