Posted February 20, 2017on:
I did not think that some people are still talking about the future of the e-book. I guess this is not surprising given how the concept and practice of e-books is still largely limited to what a book does.
Publishers and developers need to take note of this observation from the article:
“A book is the opposite of a web page,” which typically has a scattered design that relies on links to other sites, Jaffe said. With a book, “an author has thought deeply about a topic, curated everything you want to know about it, and packaged into a single publication.”
E-books that most people read on Kindles and library apps are often glorified PDFs. They are not like the Web or social media. They are certainly not like the level 2, 2.5, and 3 e-books that I suggested in 2011.
Perhaps the future of the e-book is also about getting the timing right. People were not ready for less book-like e-books then. They are less resistant now.
Pushing change to readers is one thing, changing from within is another. Publishers are slow to change their mindsets and practices.
Revisiting my thoughts on e-textbooks, I realise that the concerns are the same today. Publishers may have moved on to control access to resources via institutional or proprietary LMS [example], but the same principles are in play: Limit for profit.
So let’s not call a book an an e-book unless we can relook it through a social creator’s lens first and a publisher’s lens last.