Articles filed under eBooks

Back in November 2012, I described in the Newsletter how, since ebooks had hit the big time, the law publishers had enthusiastically responded. Where are we now?

In terms of the general picture, ebook sales have recently plateaued, though reports of its demise are premature. According to Simon Rowberry, writing in The Bookseller: “On the surface, the narrative of the ebook’s demise may appeal to bibliophiles who cherish print – but the reality behind ebooks’ recent plateau is more complex”.

Although eBooks have been around in various guises for many years, they only hit the big time in 2010 with the introduction of Kindle “3” from Amazon and the launch of the iPad from Apple; they have since exploded in popularity to the extent that Amazon now sells more eBooks than print editions. On the legal front, a third of lawyers now use tablet computers and LexisNexis, Thomson Reuters and other law publishers are all now offering an increasing number of their books as eBooks.

Since the late 1980s, LexisNexis has been publishing electronic books on floppy disk, on CD and online through LexisLibrary. These are sophisticated ebooks containing links through to cases and legislation as well as other text resources. What has changed in recent years is the rise of the mobile device. From 2008 onwards we realised print was at the cusp of a major shift: mobility was at an all-time high and there was a growing prevalence of e-readers and ebooks for personal reading. In July 2010 LexisNexis launched its first ebooks programme.

Mobile devices and the proliferation of new applications offer lawyers the potential to increase their productivity. However, the lack of a purpose built professional grade app to access legal books has posed a challenge to fully leveraging the potential of the devices for lawyers. This is why we developed and launched Thomson Reuters ProView – a new, professional grade ebook app.

There’s too much in favour of print to bury it prematurely, but we know that particular types of print are under severe threat from the disruptive influences of the internet.

All the major law publishers are now issuing ebook editions of popular texts. Scott Vine provides guidance and asks some questions of his own.

It has taken a while, but with the release of the latest version of the Kindle, Kindle 3, Amazon has let UK residents get their hands on the ebook reader and a dedicated UK Kindle store for the first time, and at just £109 for the wifi only version, it suddenly looks like a tempting option for those curious about e-reading.