Openness is a big part of the discussion behind books in HTML5. Not openness in terms of 'free' books, but openness as books being free from the referenceability prisons of eReaders. Which is not to say that applications like Kindle or iBooks shouldn't exist, or that the only way to do books is in HTML. But, one might go so far as to say that having a strong HTML based, publicly referable edition of a book is the cornerstone of a strong digital edition.
Publishing consultant Mike Shatzkin made an interesting observation yesterday in an exchange that he and I had on his IdeaLog blog:
We should long remember that in the Spring and early Summer of 2010, prices of ebooks actually went *up*. I don't think we'll look back five years from now and see that as a frequent occurrence.
He and I agree that rising ebook prices probably won't be "a frequent occurrence" over the next five years. But even though he was basing the comment in part on my data showing that the number of Kindle store bestsellers priced above $10 had grown by over 50 percent in the last few weeks, I have to admit that I am still wondering if it is really true that ebook prices are going up.
You might think there were only console and PC games at E3 2010. Oh, how wrong you are. There were plenty of iPod Touches and iPads (secured to displays, of course) showing games and even a few apps on the exhibition floor. In the same booth as the Disney’s Epic Mickey was a small area with a half dozen iPads running a Disney DigiComics app.
Right now, our models of getting paid and paying for things are both up for grabs in fascinating – and potentially society-changing – ways. As newspapers fail, crucial experiments in how to pay for news – especially investigative reporting – are underway. Ebooks, creative commons licensing, and ever-more legitimate forms of self-publishing are challenging the book publishing industry’s way of doing business.
Dr. Mario Garcia is dapper, elegant—and as blunt as a sword that has been used to hack a tree when it comes to what it will take to change some newsroom attitudes. “We will probably have to wait for many editors to die, some may be younger than me,” he said as he opened a two-day conference on the Power of the Tablet at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies this week. (For the record, Garcia is 63 and the grandfather of 11.)