Saturday was BAIPA's annual Get Published Institute, held in San Rafael, CA, at the Domincan College. It was a day for new and small publishers to learn from the pros.
The first key note presentation was by Danny O. Snow. It was entitled "The e-Book Bandwagon: Myths, Realities, and News You can Use." Snow was kind enough to post a summary of his presentation on his website. It's available here.
Here are some of the highlights of his presentation:
E-Books vs. Tree-Books
Snow discussed the difference between e-Books and Tree-books. Tree-books have been around for thousands of years. They reflect light. In comparison, e-books emit light. Humans are physically conditioned to read things that reflect light. Thus one of the major hurdles faced by producers of portable reading devices.
The future of e-Books: the Smartphone
According to Snow, there are approximately 5 million Kindles in the hands of consumers. In comparison, there are about 50 million Smartphones in the hands of consumers. With such a vast amount of Smartphone in use--with their popularity growing every day--Snow maintains the future of e-books lies in Smartphones. According to Snow, 5 of the 10 best sellers in Japan last year were "cell phone novels" -- books that were produced and distributed through cell phones. Snow also pointed out that the easy portability associated with Smartphones will likely play a large roll in making them the e-book readers of choice; they are much easier to carry around than a Kindle, or other digital reading device.
The Future of Digital Right's Management
One of the most difficult aspects of e-books is DRM (Digital Rights Management). Snow talked about how easy it is to download a Word.doc or PDF and email it to hundreds of friends. And how easy it is for those friends to pass the file onto their friends. Thus one of the inherent weaknesses of e-books. Snow then discussed how difficult it is to email applications (like the acutal Microsoft Word program)to friends. He maintains the best way to protect e-books from piracy is to sell the e-book as an application, not a file. AppsPublisher is a new site that will convert your e-book directly into a application and make it available for sale directly through the I-phone Store.
These are just a few of the highlights of Snow's presentation. Visit his website for the complete presentation summary.