Gene Therapy: Embracing E-books
As Steve Potash, CEO of Overdrive and president of the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF), said last spring at IDPF’s annual meeting: The world of digital books is expanding, and there is a steady flow of major publishers and technology providers adopting the .epub standard.
What we’re going through now is a ramping-up stage during which it can’t be either/or—nobody is saying that we will accept or deliver only in .epub. Accepting only .epub formats is likely to be the first move that’s made, because the advantage to publishers is that they will have only one electronic book version with one ISBN of which to keep track.
What really created the turning point for all of this was the launch of Amazon’s Kindle and Sony’s Reader—the first to use the magic of electronic ink, called e-ink.
In Part 1 of this two-part series (Book Business, September 2008), I described the evolution of e-book technologies to this point, and how and why the .epub standard for the e-book was introduced. This column explores what you need to do to provide your books on the Reader and Kindle, if you’re not already doing so.
The Sony Reader
Sony’s Reader reached the U.S. market two years ago and was the first device to feature the user-friendly e-ink reflective display screen that overcame the liabilities of backlit LED screens. It quickly caught the attention of trade publishing professionals, and for many has become a valuable tool.
Publishers, editors, reviewers, and marketing and promotion executives who spend large amounts of time reading manuscripts in various stages of consideration or development are able, in a few moments, to take Word files, save them as RTF files, drag them to the Sony eBook Library application on their computers and load them into the Reader. The Reader has become a popular reviewing tool—during business and leisure travel, the morning commute, and even in the office—for both the prepublication and pre-acquisition stages of a new title.
Eugene G. Schwartz is editor at large for ForeWord Reviews, an industry observer and an occasional columnist for Book Business magazine. In an earlier career, he was in the printing business and held production management positions at Random House, Prentice-Hall/Goodyear and CRM Books/Psychology Today. A former PMA (IBPA) board member, he has headed his own publishing consultancy, Consortium House. He is also Co-Founder of Worthy Shorts Inc., a development stage online private press and publication service for professionals as well as an online back office publication service for publishers and associations. He is on the Publishing Business Conference and Expo Advisory Board.