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Old 05-31-2010, 05:26 PM   #1
sassanik
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Wired Article- No Universal Format

Sorry if this is a repeat post!

http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2010/...e-books-format

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That means, she said, that the book industry will become more like the movie business. “The book publishing industry is becoming more blockbuster focused,” she said.
I have to say I totally disagree with that one. I think the big publishing houses are focused on the next blockbuster book. I think that more books will be available over all, not less.

Quote:
Susan Petersen Kennedy, president of Penguin Group USA, said publishers will not make the same mistakes as the music industry, which had an epic struggle over electronic distribution and piracy and lost huge market share.
I am sorry to say I think you are repeating the mistakes of the music industry.


Lack of a universal format is not the issue IMO, most of the devices support epub, I think pricing and availability are the bigger issue. Many books are still not available in digital format, and many of the ones that are available in ebook format are priced too high.


Amy
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Old 05-31-2010, 05:46 PM   #2
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They at some point will have to choose a format. People will grow tired of having to switch once they find they can't transfer the stuff they payed for from one device to another . Now what format this will be only time will tell . Right now android might be the answer if most e book stores allow you to have an app for. If a company can produce an android device that can match the ipad pound for pound or do better at a lowere price we may well see in the near future android devices ruling the market. But only time will tell. I myself will more than likely buy a android based e-reader since it will allow me to buy from most e-book stores without having to sell my right kidney to get one.

Last edited by Avarwen; 05-31-2010 at 05:49 PM.
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Old 05-31-2010, 07:25 PM   #3
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The big book publishers made the same mistake that the big music publishers made -- ignore the demand for digital content for 10 years and allow an alternative (free) distribution channel to fill the void. Then try to compete with an inferior product that is priced higher than what a physical (paper) copy would cost.
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Old 05-31-2010, 08:59 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sassanik View Post
Lack of a universal format is not the issue IMO, most of the devices support epub, I think pricing and availability are the bigger issue. Many books are still not available in digital format, and many of the ones that are available in ebook format are priced too high.
Well, you see... pricing of devices is in my opinion not an issue as they are priced according to the region (I'll be paying around 90 euros more for my iPad than in the USA and the same goes for most readers). Availability is also becomes less relevant. That is unless you're looking for really obscure works. I think the coverage is fairly ok.

But I'm also of the same opinion of the people in Wired. You see if you want to share a book, the other person should be able to read it with his comp/reader. Personally I have adopted the packaging format PDF. As this should work in most computers. It also supports some kind of DRM. If Epub is better I do not know.

One thing that they didn't mention is... A standard for wireless sharing! If I have reader BLUE and you have reader PINK and I want to send you book Waste of Time. Right now, today, you would be sad because I cannot send it directly to your reader =( . Perhaps it's a naive thought but I think it would complete the functionality of ereaders compared to normal books (me giving/lending you a book) and catapult them to normal appliances.

GJMS
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Old 05-31-2010, 08:59 PM   #5
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Most casual readers won't care if they can't transfer their books to a new device because they read the book once. Now, we heavy readers will be upset when we can't move our books.
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Old 05-31-2010, 09:13 PM   #6
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"Susan Petersen Kennedy, president of Penguin Group USA, said publishers will not make the same mistakes as the music industry, which had an epic struggle over electronic distribution and piracy and lost huge market share. "

It would be funny if they said it as a joke.

Maybe we just have to wait for them to either retire or die off like the dinosaurs.
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Old 05-31-2010, 09:14 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SameOldStory View Post
"Susan Petersen Kennedy, president of Penguin Group USA, said publishers will not make the same mistakes as the music industry, which had an epic struggle over electronic distribution and piracy and lost huge market share. "

It would be funny if they said it as a joke.

Maybe we just have to wait for them to either retire or die off like the dinosaurs.
My response exactly. Was this supposed to be funny? Irony? Sarcasm?
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Old 06-01-2010, 02:47 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by darknessangel View Post
Well, you see... pricing of devices is in my opinion not an issue as they are priced according to the region (I'll be paying around 90 euros more for my iPad than in the USA and the same goes for most readers).
So, that's a feature, then? Not that we aren't used to being ripped off in Europe in that regard.

Quote:
Availability is also becomes less relevant. That is unless you're looking for really obscure works. I think the coverage is fairly ok.
I don't. Maybe it is in English, but the German market, to pick a random example, has a looong way to go. The controlled sale prices for books don't help, either: it means that ebooks are usually priced almost the same as hardcovers, and quite often only available long after them. And there is virtually no real competition (all the books cost the same everywhere, after all) so publishers are in no hurry to change that cosy model.

Quote:
If Epub is better I do not know.
For books, and particular novels, usually yes. It reduces it to the text which allows for much easier reflow and choosing one's preferred display settings.

Last edited by rogue_librarian; 06-01-2010 at 06:31 AM.
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Old 06-01-2010, 06:18 AM   #9
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DRM is not the answer.

DRM is the problem.
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Old 06-01-2010, 01:09 PM   #10
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@darknessangel I too would like to see some wireless sharing standard (maybe called Near-Fi) that would allow devices to talk to each other. We've got Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Infrared protocols, but these all have their limitations for this function. What I'd like to see is a kind of "push-fi" where you could push content to another mobile device--whether its a coupon in a grocery store, an ebook of home listings (imagine your checkout lady at the grocery store asking you if you'd like to accept a home directory ebook download to your mobile device for a dollar off of your bill, for example), or just peer-to-peer file sharing. It would have to be simple like 1) you push 2) person confirms or denies the acceptance of your push.
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Old 06-01-2010, 01:14 PM   #11
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DRM is not the answer.

DRM is the problem.
While I agree it's a problem Geo Restrictions are as much of a problem, if not more when it comes to piracy IMO.
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Old 06-01-2010, 01:23 PM   #12
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I would like to see a more transparent marketplace for ebooks and I think an ebook standard might come out of that. I'm not talking about a iTunes/iPad type of relationship, but more of a Wal-Mart.com or Amazon.com type of store where EVERYBODY knows they can go there and get what they want for whatever device they have. I think part of the reason there are so many standards is because whoever controls the standard controls the marketplace and those who control the marketplace control the money.
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Old 06-01-2010, 01:30 PM   #13
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Publishers have been concentrating on blockbusters for the last 20 years, that's why they're in the pickle they are where 94% of books don't make back their advances. They threw the midlist author under the bus years ago. They don't support non-brandnames with publicity or anything else. Penguin-Alpha couldn't/wouldn't get my Complete Idiot's Guide book into the chains with the result that 6 years later I still owe them $16,000.
Ebooks are new life for a lot of writers who've been shafted by mainstream publishing.
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Old 06-01-2010, 03:36 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avarwen View Post
They at some point will have to choose a format. People will grow tired of having to switch once they find they can't transfer the stuff they payed for from one device to another . Now what format this will be only time will tell.
I don't think one universal format will emerge any time soon... If you look at the music industry, one format never got standardized. You have iTunes with the AAC format, and then MP3 for pretty much everyone else (Amazon, etc.).

It looks like the same situation has developed for the ebook industry. Amazon has AZW/MOBI, everyone else has ePub.
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Old 06-01-2010, 03:44 PM   #15
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One format isn't much of an issue. That's not what's bothering people. We have wonderful tools like Calibre to do format conversion. The problem is DRM.

DRM only blocks legitimate people from access to their books. Every DRM is broken, and even without that, folks can (and do) scan books. That's why the Harry Potter books are available even though not legitimately.

As long as publishers make getting legitimate books more difficult than legitimate books, they will lose more to piracy than they gain in market protection.

Lee
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