View Full Version : Overwhelmed by Electronic Diversity

10-05-2010, 12:03 PM
I may be reaching a point of saturation. You may soon see me mumbling to myself on a park bench.

So many electronic readers, so much reading software, so many implementations, so much promise of audio/visual universality, so many restrictions, so many producers, so many distributors, so much reading material.

Moving a book, which has had a respectful printed life, into the electronic world should be easy, easy for the publisher, easy for the reader. Need I state the obvious?

I am a small independent publisher. Over the years I weathered the transition to desktop publishing and then print-on-demand. Both are improvements for all involved. Now, I am making books available to users of electronic book readers. In the words of Abraham Lincoln, "It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this." I use the ePub format, something Lincoln never heard of.

Epub is an open standard. This sounds good, so free, so American. However, the implementation by hardware manufacturers, software engineers, publishers, distributers, and retailers standardizes nothing. This electronic juggernaut has nothing to do with reading and everything to do with commercial market share.

I am overwhelmed. When it was just computers you could share a word processing document, a text file, a pdf, or even a screen shot. Now, well now it's dedicated readers and (not so) smart phones. What happened to the readers? And by that I mean human beings who take the time to sit down and read.

Thanks for reading my screed. Comments may be delivered in person. Visiting hours at the sanitarium are 10 AM to 7:30 PM. I'm the one on the bench.