E-books and e-readers may be the next boon for education distributors and resellers.
IT reseller, ASI Solutions, saw great potential for e-books and related devices in Australia.
“It fits into the education space, which we have strong ties with, and I think it will be very interesting,” ASI director, Ken Lowe, said.
Lowe will visit Computex expo in Taiwan, starting June 1, with the intention of sniffing out some potential e-book manufacturers.
He is also disappointed with book merchants which favour a direct sales model for their e-readers.
“If they don’t get the sales structure right, I think they’re missing out on market share,” he said. “[Going direct] is a really narrow approach to distribution.’
Scholastic media and technology manager, Wayne Cooper, said the e-book trend was primarily driven by the publishing industry in the US.
The IT distributor was keen to see how this filters in the Australian technology channel. It began supplying educational learning software in 1983.
“How e-books will filter into the local technology market? That is a very big question and everybody is having a closer look at it now,” Scholastic media and technology manager, Wayne Cooper, said.
“If these e-book products are offered to technology distributors, I’m sure most of them would be evaluating and looking at how they can play in that space.”
As a subsidiary of US-based publishing house, Scholastic Inc, the distributor will be mulling over its participation in the e-book and e-reader market.
“Every major publishing house with a base in the US is currently looking at playing in the e-books space,” Cooper said. “We are definitely looking at the e-book market in terms of how we will play in this business as it unfolds here.”
With a foot in the publishing market already, book sellers have had a head start in the e-books and e-reader business. So far, book retailers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble and, most recently, Borders have brought out their own e-book readers which are sold direct to customers along with their own e-book portals.
A spokesperson for REDgroup, Borders Australia’s parent company, said it plans to bring the Kobo e-reader out to its other brands, Angus & Robertson, and Whitcoulls soon but had no immediate plans to release the device to other resellers.
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