Amazon recently introduced the new Kindle 2, a wireless reading device for books or an e-reader. While the German publishing industry at best sees the Kindle as a new distribution channel [update: link no longer available] for its current content and some even complain about the high cost of ebooks the Americans start thinking about what new things you can do with the Kindle.
That is a typical reaction for a technology that might change the existing business model, in this case the book publishing industry. The traditional way of thinking is how does the new technology perform compared to the existing technology. And from that point of view the Kindle is not as good as the paper book.
But the Kindle has idiosyncrasies that enables new forms of publishing. You can use variable pricing for different customer groups, you can publish shorter stories that are not economical to be printed.
Just think about it that the book print changed the way how literature was written. Before cheap book printing lot of short stories were printed as a sequel in newspapers. Why not transform the concept of short stories to suit ebooks, particular the wireless Kindle?
There are so many opportunities for new creative forms of writing and publishing (see the excellent blog by Seth Godin and here), but the German publisher complain about the high cost of the ebooks. That is typical for an industry that denies the possibilities of an business model innovation. The ebook does not fit into their dominant logic what a books is, how their industry works and how they earn money.
I love books but I am very curious what new kind of texts and literature we will see in the future.