Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Project Gutenberg sets goal of 1 billion readers as e-book sales forecast to hit $9 billion in 2013

After achieving its initial goal of reaching 100 million readers, or 1.5% of the world population, Project Gutenberg, “the first and largest single collection of free electronic books,” hopes that the advent of e-book programs on cell phones will help it achieve its next goal: 1 billion readers, or 15% of the world population! According to a recent blog post by founder Michael Hart, Project Gutenberg “should be able to reach more readers than [Amazon’s] Kindle and Sony combined if we just reach one cell phone user out of a thousand.”

Meanwhile, according to a new forecast by technology research firm In-Stat, Amazon’s Kindle has reignited the for-profit electronic book market, a category long defined by much-hyped misfires. In-Stat believes e-book sales worldwide will jump from $323 million in 2008 to nearly $9 billion in 2013!

In related news, information juggernaut Google announced that it is preparing to sell e-books, a move that would put it in direct competition with Amazon. Yahoo!

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