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E-Books and You
AN IMPRINT OF VIBAL FOUNDATION
E-Books and You
ooks have metamorphosed in many ways since the Stone Age. Humans ﬁrst recorded their lives
and day-to-day observations on cave walls, then moved on to stone tablets and papyrus. Afterwards came carved symbols and penned words—monks holed up in monasteries inscribed whole volumes by hand. Some time later, print books were born, and electronic books in various formats. Since their inception, books continually evolved to become more portable and usable. Technology has allowed manuscripts to be published and preserved in more than one format. Gutenberg’s printer changed the way the game was played. Books were mass produced, allowing the repository of human knowledge to expand and be less subject to harm. Numerous copies of books were produced, letting ordinary people gain access to them, instead of just scholars. Acquiring reading skills and attending school became basic needs, instead of luxuries most people couldn’t afford. Even if the rare books found in a library were lost forever should the building burn to the ground, their content would not be lost, because there would be several copies of them somewhere else. While the copies would no longer have the prestige and historical value of a rare ﬁrst edition with marginal notes by a critic, for example, the author’s thoughts would survive to be read again by the next generation. The evolution of the Internet and the invention of smaller computer processors and memory cards have allowed books to once again take another step
forward—they are now available in digital formats, and may be read on computers and hand-held devices. Instead of being spread throughout various libraries, copies of books are now available as ﬁles in memory cards and virtual spaces, in what is also termed the “cloud.” They are sold in online stores, and can be sent
over wireless Internet connections to portable readers and devices. With the many changes in the way books are sold and read, the question remains: What will be the future of the book? Is this—the electronic format—the best way to go?
Before we decide, however, we have to know what an e-book is, how it has redeﬁned reading, and how it has transcended existing publishing methods and changed business models across the globe.
The Next Frontier of Reading
Beam me a book, Scotty!
or centuries, a book has been known as a collection of pages bearing text and images, bound together between wood, cloth or paper covers—an object that one can touch, smell and hold in one’s hands. Yet the form of the book has evolved; today, there are books made without paper, whose pages scroll on a screen. Called electronic books or e-books, these are texts in digital form which can be downloaded from the Internet and read on a computer or a special reading device. Though the book’s physical elements are rendered intangible in this format, an e-book, as a container and transmitter of ideas, remains essentially the same as its print counterpart—with a few marked differences. The e-book has been around for decades in several formats, mainly to preserve existing texts. It was during the heyday of palmtop computers, called personal digital assistants (PDAs), that publishers and technology companies jumped onto the bandwagon, setting up online bookstores and developing new e-book formats for display on desktop computers, PDAs and other handheld devices. However, the technology available during the 1990s and early 2000s made it difﬁcult to read e-books. Computers were too bulky to lug around, and existing device screens strained the eyes. Even dedicated ereaders were hampered by hard-to-read text, volatile storage and short battery lives. Thus, while e-books never died out, they were left in the background as the e-reading device went into decline. It had sporadic revitalizations courtesy of companies like Sony and iRex, but never really took off again until the advent of E Ink technology, and the birth of the Kindle.
Now, more reliable hardware are available to tempt even the most hardened supporters of the print book format. The notion of a few gigabytes’ worth of expandable storage plus a nifty centimeter-thin device serve as primary attractions to buyers. But where would devices be without quality books? Instant and global Unlike traditional books, e-books are very portable. While one can be hampered by storage space or transportation in building a library of printed books, one can carry thousands of e-books in a single device. E-books can also be purchased around the clock from virtually anywhere in the world, without the hassle of waiting lists, long queues, or limited stock. Some e-books are equipped with features such as search engines and hyperlinks to online resources, sparing readers from manually going through indices or references. There are also advantages for writers and publishers. Some works never see print or widespread distribution because of considerations like marketability and shelf space, but digital publishers and bookstores are not subject to these constraints. They have leeway to feature a wider variety of work and cater to niche audiences. Publishers also stand to proﬁt from e-books, since they can produce any number of titles without printing, paper or shipping costs, while only needing to make one copy of each book. Tricky technology Yet while e-book technology provides what conventional books cannot, technology is also the reason why e-books can become difﬁcult to use. E-books come in different formats, each with their own strengths and limitations. Some formats better support text with graphics or tables, while others contain features such as bookmarks and hyperlinks. Readers must select the format best suited to their preferences as well as keep up with ever-evolving technologies. One must also consider which reading device to use. Each has its own unique features and reads different e-book formats. PDF and ePub formats are compatible with different devices, but other formats are tailored for speciﬁc readers. The MOBI format, for example, used to be made for the eBookman device; it is now exclusive to the Amazon Kindle. Also, although e-books are cheaper than printed ones, devices are expensive and subject to software malfunction, diminishing battery life, and physical damage—while a printed book can remain intact for decades.
Key difference For many, the key difference between printed and electronic books is that the latter do not have the aesthetic appeal or sentimental value of the former; the novelty and convenience of e-books can never replace the sensory experience of reading an exquisitely crafted printed book. Yet each format is bound to have its own appeal, and the e-book should not necessarily be viewed as a replacement of the printed book, but as its extension. The form might have evolved, but the purpose has not changed. Whether it conveys the writer’s ideas on paper or onscreen, a book remains a book.
Crossing the Line: E-book Publishing
E-book publishing is far from being a guerilla enterprise, despite the field’s saturation with self- and digital-only publishers. Old guards are also making their mark, with international behemoths churning out digital editions of everything from fiction and nonfiction to manuals and textbooks. Some of the world’s biggest publishers of fiction, nonfiction and children’s books have gone into e-publishing, such as Random House (www. randomhouse.com) and HarperCollins (www. harpercollins.com), which started selling digital editions of their works in 2002. Penguin (www. penguingroup.com) also has e-books of its titles. Science fiction and fantasy publisher Baen, meanwhile, launched an e-book library in the late 1990s, where select books are available for free. The Baen Free Library (www.baen.com) also lets readers get a sneak peek at upcoming books via free chapter samples, which they can then purchase if they so desire. Textbook publishers such as Routledge (www. routledge.com), Pearson (www.pearson.com), and Wiley of “For Dummies” fame (as.wiley.com) have also ventured into e-publishing. The e-format has compelled them to find new ways to make their books more fun and interactive in an attempt to take learning out of the classroom and make it more personal and personalizable. In the Philippines, Vibal Foundation’s Vee Press (www.vibalfoundation.org/books/vee-press), in addition to preserving the country’s cultural heritage by creating e-books of historical documents, also publishes a range of contemporary titles.
-books nowadays, especially those in the standard EPUB format, are being revised in order to allow for centralized annotations, media playback, comments, and other interactive learning tools. With these changes come promises of apps built using the HTML5 standard, the same technology that powers today’s web applications. These experimental revisions haven’t reached the commercial e-book market yet, but would provide a more interactive experience. Despite these improvements, some readers are hesitant to switch to electronic formats. But even before these gadgets were released, desktop and mobile applications already existed for reading and converting e-books. Desktop reading Electronic book-reading started on the desktop, with basic formats like text, word processor ﬁles, and PDFs. Nowadays, popular e-book formats like the MOBI or EPUB formats would require specially-installed software to be read or converted to another format. Calibré One of the most-used applications for reading e-books on the desktop is Calibré. It can be downloaded for free, and serves as an e-book organizer, arranging ebook libraries the way desktop audio players iTunes or Winamp organize music and movie ﬁles. It boasts features like a comprehensive e-book reader, library management, e-book conversion, device syncing, and RSS feed encoding. Calibré is available for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.
Amazon Kindle Applications To read e-books in AZW format, readers can download the Kindle for PC and the Kindle Previewer. The Kindle for PC also allows the purchasing of books via the Kindle Store, and synchronizes purchased books to Kindle devices. The Kindle Previewer emulates the Kindle device screen and allows previewing of MOBI or AZW ﬁles the way they would look in a Kindle. Other e-book readers Stanza and EPUBReader can also parse ePub books. Stanza is a lightweight clone of Calibré, while EPUBReader is an add-on to the Firefox Web Browser. For MOBI, there is the Mobipocket Reader. Initially released for Palm-based devices, its desktop edition can sync MOBI e-books to mobile devices, and also convert HTML, text, or RTF formats to MOBI. Going mobile iPhone Applications Apple recently released its iBooks app for the iPhone, which is a clone of the original iPad iBooks. It allows its users to view e-books in EPUB or PDF formats. It also provides users a graphical interface to connect to the iBookstore, allowing them to buy and rate e-books. Aldiko and FBReader for Android Aldiko pretty much behaves like Apple's iBooks, but connects to the Feedbooks free e-book service instead of the iBookstore. Aldiko only reads EPUBs and can only open ﬁles saved inside the mobile phone's memory.
The Software Side
E-book reading applications
When Books Go Digital
E-readers on the market
Nothing compares with the scent of paper, combined with the subtle aroma of ink. However, physical books don’t last forever. Over time, pages turn yellow, covers are crumpled and pigments fade. But e-book readers are here to save the day, or at least that’s what device manufacturers hope. E-book readers became more than just a passing fancy with the invention of E Ink technology. They became more appealing to readers, because electronic paper screens were easier to read than conventional LCD screens. E Ink relies on electronically charged particles to maintain onscreen images and text, effectively mimicking the look of ink on paper. One question tugging at e-reader buyers, though, is whether to get a reader that does only a single thing such as displaying e-books, but does it really well, or to choose another that can serve a variety of purposes, such as watching videos, not spectacularly, but well enough. E-readers offer a variety of functions backed by different software platforms, but all center around giving users the opportunity to purchase and read hundreds, even thousands, of e-books at a time. Foremost in the reader race are the Amazon Kindle and Apple iPad. The ﬁrst is made by one of the biggest book sellers on the Internet, and the other by one of the most competitive hardware and software developers in the world. One is an excellent e-book reader, and the other is marketed to be able to do almost everything except ﬁx the kitchen sink (and install Adobe Flash in its built-in web browser). The sales of devices are as important as those of the books themselves, because as more devices are sold,
publishers are encouraged to publish more books to cater to clients. Readers thus get a wider variety of material quite literally at their ﬁngertips, depending on the store that their device is exclusively tied to, and the availability of free e-books for download on the internet. Aside from the Kindle and the iPad, other e-readers on the market include the Alex eReader, Barnes & Noble Nook, Entourage Edge, Kobo eReader, the Sony Reader Daily Edition, and the locally-retailed RedFox WizLib and WizPad. While holding their own in the market, they are overshadowed by the Kindle and the iPad, which, aside from being backed by massive (and ingenious) public relations machineries and e-book store collections, are considered by tech experts to feature the most solid operating systems and best overall performance.
The Battle of E-Readers
The Amazon Kindle In 2007, online bookstore Amazon.com decided to launch the Kindle. It managed what Sony had accomplished with its Reader, but also allowing users to do what the Reader couldn’t: connect to the Internet via a wireless connection, and download volumes directly to the device without having to use a computer. It is touted to be the best reader on the market despite being for the most part no-frills, because of its easy-to-use interface and stable performance. It aims to give users the ability to read e-books and not much else, but attempts to do it well. If reviews from magazines such as US-based Laptop is to be believed, it has certainly achieved its goal, having a pageturn rate that outstrips its peers. The best thing about the Kindle and other E Ink display-equipped machines? Its E Ink display looks like paper, allowing it to be read easily under different lighting conditions. Controlled by a keyboard and a set of buttons, the latest Kindle model can access the web via a 3G connection in addition to Wi-Fi, and has a new built-in browser and improved PDF viewer. It’s connected to the Amazon store, and can access several value-added services such as library backup and built-in social media (i.e. Facebook, Twitter) integration. The best things about it, according to Amazon, are its speedy pageturn rate and battery life of up to one month. However, its batteries are not replaceable.
Storage: 4GB internal - approximately 3GB available for user content, with option to expand Supported e-book formats: AZW, TXT, MOBI, PRC (other formats must be converted ﬁrst, or sent to Amazon for conversion) Supported audio formats: AAC, AAX, MP3
The Apple iPad The iPad’s greatest strength is that it, like all Apple products, looks great. It’s so pretty that whatever e-book you load into it ends up looking like the greatest volume ever written. Its library looks like a shelf, its touchscreen interface allows you to ﬂip pages like a real book complete with sleek effects, and the device itself looks like something out of a science ﬁction ﬁlm. Apple’s brilliant marketing strategies also made the emergence of the iPad seem like the second coming, thus making it one of the most coveted devices in recent history. As an e-book reader, it can only do so well. By virtue of its touchscreen interface, its display is not very friendly to the eyes. Unlike an E Ink screen, it reﬂects light and is backlit, thus making it almost impossible to use outdoors, particularly in daylight. It can connect to the Internet via Wi-Fi and 3G (depending on the model), and is capable of doing other things, because it is basically a tablet computer equipped with specialized applications. Its strength lies in its potential for new media, allowing e-books to become multimedia troves. “Enhanced e-books,” as Apple likes to term them, let readers view videos and listen to audio ﬁles embedded into them, as well as view websites via hyperlinked text.
Storage: 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB ﬂash drive, with option to expand Supported e-book formats: EPUB, via iBooks application (other formats can be read via separate readers or applications) Supported audio formats: HE-AAC, AAC, MP3, Apple Lossless, AIFF, WAV Other supported media: Video (M4V, MP4, AVI), Images
Sony Reader Sony’s early models predate the Kindle and other devices currently on the market, but the company is releasing the Reader Daily Edition, a sleek device equipped with a touch screen and stylus. In recent interviews, Sony executives said they refuse to get into a price war with other e-reader makers, and instead will focus on providing quality devices. Whether this ploy will help Sony win the reader wars remains to be seen.
Storage: Up to 32GB, expandable Supported e-book formats: EPUB, PDF, TXT, RTF, DOC (Needs MS Word installed in user’s computer) Supported audio formats: MP3, AAC he Other supported media: Images
Barnes & Noble Nook The Nook is k bookseller Barnes & Noble’s attempt at dislodging Amazon’s Kindle from booklovers’ shelves. Equipped with two screens—an electronic paper display (EPD) controlled with an LCD touchscreen—it tries to expand on the Kindle’s current capabilities. However, Amazon patented the dual-display interface. They haven’t sued anyone over the patent yet, but only time will tell.
Storage: 2GB, with the option to expand Supported e-book formats: EPUB, PDB Supported audio formats: MP3 Other supported media: PDF, images
WizPad/WizLib Philippine company RedFox is marketing the WizLib, an electronic paper display-equipped reader, a and the WizPad, a touch screen tablet co computer. The WizLib is an e-reader capa pable of viewing various text-based ﬁles, and is also WiFi ready. The WizPad, s, a meanw nwhile, is a tablet which can run a vari variety of operating systems: Meego1, Chrome or Wind ome Windows 7.
Storage: Depe : Depends on model; expandable Supported e-book formats: PDF Supported audio formats: WizLib - None; WizPad - HE-AAC, AAC, MP3, Apple Lossless, AIFF, WAV Other supported media: WizLib - Images; WizPad - Video (M4V, MP4, AVI), images
Alex eReader A two-display reader overcoming the limitation of a black and white E-Ink display by having a full-color touch screen below it, just like the Nook. It was due to this similarity that Spring Design slapped an injunction against Barnes & Noble, for allegedly stealing trade secrets. Equipped with an Android system, it has the capability to run Android apps, and also syncs operations between the electronic paper screen and the color LCD, switching displays if needed.
Storage: 2GB, with option to expand Supported e-book formats: EPUB Supported audio formats: MP3, M4A, AMR, MIDI, WAV, OGG Vorbis Other supported media: PDF, HTML, images
enTourage eDGe The enTourage eDGe is a dualbook—a combo reader/tablet with two displays. Unlike the Nook and eReader, however, its touchscreen LCD and electronic paper displays are separate from one another, are the same size, and are hinged to one another so the device can be folded and used a variety of ways. The e-paper display is Wacom-enabled, so a stylus can be used to write notes onscreen.
Storage: 4GB, expandable Supported e-book formats: EPUB, PDF Supported audio formats: MP3, WAV, 3GPP, MP4, AAC, OGG, M4A Other supported media: Video (3GP, MP4, Adobe Flash Lite, AVI, MOV, WMV), images
Kobo eReader The Kobo eReader is sold by Kobo Books, an e-book retailer backed by several book and technology companies. Relatively new to the market, the device promises to “make the perfect book even better,” as it has been “designed with book lovers in mind.” One of its main selling points? A quilted back that Kobo vows would make holding the eReader more comfortable than if the whole device were made of metal, and bluetooth connectivity.
Storage: Up to 1GB, expandable Supported e-book formats: EPUB, PDF, Adobe DRM Supported audio formats: None Other supported media: None
From Pigment to Pixels
The birth of the e-book
he creation of the digital e-book format, which paved the way for the invention of portable ebook readers, all started with an idea, and a drive to preserve what may be lost in the annals of time. In 1971, Michael S. Hart, a freshman at the University of Illinois, was given an account to use the Xerox Sigma V mainframe at the university’s Materials Research Lab. Deciding it was a boon not to be squandered, and convinced that the greatest value of a computer is not merely computing but also storing, searching for, and retrieving material, he proceeded to key in on his computer The U.S. Declaration of Independence from a faux parchment copy he had brought with him to the lab. Thus, the ﬁrst e-text was born. Soon after, Hart founded Project Gutenberg (gutenberg.org), a renowned volunteer effort that aims to digitize and archive important cultural works to “encourage the creation and distribution of e-books.” It took some time for technology to catch up with Project Gutenberg’s goals. It was slow going at ﬁrst – the project’s second digitized text, the U.S. Bill of Rights, didn’t materialize until 1972, and it wasn’t until 1989 that Project Gutenberg reached its tenth book. In the 1990s, the mainstream availability of the Internet made storing, retrieving and transferring ﬁles much easier. Around this time, other digital library efforts started cropping up and forming partnerships with Project Gutenberg. In 1993, while studying at Carnegie Mellon University, John Mark Ockerbloom founded The Online Books Page (onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu). With more or less the same vision and mission as Project Gutenberg, the project aims to provide a list of books that are
freely readable over the Internet, thereby facilitating access to them. Publishers eventually picked up on the idea and decided to take advantage of the web as a marketing tool. In 1994, the National Academy Press was the ﬁrst publisher in the US to post the full text of a number of books on the Internet. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology followed suit in 1995. After making texts available online, publishers reported a proﬁt surge with their print books, as the e-books presumably boosted sales of their print counterparts. Digital publishing began to gain popularity by 1997. Publishers who swore by it said that not only did it cut costs, but it also accelerated the publishing process. The emergence and popularity of digital publishing, they said, did not mean that print media was going to become obsolete and unnecessary. Electronic and physical books maintained a complementary relationship, as many people wanted to have a print copy of books for archiving purposes. By the 2000s, e-books were being sold by the hundreds on websites and e-bookstores such as Amazon. com and Barnes & Noble. Other emerging online bookstores such as Palm eBooks Store, Mobipocket and Numilog exclusively sold e-books. By this time, books began to be published in print and electronic formats simultaneously. In 2004, Sony launched its ﬁrst e-book reader which used electronic ink technology (E Ink), greatly improving from the ﬁrst e-readers which used backlit displays. E Ink allowed displays to look almost exactly like paper, making devices easier on readers’ eyes.
In 2004, multinational corporation Google took an interest in digital books. The project Google Print was launched in 2004 with the aim of boosting the sales of publishers; Google enabled Internet users to view excerpts from books. However, due to legal problems, it was suspended in 2005. Operations resumed in 2006, but the legal problems continued until 2009, when the US Court granted preliminary approval of an amended settlement deﬁning Google’s usage of copyrighted works, and how authors and publishers will be compensated for the company’s placement of digitized copies of the said works in its database. In September 2006, Vibal Foundation launched its full-featured digital library and research portal, Filipiniana.net. Pursuant to the goal of VFI Executive Director Gaspar A. Vibal and Filipino-Hispano historian Jaime Marco of launching a free knowledge-sharing initiative in the country, Filipiniana.net serves as an online repository of books and documents on – and related to – Philippine history, geography, culture, government, and society. The next year, Amazon launched the Kindle, triggering an e-reader race between device manufacturers and e-book retailers. The competition became more fevered when technology behemoth Apple launched the iPad, a tablet computer equipped with an e-reader application, in 2010. Soon, technology circles were awash with the possibilities for e-book enhancement—for e-books to become applications in themselves, allowing for a fusion of sources, and a multimedia experience. The e-reader race has since gotten heated. Retailers have dropped prices to try and entice buyers. Booksellers have also joined the frenzy, coming up with “limited offers” slashing e-book rates by up to 80 percent. The consequence of failure in the e-market is high—iRex Technologies ﬁled for bankruptcy in June 2010 and closed its doors in September. Its DR800 had suffered poor sales, bringing the ﬁrm to its knees. Meanwhile, Amazon is taking a ﬁrm hold on e-reader technologies. It patented the dual screen E Ink/LCD interface in July, in effect placing Nook maker Barnes & Noble and Alex eReader developer Spring Design at risk of a lawsuit. With the invention of advanced e-readers and the introduction of new formats, e-books have come a long way since 1971. The pace at which e-books developed in the last decade was so frenzied that we can only guess what’s in store for the e-book—and e-readers—in the future.
The Evolution of Digital Reading
The ﬁrst e-book is created. The U.S. Declaration of Independence becomes eText#1 of Project Gutenberg, the ﬁrst digital library, launched by Michael Hart. The term “copyleft” is coined by Richard Stallman, who launched the GNU project for the free distribution of works. Helsinki City Library in Finland is the ﬁrst library to put up a website while the National Academy Press (NAP) in the US becomes the world’s ﬁrst digital publisher. Palm Pilot, the ﬁrst PDA, is launched, and people begin using it to read digital copies of books.
The Internet is born.
The ﬁrst website listing free e-books is created: the Online Books Page, founded by John Mark Ockerbloom. The ﬁrst online bookstore—Amazon—is put up by Jeff Bezos.
The ﬁrst e-book readers are launched.
Creative Commons is 2001 launched by Lawrence Lessing. 2003 E-books begin to be sold worldwide as publishers open up to selling digital versions of their printed books. Sony launches its ﬁrst 2004 e-book reader which used electronic ink (E 2005 Google launches Google Ink) technology. Print, which is later changed to Google Books. Amazon launches 2007 Kindle. 2010 Apple launches iPad.
echnological advancements, especially disruptive technologies, change the way we do things. Fire, for example, led to many innovations, some of them paradoxical. It became a weapon, and also paved the way for modern medical miracles. The invention of the wheel, meanwhile, allowed for the reﬁnement of agricultural methods, which in turn led to a multitude of other innovations and cultural transformations. Trade was elevated to an art form. The development of the Internet and online security protocols, meanwhile, paved the way for the creation of a web economy. A variety of goods are now traded online, allowing people to shop from the comforts of their own homes, and making shipping and delivery necessary only when enough orders come in. In some cases, delivery is instantaneous, as with the purchase of e-books and their direct download to digital readers. There are several e-book stores and repositories online. Some are tied to e-readers, while others offer books for download to assorted devices, from desktop computers to smartphones. These sites offer different types of reading material: novels, anthologies, textbooks, magazines, newspapers, even comics, all in nifty digital formats. Most are for sale, but some are available for free, such as out-of-copyright books, or chapter samples of new releases. Some of these have print editions for sale to defer printing costs. However, the latest bestsellers in e-book format are obtainable for a price, with some being offered at discounted rates. Device manufacturers, in order to better cater to customers, make e-book stores and databases accessi-
ble by default on their e-readers. Some do it in reverse: upon creating an e-book store, they release devices hoping that buyers will go primarily to their stores for content. It’s a matter of want and need—someone will either buy an e-reader because they want to read e-books; or they will buy e-books because they want to try this newfangled technology called an e-reader. In order to maximize sales, some e-book stores provide special applications that can be installed in e-readers. There are applications for smartphones, Macs and PCs. Even online stores that market their own devices such as the Kindle (Amazon.com) and Nook (Barnes & Noble) also give customers alternative means to purchase e-books on other machines via special programs. Apple, being primarily a device manufacturer, makes access to its store exclusive. Only people using iTunes, or Apple applications via the iPad, iTouch or iPhone, can access the iBookstore. Where to ﬁnd books for sale: Amazon.com (www.amazon.com) In addition to books and e-books sold via the Kindle store, Amazon.com, the company behind the Kindle, boasts an array of products, from clothes and power tools to music and pet supplies. Barnes & Noble (www.barnesandnoble.com) Going head-to-head with Amazon is the Barnes & Noble store, which also sells a wide range of products. However, B&N primarily sells print books and e-books for its e-reader, the Nook, along with a smattering of movies, music, toys and home items.
Where digital books are sold
iBookstore (accessible via iBooks App) The iBookstore, like the iStore, is accessible using an Apple application, and is tailored for access by Apple devices such as the iPad, iPod Touch or iPhone. Using the iBooks application, users can browse through a catalog of books from iStore-accredited publishers. Reader Store (www.ebookstore.sony.com) The Reader Store is tailored for the Sony Reader. It doesn’t sell print books, but allows customers to browse through its catalog of e-books for purchase and download. enTourage e-Books Store (www.entourageedge.com/e-books.html) The enTourage store caters primarily to users of the enTourage eDGe. As the device’s target market is the student population, featured books are usually somewhat relevant to classwork or appeal to the academia, such as classics, literary award winners, textbooks and treatises on assorted topics. Get ‘em for free: Feedbooks (www.feedbooks.com) Feedbooks, which says it is the ﬁrst service to support the EPUB format, offers free e-books for download. Its selection contains books that are in the public domain, or were given away by authors for distribution. Project Gutenberg (www.gutenberg.org) The ﬁrst producer of free e-books, Project Gutenberg ‘s over 33,000 books are available in EPUB, Kindle (AZW/ MOBI), HTML and simple text formats. It has several partners, such as Wattpad (www.wattpad.com) and MobileRead (www.mobileread.com). Random House Free Library (www.suvudu.com) Random House-owned Suvudu features free fulllength genre books: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Paranormal, Star Wars, Graphic Novels & Manga, and Gaming. Books are copyrighted, but given away for free. BookGlutton (www.bookglutton.com) BookGlutton offers a unique twist: it makes reading into a community experience if the reader so desires. The site allows some books in its database to be read online or downloaded as an EPUB book for free. However, other books may only be read or downloaded for a fee.
Why buy e-books?
They’re always available. You can buy them at any time, and they never get sold out. Also, unlike buyers of printed books who have to either go to bookstores to buy their books or wait for the books to be shipped to them, buyers of e-books get their books immediately anywhere they are. They’re environment-friendly. No trees were killed to make these e-books. They’re affordable. E-books are cheaper than printed books because they don’t have printing and overhead costs. They’re easily searchable. You don’t need to look through manual indices anymore. They’re very portable. You can store thousands of books in your e-book reader and bring them with you anywhere.
Why sell e-books?
Save money. It costs less to produce an e-book than it does to produce a printed book. Go green. E-book production doesn’t need paper. No piracy. Each e-book is registered to a reading device, and publishers can limit the use or transfer of their e-books through digital rights management software. Revision is easy. Since no printing is needed, you only need to upload the revised version. This means that you can also publish new editions more frequently. E-book sales are increasing. Amazon recently announced that it was selling more e-books than printed books. E-books open new markets. They cater to avid consumers of media—readers who want convenience and instant access. E-books let people try before they buy. This increases the likelihood that they would make a purchase... and that they might buy the printed copy of the book later.
Mine, Yours, Ours
Digital rights for e-books
opyright lawsuits are no fun. They cost money, and tie works up in restrictions. Thus, it never hurts to be aware of the basics of copyright law. E-books, because they are the products of someone’s mind, are intellectual property. Everything contained in an e-book, just like in print, belongs to the writer. Permission is needed before a text can be copied or used. While copyright laws vary from country to country, e-books and other such properties usually fall under the copyright law of their country of origin. Under Philippine law, it is automatic from the moment of a work’s creation, thus it is essential to ask for and receive authors’ permissions before copying, redistributing or otherwise exploiting works. However, written or artistic works by the government or its agencies are usually in the public domain and are free
for use by anybody. In the Philippines, a work enters the public domain ﬁfty years after its creator’s death. Some authors choose to give away their works for free, while some release their works entirely into the public domain and give up control of the way they will be used. Some let others use their works for free under certain conditions called “licenses.” The most common licenses used for e-books are Creative Commons (CC) licenses. Creative Commons licenses let creators set conditions on how their works may be used. There are four conditions which may be combined to form a license: Attribution (BY) The work must be credited to its original creator. Share-Alike (SA) The work must be distributed under the same license. No Derivative Works (ND) Revisions of the work are not allowed. Non-Commercial (NC) The work may not be used for commercial purposes. Usually, unless an e-book or other work is public domain or under a CC license, buyers may not copy or redistribute it to others, or create a work based on or derived from it. Most copyright holders make use of digital rights management (DRM) technology to restrict the way their copyrighted works may be used. E-book readers such as Amazon’s Kindle and Apple’s iPad, for example, use DRM technology to ensure that e-books purchased from their stores can be used only by the purchasers, and are not copied and redistributed.
Digital e-book formats
TXT The TXT format can store a large amount of information and consumes very little space. However, it doesn’t support images, tables or hyperlinks. It can be viewed by almost any device, as most applications support viewing ordinary text files. PDF The most common e-book format is PDF, a proprietary format created by Adobe Systems. It preserves the look and content of the original document including images, audio files, tables, graphs and hyperlinks. PDF files may also be password-protected by users. HTML The hypertext markup language format (HTML) is used in web pages. It was conceptualized in the 1980s, and created in the early 1990s. Its primary function is to link pages to each other via relevant keywords and to provide a rich programming background for e-book formats. AZW Proprietary formats include those by Amazon (AZW) and Mobipocket (MOBI or PRC). Amazon created the AZW format specially for its Kindle e-reader based on MOBI or PRC, which were created by Mobipocket, a company which came into being during the peak of the Palm Pilot age. The MOBI/PRC formats were created for eBookman devices by Franklin, while the PRC format was designed to be read by Palm Pilots. These formats are now also used by Amazon for the Kindle. EPUB The EPUB format is a combination of three different open text/document formatting standards. It is supported by a wide variety of e-book readers and maintained by the International Digital Publishing Forum, a non-profit organization which counts several e-book developers and publishers as members. It was developed to be an “industry-wide standard for e-books” with the potential to surpass other formats.
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Periodicals Bradford, K.T. “eReader Evaluation.” Laptop, May 2010. Halpern, Sue. “The iPad Revolution.” The New York Review of Books, 10 June 2010. Wollman, Dana. “Reading, Redefined.” Laptop, May 2010. Online Publications Fowler, Geoffrey, and Marie Baca. “The ABCs of E-Reading.” The Wall Street Journal, 25 August 2010. Accessed 25 August 2010. http://www.online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703846604 575448093175758872.html. Lebert, Marie. “A Short History of eBooks.” Diss.,University of Toronto, 2009. Accessed 16 August 2010. http://www.etudesfrancaises.net/dossiers/ebookEN.pdf. Lindsay, Scott. “The History of the ebook.” Articlesbase, 22 September 2008. Accessed 16 August 2010. http://www. articlesbase.com/ebooks-articles/the-history-of-theebook-571780.html. Sedycias, R. “The History and Popularity of ebooks.” Read An E-Book Week, n.d. Accessed 16 August 2010. http://www. ebookweek.com/history.html. “Franklin sells interest in company, retires shares.” Philadelphia Business Journal, 31 March 2005. Accessed 6 September 2010. http://philadelphia.bizjournals.com/philadelphia/ stories/2005/03/28/daily32.html. Websites Adobe Systems Inc. “Adobe: Adobe Acrobat Family-Portable Document Format.” Last modified 14 July 2009. http://www. adobe.com/products/acrobat/adobepdf.html.
Amazon.com Inc. “Amazon Kindle’s Publishing Program.” Accessed 6 September 2010. http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature. html?ie=UTF8&docId=1000234621. —. “Kindle for PC.” Accessed 6 September 2010. http://www.amazon. com/gp/feature.html/ref=kcp_pc_mkt_lnd?docId=1000426311. Dear Author Blog, The. http://dearauthor.com/ wordpress/2009/01/18/using-calibre-to-interface-with-iphonesony-reader-or-cybook-part-2-of-2. eBook Architects. “eBook Formats.” Last modified 6 June 2010. http://ebookarchitects.com/conversions/formats.php Geometer Plus LLC. “FBReader: Electronic Book Formats (supported and unsupported).” Accessed 6 September 2010. http:// www.fbreader.org/docs/formats.php. Goyal, Kovid. “Calibre User Manual.” Accessed 6 September 2010.” http://calibre-ebook.com/user_manual. International Digital Publishing Forum. “Specifications.” Accessed 23 August 2010. http://www.idpf.org/specs.htm. Mobipocket. “About Mobipocket.” Accessed 6 September 2010. http:// www.mobipocket.com/en/eBooks/default.asp?Language=EN. Redfox Technologies. “WizPad.” Accessed 23 August 2010. http:// www.redfox.com.ph/wizpad.html —. “WizLib.” Accessed 23 August 2010. http://www.redfox.com.ph/ wizlib.html. Sony Electronics Inc. “Reader Daily Edition.” Accessed 23 August 2010. http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Produ ctDisplay?catalogId=10551&storeId=10151&langId=-1&productI d=8198552921666064650#specifications. Spring Design, Inc. “Alex Feature Overview.” Accessed 23 August 2010. https://www.springdesign.com/us/features/index.action#top. W3C (MIT, ERCIM, Keio). “History of the World Wide Web Consortium.” Accessed 23 August 2010. http://www.w3.org/ Consortium/facts#history.
Not all e-books are the same. Vee Press e-book editions are guaranteed to be fully functional, with internally linked tables of contents, endnotes, and properly re-formatted graphics with anchored captions. Vee Press e-books also feature hyperlinks to web resources and are beautifully designed for shifting e-book typography. All conversions from print are fully checked for dead links, illogical breaks and lapses, and other electronic irregularities. With our instant access to iBookstore and Amazon Kindle Store, you’re just a few days away from 24/7 worldwide distribution. For more information call Ela de Leon at +632 4168460 or send an email to books@ vibalfoundation.org.
What sets a Vee Press e-book edition apart?
Numbered endnotes Note references are seamlessly linked to chapter endnotes.
A Digital Literacy Project of Vibal Foundation
1253 G. Araneta Ave, Quezon City, Philippines 1104 www.vibalfoundation.org/books/ vee-press/
Annotations Each e-book contains editorial introductions and annotations, especially for Clasica Digital Editions.
Hyperlinks Key words in each e-book are hyperlinked to Wikipilipinas, Filipiniana.net and other web sources to provide context.