I’m indebted to TouTube user cresshead for making a movie about my new kindle book, Craig M’nure. He shows it on and a colour android tablet and kindle as well. He seems impressed with the way it’s come out and so am I. I think I may have to do more for kindle even if it’s going to take quite a lot more organisation. Watch this space.
Adobe CS5 is being unveiled on Monday. This may not excite you, but it excites a many people, including me. I’ve seen a sneak preview of just one of photoshop’s new gimmicks and it quite took my breath away.
The iPad is out and will be soon in the UK. Apparently 250,000 ebooks were downloaded in the first few hours of the ibookstore being open! Okay, they were probably all free titles, but it’s starts the habit of reading off page. I’m hearing reports that the iPad doesn’t quite live up to everyone’s dreams and there is still the problem of Flash, which Apple won’t allow on the iphone or ipad. This is because it would destroy their appstore, and all the revenue from it, overnight. Flash is part of the Adobe CS5 suite that allows rich content to be streamed across the internet and be viewed in exactly the same way on any screen or system in the world. I hear that there will be an export to ipad app button on FlashCS5, which will be amazing, as all the work I’ve done on Flash over the years can be turned into iPad apps in a trice.
But an interesting article on tell apple you want flash on your ipad, makes me think that the ipad only has a one or two year window to make money out of apps before google Android/ChromePads take over and all that content gets given away for free.
Tom Forenski worte a great article called, The web devalues everything it touches, in which he explains that the internet digitises anything that can be digitised, then increases delivery and quality tenfold while reducing costs by a tenth. We see this dramatically in what has happened to newspapers in the last few years.
So where is publishing going? And how will authors get paid?
Well, for one thing, I don’t think there is as much kudos in being a published ebook author as one who has had a real book published. A lot of being an author is holding that book in your hands and saying, “I did this.” Just being another name on a list on a screen full of similar names will not inspire authorship so much. So maybe the market won’t be quite as crowded – Hmmm… maybe I’m just fooling myself there!
I think the older, book reading generation, will still like books, but they will slowly be seduced by the price and increasing quality of the e-substitutes. Books will become luxury items – beautifully designed and printed at a premium price – collector’s items. Kids don’t care what they read on. They have no loyalties and no tradition to follow. They’ll accept what’s put in front of them and they’ll want what they are told is great by the advertising industry.
The secret is to tie books to proprietory systems like ipad or kindle, but once digitised, they will very soon escape the cage and find their way onto the net and be available for free. Followers will pay the price to support their favourite author, the way they do on itunes today. This may support best sellers. The rest will have to go on tour and sell tickets and tee shirts to make a living , like musicians have to do now. Or else there will be huge subscription libraries like Spotify is for music now – authors being paid by a pence per loan system.
So what do I do in the meantime? Leap into Flash CS5 and start producing eBooks – yet again? At least there is the possibility of earning something on The Itunes App store. I just don’t know. but I do know that the feeling of being on the knife edge is very real for me. We are at the tipping for the publishing industry. Every thing is in place as it was for the music industry at the start of the millennium. The launch of the iPad and CS5 are huge weights added to the electronic side of the scales.
Something will happen. If the demand for new, quality content is there, then a way will be found to pay the authors and editors and designers, but it’s going to be a bumpy ride! If not – look forward to a future of badly written, badly produced, un-edited, ill-thought, inconsequential pap.
The internet – the greatest learning tool that man has ever created could be the thing that turns mankind really stupid.