You’ve probably heard the news, unless you have been living under a rock that blocks all incoming internet signals as well as the Apple nerd at work and even then HEY YOU UNDER THE ROCK, tomorrow is the big day that Apple announces the worst best-kept secret in the multiverse: the mythic iTablet or iSlate or iSomething that promises to be a game changer or not or who the heck knows.
Already this is shaking up the publishing business. Publishers have been rumored to be in discussions with Apple, and Amazon recently announced a (caveat heavy) deal whereby people who publish with the Kindle will receive a 70% royalty provided they meet certain criteria, which some have viewed as a preemptive response to Apple’s dealmaking (via reader Brandon).
With rumors rampant about what the tablet will look like, what it will cost, and whether it will be the most awesomest most awesome thing in the world or merely awesome (or even not awesome), I’ll leave all that to the rumor sites.
But it seems clear to me that the days of grayscale e-books are likely coming to an end. While the iTablet will probably be too expensive to change things immediately, it’s a harbinger of things to come: color and video and audio are coming to e-book readers near you.
And it’s going to be interesting to see how it shakes out. Who will be the first author with an animated cover? Will people crave enhanced e-books or do people want their e-books to remain static and moving-part free? Will Apple come to dominate the e-book business the way they do e-music, or will other competitors like Amazon remain strong? Will dedicated devices still appeal to core audiences?
I personally think a big question is: will people still read books on a device so eminently capable of distracting you with movies, the Internet, games, and anything the geeks of tomorrow invent?
We’ll see. But I suspect the future of publishing is about to take another lurch forward.
What about you, any predictions?