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.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Predictions for the future of digital books

The Huffington Post has a very interesting article from literary agent, Nathan Bransford, about the future of digital books. Bransford says he refuses to believe the e-book skeptics and predicts that e-books will only get better. Here are some highlights from Nathan Bransford’s, predictions:

  • The e-book reading experience is only going to improve – “Sure - not everyone loves the current grayscale Kindles and tiny iPhone reading experience, particularly for books that are illustrated or are beautifully designed. But better devices are coming and it's going to open up a new era of book design of unlimited possibility.”
  • E-readers and e-books are only going to get cheaper. – “It's soon going to be possible to buy e-books cheaply on an affordable e-reader device, and they're going to be more colorful and interactive than most of their print counterparts.”
  • Finding the books you want to read will only get easier. – “Humans are really, really good at organizing things. If we can organize the billions and billions of web pages out there so that we can find what we want within a few seconds I think we can manage a few million books.”
  • People are ignoring the digital trend. – “Everything that can be digitized is being digitized because it's cheaper and easier to send pixels around the world than physical objects. First it was music, then newspapers, then movies. Books are next in line.”
  • Habits change – “Right now the benefits of e-books are a little murky except for early adopters and those that can afford the devices. But that's just right now. Pretty soon they’re going to be better (color! design! portable! interactivity! instantaneous!) and cheaper. Readers won't pay a premium for an inferior print product out of habit and nostalgia in great numbers.”

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