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323725.  Thu Apr 24, 2008 7:42 am Reply with quote

Flash wrote:
s: So Far, So Near by ... Mat Coward.

Now available as an e-book, apparently, from Fictionwise. Has anyone ever read an e-book?

323902.  Thu Apr 24, 2008 11:03 am Reply with quote

Any number, but not ones which were also readily available in the conventional form.

Since husband makes a small part of his income from selling the things (mainly obscure sports statistics which just don't sell enough to be viable in printed form), I'd best not knock them ...

324064.  Thu Apr 24, 2008 2:53 pm Reply with quote

What do they look like, suze? I mean, do the pages on the screen look like pages from a book? Do you read them on your computer, or do you use a ... I don't know, a wrist-mounted microwave orbital sensor unit?

About a quarter of a century after I first encountered the idea of e-books, suddenly - in the past two months - they have become of a small importance to me, and I am having to dig out old contracts to check my e-rights. It seems as if they are undergoing some sort of surge. Has there been a technological development, or something?

324091.  Thu Apr 24, 2008 3:29 pm Reply with quote

If one reads an e-book on a computer - which is certainly the most common way to read them - they look much like reading a PDF. Which is unsurprising, since a lot of them are PDFs (including all the ones husband does).

Others are laid out as plain text files (the format used by Project Gutenberg), in the style of a webpage, or in the style of a word processed document. Ultimately there aren't really that many ways to present pages of text, and the only obvious difference between formats like PDF and those such as Microsoft's .lit format is that the latter can include annoying things like Digital Rights Management features. (This book will self destruct after you have read it three times, that sort of thing.)

As for reading them, well there are purpose built readers which look something like ...

Few people use them though - the majority of e-books are either read at the computer or printed out onto A4 paper. (Depending on the size of the print run and the length of the book, this can have a lower cost of ownership than buying a printed book.)

324284.  Fri Apr 25, 2008 4:38 am Reply with quote

Thanks, suze. I can certainly see the benefit of these things if you were going on a cycling holiday round Australia - dozens of books, one book-sized piece of luggage - but other than that, I suppose I'm just the wrong generation. I do know some young people who seem much more comfortable reading anything from a screen rather than paper; it's their natural environment.

I shall be very interested to see if, as a writer, I actually cop anything from all this technology ...!

324297.  Fri Apr 25, 2008 4:59 am Reply with quote

You might be able to get a gig writing the manuals for e-book machines. I mean, work's work, you know?

324454.  Fri Apr 25, 2008 7:27 am Reply with quote

And it's only fair that I should share my expertise with the world.


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