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Welcome to The CITE -- a blog on Course materials, Innovation, and Technology in Education, created by Mark Nelson and now part of the Publications Department of the National Association of College Stores. CITE is a pun with multiple meanings - referring to cite as in citation, something people reference; site as in location, website, or place people go to; and sight as in foresight or looking ahead to what is coming. Comments, discussion, feedback and ideas are welcome.



Tuesday, June 22, 2010

What books can become

A recent article on Forbes challenges publishers to learn from Film and Music and to “re-imagine what books can become.” The article cites publishers’ lack of willingness to fully embrace e-Books, going on to provide potential ideas that publishers could instead pursue that compliment the nature of e-Books without bringing an end to their paper counterparts.

Publishers can add more value to paper books by combining the purchase of the physical copy with a complimentary e-Book. This could be a digital copy of the hard-copy book, or other works could be promoted by adding an excerpt or full copy to the purchased book.

Another suggestion is to utilize the capabilities and versatilities of the e-Reader platform and software. Examples include adding author commentary, background information, images, videos, and embedded content that the reader may enjoy. The act of reading could easily be transitioned into something more interactive and even social, where users could communicate and interact with other individuals reading through the same book, creating networks and a system of casual book clubs.

“Instead of trying to understand eBooks within the space of the old paper-and-binding universe, we should examine the media that survived the first wave of the distribution revolution: movies and music.”

The author challenges publishers to “unite our old ideas of reading alone in quiet rooms with the vast potential created by new technology.”

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