The book industry is obviously in a state of turmoil (to say the least) and eBooks are increasingly playing an important role in how readers consume books. There are as many opinions about the future of books and eBooks as there are commentators, but no one really knows for sure how this is all going to shake out. There are, inevitably, those who point out the shortcomings of eBooks (and I have been a part of this camp for a while now, though since I’ve begun using my Kindle, I am less dogmatic about it). This article by John C. Abell has been getting a good deal of attention lately. Abell points out five reasons why eBooks just aren’t there yet as mechanisms for conveying book content to readers.
So that’s the pessimistic side. But there are others who are already looking to the future of eBooks — toward eBook 2.0 perhaps? This forward-looking piece by Shane Richmond suggests that publishers who really want to capitalize on the advantages of eBooks (and there are as many advantages to them as disadvantages, to be sure) might want to start thinking of eBooks as apps and not just digital copies of analog books.