Where is the excitement in ebooks?
I stumbled on a website today that creates online magazines, and it immediately made me think about how dull and boring ebooks are. With all the technology available today, ebooks have only progressed as far as being a poor copy of what a book is – black text on a pseudo page.
When I was a kid, I loved pop-up books. Such a pity for children nowadays that ebooks haven’t even progressed that far yet.
The site I visited, Pubhtml5, and its magazine creation platform is not perfect by any means. A distracting typo on the front page of the website made for a very clumsy start to my tour. ‘Create Eye-Catching Publicstions has Never Been that Easy.’
However, when I opened a sample magazine I was quite impressed and thought I glimpsed the future of ebooks.
Not only by the layout and what could be included, such as images, colour, text formatting and even advertising, but also by the fact that it almost felt natural turning the pages.
The best feature though was that this format works on almost all devices without the need for any special software or app.
While this platform is aimed at magazines, I could imagine this type of technology being put to use with ebooks to liven them up with images and creative layouts. And these colourful ebooks could then be read on any device.
Therein lies the problem, though, as almost all ebook retailers are selling protected ebooks that will only work on their respective devices or apps.
They certainly won’t want to move to an open cross-device platform that would threaten their hold over who can legally ‘rent’ their ebooks, and who also need to buy a special device to read them.
Oh well, I guess I’ll have to wait some time yet before ebooks get anywhere near being as much fun as my pop up books were fifty years ago.
So much for progress, but one can hope for a better future for ebooks.