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C-2-C Project

Creator-to-Consumer in a Digital Age

Published Research

Series Three

Book 3.2
Markets for Electronic Book Products
Edited by Bill Cope and Dean Mason


Module 2: Business Strategy in Book Production: Reaching New Markets

Module 2, Milestone 2: Markets for New Book Products

The research undertaken for this milestone ran in close parallel to the previous milestone, examining products which could either be seen to be market threats to printers, or market opportunities.

This part of Module 2 examined the rate of take-up and market potentials for new and hybrid book products. These may be taken either to be products in competition with printed books (in which case, our analysis will be on competitive threats to the book production industry), or as products and media which may provide new marketing opportunities for books, new business opportunities for players in the book production supply chain, and ways of reaching new markets. New book products may include:

  1. Electronic book reading tablets.
  2. Book-facsimile technologies for personal computers, for screen-based reading our output to desktop printers, whether that be in a format which can be downloaded or whether they are packaged as CDs and sold alongside books.
  3. Possible synergies between the new formats and conventional print, such as texts published simultaneously to print end electronic platforms from common source files.
  4. Alternative book formats for the print handicapped and for people with learning disabilities.

The focus was on the book as a series of varied manifestations of Intellectual Property, or content, and particularly on the synergies between print (d-book) and electronic (e-book) manifestations.

This research complement Module 1, Milestone 1: Print and E-text Convergence (Book 2.1), which examined the technology drivers which will open up these new market possibilities.

Research activities included:

  1. International survey of new book products, with a focus on market take up, the kinds of content carried by different products, marketing strategies etc.
  2. Development of an overview of content and book markets currently suited, or which may be particularly suited in the future, to these new book products. A particular focus will be given to the needs of the print handicapped and for people with learning disabilities.
  3. Research into the experiences of people using new book products: the kinds of new and old knowledge and reading purposes they serve, and, as a consequence, the kinds of markets which may emerge.
  4. Construction of an overall picture of the predicted range of products available in short and medium term time frames and an analysis of the extent to which this new product range will replace or complement the existing range of printed book products.
  5. Assessment the implications for the book production industry of this change in the range of products available.

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