Joe Wikert's 2010 (e-reader) predictions...

...are right-on:

#1 -- The year of the richer ebook. Let's face it. The e-future of this industry is not quick-and-dirty p-to-e conversions. Pricing pressures and value propositions mean these will be nothing more than revenue rounding errors for the foreseeable future. 2010 will be the year where we'll see more investment in richer e-content products. I'm not talking about simply slapping some video into a book, btw. We'll see more digital-first initiatives where the print version, if there even is one, will be considered secondary. Start thinking about not just reading but overall entertainment. Think also about the capabilities of multi-function devices, not dedicated e-readers. More on that in a moment...

#2 -- Most publishers will largely ignore prediction #1. Call it another case of "The Innovator's Dilemma". Far too many publishers will continue treating e-content as an easy way to squeeze a few more bucks out of Kindle editions of print products. Those publishers should remember that the core concept behind "The Innovator's Dilemma" is that this approach leaves the door wide open for a start-up to reinvent the entire industry.

#3 -- Single-purpose, dedicated devices lose momentum to multi-purpose ones. Thanks in large part to prediction #1, more and more prospective customers will find it harder to justify a $300 investment in a dedicated device. (Btw, I had a chance to play with a Nook at B&N recently. I saw the potential but left discouraged. They went to the trouble of adding a color display and do almost nothing with it. And why in the world don't they open the device up to third-party developers to see what new and exciting uses the could come up with?! But I digress...)

I'd add a few of my own:

#4 - E-book sales will rise along with e-reader sales - but then will decline, as (text) publishers begin to put out more and more content in different forms, more appropriate to the e-reading experience. My money's on short stories and novellas (for fiction) and articles (for non-fiction). Publishers might put them in packages called "books," but most will be far shorter - with much less filler - than today's books.

#5 - Under the pressure of competition from short-format text content, book (and e-book) prices will fall sharply.

#6 - New and non-traditional publishers will pioneer efforts to publish text content in new forms, and sell it in new ways, at low prices. And as a result...

#7 - Traditional book publishers will go out of business in droves, or be bought for their names, and see their staffs and spending cut to the bone.

#8 - Multi-purpose e-readers, i.e. media tablets, will indeed make a big splash - but single-purpose devices, a la Kindle, will thrive too. Kindle, with its lack of distractions, reasonable display quality, and access to a growing content library, is perfect for the small segment of the population that prefers immersive reading, of long-form content. These people aren't going away - and they buy a lot of content, so there's plenty of money to be made by selling them e-readers and e-books.