eBooks: With Courage and Patience, We Are Getting There

Just how do we make the "e" in e-books stand for "easier"? Well, how about this? Let's scrap the existing digital rights management. Instead everybody in charge of administering DRM would be re-trained overnight as digital priests. They would certify "trustworthiness" to those seeking to download e-books.

Before downloads, customers would be visited by digital priests of their respective religious persuasions. With great pomp and circumstance, they would "pledge" not to forward their books to everybody in the world without compensating the authors and publishers. Break the pledge, and you'd find yourself in purgatory, hand-copying old encyclopedias.

Or maybe a totalitarian law would work instead. First-offenders guilty of unlawful content reproduction would have to wear a scratchy wool eye patch for one year. For a second crime, the patch would be now a mask. We could set up toll-free hot-lines and reward people for spying on their neighbors.

The Real Point

See my real point here? No easy way exists to loosen the DRM grip--this complicated issue can't be addressed with good old-fashioned guilt and fear. But e-book standards for DRM and formats would help. I am counting on the laws of capitalism, which always prevail. A demand will eventually be met with supply, and I'm hoping that the right set of standard will break from the pack and simplify the digital content landscape. That will be a blessed day. Microsoft, Adobe and Palm and the others now have their own special technology fee tacked on to the price of e-books. And that complicates merchandising. We e-book merchants would rather not have multiple cost structures for the same e-book.

Nor do we like consumers to be limited to books published in their chosen format or suffer multiple technologies just to enjoy a story. Nothing is more frustrating than having three different libraries on your handheld and forgetting where your recent fiction resides. I don't just hear customers complaints--I myself own a handheld.

Villains not

Who's to blame? I'm thinking nobody. Many authors and publishers break out in a cold sweat at just the mention of the word "Napster" and can you blame them? Their livelihood is at stake. They should, however, strive to better satisfy consumers desire for more content in digital form.

If a publisher has faith in their work, it's now accepted that expanding to e-book will deliver extra profit and drive hardback sales. Not all understand this. I still hear some authors express misguided fear that e-books will cannibalize their hardback sales. Publishing is not a zero-sum game, however--and that actually can be good. E-books add incremental value to the equation. Granted, companies tasked with encrypting content for them are an easy target, for they create the hoops through which we must jump. But the DRM heavyweights like Microsoft, Adobe and eReader are simply business people satisfying a need with existing technology.

No glass chin

Let there be no mistake, the future is bright for e-books--sales are on a steady rise. The industry took a couple of jabs during the Internet correction, but you'll find no glass chin here. More students are beginning to see e-books as an alternative for those pricey hardback textbooks. The computer savvy are learning the ease in pasting code directly from their favorite Java e-book manual, and there's even speculation that men are reading more romance as they no longer fear being seen with a floral book cover. Moreover, the Tablet PC is maturing, and the publishers are slowly but surely putting even more content in digital form. It takes courage, but we're getting there. Though it is a word often used in excuses, "patience" is needed by digital downloaders, me included.

Article by L. Scott Redford - scott@diesel-ebooks.com Scott is the President of Diesel eBooks with over 35,000 popular and professional eBooks organized by 50 categories. Visit the free download section at http://www.diesel-ebooks.com

In The News:


Know Your Mobile

With New E-Book Service Amazon Plays Waiting Game With Publishers ...
Forbes
By launching last week, Amazon not only confirmed a persistent rumor, but also revealed that its willing to play the waiting game with the “Big Five” publishers and other e-book subscription companies in what promises to be a battle for the next ...
Amazon Launches E-Book Subscription ServiceGuruFocus.com
Amazon Announces Kindle Unlimited, Spotify For eBooksKnow Your Mobile

all 7 news articles »

The Economist (blog)

On the volume of volumes
The Economist (blog)
MAURICE Sendak said that "there's so much more to a book than just the reading," and in the burgeoning economy of e-books, there's so much more to a service than just the number of titles. Amazon entered the marketplace last week, with many describing ...
Book News: 'Big 5' Publishers Absent From Amazon's New E-Book ServiceNPR (blog)
Entitle Gears Up As Kindle Unlimited Enters E-book FieldGreater Wilmington Business Journal
Amazon Debuts Kindle Unlimited for $9.99 to Boost e-Book BizNASDAQ
Motley Fool -USA TODAY -New Vision
all 214 news articles »

Telegraph.co.uk

'One in three' ebooks sold on Amazon are self-published
Telegraph.co.uk
Although self-published ebooks generally cost less than ebooks from the Big Five, the earnings for authors that go down the traditional publishing route have shrunk over the past two quarters, while those for indies has grown. As a result, self ...
Amazon buyers prefer DRM-free e-books, study claimsTechHive
A new chapter: 31pc of e-books sold on Amazon are self-publishedSiliconrepublic.com
Why Amazon Terrifies Publishers: Let's Look At Royalty StatementsForbes
Viral Global News -The Seattle Times -Neon Tommy
all 21 news articles »

Liliputing

HarperCollins to Try Bundling Print and Ebooks With BitLit
Digital Book World
Today, BitLit begins a pilot program with HarperCollins Publishers to offer readers a physical and e-book bundle through its bundling platform. BitLit is a free app that allows readers to purchase the e-book edition at a discounted price when they ...
HarperCollins, BitLit offer cheap eBooks of print books you already ownLiliputing
HarperCollins offers ebooks through Vancouver's BitLitStraight.com (blog)
BitLit Partners With HarperCollins To Make Buying Digital Versions Of Books ...TechCrunch
Publishers Weekly -Good E-Reader (blog)
all 11 news articles »

TIME

How Amazon's New E-book Subscription Service Stacks Up
TIME
This morning, Amazon announced Kindle Unlimited, a new e-book subscription service. But while Amazon is now the biggest name in the “Netflix for books” business, it's not the only option. So, how does Kindle Unlimited compare with Oyster and Scribd, ...
Amazon Starts $9.99-a-Month Service for Unlimited E-BooksBloomberg
Amazon Unveils E-Book Subscription Service, With Some Notable AbsencesNew York Times
Amazon Launches $9.99/Month Kindle Unlimited eBooks ServiceDailyTech
AdAge.com -NPR (blog) -Las Vegas Review-Journal
all 564 news articles »

GigaOM

Court rejects ban on second hand e-book sales, refers to Europe
DutchNews.nl
A court in Amsterdam has rejected calls from Dutch book publishers to stop the sale of second hand e-books via an injunction. Publishers went to court in an effort to have the sale of second hand digital books via website Tom Kabinet banned. They say ...
Amsterdam court upholds second-hand e-book salesTelecompaper (subscription)
Secondhand ebookstore Tom Kabinet can stay online, Dutch court rulesGigaOM
Dutch courts lets ebook reseller stay onlinePCWorld

all 16 news articles »

Indie Publisher Releases First Salinger E-book
Publishers Weekly
Roughly two years ago, Tom Graves and his business partner, Darrin Devault, formed The Devault-Graves Agency in Memphis, Tenn., with the idea of repurposing select, out-of-print backlist titles as e-books. Their publishing credo, according to Graves ...

and more »

Duke Libraries Offers E-Books and Audiobooks for Personal Mobile Devices
Campus Technology
Duke University Libraries has launched a new service, called Duke OverDrive, which lets students, faculty and staff download e-books and audiobooks to their personal mobile devices, including iPhones, iPads, Nooks, Android phones and tablets and ...


K8e Partners With Flying Start to Make E-Books for Early Readers
T.H.E. Journal
K8e (pronounced “Katie”), an HTML 5 e-book platform, has formed a partnership with Flying Start Books, which specializes in books for elementary and middle school. The K8e platform allows teachers to customize content for each individual student and ...


Tech Times

Amazon testing 'Kindle Unlimited': All-you-can-read ebooks for only $9.99 per ...
Tech Times
"We're not surprised. They have pivoted from transactional to subscription-based in other media, and have had limited success," said Stromberg. "They really paved the way in ebooks, and it's exciting to see them embrace the market we created as the ...

Google News

7 Secrets to Explode your eBook Sales! Part 5

Secret #5: How to build steady sales for years to... Read More

Cash in on Your Expertise

Even though I've never met you, I know one thing... Read More

How eBooks Can Be Used As An Online Business

Times are hard today! Though the economic data would indicate... Read More

Internet Journey - From Storms To Desktops

After battling the sea for nine years, it's time to... Read More

Little Known Ways To Make More Money With EBooks

There are a myriad of free information products on the... Read More

How To Rebrand Your eBook Using Active eBook Compiler

Complete all the pages for your eBook in HTML format.... Read More

Demand for E-books on the Increase

Demand for electronic books, or e-books, has created one of... Read More

7 Secrets to Explode your eBook Sales! Part 1

Secret #1: How to write an incredible eBook!Copyright 2004 Bluedolphin... Read More

Neighborhood Mobile Watch Program

Setting up a Neighborhood Mobile Watch Program in your community... Read More

Sell 100,000 eBooks By Letting It Be Read For Free?

Did you know that if just one person goes into... Read More

How to Almost Guarantee Your eBook Market Success

Conceptualizing a profitable idea and formulating a marketing plan to... Read More

10 Secrets to Write Your eBook Like a Winner!

You already have what it takes to write your first... Read More

The Bible of Marketing Ebooks

The ebook from Michael Cheney really is the bible when... Read More

Information at What Price? Exploring Fee-based e-Content

In pursuit of a paid model for content, many businesses... Read More

The Kolbrin ? Ancient Warnings of Modern Threats

The Kolbrin is a substantial Biblical-era wisdom text of immense... Read More

Buying e-Books on eBay

eBay is the world's online marketplace, that enables a diverse... Read More

The Advantages Of Being An e-Book Writer Or Publisher

All well known experts have agreed that informational products especially... Read More

The Problem With E-Books

One of the most popular online ventures is selling e-books.... Read More

Ebooks are Promotional Powerhouses

Ebooks are fairly easy to produce, and their production cost... Read More

7 Simple Ways To Boost Your E-Book Sales

You can often dramatically increase your E-Book salesby making a... Read More

Write Your eBook - 6 Great Ways to Find the Time

Busy! Busy! Busy!What's new? And who isn't busy?The majority of... Read More

Your Guaranteed Path to Becoming an Information Product Money Machine

How To Turn Your Talks or Articles into Books, eBooks,... Read More

Book Publishing for Entrepreneurs

There was a time when it was relatively easy to... Read More

This Simple Publishing Mistake Could Be Losing You Half Your Back End Sales!

Many of the Internets biggest ebook sellers are making this... Read More

Ebooks - How To Bring Them Into The Market

So, you have decided to start an ebook business. The... Read More