Monday, August 30, 2010

David Pogue & the Mystery of The EBook Wars

We've been talking e-books for years and now we're performing contortionist tricks to put our books into all the various sorts of platforms (formats). The Kindle. Sony. Nook. This. That. The Other. For novels and books of non-fiction (without graphs and illustrations), it's not hard. We generate a PDF file and email it off to CONSTELLATION. (Constellation is an element of the Perseus Sales and Distribution network. PSD owns Consortium Book Sales and Distribution, our trade distributor. It's complicated. It didn't start out this way.) Anyway, Constellation formats the file into the various platforms for the different readers, downloads them to the various sites, and, ZAP, we're good to go. But, as you know, we also do illustrated books and bilingual books. Not so easy. We have some clients who do the illustrated books quite well, and in a later blog we'll list them. But Joe Hayes bilingual collections of stories--not so easy.Take for instance, Joe's best selling collection of stories in a bilingual format: The Day It Snowed Tortillas / El día que nevó tortillas. Hopefully, you know the book. It's formatted on the page so that the English and Spanish texts are close at hand--opposite pages, following--which doesn't work on an e-book reader. Well, it doesn't work gracefully. So the folks at Constellation and the various e-book companies are unsure how they want to receive this. We've about decided to cut and paste the complete Spanish test of a story after the complete English text of the story. But what do we do with a book like Joe's Bluebonnet Winner, Ghost Sickness / Mal de la Fantasma? It's a novella, so right now we're thinking about placing the complete Spanish text of the book after the complete English text. But either way, it won't be as user friendly as our books.

We certainly would like our readers input about e-books. Do you own one? Do you want one? We don't even have one ourselves yet. We're thinking about buying an IPAD. But our friend Ben Saenz bought an IPAD. He'd had it for about a month and still hadn't downloaded a book yet. Ha! He's busy watching movies and listening to songs and playing. And the selection of books for IPAD is not nearly as big as Kindle. The reason is Apple is still negotiating contracts with publishers. Right now Constellation/PSD is in negotiations, so no CPP books are available yet on IPAD. So now I don't know what we're going to buy.

I wanted David Pogue to help me. His video is fun. But we still don't know what to buy!

1 comment:

Amy said...

It seems to me that those whose dayjobs cause screen fatigue are best off with e-ink. If your eyes are still fresh at the end of the day, then you can appreciate the iPad. Since Cinco Puntos books are so beautiful, I'll hope to read them in physical form for some time to come.