In the wake of tablet success like Kindle Fire and Nook, the focus is now on how to move academia into the digital age. Apple and others are spiraling head-first towards dominating the book market in elementary through high school settings. Publishers are assessing the value of eBooks in the University system and are still questioning if this is a “threat” and trying to manage the how-to-make-money question. It is clear, things are changing. So much so that even companies like Barnes and Nobles will have to start planning for an overhaul of their retail environment. I other words, wether I’m a student, professional or casual reader, I don’t go to the bookstore to buy books. I go there for high-speed internet, a triple pump latte and a fresh crumb cake. Tech crunch author John Biggs paints a fairly honest picture in his article on the Future of Books: A Dystopian Timline. By 2025, all publishing will exist digitally. After seeing what Apple is doing, I am in the mindset that it will happen much sooner. Print is really dead.
“Rather than the first steps of a funeral cortege, the death of Borders is really just the first little dip on a wildly careening roller coaster ride for the people who write, publish, buy and sell books. It’s going to shake us up, down and sideways, industry figures say, and some people may get thrown from their cars. But one group is sure to be happy at the end: readers.”
– Glenn Garvin, McClatchy Newspapers
What gets me really stoked is that the benefit to all of this is the me, the consumer. There are so many great things being created out there and yet I am unable to access it because I either don’t have the time to sift through cumbersome non-digital channels or because it was too costly for content creators to cut a distribution deal. Digital publishing (iTunes Store for example) breaks down barriers in getting good content to market. Authors don’t have to distribute their work through a publisher. Publishers can take more risks with new materials and can quickly and easily update and fix errors for little to no cost – as compared the current process which requires a re-print or an abridged edition.
So what does all this mean for a Digital Agency like Untold? As strategists, we help clients evolve their businesses into the digital age. We are also content creators. Both book and textbook formats allow us to create new, mobile, touch-centric ways in which audiences can engage in Brand materials. In simple terms, call is an iPad optimized powerpoint presentation, with some tricked out interactive widgets built in. It can be used by B2B clients for sales support, product information, and lead generation. Dynamic eBooks can be distributed to employees providing interactive video training (eLearning), quizzes, polls, news, and collaboration and social tools. Just in the past two weeks, Untold has already begun creating consumer-centered eBooks for Brands as a replacement to current product and service brochure content. At tradeshows, we are starting to turn the iPad into a touch kiosk, leveraging the eBook format as a digital installation.
I am personally excited to see what’s the next evolution of iBooks Author. Even though it is no more than a re-tooled Keynote application, the first go of the tool is promising. I am also curious to see the response from Adobe and Microsoft and would not be shocked to see their own eBook authoring tools come to market in the coming months.
- Apple iBooks
- Phenomenal Rise of eBooks
- The Future of Books
- Rise of eBooks
- Invitation to a Dialogue: The Future of Books
- Dashcode Library