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Old 11-20-2007, 10:34 AM   #1
hedro
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What to opt for?

OK, I am not looking to buy a reader but I do work for a publishing company and want advice.


Part of what I need help with is format and part is hardware?

Lets take hardware first, from my point of view the Iliad is the ultimate and the Bookeen CyBook is at the lower end of functionality in terms of potential education uses, and of course there is a rather large price differential.

Question 1
Am I missing something or are there only really the extremes when it comes to functionality. Is there nothing in the middle that uses e-paper displays with some form of note taking capability?

In terms of format there will need to be some form of DRM but I dont want to open that can of worms right now so I will come back to it later. I am leaning towards Mobi as a format simply because it has a broad install base and is available for many different platforms, though I really dont want to have to deal with Amazon that much. Adobe have locked up access to their content server for creating "Digital Editions" so I would have to deal with an Adobe Partner for that, so thats that for the short term.

Question 2
What format would everybody recommend for me to investigate further? please bear in mind that some form of DRM has to be supported and please try not to turn this into a discussion on DRM


Question 3
Would I be better going for a proprietry format for our educational titles and developing a reader for that format for the Iliad and selling e-books and reader into the educational sector as a package and then going with a more generic format for our trade list?

I figure thats enough questions for now, I figure that if you can help me with some information, I can bring you insight from the publishing end of things into the reasoning behind any decieasons that we make.

If this should be in another section of the forums please let me know.

Thanks,

Tony

Last edited by hedro; 11-30-2007 at 05:32 AM.
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Old 11-20-2007, 12:09 PM   #2
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1. The Hanlin, Kindle, and Iliad all support note taking. The Sony and Cybook do not. The iLiad is the best unit for PDF viewing and note taking. mobi is the defacto standard and is supported by Kindle and iLiad although Kindle uses its own DRM.

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Old 11-23-2007, 01:55 AM   #3
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Sorry, i am newbie out here and i want to get some information about the e-readers, I am here for getting information so i dont have your answers.
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Old 11-23-2007, 02:41 AM   #4
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dalede: how do you take notes on the hanlin?? That would be exciting news, I'm considering a hanlin but I didn't realize there was a way to take notes on it. ..,or, do you mean the hanlin v8? I see that has a slave display with a touchscreen (which seems like a great idea), but it looks like the v8 is an old model? I'm currently trying to decide between the hanlin v3 and cybook gen3. .... is the v8 not an old model like i was thinking? or is there some way to markup books in the v3?

I'm also quite curious if you know, ... if there's a way in the hanlin (or cybook) to search for a quote and/or look words up in a dictionary.

hedro:
the hanlin doesn't currently support mobipocket, though they said they will in the future. They do have a DRM system called WOLF, which I'm sure you could do as you please with, but only runs on the hanlin devices. If you're creating your own content that you're some how packaging with the devices than it would probably be fine, but I don't think there's much content available in WOLF format. If you're buying a lot of these, I kind of get the impression hanlin would even customize the device for you.

It looks like the hanlin v9 will come out with three versions, one with a stylus, one with networking, and a plain one. I don't know what they're supposed to cost, and they won't be out until next year probably. These are also 10" screens instead of 6" screens.

Most of the others use mobipocket except the kindle and the sony. You probably want to stay away from the kindle and sony, since I don't think it'd even be possible for you to create your own drm content for those.

about the range of devices... people who are mostly just reading, don't like how much touch-screen drains the batteries... plus it's complicated and expensive since the screen isn't inherently touchscreen, so like, the iliad has a wacom tablet built under it. the people who do go for more complex gadgets and care less about the long lasting battery are probably more inclined to go all out and have all the gadgetry.

I agree though, ... I'd kinda like one that had a touch screen... maybe a touchscreen that could be turned off when not needed... some way to enter text so i can lookup a quote or scratch a little note or underline a passage without having a big goofy keyboard.
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Old 11-23-2007, 02:47 AM   #5
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oh, i think i kinda missread your question a little there hedro. hehe,. oh well.
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Old 11-23-2007, 09:44 AM   #6
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I was talking about the V8. Jinke Hanlin Products

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Old 11-23-2007, 10:20 AM   #7
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Question 1
Am I missing something or are there only really the extremes when it comes to functionality. Is there nothing in the middle that uses e-paper displays with some form of note taking capability?


The iLiad is the best for this, but you may also want to look at the eBookwise 1150, which uses an LCD screen but does offer stylus note-taking ability.

You don't really have to get into the hardware business, though, particularly if you go with a widely supported format (see below).

Question 2
What format would everybody recommend for me to investigate further? please bear in mind that some form of DRM has to be supported and please try not to turn this into a discussion on DRM


If you insist on DRM, Mobipocket is probably your best bet. It is supported on the widest range of systems, including the iLiad, desktops and notebooks, Cybook, etc. Bear in mind that any DRM can be broken and the protection being offered is somewhat illusory, and that DRM will add to your costs. I know you don't want to make this a DRM discussion but there are aspects that particularly relate to your needs that are probably worth considering.

Question 3
Would I be better going for a proprietry format for our educational titles and developing a reader for that format for the Iliad and selling e-books and reader into the educational sector as a package and then going with a more generic format for our trade list?


Please DO NOT develop another proprietary format. You will not help anyone by doing that. Take a look at the ePub standard (which will be supported by Mobipocket in the future and probably other vendors as well). Go with the most generic format possible for all your products. You will avoid limiting your return on investment this way.

Also, take a look at the DotReader project (http://dotreader.com). For your educational titles, you may want to consider offering DotReader server functionality as a tie-in.
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Old 11-23-2007, 10:46 AM   #8
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This one has been mentioned a few times on Teleread:
http://www.vitalsource.com/
However, it seems PC/Mac-only for the moment.
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Old 11-30-2007, 05:31 AM   #9
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Thanks for all the replies so far, I thought I would post a little update and let you know my thinking at the moment, I am also going to edit my original post after this to remove some information about the range of books we publish just in case there are any competitors lurking out there. Irelands a small market and it would not be hard to work out what company I'm with. ;-)

I really like the V9t, with its larger screen and note taking capability it looks really good for one market segment.

In a move that will probably make some of you envious I am going to buy an iLiad, CyBook Gen3 and a V9t when it is released. After I recieve them I will load up some titles and explore the three devices with a view to how usable they are for various markets.

On the DRM front, I am leaning towards the social DRM model, as far as I know this really works best with Acrobat and I would be interested in exploring how the social DRM model works with other formats, as it will require developing systems to generate the ebook on the fly as orders are placed, where as a system to do that to pdf files can be bought of the shelf.

I take the view that ereading devices are the replacment for paper and as a publisher is concerned about the paper stock a book is printed on so too a publisher should be concerned about the device an ebook is going to be read on. For that reason I have discounted Adobe Digital Editions as it is only available to read on a PC, likewise the vital source format is also discounted for the same reason.

Although in education I can see a use for more restrictions that with general books, does any one know anything about the WOLF DRM is it as restrictive as the mobi DRM.

Please keep the information coming and I will keep you updated with the decision making process from my end.

Thanks

T

Last edited by hedro; 11-30-2007 at 05:35 AM. Reason: Corrected some typos
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Old 11-30-2007, 10:38 AM   #10
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Good move on the social DRM decision. I'd suggest looking at ePub, which is rapidly becoming the most widely supported format. It will allow your pages to reflow on different sized screens, which PDF won't. That way, if a user can't afford the most optimal reader, e.g. the V9t, they can still read your content on whatever they do have.

Regarding the educational market, I'd suggest that you still consider social DRM, with the name of the school or even student, along with the date. If you make it simple for people to refresh copies from your server, it will be easier for them to pay the appropriate fees for doing so, and continue to get updated content, than to pass around files at the school. And I think students and parents will notice if their kids come hope with books that say "Personal property of Ms. Jones - do not distribute" (principal's name) on all of them. Schools that are still willing to distribute files marked in this way honestly probably can't afford your content anyway. Maybe you could have some kind of grant program for schools to demonstrate unusual financial hardship. (All public schools that I know of have financial hardship-- but some more than others.)
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Old 11-30-2007, 11:06 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nekokami View Post
Good move on the social DRM decision. I'd suggest looking at ePub, which is rapidly becoming the most widely supported format. It will allow your pages to reflow on different sized screens, which PDF won't. That way, if a user can't afford the most optimal reader, e.g. the V9t, they can still read your content on whatever they do have.
As a publisher designing a book for a particular customer using PDF you should think about publishing the eBook in the exact size needed by the customer so that it will work on 6" screens or whatever he/she has.

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Old 12-01-2007, 05:09 AM   #12
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Angry Update on the HanLin V9 series from Jinke

excerpt from email

The V9 series product is still in the process of development.

But according to our latest news, the display supplier PVI has delayed their plan of mass production of 9.7 inches. And the exact releasing date isn't decided yet.
We will update the news for you.
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Old 12-01-2007, 09:31 AM   #13
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Not too surprising, unfortunately. Try the iLiad, though. I think you'll like it. And the software environment is relatively open, so if you need to create some custom sw it can be done. I think iRex is also still very interested in B2B models if you want them to customize the environment somewhat. (The rest of us would be very happy if you can get them to allow more items to be displayed in the ContentLister at once.)

Good luck with this project, and keep us posted!
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