We had 347 virtual participants for our panel presentation, “Navigating the Road Ahead: A Guided Discussion of Ebooks in K-12 Libraries,” in the October 12, 2011 webinar “EBOOKS The New Normal: how libraries are leveraging the eBook opportunity.” These are the six questions I answered individually (with text that I saved) during the actual webinar. Please chime in with comments or further questions. An audio podcast of my twelve minute presentation during the webinar is also available with extensive shownotes.

Q1:
Can the average person publish in the epub formats, etc or just published authors? Is there a cost?

A:
Yes, anyone can publish in EPUB! Sites like http://www.epubbud.com provide a location for publishing. Calibre software (free) can be used to convert word processing texts into eBooks.

Q2:
Do you use Create Space?

A:
Yes, I used CreateSpace to publish the print version of my eBook. I saw Douglas Thomas and John Seely Brown use it for their book this past spring, “A New Culture of Learning.” I also thought since they are Amazon’s official partner they’d have better integration with Amazon.com, and I was right! Reviews for the eBook show up for the print book too. I LOVE CreateSpace and recommend it to others. I upgraded for $39 to a “Pro” account so I’m able to purchase my own copies for even less $$$.

Q3:
Sounds like your EPUB is formatted only for Kindles. What about NOOKS?

A:
My eBook is also available in standard EPUB for any device that supports EPUB format. I also published it directly on the Barnes & Noble eBook store, so Nook users can download it directly there.

I have published all 3 eBook versions of my book directly using the website e-junkie.com. This enables me to make the book available for purchase and download worldwide, rather than limiting access to ‘only’ the countries Apple, Amazon, and B&N offer. All download links are on:
http://www.speedofcreativity.org/ebooks/

Q4:
Can we get a text copy of this speech?

A:
I can’t speak for the entire webinar recording, but I’ll be glad to make my portion available afterwards. I’ll work on making a speech-to-text conversion as well as the audio version.

Q5:
I’m also seeing a disconnect between licensing and lending out devices. Seems like licensing leaves out the lending option. Any ideas of best choices that allows lending of devices by libraries?

A:
This is a great question and we need to advocate on the DRM issue. A few quick thoughts:

1- We should advocate for use of DRM-free books like those in Project Gutenberg in our classes. They don’t have loan/lending restrictions.

2- We should start an advocacy campaign in schools and libraries to promote DRM free publishing. As an eBook publisher this summer on Amazon, Apple’s iBookstore, and Barnes&Noble, I was very interested to learn the DEFAULT option for publishers is DRM enabled. I opted out of DRM for each of my eBook versions, but I’m betting many publishers don’t. We need to advocate for this.

3- There should be a way to readily identify eBooks which are DRM-free in all types of eBook catalogs, so librarians / teachers can readily identify books without lending limits.

Q6:
How do we know the tablet is not the next fad? iPad is going to come out with v3 soon, do we really think that is the end of the new devices?

A:
We are going to continue to see more and different devices, but the key is not the device. The most important question is, when it comes to digital learning, what do you want to DO? eBooks can be viewed on multiple devices, the iPad is just the first of many that will support enhanced/multimedia EPUBs. The EPUB 3.0 standard isn’t finalized yet, and that will include rich media. When it’s finalized we’ll see more manufacturers support multimedia eBooks. More on this is on:

http://idpf.org/epub

'About The Jetlag Society' photo (c) 2011, Paul Keller - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

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