Mandy Brown on Ebooks, Book Writing and Blogging

Right now, ebooks are a byprod­uct of paper books; the dis­tri­b­u­tion and pub­lish­ing process is iden­ti­cal, while the read­ing expe­ri­ence dif­fers only slight­ly. The cur­rent crop of ebooks takes advan­tage of the dig­i­tal for­mat in as much as they per­mit you to car­ry more of them around than you could before; but oth­er ele­ments of the medi­um — hyper” part of hyper­text — are notice­ably absent.

Many devel­op­ers are stick­ing close­ly to a paper metaphor in apps used to read these books. The paper metaphor can be done away with. Books that play video and show pas­sages oth­ers are high­light­ing don’t need pages” with a fan­cy curl ani­ma­tion. Scrolling is a bet­ter method on a touch-based device, but prob­a­bly isn’t the best answer. It will be inter­est­ing to see what oth­er con­ven­tions are explored as devices and the for­mat mature.

01/25/2011 9:03 pm

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