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Old 05-17-2010, 03:19 PM   #16
Maggie Leung
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Maggie, your books already exist. Here's one: http://www.amazon.com/DK-Chronicle-E...4116213&sr=1-2

The only problem is, people don't seem to want to buy them.
Right now, ebooks are second-rate books. The publishers need to make them into first-rate books, not second-rate websites.
Worldwalker, that's just it: Tablets have just started taking hold, and e-books have so far been lame. The DK book you linked to, for instance, is for someone who wants to dabble, because they were trying to shoot for a bigger audience. I own some DK books for art and architecture, but they're lightweight overviews.

Publishers won't invest much in serious e-books till they see good chance for return on their money. One million iPads is a nice start, but it's just a start.
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Old 05-17-2010, 03:49 PM   #17
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I don't suspect that will happen. I'm an avid reader. Have been all my life and the last thing I want is "a variety of different functions from reading books to playing games, checking email and watching videos" on my reader. I get enough of all that crap on my laptop and TV and when I read, I don't want it. The only thing you can do with a book is to read it, and that's what I want from my reader.
That's fine, and dedicated readers will likely stay around indefinitely for folk like you.

But I do think tablets have the best chance of expanding the market for e-books. Frankly, the vast majority of my friends and acquaintances either never read a book for leisure, or read 5 or less a year.

Those people would never buy an e-reader. But many of them are interested in the iPad and similar tablets for non-reading purposes--and then they would buy those 5 or so books a year on there and expand the market. Maybe even start reading a bit more due to the convenience.

As well as expand the market for e-versions of things they do read like magazines, newspapers, comics etc.

So I see it as a win win. Those of us who aren't avid readers and want multimedia tablets get the gadget we want. And the e-book market is expanded which means better prices, quicker death of DRM etc. which will benefit the avid readers who stick with dedicated e-readers.
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Old 05-17-2010, 03:59 PM   #18
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I don't think that publishers are more likely to publish ebooks if, as has been suggested, they're turned into multimedia software packages that require elaborate hardware, such as tablet computers, than they are when all they need to do is turn some text into an epub file and buyers can read it on all sorts of devices. If they're not doing it now when the effort required is so low -- something the office summer intern could do -- why would they want to spend the hundreds of thousands of dollars required to create something like that DK program?

Also, given that there are hundreds of millions of computers that could run the software in my example, yet relatively few copies were actually sold (I believe DK dropped the whole line due to low sales/profits), it seems improbable that something of the kind would be profitable on the iPad. A few might sell for gimmick value, but when you think of the development costs, and Apple's significant cut of the sale price, the price would have to be higher and the market larger than they were for the PC version for the publisher to make a profit.

I really think, as I said, the focus needs to be on creating a better ebook -- decent typography, for example, would be a good start. Hell, not having it riddled with OCR errors would be a good start. Trying to turn books into websites doesn't make them into good books; it makes them into poor websites. Which, as you've probably noticed, we already have plenty of.
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Old 05-17-2010, 04:06 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Worldwalker View Post
I don't think that publishers are more likely to publish ebooks if, as has been suggested, they're turned into multimedia software packages that require elaborate hardware, such as tablet computers, than they are when all they need to do is turn some text into an epub file and buyers can read it on all sorts of devices. If they're not doing it now when the effort required is so low -- something the office summer intern could do -- why would they want to spend the hundreds of thousands of dollars required to create something like that DK program?
No need to turn them into multimedia books.

What will get more publishers putting out more ebooks is seeing an increase in the number of people buying e-books and the number of e-books being sold. This will also increase competition and put pressure on keeping prices down, getting rid of DRM etc. as more e-book stores pop up.

Tablets are one way to expand the e-book market beyond hardcore bookworms, and that's good news for these avid readers.
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Old 05-17-2010, 04:13 PM   #20
Maggie Leung
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Worldwalker, like I said, I think the first significant investment in interactive books will be in educational and instructional books, because publishers stand better chance to make money. Then as a new generation of readers grows up, they'll come to expect interactive books.

As for fixing formatting and other problems, I think they're going to do as little as they can get away with, as long as people buy the books.
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Old 05-18-2010, 05:54 AM   #21
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Odd. There are a number of quite inexpensive tablets out there.

Problem is, there is a dearth of inexpensive, good tablets out there. In fact, there are almost no good tablets at all. Even the majority of the iPad clone makers out there seemed to have missed the boat on the features that actually make the iPad attractive.

The amount of scurrying about in the dark is almost comical.
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Old 05-18-2010, 06:49 AM   #22
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Old 05-18-2010, 10:00 AM   #23
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i think a lot of publishers are just afraid of there position. an author can easily sell his book himself if it is an ebook, without using a publisher. that wipes out the publisher. it's also a price issue, like a lot of ebook have the same price as a paper-book. i just had some email traffic with a publisher about the pricing.
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