Tuesday, May 6, 2014

ebooks v. pbooks, again

I've previously written about what's great and what's not so great about ebooks. 

For the past few years I've bought both ebooks and pbooks during the same week. I can't tell you how I decided on the format in each case. Immediate availability and lower cost are certainly factors that favor e. Also, with about 4,000 pbooks in my home, I am running out of shelf space. E-space is limitless.

I really enjoy the convenience of ebooks. I am currently having a great time reading 
The Brothers Emanuel on three PCs, my Kindle Fire, my iPad and my phone. I hate the silly hyphenation and gaps between words, but love that Jeff Bezos keeps track of my reading progress and "opens" the ebook to the right page no matter which device I use to read it with.

As a publisher I was late to embrace e, but I came to love the use of hyperlinks, color without cost, low selling price with high profit, and ease of updating.

In the past, most publishers produced ebooks after the pbook editions, similar to what had been done with paperbacks following hardcovers. As ebooks became more acceptable -- and more expected -- the trend has been to simultaneously publish p and e.

I just published the ebook edition of 
Anthology of Third-Wirld Email Scams: Learn from the best and worst!  (If you're interested and want a 'more perfect' book, wait until tomorrow when I've made a few corrections.) 

(above) I was puzzled, amused and slightly excited that within a few hours the book cracked the Top 100 in Amazon's "Internet & Web Culture: Hacking" category. (That may mean I sold one book.)

Last night I started reformatting my text for the pbook edition and I was immediately pissed off. Sure, it was nice to be able to dictate the size and position of photographs, and the loss of hyperlinks was no big deal, but what really bothered me was the loss of color text for emphasis and contrast, and graphics. 

After formatting and reading colorful e-pages, monochromatic pages look absolutely ghostly to me. Sadly, color printing is very expensive and not practical for most books. We live in a colorful world, and it's good to publish colorful books, too. 

1 comment:

  1. Interesting point. Even an all-text book can be enhanced with bits of color.