Dutch demand to spark e-book market

<p>Demand for the e-book device the iLiad outstripped supply on its first day of sale at Dutch bookseller Boekhandels Groep Nederland (BGN), bolstering predictions that the e-book market might be about to catch fire.</p><p>Speaking at the Publishers Association International Conference session on international retailers last Friday, BGN productgroup manager Godfried Carbo said that the chain had stocked the device at its Amsterdam shop partly as a &quot;publicity stunt&quot;, believing that the 15 units stocked would easily satisfy demand. However, the device sold out within one hour. The bookselling group has now gone on to sell 150 units of the e-book, priced at &euro;649.</p><p>BGN&#39;s experience echoed comments made by HarperCollins&#39; director of audio and eBooks David Roth-Ey earlier in the day. Roth-Ey said that &quot;we are closer to the iPod moment for e-books than ever before&quot;. Roth-Ey said that the recent launch of Amazon&#39;s Kindle e-book device, as well as the success of the Sony Reader, had &quot;drawn an enormous amount of attention to e-books&quot;.</p><p>Carbo predicted that within five years students would be using e-books as the source for all of their course content. &quot;The textbook market is one-third of all our sales, so we&#39;d better make sure we are in this market.&quot;</p><p>However, despite BGN&#39;s success in selling the e-book device, questions were raised about the place of booksellers in the digital future. Sonny Leong, executive chairman of Routledge-Cavendish and chair of the PA International Board, said that booksellers had to keep pace with technological change. &quot;Publishers do not want to do away with booksellers, but the market has shifted. Unless booksellers invest in technology along with publishers, then I&#39;m not sure they are going to be around.</p>