The posts in this weblog are provided “AS IS” with no warranties, and confer no rights. The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent those of my employer. Comments may be removed at my discretion.

    © 2005 by Naba Barkakati


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« Diet—Leha's Chicken Salad with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Walnuts | Main | My Tech Ebook Wish—An Example »

May 31, 2005


Joe Wikert

All valid points, Naba. Are you (or anyone else reading your blog) aware of a good couple of e-book examples where the content was designed for an online deliver platform, not simply a port of a printed product? I still worry that the port from print to e-book is one of the things holding things back on this. It's so easy to create a PDF from printer files and then wonder why nobody wants to pay for it. You talk about simple animation and how it can be incorporated into an e-book. I think we need to consider the platform from the start and create a rich, layered product where cross-links are liberally used, both to other parts of the book and online resources outside the book. I also think that mini-pop-up windows would be useful. I can't tell you how many times I read something, wanted to know just a bit more, but didn't want to flip to an index, for example. Why not have those short definitions, descriptions or cross-links pop up when you hover over them and disappear when you move away? Those are just some simple ways I think we need to distinguish an e-book from a print book. I'm sure there are plenty of additional items that could be added to this list.

Naba Barkakati

Joe, I have to admit that the ebooks I have seen so far seem to be just PDF files of the print version except for some embedded links. I haven't even seen one with simple animation of a screenshot, let alone more advanced design of the kind you describe. I agree that we need more complex design than a PDF with embedded animations, but I don't know what format would work best. There is also the matter of gradual migration to the new ebooks - - I mean if you wanted to put some ebook titles on market tomorrow, you'd have to settle for PDF or something similar (although I'd still try to add the extra oomph of some animated steps). That approach might still get some sales (especially if the price is way lower than a print book) provided the subject of the ebook is something that a buyer needs.


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