Saturday, May 29, 2010
Living in New Zealand involves a lot of waiting. Waiting for movies to be released in region 5, waiting for big TV shows to get cheap enough for a local channel to buy, waiting for new products like paperbacks to sell out in bigger markets and start to filter over the pacific ocean. Peculiar monopolies continue to impede access, especially to American products. Until recently ebooks were something of an exception because the internet is everywhere. However many contracts, even for ebooks, are country specific. So non-American consumers are going to have more trouble buying overseas or be effected by national settings that make many ebooks unavailable to them. In short, ebooks will get as hard to legally acquire as other media.
Hopefully one development that will help is the opening of the new Whitcoulls ebook store, in combination with the release in New Zealand of the Kobo ebook reader. There may still be some gaps in availability until world wide ebook rights become standard in contracts, but a local ebook retailler might fill in some of the gaps by providing unique content from New Zealand publishers who have not previously released many ebooks. The Whitcoulls store will sell in multiple formats and the Kobo wouldn't be a bad choice as the main New Zealand ereader as it works with interchangeable formats like ePub and PDF.
However I am currently an ex-pat in America so I am not really sure what the up and down sides of this development are... or the state of ebook retailing outside of America in general. So I would love to hear about this from any of y'all who are trying to buy ebooks from outside the US. Which vendors deliver all content to all countries, and how long do you think that might last?
WHITCOULLS STEALS A MARCH ON REST OF RETAIL BOOK TRADE DOMINANT POSITION IN NZ E-BOOK MARKET LOOKS LIKELY
p.s. sadly you can't buy my books at the new e-store, although you can get the POD.