Re: E-books and traditional books

Subject: Re: E-books and traditional books
From: "Mark Baker" <mbaker -at- omnimark -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 7 Jan 2000 16:14:23 -0500

I think the e-book craze will be short lived. Paper is a great presentation
medium for linear information. There is no reason to abondon it.

Paper is a lousy distribution medium, however. Electronic distribution is
obviously so preferable that we will, in the short term, sacrifice a lot of
presentation values for the sake of improved distribution.

But I think this will be short lived. I read recently that Barnes and Nobel
is introducing a concept I have been talking about for a long time (pause to
scratch my head about why I'm still not a millionaire -- sigh!). They are
introducing print on demand bookstores. You walk in and request a book for a
vast on-line collection. They press a button and a printed and bound book
pops out of a machine. This, not e-books, is the way of the future.

If anyone doubts, ask yourself what you do when you want to read something
long that you found on the web. Right -- you press the print button.

For full interactivity, which will become increasingly important, you need a
real computer. For reception and consumption of linear material, electronic
distribution combined with paper presentation is the right combination.
e-books are a stopgap until the infrastrucure is in place to do it properly.

Mark Baker
Senior Technical Communicator
OmniMark Technologies Corporation
1400 Blair Place
Ottawa, Ontario
Canada, K1J 9B8
Phone: 613-745-4242
Fax: 613-745-5560
Email mbaker -at- omnimark -dot- com

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