Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Gee's balanced and fair view of e-books

For some reason print magazines have taken a while to get a handle on the web. It is easy to understand why they are concerned about a future for the equipment their readers have invested in. But there is no obvious reason why the readers of Image Reports would be too worried about book publishing. My guess is they have been into digital workflows for ages and are mostly interested in inkjet.

So it is probably a genuine opinion coming from Gee Ranasinha, as summarised in a headline- "e-books? They are rubbish."

Gee cites the high cost of a Sony e-book reader.

"Worse, books tend not to be hugely discounted in electronic form. Checking out a couple of websites, it seems that the average difference between downloading an ebook version against buying the real book is a saving of about a quid. That’s because the price we pay for a book is mostly in the intellectual property, not in the actual production costs of putting ink on paper. So e-books aren’t cheaper."

Not sure this is based on actual costs. Free e-books are possible. There are some on the Adobe site to celebrate the launch of a Digital Editions reader, a sort of Flash take on Acrobat.

Sadly the main difference with Acrobat seems to be Digital Rights Management. Sure to appeal to publishers but Gee has previously pointed out the downside from a consumer point of view. so I think Acrobat will continue. But the new approach is only 3 meg assuming you have Flash already. You can annotate abit, but not pass these notes on as yet. Gee point out that people like to share books. So maybe copying out the best bits to a Google doc would be one way of collaboration.

Usually I find Gee is advanced in his views. He mentions VHS tapes as an endangered species though I still have a lot of them. I can remember a time when a really recent Sony video device was quite expensive. So maybe an e-book reader will get cheaper some day.

The Adobe website suggests the InDesign in the latest Creative Suite as a way to create an e-book. For readers of Image Reports, this could be an extra service to offer.


At 10:09 AM, Blogger GeeMan said...

RE VHS being an endangered species, though you still having a lot of them: How many films have you bought in the last 12 months on VHS?

At 2:55 AM, Blogger Will said...

Fair point, Gee.


But I have bought some blank tape.


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