Posted by Peggy | Posted in Audio Books, Marketing, Non-Traditional Publishing, Production, Self-Publishing, eBooks | Posted on 08-03-2010
When iTunes first started offering eBooks in December of 2008, we all felt a little deflated when we realized that each book was a standalone app – not one book in a huge library. But there’s one publisher who is going to take advantage of that for the iPad: Penguin USA.
One of the major exciting aspects of the soon-to-be-released iPad from Apple is the fact that there’s a fully integrated eBook reader and eBook store built right into the operating system of the device. This is a *huge* breakthrough for Apple, who have been harshly criticized for the handling of eBooks on the iPod platform, and for their failure to comprehensively combine multiple publishers or readers in the ePub format. While the iPad’s bigger screen offers a whole new flood of opportunities for us to create new book types and take full advantage of the multimedia capabilities, it looks like Penguin is the first of the major publishers to have a hard plan to take advantage of that.
Check out this article from CultofMac.com, describing Penguin’s intention to take advantage of what was considered a problem in the iPod world: books as full-blown pieces of web-enabled and interactive software, instead of just text on a screen. This is the full awakening of something I’ve been pressing for a couple of years now: what I call “next-generation eBooks”, that take full advantage of multimedia and interactivity.
I’m thrilled to hear that Penguin, a publisher that I’ve loved since childhood, is at the front-end of this bookly cultural revolution. “The definition of the book itself is up for grabs,” says Penguin CEO John Makinson. With those words, he secured the future of his company, which book lovers have been terrified might be one of those potentially lost in the onslaught of new technology against an industry that seemed to operating with a blindfold against the eBook evolution. If Penguin becomes the trendsetter here, I’m excited by the possibility of what this means not just for large publishing houses, but for small publishers/developers, who can begin to think of themselves as nimble thinkers playing on the same large field. Goodbye, Marginalization, in all its’ ugly forms!