E-Books Are Not Books

I read an interesting paper by Mark T J Carden of Ingram Digital. He presented this paper at the Conference on Information and Knowledge Management (see citation below).  Mark discusses how eBooks are following the same evolutionary path of physical books and won’t be fully adopted until the “traditional book is deconstructed and reconstructed to create new paradigms for storing and delivering content in electronic forms.”  He offers suggestions for re-inventing the eBook.

1.  classify the content into groupings like data, explanation, instruction, or narrative and identify user behaviors like look up, skim, view, enjoy – map these together

2.  examine models of acquisition and possession, skim or view vs. consume or immerse.  These require different business models and licensing

3.  examine page layouts and formats.  What might be suitable for a print page may be unsuitable for the electronic one. reformat as necessary

4.  establish effective reading devices and the unfortunate format wars that come with them.  DRM or no DRM. my format or your format, or do what the music industry is doing – open access to content, if you can find a business model to support it

Conference on Information and Knowledge Management archive
Proceeding of the 2008 ACM workshop on Research advances in large digital book repositories table of contents

Napa Valley, California, USA

SESSION: Enriched digitized books table of contents

Pages 9-12

Year of Publication: 2008


One thought on “E-Books Are Not Books”

  1. [E-books are] not a new format in the way that DVDs were a new format to replace VHS. This is a new medium. My colleague at O’Reilly, Joe Wikert, has a really great way of framing it. He talks about how the first TV shows were mostly just radio shows done on screen. It took a while for people to figure out what this new medium of television could do, and how to design content intended for a TV audience. It’s much the same with e-books today: most are just digital representations of printed books. Once the content is created primarily for a digital environment, and primarily for a digital audience, we’ll really see something happen. :)

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