May 14, 2010

iPad sales indicate that "gradually" is over, "suddenly" is here


At his Idealog blog, Mike Shatzkin says that a Publishers Lunch analysis by Michael Cader disproved all his own theories “that the iPad wouldn’t have an immediate significant impact on ebook sales.” Now, says Shatzkin in a new commentary, huge early sales of the iPad — “Apple climbing into a solid second place behind Kindle in 60 days is pretty dramatic” — seem to signify that “Apparently if we get slightly larger and portable screens into people’s hands, they want to read books on them.”

Says Shatzkin,

Well, I intended to be conservative because I was so surprised at my own realization at the beginning of April. But I remind myself (and all of you) that things happen “gradually, then suddenly.” It now looks to me like the iPad — joined as it will be by a flood of new ereaders and tablets and even whole new platforms like Blio and Copia — may be the catalyst for the transition encapsuled in those three words.


Dennis Johnson is the founder of MobyLives, and the co-founder and co-publisher of Melville House.