I know it’s a little scary, but you have to admit it’s also EXCITING to be here, working in our industry, in the midst of a publishing evolution. What’s going to happen to book publishers, magazine publishers, newspapers? Or web sites, for that matter? (And why are they still printing the Yellow Pages, I’d like to know.) We’ll be telling our grandchildren … “I remember when we had to walk 5 miles to purchase this thing called a book — made out of trees! — with this thing called paper money — also made out of trees! “
Just about everyone I know in the field — trainers, consultants, clients, software companies, vendors — is deeply involved in trying to keep up with it all, and maybe, gee-wouldn’t-it-be-nice, to get *ahead* of the curve in some respect.
It’s been one of my main focuses this year as well. I got my Kindle last fall, and my iPad the week they came out in the early spring. I don’t have a Nook, but I have an iPhone, which can pretend to be a Nook. ;-) I use them not just as a regular consumer, but also to hook them up, Rube Goldberg-style, to various devices in the office in order to move test publications onto them and see what they look like.
Not everyone can afford every eReader device out there. That’s where these free Reader apps come in handy.
Kindle Reading Apps
You can read books meant for the Kindle (ones that you downloaded from the Kindle store) right on your Mac, PC, iPhone, iPad, Android, or Blackberry. I LOVE this app for my iPhone! And it’s pretty neat on the iPad too.
Nook Reading Apps
Barnes & Noble is in it to win it! Just yesterday they released an upgraded Nook e-reading app for various non-Nook devices and changed the name from “B&N eReader” (gag) to simply the “Nook app.” It’s available for the PC (not the Mac though), iPhone, iPad, Android, and the Blackberry. Finally I was able to cash in the B&N gift card that’s been in my wallet forever. I used it to buy a couple of Nook-formatted books and then read them on my iPad (which I believe is illegal in 7 states and the District of Columbia). You know what would be really great? If Amazon released an iBook reader and a Nook reader for the Kindle! Hey it could happen. ;-)
IBookstore Reading App
You don’t need an iPad to buy ebooks in the iBookstore and read them in iBooks, but you do need an iPhone or an iPod Touch. The iBookstore now supports PDFs, and they look pretty great! However, you can’t buy PDFs in the iBookstore (yet) … that’s still an ePub universe.
And then there’s Maude … I mean,
Adobe Digital Editions
The “ADE” app is Adobe’s cross-platform eBook reader. Install it on your Mac or PC and you can read ePubs (same format as the iBookstore) and PDFs. I’m not sure Adobe knows what else to do with the program at this point. In the meantime, it’s pretty slick.