Digital Book World and it’s blog whose mission is to “[focus] on publishing strategies, not tools; solutions, not theories; practicality, not punditry” spotlights Liza Daly’s presentation (Ms. Daly is an experienced software engineer and consultant for digital publishing). Her presentation at the 2010 Digital Book World Conference talked about essentially, ebook quality control. Timely topic since major publishers are pushing for higher ebook prices.
Ms. Daly’s presentation reflects exactly how I feel about the state of ebooks today. For starters, she discusses “front matter” or extraneous info that readers typically run across in ebooks. Do I care to thumb through the acknowledgments page, the copyright page and several more blank pages before I start reading? No.
Lack of covers – most annoying. But the argument always circles back to well, you’re not even reading on a device that sports color anyway so what’s the big deal. It’s a big deal. In color or not, I would like to look at the original cover versus looking at a mock-up with book title, author name and publisher name. Its an eye-sore and it looks tacky. Besides, Stanza and eReader apps for iPhone sports color covers.
Right now I am reading an secure ePub title that has numbers in the margins. It’s not entirely bothersome but I do notice it and why is it even there? Ms. Daly also touches on the lack of conversation quality control and editorial errors. This is another big area. In many instances while reading Stieg Larsson’s ebooks, I’ve run across needless errors. It’s jarring when you have to figure stuff like this out: “aretired” when it’s actually this –> “a retired…” for example.
But from what I’ve read online (and correct me if I’m wrong), publishers aren’t really caring about the money they make from ebooks anyway since the high prices are set to be prohibitive. We are told repeatedly that the big six make their money from hardcovers. So will any of this sink in? Make a difference?
Anyway, I highly recommend reading Digital Book World as it has interesting information for readers or ebook readers. It is a most informative blog thus far, that keeps its pulse on the trends and changes and nuances of digital publishing today.