This is my first blog of the year and I find myself once again returning to the issue of the future of publishing. I watched the Apple iPad announcement today in its entirety with great interest as an author of Flores Girl: The Children God Forgot.  Is the iPad a game changer? No, I’m not a Mac fanboy, so to me the iPad is too expensive and there is not enough new functionality to get me really excited. I just keep thinking about how the entire concept of eBooks needs to evolve. The problem with most PC’s including Apples is that most computers are basically digital replacements for an analog world including the iPad. Keyboards and monitors in essence replace paper. I am old enough to remember when my job was entirely paper based; I didn’t have a personal computer during my first job from college. We moved paper from one desk to another and we had secretaries to type our important reports using dedicated word processors. Calculations were done on calculators. PC’s were to be a revolution but PC’s just allow us to create more paper faster but metaphorically it’s still paper!

My interest in the iPad is for the eBook technology, of course. The present eBook readers so far just replicate a paper book electronically. Plus most readers don’t take advantage of images and other playback formats. The Kindle is particularly guilty of this and partly this is a function of price point. The iPad is far more satisfactory in terms of a multimedia experience; the iPad can add sounds and beautiful color graphics that put the Kindle to shame. If I wanted a dedicated eBook reader I want the iPad, not the Kindle. However, at $499 I really don’t want the iPad eBook reader nor is there an overwhelming reason to want to one to replace a good old-fashioned books that could be had for all of $20. Give me a reason and a damn good one! Oh, I know it can do more than the average reader but still not more than a laptop. Make me want an iPad to pay that amount and want to lug it around!
First and foremost, we need to take advantage of the hardware and the technology. In others words, do not replicate thousand-year old technology such as paper books. Books are tactile and so is the touch screen on the iPad. Okay, I get it but I want more! I want to rethink how we read. More importantly, we have to rethink the novel experience and become less serial in our approach to the entire reading experience. I’ll have more on this in a later blog.

Bottom line:  I don’t have the overwhelming urge to say “Oh my Gawd, I got to have it!”

PS:  I want to extend my condolences to Tee Morris and his family regarding their recent loss.  Tee is one of the podcasting pioneers involved with Podiobooks and is truly one of the good guys in the industry.  I have to say when it comes to a loss of this magnitude words do fail me.

Note: Since the original writing of this post I have added Nook Color and a Acer Iconia Tablet to my collection with each being a third of the cost of the comparable Mac iPad.

Try these sites for the free Flores Girl novel download for the iPad, Kindle, Sony, BlackBerry, iPhone ebook Readers:

WWW.iPADeBOOK.ORG
WWW.A-FREE-EBOOK.COM

WWW.SCIENCE-FICTION.MOBI
WWW.iPhone-Novel.com
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