Register Guidelines E-Books Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Go Back   MobileRead Forums > E-Book General > General Discussions

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 03-09-2010, 04:33 AM   #1
LDBoblo
Wizard
LDBoblo exercises by bench pressing the entire Harry Potter series in hardcoverLDBoblo exercises by bench pressing the entire Harry Potter series in hardcoverLDBoblo exercises by bench pressing the entire Harry Potter series in hardcoverLDBoblo exercises by bench pressing the entire Harry Potter series in hardcoverLDBoblo exercises by bench pressing the entire Harry Potter series in hardcoverLDBoblo exercises by bench pressing the entire Harry Potter series in hardcoverLDBoblo exercises by bench pressing the entire Harry Potter series in hardcoverLDBoblo exercises by bench pressing the entire Harry Potter series in hardcoverLDBoblo exercises by bench pressing the entire Harry Potter series in hardcoverLDBoblo exercises by bench pressing the entire Harry Potter series in hardcoverLDBoblo exercises by bench pressing the entire Harry Potter series in hardcover
 
Posts: 1,386
Karma: 16056
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Asia
Device: Kindle 3 WiFi, Sony PRS-505
Will prices go down or quality go up?

Just a bit of a thinking exercise.

Ebooks are currently at a state where they are quite primitive and significantly inferior quality-wise to their paper counterparts. The degree of work that is normally involved in finishing a book seems to largely be omitted in ebooks.

Of course, the ebook market itself is also quite underdeveloped, and will probably mature a little bit.

As the market matures and a digital model is developed, will the product quality rise to that of physical books, or will quality remain where it is, with previously important jobs and associated costs getting cut as a means of bringing price down (or profit up)?

Even if publishers keep qualified typesetters, designers, and others on board, will ebook reader manufacturers and software creators actually cooperate and provide reader software that handles properly prepared books? Will there be collaboration on improving the digital book standards, or will it entirely be independent and disconnected?

Naturally I don't expect anyone here actually knows...and I'm aware that a lot of people here have very low standards in terms of book quality. For thoughtful predictions and conjecture though, that's pretty much unimportant. I may want to see stuff improve to at least paperback-level quality, but that doesn't mean I think it's going to happen. In fact, I'm a bit doubtful that much will change, except perhaps slightly better proofreading. It's not about what I care or don't care about, it's what I guess will happen.
LDBoblo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2010, 04:50 AM   #2
Iphinome
Paladin of Eris
Iphinome ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Iphinome ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Iphinome ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Iphinome ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Iphinome ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Iphinome ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Iphinome ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Iphinome ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Iphinome ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Iphinome ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Iphinome ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Iphinome's Avatar
 
Posts: 2,776
Karma: 9397759
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: USAland
Device: Kindle 1, Kindle 4b, Nexus 7
I'll answer no (0 or 0 = 0) I'm betting on greed to win out so prices go up while quality goes down, much like cable tv.
Iphinome is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Advertisement
Old 03-09-2010, 05:06 AM   #3
Ben Thornton
Guru
Ben Thornton ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Ben Thornton ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Ben Thornton ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Ben Thornton ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Ben Thornton ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Ben Thornton ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Ben Thornton ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Ben Thornton ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Ben Thornton ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Ben Thornton ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Ben Thornton ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Ben Thornton's Avatar
 
Posts: 900
Karma: 779635
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: UK
Device: Kindle 3, iPad 2 (but not for e-books)
My view is that quality will improve. Although many (most?) people don't think that they want fancy typesetting etc., they are able to see the difference and can tell that one book looks better than another. As the functions that each device can perform become more and more similar, the use of presentation to differentiate one device from another will become more important.

What I'm not sure of at all is whether this will take 2 or 20 years.
Ben Thornton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2010, 05:38 AM   #4
Mathlete
Enthusiast
Mathlete began at the beginning.
 
Mathlete's Avatar
 
Posts: 26
Karma: 10
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: USA
Device: Opus
Both need to happen—especially in the area of academic book publishing.

Ebooks have the potential to present footnotes, intertextual links, translation glosses, and real-time annotations of professors/classmates. At the moment, the thing that most resembles an academic ebook is a poorly formatted project gutenberg document or a pdf of a photocopied journal.

Almost every ebook store tries to sell public domain material. If they could format and footnote it in a way that added value, it might actually be worth what they want to charge.


Edit:
See, now this is what I mean. Even with the limitations of epub, this guy still managed to create a text that I would consider using for a class. He even released it for free.

Last edited by Mathlete; 03-09-2010 at 06:07 AM.
Mathlete is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2010, 06:33 AM   #5
EowynCarter
Wizard
EowynCarter ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.EowynCarter ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.EowynCarter ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.EowynCarter ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.EowynCarter ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.EowynCarter ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.EowynCarter ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.EowynCarter ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.EowynCarter ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.EowynCarter ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.EowynCarter ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 4,111
Karma: 1604192
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Paris
Device: Cybooks; Sony PRS-T1
Mmm, what ePub limitation ??
EowynCarter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2010, 07:41 AM   #6
LDBoblo
Wizard
LDBoblo exercises by bench pressing the entire Harry Potter series in hardcoverLDBoblo exercises by bench pressing the entire Harry Potter series in hardcoverLDBoblo exercises by bench pressing the entire Harry Potter series in hardcoverLDBoblo exercises by bench pressing the entire Harry Potter series in hardcoverLDBoblo exercises by bench pressing the entire Harry Potter series in hardcoverLDBoblo exercises by bench pressing the entire Harry Potter series in hardcoverLDBoblo exercises by bench pressing the entire Harry Potter series in hardcoverLDBoblo exercises by bench pressing the entire Harry Potter series in hardcoverLDBoblo exercises by bench pressing the entire Harry Potter series in hardcoverLDBoblo exercises by bench pressing the entire Harry Potter series in hardcoverLDBoblo exercises by bench pressing the entire Harry Potter series in hardcover
 
Posts: 1,386
Karma: 16056
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Asia
Device: Kindle 3 WiFi, Sony PRS-505
Quote:
Originally Posted by EowynCarter View Post
Mmm, what ePub limitation ??
For all the potential epub may have, its implementation currently blows. Blame the viewer software all you want, but until there's a good viewer that actually exists, that potential means absolutely nothing to me as a consumer.
LDBoblo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2010, 09:43 AM   #7
EowynCarter
Wizard
EowynCarter ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.EowynCarter ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.EowynCarter ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.EowynCarter ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.EowynCarter ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.EowynCarter ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.EowynCarter ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.EowynCarter ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.EowynCarter ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.EowynCarter ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.EowynCarter ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 4,111
Karma: 1604192
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Paris
Device: Cybooks; Sony PRS-T1
Yeah, it anoys me some saying ePub is crap, when most of the problem is the publishers not knowing how to use it, or ade's poor css support.

Well, the implemention by bookeen or pocketbook are quitte OK. Sony's lack justify.
EowynCarter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2010, 09:49 AM   #8
HorridRedDog
Addict
HorridRedDog once ate a cherry pie in a record 7 seconds.HorridRedDog once ate a cherry pie in a record 7 seconds.HorridRedDog once ate a cherry pie in a record 7 seconds.HorridRedDog once ate a cherry pie in a record 7 seconds.HorridRedDog once ate a cherry pie in a record 7 seconds.HorridRedDog once ate a cherry pie in a record 7 seconds.HorridRedDog once ate a cherry pie in a record 7 seconds.HorridRedDog once ate a cherry pie in a record 7 seconds.HorridRedDog once ate a cherry pie in a record 7 seconds.HorridRedDog once ate a cherry pie in a record 7 seconds.HorridRedDog once ate a cherry pie in a record 7 seconds.
 
HorridRedDog's Avatar
 
Posts: 322
Karma: 1592
Join Date: Nov 2009
Device: PRS-600 EB-1150
Quote:
Originally Posted by LDBoblo View Post
Just a bit of a thinking exercise.

Ebooks are currently at a state where they are quite primitive and significantly inferior quality-wise to their paper counterparts. The degree of work that is normally involved in finishing a book seems to largely be omitted in ebooks.

Of course, the ebook market itself is also quite underdeveloped, and will probably mature a little bit.

As the market matures and a digital model is developed, will the product quality rise to that of physical books, or will quality remain where it is, with previously important jobs and associated costs getting cut as a means of bringing price down (or profit up)?
At the beginning of "personal" (mainstream) computers you had companies like Apple, concentrating on quality, and IBM that thought that there was no demand for a "PC" (they produced an underpowered computer with a "chiclet" keyboard.


Now you have companies like Baen Books producing high quality books (some free) and others that seem to get their $14.99 books off a pirate website, scanned in at 200dpi.

Some publishers resent the very notion of ebooks and want them to go away. Others see the future.

Things in general will get better.

"There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home." Ken Olson, president/founder of Digital Equipment Corporation, 1977.
HorridRedDog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2010, 10:00 AM   #9
Logseman
じゃんぬねっ
Logseman ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Logseman ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Logseman ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Logseman ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Logseman ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Logseman ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Logseman ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Logseman ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Logseman ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Logseman ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Logseman ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Logseman's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,941
Karma: 1027561
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Tenerife
Device: bq Cervantes Touch Light
It is my view that quality will be improved, as more and more companies are seeing the future there. Pricing, however, will vary dramatically. It seems to make sense that the starkly-edited books which require good visibility and big screens such as prestige comics, college books and the like will keep high prices, while novels will go down dramatically. The concept of hardcover novel with no illustrations and a standard text edition for 20 dollars, such as the best selling bricks of the present, is untenable in the long run. Either they'll add strong artwork to the experience or they'll sell them at trash prices.
Logseman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2010, 10:04 AM   #10
LDBoblo
Wizard
LDBoblo exercises by bench pressing the entire Harry Potter series in hardcoverLDBoblo exercises by bench pressing the entire Harry Potter series in hardcoverLDBoblo exercises by bench pressing the entire Harry Potter series in hardcoverLDBoblo exercises by bench pressing the entire Harry Potter series in hardcoverLDBoblo exercises by bench pressing the entire Harry Potter series in hardcoverLDBoblo exercises by bench pressing the entire Harry Potter series in hardcoverLDBoblo exercises by bench pressing the entire Harry Potter series in hardcoverLDBoblo exercises by bench pressing the entire Harry Potter series in hardcoverLDBoblo exercises by bench pressing the entire Harry Potter series in hardcoverLDBoblo exercises by bench pressing the entire Harry Potter series in hardcoverLDBoblo exercises by bench pressing the entire Harry Potter series in hardcover
 
Posts: 1,386
Karma: 16056
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Asia
Device: Kindle 3 WiFi, Sony PRS-505
Quote:
Originally Posted by EowynCarter View Post
Yeah, it anoys me some saying ePub is crap, when most of the problem is the publishers not knowing how to use it, or ade's poor css support.

Well, the implemention by bookeen or pocketbook are quitte OK. Sony's lack justify.
I suppose when the processing ability of ebook devices improves, we may see better flow options, perhaps drawing from the algorithms used by TeX or Adobe's Paragraph Composer, allowing good (if imperfect) hyphenation and justification, and then decent font kerning (optical or font-based). That'd be a nice start for basic text, even if still a little bit compromised. Too bad Adobe's been so half-assed about developing it.
LDBoblo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2010, 11:36 AM   #11
Kali Yuga
Professional Contrarian
Kali Yuga ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Kali Yuga ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Kali Yuga ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Kali Yuga ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Kali Yuga ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Kali Yuga ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Kali Yuga ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Kali Yuga ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Kali Yuga ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Kali Yuga ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Kali Yuga ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Kali Yuga's Avatar
 
Posts: 2,045
Karma: 3289631
Join Date: Mar 2009
Device: Kindle 4 No Touchie
Though I understand the impulse not to make predictions , I think it's obvious that eventually typesetting quality will approach parity with paper.

Ebooks currently make up a tiny slice of the market. In a few years, ebooks will make up a much larger slice; eventually they are likely to be the majority of sales. At that point, the ebook will be the primary emphasis, and paper an afterthought. It might even be possible that booksellers will develop some sort of format that will be possible to use to derive both ebook and paper / POD printed versions, thus reducing cost and time to deliver.

There may still be some issues, since you're dealing with a very different types of output. To get a paper book right, every aspect needs to be highly specifically determined. With ebooks, you're dealing with numerous dynamic elements to the output -- e.g. different sized pages, alterations in font sizes, users who will change the page orientation, etc. Other aspects like ligatures are utterly superfluous for digital output, and IMO it's fine to drop them. So I expect some of the fussier elements might fall by the wayside.

And not every commercial ebook today is a typographic disaster (though too many commercial ebooks have errors). I've purchased some ebooks that had rather complicated and well-executed formatting, and essentially none of the common errors that I presume come from automated conversions.
Kali Yuga is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2010, 11:40 AM   #12
EowynCarter
Wizard
EowynCarter ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.EowynCarter ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.EowynCarter ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.EowynCarter ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.EowynCarter ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.EowynCarter ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.EowynCarter ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.EowynCarter ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.EowynCarter ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.EowynCarter ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.EowynCarter ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 4,111
Karma: 1604192
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Paris
Device: Cybooks; Sony PRS-T1
Quote:
Originally Posted by LDBoblo View Post
I suppose when the processing ability of ebook devices improves, we may see better flow options, perhaps drawing from the algorithms used by TeX or Adobe's Paragraph Composer, allowing good (if imperfect) hyphenation and justification, and then decent font kerning (optical or font-based). That'd be a nice start for basic text, even if still a little bit compromised.
Well, save for hyphenation... It already fine for text really. And way more.
Formula are the only real problem I can see, unless you use images.

Quote:
Too bad Adobe's been so half-assed about developing it.
Yeap. The e-book world would be better off without adobe.
EowynCarter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2010, 01:02 PM   #13
charleski
Wizard
charleski ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.charleski ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.charleski ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.charleski ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.charleski ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.charleski ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.charleski ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.charleski ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.charleski ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.charleski ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.charleski ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 1,188
Karma: 727236
Join Date: Sep 2009
Device: PRS-505
We need to wait and see what Apple has done with the ePub reader for the iPad. Apple isn't shy about being a prime-mover with regard to specs that are incomplete and may well give the format the shot of innovation that it needs.

The primary problem with ePub lies with the spec itself, especially its lack of a paging module, which is a serious oversight. Adobe's xsl-fo extension is an attempt to rectify that, but doesn't go far enough.

Adobe has fixed the justification issue in the version that ships in the PRS900 and they need to release that so that manufacturers can update older devices. But this is one area in which Apple's vertical integration will show its advantages, since there's not much Adobe can do if the manufacturers don't want to recompile their firmware.

The only thing I'd really blame Adobe for is being too timid and not stepping up to force through the changes that ePub needs. You can describe Steve Jobs in various ways, but 'timid' isn't one of them.
charleski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2010, 01:07 PM   #14
HarryT
eBook Enthusiast
HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
HarryT's Avatar
 
Posts: 65,008
Karma: 43118253
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: UK
Device: Kindle Voyage, iPad Mini, iPhone 4, MS Surface Pro, N7
Quote:
Originally Posted by EowynCarter View Post
Yeap. The e-book world would be better off without adobe.
It certainly would. No PDF for one thing. Hurray!
HarryT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2010, 01:54 PM   #15
Elfwreck
Grand Sorcerer
Elfwreck ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Elfwreck ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Elfwreck ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Elfwreck ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Elfwreck ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Elfwreck ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Elfwreck ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Elfwreck ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Elfwreck ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Elfwreck ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Elfwreck ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Elfwreck's Avatar
 
Posts: 5,140
Karma: 24387938
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: SF Bay Area, California, USA
Device: Clié; PRS-505; EZR Pocket Pro, PRS-600, Kobo Mini
Quote:
Originally Posted by LDBoblo View Post
As the market matures and a digital model is developed, will the product quality rise to that of physical books, or will quality remain where it is, with previously important jobs and associated costs getting cut as a means of bringing price down (or profit up)?
Quality will go up (albeit slowly) because competition from amateurs *will* change the way mainstream publishers deal with ebooks (especially as those amateurs get together in groups and form small businesses of their own), and prices will go down, as they do for pretty much everything tech-related.

Which means publishers will need to change their profit models for dealing with ebooks; they're not based on supplies like paper and transport costs that increase every year. They're based on computer skills, which get more common every year, and software, which gets more effective and cheaper every year.
Elfwreck is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Book prices, Ebook prices - Value stustaff News 78 12-16-2011 08:33 PM
EBook Quality? Purge Amazon Kindle 13 09-22-2010 05:34 PM
E-book prices higher than p-book prices? ficbot News 42 11-21-2008 12:01 PM
How long until Connect prices reflect paperback prices? Kilarney Sony Reader 13 09-16-2007 10:25 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:46 PM.


MobileRead.com is a privately owned, operated and funded community.