Opening the Book
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Opening the Book

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Why and how book content will live natively on the open web.

Why and how book content will live natively on the open web.

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  • HERESY! And yet some people find the idea that books will be on the web to be heretical. Because the web is filled with lolcatz and ego noise. 6:20\n
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Opening the Book Opening the Book Presentation Transcript

  • opening the book(or authoring for discovery) -- hugh mcguire -- pressbooks.com librivox.org @hughmcguire
  • a) why will this happen?b) how will this happen?
  • and...
  • c)WHAT IS THE BUSINESS MODEL?
  • A.Why
  • 1.What is a “book” ?
  • "A book is a discrete,collection of text (and othermedia), that is designed by an author(s) as an internallycomplete representation of anidea, or set of ideas; emotion or set of emotions; and transmitted to readers in various formats."
  • 2.What is the difference amongdifferent kinds of “books” ?
  • The critical difference among print books, ebooks and webbooks is notthe guts of transmission technology (print, typography, HTML, EPUB, Mobi, PDF) butwhat readers, publishers and others can and cannot do with each format.
  • Corollary: There are many useful things a: ... publisher ... reader... external service using an APIcan do with webbooks that are just not possible with ebooks.
  • 3.What does information want?
  • “Information wants to be free!” -- Stewart Brand
  • “On the one hand information wants to be expensive, because its so valuable... On the other hand, information wants to be free, because the cost of getting it out is getting lower and lower all thetime. So you have these two fighting against each other.” -- Stewart Brand
  • Information wants to be liberated?
  • “Information wants to be shared.” -- Joshua Gans
  • Information wants to be used.
  • B.How?
  • 4. An example.(OK not a Business Model, but an example nonetheless)
  • For every book,an easy online book creation tool:
  • For every book,an easy online book creation tool (2):
  • For every book, easily templated ebook & PDF output:ibooks kindle print on demand
  • For every book, a web version (public or private) - optimized for all devices:smartphones tablets laptops & computers
  • Bonus Data!
  • 5. Some things this suggests:1. a webbook can generate interest in ways that an ebook cannot.2. the ideas in a webbook spread far more quickly, and far more easily than an ebook 3. a webbook is infinitely easier to find 4. a webbook comes with built in analytics! 5. I can see who is reading my webbook 6. I can optimize interactions on my webbook, in ways that I cannot in an ebook … SEO, analytics, email subscriptions7. because of the direct connection to the reader, webbooks can have different business models than ebooks
  • 6.How I think this will play out:
  • i.creating an ebook is still “hard” ...but online tools like PressBooks/Vook/ Atavist/Booktype make it (almost) trivial, and free
  • ii.As free & easy tools like PressBooksbecome more widely known, and better, the avalanche of books will be overwhelming
  • iii.Other kinds of book writing activity, social and webby by nature -- thinkWattpad, Fictionaut, Figment -- willgain relevance, meaning more and more writing will be “out there.”
  • iv.More ebooks means: each book is harder to find, means: an arms race of promotion/discovery techniques ...
  • v.Which means ... those who connect with their readers better will win -- and one thing the web is great for is connecting readers and writers
  • vi.New kinds of authors and publishers, with a different take on business models ... such as:- give it away online, then sell it;- sell it, then give it away online; - subscriptions; - advertising; - underwriting; - upselling; - just pure art ... will embrace the web with their book content.
  • vii. University professors with scholarly monographs to publish, the Boards of Directors of university presses, teachers, non-profits, writers ofabstract literary fiction will start to ask:Wait, is “business” the right “model” for our books?
  • 7. The problem of closed silos....Retailers: Amazon/iBooks/Nook/Kobo etc and Production: PressBooks/Vook/Atavist
  • 8.I forget what 8 was for.
  • 9. In order to have new book publishing business models that embrace the openweb we need open tools that are native to the web, and flexible enough forpeople to build on and experiment with.
  • 10. Big announcement: We are going to open source PressBooks(Come talk to me if you are interested in becoming a development partner.)
  • Contact: w. pressbooks.come. hugh@pressbooks.com tw. @pressbooks