Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Tech Tip Tuesday: Read a book, anywhere you want!

Something happened last year.  It was a tipping point.  For years there have been eBooks.  All kinds and varieties of eBooks.  An eBook is a digital version of a regular paper and ink book.  An eBook is the literary equivalent of an MP3 Audio file.  There have been two troubles with eBooks in the past.  First of all multiple players have been involved in creating different formats.  Microsoft, Adobe, and independent groups have all created text formats for reading.  It would seem simple to convert text to text, but it hasn't been the text that is a problem, but rather how do you navigate through the text in a way that feels as intuitive and simple as reading a book.  This vast variety of formats and software to read the formats has created the second problem. The second problem has been distribution.  Because there are a variety of formats there have also been a variety of stores.  Different online stores have sold or distributed these eBooks.

The tipping point?  Amazon's Kindle.  By creating not only a format that was useful but also a distribution mechanism that was simple and easy and importantly: vast, eBooks became viable. I have been an eBook reader for years, but I am probably the exception and I have used several different formats and softwares for reading eBooks.  But now, that there is a distribution portal for the books eBooks became truly mainstream. But of course as soon as somebody starts making some serious money, somebody else is going to compete.  There are now several different eBook reader devices but importantly there are several distribution sources.  Barnes and Noble launched their Nook reader just in time for Christmas, Borders bookstore has formed a relationship with Sony and markets books for Sony's Reader.

But the best of all of this in my mind, I don't have to buy their readers at all.  When Barnes and Noble launched their Nook, they also made Reader Software available for the iPod Touch/iPhone, for the Mac, for Windows, and for the Blackberry.  Amazon, not to be outdone also has an application for the iPod Touch/iPhone, for Windows, and are working on versions for the Mac and Blackberry.  The Sony Reader uses a format that also has software available for other devices.

An important element of all these new distribution outlets is that they usually offer free books for older books that are in the public domain.

So what are you waiting for?  Read a book!

No comments:

Welcome to Jorgie Learning

I really am learning and this blog is maintained both as a record of some of what I am doing as well as a place for me to train and teach others about creating an online presence. So please don't mind the dust. We aren't remodeling we are learning!

Visit some of my other blogs or the other blogs I find mildly entertaining for a more polished feel.