New hardware markets can be catnip for e-books. Who’ll read them without the right gizmos—including multiuse machines such as eco-laptops or iPhones? But spread the hardware around, and the number of potential readers will grow, beyond those who, for example, frequent bookstores. The key is for the publishing industry to seize on these new opportunities, not run away from them.
That said, some very smart people persist in saying that e-books will reduce book sales. Jane at Dear Author has a great rebuttal. Though she’s focusing on dedicated reading hardware, most of the same concepts would apply generically.
Publishers, retailers, authors should all be thinking of how to maximize the digital platform instead of fearing it. Change can be a positive thing and publishing needs to embrace it.