Guest Author - Kathryn K Free
My company was asked about several national park APP’s this past week. While reviewing them I realized that they were just eBooks with the eBook reader included in the APP. This was a new concept to me. APP’s are for smartphones, not eBook readers ~ right? That was true before the iPad hit the market!
According to TechCrunch, the iPad is a much better buy than the Kindle. His rational was that you could do more with the iPad than just read books. He’s right. You can download APP’s to your iPad just like you can your phone.
This has made me, once again, question about the future of how we read books. For me, reading has changed since eBook readers came on the market. eBook readers gave me the ability to carry a large number of books as I travel while purchasing only the ones I want to display on my bookshelves.
Since reviewing eBook APP’s I contemplated using my smartphone for eBooks. I downloaded 10 eBook APP’s and found them extremely user friendly. The eBook APP’s have all the features found in an eBook reader. The font is formatted to a readable size font and is formatted without having to do anything! Many eBook APP’s are free. I downloaded all of the Harry Potter books and Twilight Saga and paid nothing.
As authors and publishers begin to wrestle through the web of their ever changing industry readers are enjoying all the diversity of the different mediums to choose from. Once I began thinking about books as an APP I began to see many more possibilities for the books. An eBook APP can become interactive and draw the reader into the story in creative ways, whereas and eBook is just an eBook. An eBook APP has a host of many different expressions, especially when you consider what the iPad can do.
Questions that arise when you think about an eBook APP.
** Questions like, which books would I like to have accessible at all times? Those books I would want on my cell phone, so eBook APP’s do have a place.
** Questions like, where would I like to keep my eBook library? I would want to keep them in my eBook Reader but since the iPad is both, I can keep my library in multiple places now.
** Questions like, what books do I want to put on display in my home? I would want to purchase hard back copies for display. This will not change.
eBook readers and PDA’s have changed the literary world. However, unlike the music industry where a song is a song, the written word can be translated into hard cover, soft cover, audio book, eBook and now eBook APP’s. The literary industry is expanding, not shrinking. The challenges facing publishers today are vast. There are different mediums to choose from, different pricing matrixes to be decided and new marketing schemes to be designed.
Over at TechCrunch I read that one author believes the books defining this generation will be impossible to print. I do not agree with this statement. Books will always begin with the printed word. Even if one added a gaming or interactive element to a published book it still began with the written word. Books from this generation expand the possibilities for the written word to be expressed in varying degrees.