Ex-books and eBooks

Two rambling thoughts this morning about ebooks.

Mmm… an aside, before I’ve even started: How should I capitalise or hyphenate e-book? Quentin’s Law of Technological Pervasiveness says that a (non-proprietary) technology has been truly successful when it’s no longer capitalised. There are those who insist that ‘internet’ should still be ‘Internet’ but I don’t tend to bother, any more than I would talk about the Electricity Grid… now, where were we? Ah yes…

  1. Unlike their predecessors, e-books have no real reason to go out of print. This is encouraging if you’re an author who has poured years of your life into a work and can now take comfort in the idea that it will always be accessible, even if only a few continue to read it.
  2. Many publishers have made downloadable versions of their books freely available, confident in the knowledge that most people, if they like more than a chapter or so, will splash out for the paper version because it’s so much nicer than reading on screen. Will the advent of the iPad and similar, really rather nice, portable PDF viewers put an end to this practice?

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