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Digital publishing - eBooks and mobile devices
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Digital publishing - eBooks and mobile devices


An introduction to eBooks for information professionals. Focus is on the South African market. Notes include links to core concepts - e.g. file formats, ereaders vs. media tablets, ebook aggregators.

An introduction to eBooks for information professionals. Focus is on the South African market. Notes include links to core concepts - e.g. file formats, ereaders vs. media tablets, ebook aggregators.

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  • http://idpf.org/about-us/industry-statistics
  • http://farm1.static.flickr.com/57/198774163_6a1d6f0280.jpghttp://wiki.mobileread.com/wiki/Rocket_eBook
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_e-book_formats
  • http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2011/09/the-history-of-amazons-kindle-so-far/http://www.slashgear.com/sony-reader-range-refreshed-faster-touchscreen-e-ink-select-3gwifi-0199759/http://www.barnesandnoble.com/nook/compare/index.asphttp://kobobooks.com/touch & http://kobobooks.com/wifihttp://ebookreader.org/iriver-story.php*http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-02-22/barnes-noble-falls-after-dividend-halt-same-store-sales-rise.html
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E_Ink
  • For a comparison of all Amazon’s Kindle models:http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004HFS6Z0/ref=famstripe_kkLocalizedKindle information:http://e-reader.co.za/
  • E-ink displays are clearer the more light you shine on it – like paper! However, any display that has some glass or plastic covering to protect it will have some glare in sunlight. This picture illustrates viewing e-ink outside – though you really have to try it yourself.
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Graph_Kindle_Prices.png
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tablet_computerhttp://www.asustablet.com/http://www.motorola.com/Consumers/US-EN/Consumer-Product-and-Services/Tablets/MOTOROLA-XOOM-with-WiFi-US-EN
  • http://www.apple.com/za/ipad/
  • http://za.blackberry.com/playbook-tablet/
  • http://www.nivo.co.za/c/computers/notebooks/asus~eee.pad/sort.by~price
  • http://howtutorial.com/howto/how-does-an-lcd-tv-monitor-work/LCD works by shining light through liquid crystals (like shutters).Light passes through red, green and blue filters.The display is made out of these red/green/blue 'pixels’
  • One can include smartphones in this comparison; however, lower the price range and display size (significantly).
  • Above is the Kindle app running on various devices. You can associate a Kindle account with up to six devices (usually the same for other platforms). So, for instance, I share my account with a friend, have Kindle for iPad, Kindle for PC and, of course, my actual eReader (which doesn’t count towards the six-device limit). My books are synchronized across all these devices.
  • For more details, read: http://www.publishyourownebooks.com/4-main-ebook-formats/http://radar.oreilly.com/2009/12/pdf-vs-epub-vs-mobi-format-download-comparison.htmlImage: http://www.newepublishing.com/images/ebook-logos-and-standards.jpg
  • Details:http://wiki.mobileread.com/wiki/PDFImage:http://crenk.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/adobe_pdf_logo.jpg
  • Details:http://wiki.mobileread.com/wiki/MOBIImage:http://marciebrockbookmarketingmaven.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/mobipocket-logo.png?w=315&h=66
  • Details:http://wiki.mobileread.com/wiki/AZWImage:http://www.finestdaily.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/kindleforpc.png
  • Image:http://old.idpf.org/EPUBlogo/epub_logo_color.jpgDetails:http://wiki.mobileread.com/wiki/EPUBhttp://wiki.mobileread.com/wiki/EPub_3 [most recent version]
  • http://wiki.mobileread.com/wiki/E-book_stores
  • I base much of this lecture on Gary McLaren’s simple introduction to eBooks. His book comes highly recommended as a basic primer: http://www.publishyourownebooks.com/how-to-publish-an-ebook/
  • http://www.publishyourownebooks.com/ebook-royalties-comparison/
  • http://www.publishyourownebooks.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/EbookAggregatorChartDated.jpg
  • http://apprenticealf.wordpress.com/2011/01/13/ebooks-formats-drm-and-you-%E2%80%94-a-guide-for-the-perplexed/http://ebw.co/kbase/simple-ebook-operational-issues/adobe-drm-a-guide-for-publishers
  • One of the places where I look for ebooks is Manybooks. Manybooks makes finding free ebooks (public domain, or released as promotional material) easier, since it adds layer of metadata to existing digitized books (e.g. from Project Gutenberg). I’ll download a MOBI version, but should I have an EPUB reader (e.g. Nook, Kobo, iPad, or most other single-purposes eReaders or media tablets), I’ll go for that format. PDF remains popular, but isn’t easily reflowable (see notes on reflowability of media).
  • I then just save this file to my eReader’s content directory. Notice how my computer already recognizes that this is a Kindle document because I’ve associated my Kindle for PC with that format.
  • Notice that, when I attach my eReader to my PC via a USB cable, it acts like a flash disk. I still have 2.3 gigabytes of storage (enough for potentially 600 more books).
  • Kindle reads MOBI, but notice how some eBooks in this folder are in the AZW format. This is a format that is protected, or DRMed. These are the books that I purchased from Amazon; I can’t just transfer them to someone else’s device (though I –can- lend some books out, under certain circumstances).
  • I can 1) browse the Kindle store (where I can also subscribe to newspapers, magazines or blogs for regular delivery) or 2) browse web sites such as Manybooks.net or Gutenberg.org (for free books). The Kindle’s web browser is rather clunky, but that’s because the devices wasn’t designed to be a media tablet.
  • eReaders (as well as media tablet and smart phones) can connect to the Internet via 3G or Wi-Fi.
  • My publishing students have to hand craft EPUB books; here’s me browsing the books through Kindle for PC.


  • 1. eBooks
    Introduction for information specialists (publishers, librarians, media professionals, etc.)
  • 2. This is the time for eBooks
    2010: Association of American Publishers reports eBook sales of members US$441 million (up 164% from 2009)
  • 3. Rocket eBook Reader (1998)
  • 4. This is the time of eBooks
    Ebooks have existed for decades now
    (previous slide: old eBook readers in late 90’s)
    First challenge: hardware & displays 
    Second challenge: software & formats 
    Third challenge: content, distribution, marketing etc. 
  • 5. What is an eBook?
    Simply an electronic file – read on your device of choice
    Various formats (more on main formats later) e.g. PDF
    [Demonstration: various eBooks on my Kindle, iPad, laptop]
  • 6. Why read eBooks?
    Good reading experience now
    Less expensive (overall...)
    Environmentally friendly (except...)
    Space savings (what about ‘digital space’?)
    Reading aids (e.g. bookmarking, sharing..)
    Navigation (referencing, hyperlinking)
  • 7. Why read eBooks?
    You can write in eBooks
    People with disabilities
    Always accessible
    Instant delivery (if your connection is reliable)
    No shipping charges (except...)
    Enhancement opportunities (e.g. multimedia)
  • 8. How to read eBooks
    Computer / laptop
    Media tablets (and, of course, mobile phones)
  • 9. eReaders
    Kindle (65% market share in US, 2011*)
    Sony Reader
    iRiver Story, etc.
    Not going into too much detail; in South Africa, you’re most likely to buy a Kindle or iRiver model (ease of delivery, service support etc.)
  • 10. “A sheet of paper that can be electronically reconfigured instantaneously to display any page from any book, article or document”
    E-ink is what makes eReaders different
  • 11.
  • 12.
  • 13. Amazon’s Kindle Touch and Kindle Keyboard
  • 14.
  • 15.
  • 16. eReader prices are dropping steeply
  • 17. Media tablets (tablet computers)
    iPad (Apple)
    Playbook (Blackberry)
    Android devices
    E.g. Asus, Motorola (purchased by Google)...
    Kindle Fire
    Media tablets are unique in that 1) they operate on touch, and 2) they aren’t supposed to store your media
  • 18. Apple iPad
  • 19. http://za.blackberry.com/playbook-tablet/
    Blackberry Playbook
  • 20. Android-powered tablets (e.g. Asus EEE)
  • 21. Zoomed in LCD (red, green, blue filters)
  • 22. eReader or media tablet?
    • Long battery life
    • 23. Low cost
    (R900-R2,000 + S&I)
    • E-ink display (typically)
    • 24. Low functionality
    Media tablets
    • Limited battery life
    • 25. Expensive
    (R3,000-R10,000 + S&I)
    • LCD display (typically)
    • 26. High functionality
  • Reading eBooks
    Kindle for Blackberry, Android, iPad, iPhone..
    Kindle for PC, Mac
    Here, you see that you can read your books on any device, as long as you have the right app installed.
    It’s sometimes more accurate to say people buy into a platform, not a specific piece of hardware or software.
  • 27.
  • 28. eBook formats
    Most familiar, but fixed-layout (?)
    Mobi / PRC
    Original format for PDAs, etc. (now owned by Amazon)
    Amazon’s DRMed format
    Most accessible format
  • 29.
  • 30.
  • 31.
  • 32.
  • 33. eBook stores
    International (to an extent...)
    Amazon Kindle store
    Barnes & Noble / Kobobooks
    Apple iBooks
    Exclusive Books
    Or at least, ones worth mentioning for the purposes of this introduction...
  • 34. How to publish an eBook
    Various ways, but it’s often safest to sell through a well-known vendor (e.g. Amazon), or to use an aggregator (e.g. Smashwords).
    Locally, Kalahari.com and Exclusive Books also sell eBooks (details on request).
  • 35.
  • 36. eBook aggregators
  • 37. Digital rights management
    Restricts what you can do with the material.
    DRM is a necessary evil (or is it...)
    Three major eBook DRM schemes:
    Amazon DRM (.mobi)
    Adobe DRM (.epub, .pdf)
    Apple FairPlay DRM (.epub, .pdf)
  • 38. Public domain books (Manybooks.net)
    Manybooks isn't necessarily an eBook vendor; rather, a distributor of public domain titles.
  • 39.
  • 40. Attaching eReader via USB cable
  • 41. Directory with the eReader’s books
  • 42. But what about getting books wirelessly?
  • 43. http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/ref=hp_200127470_k3land_gettingstarted?nodeId=200580340
    Local area network.
    Very fast!
    Coverage limited (need Wi-Fi hot spots)
    Need to connect manually
    Wi-Fi doesn’t guarantee internet access
    Cellular network.
    Can be very slow!
    Wide coverage (e.g. at the beach, or on the train)
    Connected automatically
    3G often guarantees internet access
  • 44. Selecting a Wi-Fi network
  • 45. Managing already purchased books (via your browser)
  • 46. Kindle for PC
  • 47. Kindle for iPad
  • 48. Kindle for PC/iPad opens your browser for browsing
  • 49. Select device (up to six / account) to send to
  • 50. Select device (up to six / account) to send to
  • 51. That’s it!
  • 52. For more updates, information etc.
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/kosieeloff
    Especially for publishers & librarians
    Google+: https://plus.google.com/101094585504476928154
    Especially for content developers
    I love tinkering with eBooks; join the #eprdctnchannel on Twitter or contact me for a chat!