Vook: iBooks Author has limited appeal for writers, readers

Following Apple’s unveiling of e-book publishing platform iBooks Author Thursday, I reached out to Vook, the startup founded in 2009 by Brad Inman that provides a top-to-bottom publishing experience using a Software-as-a-Service model. Vook sees both flattery and opportunity in Apple’s e-book software.

Do we want textbooks to live in Apple’s walled garden?

Apple’s new textbook offering and book-authoring software are attractive, and the idea of digital textbooks makes sense, but they are both locked to Apple’s walled-garden ecosystem. That may be fine for music and movies and games like Angry Birds, but is it appropriate for educational material?

Bluefire Reader: An iOS E-reader With Adobe DRM Support

I’ve really been enjoying reading books using e-book readers. But while many e-readers are good at what they do, they are either tied to a specific vendor, or don’t support Adobe’s widely-used DRM. For reading such books, the free Bluefire Reader for iOS is now available.

Apple Upgrades iWork, Gives ePub Format a Boost

Soon, folks who are interested in publishing their content in the ePub format — an open eBook standard — might just develop a taste for the iWork suite, which, using today’s update, makes it simple to export documents in the ePub format.

Will ePubs Replace Your Library?

The idea of reading on mobile devices is not new. Devices like the Amazon Kindle and the Sony eReader have been around for a while, but with the buzz surrounding iBooks sparking more interest, are digital books worth it?

The iPad and e-Books: A Missed Opportunity

Before the iPad announcement pundits, including myself, were frothing at the mouth over what an Apple tablet device might mean for the e-book industry. There were strong expectations that the iPad would revolutionize e-books. A week after the announcement, I have to admit that my expectations were not met.

It’s not that the iPad isn’t an e-book device, it is. Nor is it that it’s a particularly bad e-book device, everything from the new iBookstore to the book interface on the device look very nice and is probably superficially better than the other options out there. What it’s not, however, is revolutionary in the way that I hoped it would be.

It makes sense for Apple to get into the e-book game with the iPad, it’s an obvious use case for the device. But what I was hoping for from the iPad was a new format of e-books that would be a game-changer in how we consume text. The use of the EPUB format, however, shows that Apple is not yet ready to make that move. Although I applaud the use of an open standard like EPUB, the reality is that EPUB’s interactive features are very limited right now, basically limited to simple images and videos. I was hoping for more advanced features. Read More about The iPad and e-Books: A Missed Opportunity

With Sony’s ePub Move, Adobe Wins

smallreaderSony’s announcement today that it’s throwing open the doors of its e-book store and reading devices to the ePub standard is certainly good news for consumers. ePub — and open standard developed by the International Digital Publishing Form — is already supported by a growing number of major publishers and a growing number of reading devices. With Sony on board, consumers will have greater flexibility over how they buy and read e-books.
The move is also clearly a bid by Sony to establish itself as the No. 2 in the e-book market behind Amazon’s Kindle before the Barnes & Noble/Plastic Logic alliance comes fully online next year. But the big winner in today’s announcement is Adobe Systems (s ADBE). Read More about With Sony’s ePub Move, Adobe Wins