Why no Encyclopedia Britannica or World Book E-Book version?

Are the big encyclopedia companies afraid we won’t buy their $1000+, 18 volume encyclopedia sets? All I’ve seen on the Nook and Kindle sites are things like Encyclopedia of World Religions, “Joe Blow’s Encyclopedia of Crawdad Fishin’”, etc. There is Wikipedia, but, sometimes you need information that ordinary yokels can’t screw around with. I think it would be really cool to have that 18 volume set in the palm of my hand.

Have you looked at Britannica.com?

They are online. Are you wondering why it’s not all on one DVD? They did sell cd’s soon after cd drives showed up on home computers, but they were very limited in information. I didn’t use it after the internet became available to me. I don’t know if they sell something like that any longer.

The Encyclopaedia (note the pedantic spelling) Britannica is available on DVD for $39.99 so I don’t think it’s a question of money. MY WAG is either:

a) Since they already have a digital presence, they’re haggling over the profit split between Brittanica and the E-book, or

b) Most people who need a comprehensive reference need it while they’re at home or in the office, and there just isn’t enough demand for an E-book version.

Yeah, not much there other than references to the paper, online, and cd versions.

They’ve been selling various encyclopedias on CD for decades. I believe the first computer I got with a CD-ROM drive included one, although I don’t remember if it was World Book or Britannica.

Oh, I see – you mean specifically a format specifically intended for e-book readers.

Isn’t that a pretty small market? I’m sure if the technology really takes off, they’ll get around to selling for them.

Britannica does have an ebook version, and you can get the World Almanac, CIA Fact Book, or other reference sources. The reason they don’t sell a full version, I suspect, is because of storage space concerns, a limited market, and concerns that it would hurt sales of their online subscription product.

Frankly, I was surprised to see that they still sell a paper version, though I suspect that only a handful of libraries are buying them.