Bookbuilders of Boston is a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing together people involved in book publishing and manufacturing throughout New England. Our blog describes industry events that we sponsor or attend.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

March 22 Forum Continued: E-Problems

[This is a guest post by Victor Curran of Precision Graphics. The subject is the first presentation at Bookbuilders' March 22 Forum, "E-Problems: Old files, E-books, Ideas and Limitations" at Emerson College. Please see Jamie Carter's post below for the second and third presentations.]

Karen Greenleaf, head of Business Development at VPG Integrated Media, spoke about digital content in the K-12 and higher education markets (VPG's clientele is about 60% K-12 and 30% higher ed). She pointed out the resistance of college students to ebooks, because the ebook versions of college texts cost about as much as used copies of printed texts, and because their professors often require them to buy a license to a learning management system which includes the ebook content anyway.

VPG recommends a browser-based ebook model using Flash and HTML. This allows content to be optimized for whatever device the student chooses to view it on (laptop, e-reader, smartphone, tablet).

She pointed out the limitations of a mobile app to deliver educational content, but conceded its appeal to the market, saying "It's limited, but boy, it sure is slick!"

She gave the audience its biggest laugh of the evening by showing "The Electronic Publishing Bingo Card," the creation of author/critic/blogger John Scalzi, in which he lampoons the many wrongheaded ideas that publishers (and others) have about ebooks.

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