Change in Publishing: (not really) answers to (not really) questions.
Writers, insiders and publishers discuss freely about 5 popular tags.
Prev: Kassia Krozser, _Jacob Appel, Ron Martinez.
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Piotr Kowalczyk is a technology geek, e-book enthusiast, self-publisher. Guest writer at TeleRead and partner of Read an E-book Week. Founder of Ebook Friendly - a service, which lets you discover e-books in a distraction-free way.
He blogs at Password Incorrect_
Twitter: @namenick _
The only way is up. E-books will be better and better. They’ll bring less trouble and much more pleasure than today. But we all have to learn how to make better e-books - and learn constantly, as technology is developing at a very quick pace.
What has to be done is to bring e-books to people: digital natives, who left books outside their digital living, and avid readers of traditional books, who are still afraid of entering a new, difficult world.
We have to simplify their transition, we have to simplify the way we talk about e-books. Users have to learn how to “read” e-books. Which device to choose, which e-bookstore is the best, how to import e-books to an app or device, how to operate a device, how to sync books with a virtual bookshelf.
It’s a one-time lesson, but the better we teach now, the more avid readers we will have tomorrow.
The time of “e-books as a thread” is definitely over. Now there is a time of “e-books as an opportunity”. Let’s just keep in mind that it will be a business opportunity only for those who do their best and succeed in explaining why it’s an opportunity for readers.
Future will mean freedom of choice.
Someone will read a book on an e-reader, someone will read and watch an enhanced book on a tablet, someone will jump into reading on a smartphone every time there is a couple of spare minutes, and someone will reach for the printed edition to celebrate the magic of reading. The most exciting thing is that “someone” could be the same person.
We will also enjoy a freedom of accessing our content from anywhere and any time - and in any language. I believe the time is coming when you’ll buy a book in English, but will be able to translate it within the e-reading application - using a built-in translation option - to any of the supported langugages.
The world will communicate differently. English will not be the intermediary’s language, but the moderator’s language. People from different countries will communicate directly with each other with a help of English, not via English, to a much bigger scale than it is today.
Indie publishing - self-published authors and independent publishing houses will play an unprecedented role in redefining Chris Anderson’s “Long Tail” theory.
Indies put loads of energy and effort into generating interest to books big publishers wouldn’t be willing to invest a penny. Every such book or a piece of any other niche digital content starts to live its own life and create its own community of fans.
Existing technology: search engines, social media, tools to purchase and manage digital content, are allowing to find potential users around the whole world. There is absolutely no reason to limit yourself to your own country.
When it comes to content providers: as I said before we all have to learn, big and small. We stand at the same point, right at the beginning. Our chances are similar. The thing is that indies will be eager to learn faster than established publishers as digital content is in most cases their only destination.
As indie-generated digital niches will grow, long tail will get longer and thicker.
Time when you had to pay upfront for the products is going to an end. Sooner or later users won’t have to deal with the price before they consume the product.
Two factors, digital content and check-out delay, can essentially change the way we consume goods.
The fact that you buy a digital content opens a lot of possibilities to dynamically adjust the price level. Content provider can track users activity and, based on it, reward the user with a personalized, lower price - probably also offered as a number of options to choose from.
I can imagine, that if the reader generates buzz about the book, for instance shares book passages, leaves a vote or review, gets involved in social reading of that particular book in any other form - she or he can pay less at the check-out.
In the era of information overload we will also face the need to curate innovations to a much larger extent than it is now - if we don’t want to miss any breakthrough idea.
Those ideas, innovations, are going to flow (well, they are flowing already) from a level of users. It’s users who generate most of the digital content, anyway. They were given the tools to create and innovate like never seen before.
Users can edit videos or make drawings on their tablets. They can create outstanding photos or storytelling pieces on their smartphones. They can set up in minutes a web page with a fantastic idea behind.
It’s good to embrace those innovations as they reflect the needs and inspirations of the very same people big content providers want to turn into customers.