A Writer’s Thoughts On The Cybook eReader

Via Twitter from sell_ebooks (a Twitterer everyone interested in ebooks must Follow!):

First thoughts on the Cybook Gen3

I bought a second-hand Cybook Gen3 ebook reader from my writing partner last month, and I’ve been using it long enough now to have some initial thoughts about it. This isn’t a proper review, as I haven’t been exploring all its features. What I *have* been doing with it is simply reading some of the books she’d loaded on it, mostly on the bus to and from work.

And the obvious question is — do I regret spending one hundred pounds on this thing? After all, I could buy quite a few paperbacks for that money. To which the answer is “no”, and for a specific reason I’ll get to at the end of this post. And it’s not one of the obvious reasons, like saving shelf space or being able to carry a hundred books with me at all times, although I can see the advantages there.

Would I buy one at full market price? (Currently 269 pounds if shipped to the UK.) Probably not, but mostly because the wee beastie is physically fragile, and I fully expect that I’ll manage to break it within a year or two given my current usage of it. I can see why other people would pay that for it, and why I might in other circumstances.

So, the pros and cons I’ve found so far:

Bold emphasis added by me.

Sony, please please please get the Sony Reader price down down down!

If you can get people to the point where the hardware entry point for eBooks is lower — and also continue to drop the price as sales increase — things will happen in a big way.

If people buy a Sony Reader for $199, they’ll easily accumulate enough value in it with eBooks and texts that replacing one at $199 (or even better: $149!) will be easy.

They’ll have become hooked on eReading and will miss it.

What’s particularly interesting about this post is that it’s from a writer who has also been published in eBook format (some of it is erotica; attention, Mitzi Szereto!)! Click through to read his her thoughts. He She raises points I’ve not seen elsewhere.

Explore posts in the same categories: Books - Other, eBooks, Tech - Other, Tech - Sony, Writers - Living

4 Comments on “A Writer’s Thoughts On The Cybook eReader”

  1. Jules Jones Says:

    That’s “her”, not “him”. :-)

  2. Jules Jones Says:

    Speaking as someone who makes a useful second income from ebooks, I’d very much like to see the price of the hardware come down. At the current prices, you’ve already got to be an ebook convert to think about buying a dedicated device. Push the price down to where it looks like the price of half a dozen hardbacks, and throw in a few *desirable* titles as a free gift, and it starts to look like a much more attractive prospect to the average reader. And then at some point it hits the point on the price curve where it shifts enough units that it’s no longer an expensive cutting-edge toy, but just another mass-market item.

    That’s not feasible just yet, because the supply of raw eInk screens is still a bottleneck. But it’s a bottleneck that can be fixed, if there’s a market to justify investing in production facilities.

  3. mikecane Says:

    Sorry about the sex change. Fixed!

    Sony is a ginormous company. They should set up an eInk factory and crank them out. They could get the economies of scale that way.

    You might want to see this too:

    We’re singing in the same choir!

  4. Jules Jones Says:

    Charlie Stross has some interesting commentary about the price of ebook readers in a post from early last year — and he used to be a tech journalist before he went into writing sf full-time, so he knows what he’s talking about:

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