New e-reader launched at Frankfurt Book Fair

One of the world’s biggest booksellers’ federations Wednesday (12 October 2011) unveiled its own e-reader, named Liro Color, on the first day of the Frankfurt Book Fair in Germany.

The event is the biggest annual congress of the world book publishing industry.

The fair began just weeks after web retailer Amazon unveiled its 7-inch touchscreen tablet, called Kindle Fire, that will sell in the United States for just 199 dollars.

Boersenverein, the German federation of booksellers and publishers, said the Liro Color would retail for 100 euros (136 dollars), on par with the price in Germany for the new base-model Kindle.

The device, which will have a colour display and be able to play videos, will be made by Trekstor, a German manufacturer of digital storage devices, federation spokesmen said at the fair.

It will enable small German booksellers to sell both devices and content to walk-in customers, competing with online booksellers. In German-speaking nations, which make up the biggest single book market in Europe, e-book sales are still small.

At the Frankfurt fair, 7,384 companies are promoting their books, down by 155 from a year ago in a sign that traditional publishing is languishing. Organizers say 41 per cent of exhibitors now include electronic content in their catalogues.

While textbooks and non-fiction make up a main part of the books on display in publishers’ booths, many of the 280,000 visitors expected from Wednesday until Sunday will be hoping to glimpse famous novelists and poets visiting the fair to promote their books.

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New e-reader launched at Frankfurt Book Fair