Game Marketing Tips, Analysis, and News

Monday, April 26, 2010

Fixing E-Book Readers

This is a great post on what's wrong with current e-book readers and how to fix them. We're still in the early days of the e-book business, despite the fact that e-books have been available for over decade. (I was the first, as far as I know, to sell e-books in retail stores... on floppy disks... in Acrobat 1.0. Ah, the good old days.) The iPad offers many possibilities for interesting books; check out the features of Alice in Wonderland, where you can interact with the illustrations in various ways. But there's still lot that can be done, and part of it will come from the tools available on the various platforms.

I'd like to see easy ways to annotate the books... it'd be nice to have a stylus to scribble notes in the virtual margins. Easy font and formatting changes are helpful, and we're already beginning to see those. But the area that's still really lagging is in marketing tools.

One of the things that helps the book industry is the ability to autograph a book. An autographed book instantly becomes more valuable, and a treasured possession. The prospect of getting books autographed drives people to bookstores where an author is speaking, and helps create more buzz about an author and the book. Sadly, this is all lost with an e-book. Can we get a technological fix, please? Some way for an author to attach a digital file, customizable, to an e-book?

Another marketing tool is the pass-along... when you lend a book to a friend. The Nook is trying that, albeit in a limited fashion. Let's see some more experiments along this line, too. How about letting someone resell their e-book to a friend? Maybe they could recoup some of their investment in the e-book price... though you have to figure out some reason why they don't just give away the digital file. (But the chance to earn some money from it might slow that down...)

So let's see some marketing features added, along with other features. Hello, Amazon? Better make that next Kindle pretty darn cool...

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