Well, by now you've heard. It's official; the New York Times will begin rating eBooks starting in January '11. An 'E' best seller list, (henceforth known as the 'E List') similar to the present one for print books, will now appear in the NYT. Left unanswered is whether they plan to aggregate E and print book sales to determine an overall best seller. Given the mad growth in eBook sales, and the flat performance of print books, an E List seems almost inevitable. But it was only a year or so ago the whole topic of eBooks was highly controversial.
What does this development mean? I think the answer lies in one word. Legitimacy.
Of course the publishing industry will now be watching the Times E List along with the print book list. Perhaps that will draw the more reluctant publishers into the eBook arena. But more important for the marketplace, readers who may have dismissed the idea of a 'real' book not being in print will be drawn to eBooks and eReaders. People on the verge of accepting eBooks will now have the cover they need to take the plunge. Look to the other 'Best Seller' lists, like the LA Times and USA Today, to quickly follow suit with their own version of the 'E List.' As a result eBook sales will surge in 2011.
The Big Dog has spoken: eBooks have gone legit.
The Digital Revolution rolls on.