Ben here. I’m the Publisher of Microsoft Press. I usually keep away from blog posts and other sharp objects, but I’ve got a question for all of you.
I have the privilege to work with a great team of talented, hardworking, and foresighted people, here at Microsoft and at O’Reilly. We do our best to keep up-to-date with two rapidly evolving industries: technology and publishing. Where they come together is often where we interact with you, our authors and readers. Many of you read eBooks; many of you probably own an eReader or tablet, or more than one.
Some of us were sitting around recently (no, not over lunch, and martinis were not involved) and began to explore, yet again, the most-discussed topic in publishing: The Future of the Book. Now, as you might expect, we have no shortage of ideas about such an important topic.
But honestly, when I look back at how many of our successful book series began, I know that they came from an author with a vision. An individual said “This is what I want to write. These are the readers I want to inform.” We helped bring those ideas to readers: Step by Step, Pocket Consultants, Internals – all of these started with a single book and with an author’s desire.
So, authors, in this online, digital, eBook world, what would you include in a new “book”? How would it be different from ink-on-paper? How can we help you refine and sell that vision?
Readers, how would you like technical information presented? How would you feel if some titles were only available on certain devices? For example, if full-color, audio, or video were integrated into the format, the older generations of eReaders would not be able to display the new works. (For the sake of argument, assume that the voices will be soothing and the images useful: we want new, better ideas, not most of today’s “enhanced eBooks”.)
Let us know. You can post a response to this blog or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org