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:


Daily Mail

Braille smartwatch lets blind people read text messages and e-books
Daily Mail
The gadget could enable them to read text messages as well as whole e-books from their wrists using haptic technology, which provides information in real-time through touch. It has a built-in vibration motor to alert wearers to incoming messages, which ...
Dot, The First Braille Smartwatch, Reads E-books And Teaches BrailleiTech Post
Braille Smartwatch Dot Allows The Blind To Read Texts And E-BooksTech Times
Blind People to read texts and e-books by using Dot Braille SmartwatchThe Tech Bulletin
Engadget
all 59 news articles »

Good E-Reader (blog)

Japanese Readers Spend the Most Money on e-Books
Good E-Reader (blog)
Digital Books may have hit the proverbial glass ceiling in North America but across the world they are starting to really catch on. This is most evident in Japan, where readers are spending the most amount of money on e-Books. According to a new ...

and more »

Daily Sabah

Survey: E-book piracy is minimal in digital world
Daily Sabah
In Turkey, over 300 publishers offer e-books to readers. A local literature magazine, Sabitfikir reported in an earlier article that the total number of e-books has surpassed 14,000 and the e-book is expected to have a 5 percent market share in the ...


Simon Collinson: Surveying small publishing's data on ebooks
The Bookseller
A timely inquiry today, something for small publishers to consider. As my colleague Philip Jones wrote here at The FutureBook last week, the ebook market "that once was booming is now maturing. Volume e-book figures, supplied by Penguin Random House, ...


Omaha World-Herald

At local libraries, e-book collections are growing, but print is still king
Omaha World-Herald
At all three library systems, and at libraries across the country, e-book collections started with rapid growth that has begun to slow. According to the Library Journal's survey, the median number of e-books at U.S. libraries has grown 1,200 percent ...

and more »

E-books in Maltese
Times of Malta
I would like to thank and congratulate Oliver Mamo for his dedication in the field of libraries and public reading. It's true that some local libraries have very little to offer in the way of books, space and other amenities and attractions. For years ...


Komando

Save thousands, download 448 free museum-quality eBooks
Komando
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, headquartered in New York City, has some of the most incredible free online resources for art lovers available on the Internet. Now it's increased the number of free art and art history books available online for no charge.


More than half of PRCC classes will use e-Books
WDAM-TV
This is a news release from Pearl River Community College. Students enrolling at Pearl River Community College this fall will have fewer expensive, heavy textbooks to carry to class. Approximately 60 percent of academic classes will be using eBooks.


Education Week (subscription) (blog)

$30 Million e-Book Store for NYC Schools Likely to Be Run by Amazon
Education Week (subscription) (blog)
Amazon Digital Services Inc. would create a comprehensive online shopping source for e-books and digital content available for New York City schools, under a $30 million contract that is expected to be approved next month, the city's department of ...

and more »

Green Bay Press Gazette

New e-books recount early state history
Green Bay Press Gazette
Their De Pere business, Old Northwest Frontier Tours, this summer launched the first volume of a seven-part series of self-guided e-book tours that explore the history of Northeastern Wisconsin. The first volume uses photos, videos, audio recordings ...

Google News

How To Create and Market Your own E-Book

The Internet presents an amazing opportunity foranyone who knows how... Read More

The Problem With E-Books

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

7 Secrets to Explode your eBook Sales! Part 6

Secret #6: Creating momentum and identity through Book Sellers!Aho99% of... Read More

Writing an eBook is Risk-taking Behaviour ? Choose to do it!

The choice to author a book isn't one that just... Read More

Reflection for Personal and Professional Development

Whatever you can do, Or dream you can, begin it.... Read More

How To Rebrand Your eBook Using Active eBook Compiler

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

Ebook Farming- A Definitive Guide to Your Ebook Creation (Ebook Review)

Why would you want to buy a book on writing... Read More

Making Money With Information Products

I actually know a few... Read More

Top Ten eBook Mistakes and How to Correct Them (Part 2)

Did you know that you already have an eBook inside... Read More

The Kolbrin ? Ancient Warnings of Modern Threats

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

Top Ten eBook Mistakes and How to Correct Them

Did you know that you already have an eBook inside... Read More

30 Truisms About eBook Authoring

The decision to author an eBook is a life-changing decision.... Read More

How to Price Your eBook

You've written and compiled an ebook. Now you have to... Read More

7 Secrets to Explode your eBook Sales! Part 7

Secret #7: How to create a mountain of sales using... Read More

Price your eBook to Sell Well

Q. The big question asked me in teleclasses or client... Read More

How To Protect Your eBooks From Piracy And Copyright Infringement!

eBooks, or electronic books, mean big business for all aspiring... Read More

E-book Security Anxiety

You are not alone. Tons of people are nervous that... Read More

Why eBooks Are The Most Overlooked Path To Online Prosperity

The ebook revolution is here! The Internet now makes it... Read More

Internet Business Model For Selling A Single, Unique Product

An e-book is a single, unique product. It's unique because... Read More

Profiting From Writting Your Own Ebook

As you might have heard, the Internet is all about... Read More

A Brief History of the Book

"The free communication of thought and opinion is one of... Read More

How To Bring In Your First $100,000 With Infoproducts

Can you really earn a living creating and marketing ebooks,... Read More

Top Ten eBook Mistakes and How to Correct Them (Part 1)

Did you know that you already have an eBook inside... Read More

Ebook Marketing: 20 Checklist For eBook Creation

If you promote an ebook, please pay attention to these... Read More

Ebooks Are The BEST Form Of Advertising!

Ebooks are part of the new frontier of cyberspace. They... Read More