Is the price right for e-books?
Britain's publishing industry is in a ferment of excitement, anticipation and collective neurosis about what's been billed as the biggest threat - and opportunity - to come along since Gutenberg and his pals across on the continent turned up with their new-fangled printing-press, putting thousands of scribes out of work.
Their concern is that the arrival of e-readers and e-books could do the same to them. But hold on a minute - there's precious little sign yet that the digital revolution has really arrived in Britain's book trade.
And that's because readers still think e-books are not worth the price they're being asked to pay.
Sure - a few people in the UK have now bought Amazon's Kindle, and quite a few more have acquired the Sony Reader and other e-readers.
But after canvassing the views of people who have plunged into the age of electronic reading I've concluded, after an admittedly unscientific poll, that they're buying precious few e-books.
Many had simply read the free books that came on a CD with their device or had downloaded titles for nothing from the Project Gutenberg site.
One person who had bought two books for a Sony Reader said this:" Pricing waay too high, user experience of buying beyond awful. Apple/Amazon will crush Waterstones/Smiths."
Another said they had bought about a dozen e-books in the last year: "would have been more but choice in online stores woeful."
And another said this: "my husband bought me the sony e-reader and we bought 1 new title from Waterstones before realising e costed more than print!"
I did come across a couple of people who'd bought quite a lot of e-books - but mostly from Amazon for a Kindle.
So it seems that the retail trade in the UK has just not got its act together in providing readers with the choice of books at a price they can afford.
But now another American company Kobobooks says it is going to transform the UK e-book landscape.
It's arrived this week, offering both an online bookstore and software that allows you to read the e-books on a number of devices - from mobile phones, to computers, to some e-readers.
It boasts that its "unique cloud-based service enables consumers to build their e-book libraries without being locked to any one device."
By adopting the cross-platform ePub standard, Kobo is lining up with those trying to prove to the world's new digital book consumers that there's a better way ahead than Amazon's Kindle, which has proprietary software locking its titles into its own device.
When I spoke to Kobo's CEO Mike Serbinis, he wasn't backward about coming forward with his ambitions for the UK. "We expect to be a leader in every market we're in", he said.
But when I questioned him more closely it became apparent that Kobo is currently a minnow in a market completely dominated by Amazon, which may have as much as 90% of global e-book sales.
I then took a look at his service, which promises very competitive prices on a wide range of titles. I'm afraid I came away slightly disappointed - it doesn't look as though Kobo yet has the range of titles which Amazon's Kindle store can offer, although that may change as it prepares to announce more deals with publishers.
The key of course will be the price readers have to pay for digital titles...Amazon is currently in a battle with publishers which want the company to stop selling books at low prices which they fear could cannibalise their "analogue" sales.
It's all rather reminiscent of the music industry's battles with Apple over who should set prices for music on iTunes - battles which Apple largely won.
Mr Serbinis was diplomatic when I asked him where he stood on this issue: "We support a sustainable business - that means prices that consumers are willing to pay."
He'd obviously prefer publishers to be more realistic about what the public will pay for a digital book, but he can't afford to antagonise his suppliers.
But Mr Serbinis did point out that the abolition in the 1990s of Britain's Net Book Agreement - which meant publishers could tell retailers what to charge for books - had been very good for consumers.
Of course independent booksellers were by no means so convinced that that particular revolution was good for them.
Now the book trade is going through another upheaval as it tries to work out what readers will pay for e-books. What seems clear at the moment is that prices are too high to persuade more than a dedicated few that digital reading is the way forward.