PudongLast Thursday the TeleBlog ran Publishers, want to make money off e-books? Check out Google search stats–and Hanoi.

Now here’s one more argument for not neglecting markets in developing countries:

The L.A. Times today is running Emerging Nations Powering Global Economic Boom.” (reg. perhaps required).

A subhead says: “The expansion is the strongest since the 1970s, with China, India and Russia setting the pace. But many U.S. workers are left behind.”

The photo, by the way, is of part of the Pudong skyline–reflecting the economic growth happening in China while living standards stagnate here in the States. U.S. policymakers don’t get it, and that sucks from an e-book perspective. Tax breaks are going to billionaires, who, even if they happen to love e-books, can only read so many at a time. Our middle-class is falling behind and must work harder than ever to stay afloat, even while the American rich grow wealthier.

Politics here? No–just the reality. You can’t separate e-books from broad economic trends. One could argue that just as in the Great Depression, people will turn to affordable diversions. But many middle-class Americans have less and less leisure time. Beyond that, Sony wants to charge $350 or so for an e-book reader, not exactly pocket change. While there are many factors affecting the success of the e-book industry or lack of it, the fate of the U.S. economy does play a role. If I were Sony, I’d care less about the U.S. than before and more about Pudong.

No lack of patriotism here. I’m just analyzing this from a business perspective.

Related: MobileRead’s take on Google search stats involving electroic books. Thanks for keeping the faith on the spelling of “e-book” with a hyphen, Alex.


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