Archive for the tag 'ereaders'

A Note on eBook Design

For some books, design is important. It’s less significant for most, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t matter, as good design can make reading easier. Design has long been a feature differentiating publishers, all of whom use it to add value for readers. Basically all paper books show the impact of a designer; not just the cover and illustrations, but typeface, margins, chapter headings, page headings/footers, and even paragraph orphans are items within design purview. None of these things make it into your typical ebook. Partly it’s that the delivery devices are mostly concerned with presenting text. Partly it’s that most of the current generation of ebooks began as scans, rather than electronic documents. And partly it’s a failure on everyone’s part to take this seriously.

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Sony’s Reader

I’ve been saying for two years that my Sony Reader’s an excellent ebook reader, but that the store’s broken. They seem to have finally noticed the problem, and this morning they’re offering a new version of the PC/Mac software required to access the store on older Readers. I’ve already discovered a couple quirks, but it’s clearly better.

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Selling e-Books

I see lots of points of failure. Baen’s Webscriptions site moves the Selection step to the purchase point, and makes the UnZIP step voluntary. That’s a bit better, but both stores, to my mind, assume too much technical literacy on the part of their customers. Obviously that’s what Amazon’s Whispernet is intended to address.

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Wish List

Both the Kindle and Sony eBook stores have serious deficiencies. The selection is just plain unsatisfactory if you’re serious about books. But Sony seems to be completely missing the point. Good thing I didn’t expect to make much use of their store. I’ll mostly be finding my reading material elsewhere.

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