eBooks and the Nature of Ownership

Microsoft closed its eBook store several weeks ago. People lost their books, but at least the company refunded them. Because of this, Michael Kozlowski of Good e-Reader says people are experiencing a “crisis of confidence” in eBooks.

I believe that ebooks are suffering from a crisis of confidence.  It is beginning to be quite difficult to trust a retailer to not disappear overnight with your ebooks, no matter how big they are…A recent study published in the journal Electronic Markets found that the vast majority of  people felt a constricted sense of ownership of ebooks versus physical books, based on the fact that they don’t have full control over the products.

He also mentions how a lot companies use DRM on eBooks, which factors into the “You license, not own, your eBooks” argument. I’d like to point out that Apple Books doesn’t apply DRM to most if not all of its books. I can take books I buy on there and move it to another service if I want, which makes me feel as if I truly own them.

A Paper Book is Better Than an eBook for Kids

It’s just one study, but it feels right.

Researchers find that toddlers verbalize and interact more with their parents when reading sessions feature print books, not tablets.

I think many of us suspected that the tactile feel of a paper book stimulates a child better than a digital display. Here’s some evidence that it’s true. (Image credit: BigThink.)

TMO Background Mode Interview with Take Control Books Publisher Joe Kissell

Joe Kissell is a writer and author with over 60 technical books to his credit. He’s a contributing editor with Tidbits, and recently became the owner and publisher of the Take Control series of eBooks. Early in his career, Joe had a strong interest in language and holds a Master’s degree in Linguistics. Along the way, however, he also got very technical with computers, and that landed him a job as a product manager with Nisus. Subsequently, Joe was a software developer for Kensington. In 2017, he accepted an offer from Adam Engst to acquire Take Control Books. Joe and his wife run that business—currently using a brand new iMac Pro. When not editing, Joe pursues T’ai Chi, cooking, walking and travel. Joe tells his career story, chock full of technical serendipity, with awesome charm.

The Secret History of the iPhone Isn't So Secret Anymore

The highly anticipated and controversial new book about the development of the iPhone, The One Device: The Secret History of the iPhone, is now available. Initial reviews reveal that the book isn’t the “complete” history of the iPhone that most were expecting, but that it does provide a number of new stories and insights about the inner workings of Apple and the relationships between the company’s executives and its partners during this crucial time in Apple’s history. Early press excerpts from the book caused some controversy, and its release was timed perfectly with last night’s interview with ex-iOS chief Scott Forstall. Check it out now at Amazon, or download the Kindle or iBooks versions to start reading right away.

Apple Doesn't Love iBooks and Samsung Schadenfreude - ACM 397

Evidence suggests Apple stopped loving iBooks. Bryan and Jeff go over that evidence and discuss why Apple should rekindle that love and make iBooks great again. They also take a few minutes to experience some schadenfreude over Samsung’s battery factory fire, and argue that a loss of market share demonstrates Samsung’s lack of software relevance.

Interactive eBook Standard Could Take on Web Qualities with W3C Merger

Today the World Wide Web Consortium and the International Digital Publishing Forum have completed a merger. The new initiative, called [email protected], will use web technologies to improve publishing, authoring and reading of interactive eBooks. The goal is to make an eBook a self-contained ecosystem with rich interactions using dynamic documents, search, and multimedia. The self-contained part means that the web elements can work even if you’re offline, without needing an always-on connection. Work is underway on APIs and packaging formats to enable these eBooks to act more like apps or web pages. The move could dramatically overhaul the ebook market, which is currently dominated by Amazon, with Apple’s iBooks as a distant second. It remains to be seen how having the W3C’s weight behind an ebook standard could affect the market, but it could give authors, publishers (including independent authors), and readers more options. It could also have a big impact on the textbook industry.