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Ebooks: challenges and effects on the book chain

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posted on 09.02.2011, 11:17 by Gemma Towle
Ebooks have the potential to change the way we read but the ebook industry is not growing as it could be because it is faced with a number of challenges. The British fiction book market struggles as it grows with no clear idea of how each of the book chain areas is challenged by the effect of them. There is the need to identify these effects and challenges faced by the book chain both in the individual areas and the book chain as whole. By identifying these effects and challenges, the British ebook community can address them and grow with the knowledge and assurance that they are working together towards a successful book future. This thesis aimed to investigate what these challenges and effects were and the differences between the ebook and pbook chains. Three specific stakeholders from the book chain were investigated: publishers, libraries and ebook users. The research methods used to obtain information included interviews with publishers both in America and Britain, a telephone questionnaire of all British public library authorities and an online questionnaire available to an international audience of ebook users. The research found that the pbook and ebook chains were different and included different stakeholders. It also found that the publishing processes between pbooks and ebooks had numerous similarities and differences. The effects and challenges for all stakeholders were discussed in relation to the five key areas that had become apparent from the original research and literature; rights, cost, formats, perceptions and knowledge. The fiction ebook market will continue its slow growth until the time that either some of these challenges can be rectified or they become so problematic that the ebook fiction market fails completely.



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© Gemma Towle

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.

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