I have to start this with saying that maybe I’m just old and not keeping up with technology/that’s certainly possible but this struck me as pretty cool. As a reader I’m familiar with most of the different ebook readers out there (including the Kindle, Barnes & Noble eReader, iPad, etc). Personally, I’m too cheap to buy one yet so my experiences are limited to seeing other people who have ebook readers and thinking how much less I would need to carry around if I wasn’t lugging books so large that if they are dropped they can kill small animals.

But where was I? Oh yeah, ebooks. So as an author I see the logic to them – easy to carry around, easy to search – got it. I also see them as a huge risk to the book publishing industry because they are so easy to copy and distribute to everyone on the planet. Speaking as an author – trust me when I say that authors don’t make a lot of money unless they have a huge following (insert favorite author here such as one who was told he could write out his laundry list and have it published). To clarify how this works from my limited experience neither authors nor publishers really make much money at least when it comes to writing technical books. My favorite quote when this question is asked to me is that on an hourly basis I would be better off learning how to say “Would you like fries with that?”.

The real benefit to writing technical books is four-fold from my perspective:

  1. You have to really learn something if you write about it.
  2. It helps the technical community to have a solid book which explains a new technology.
  3. There is credibility to being able to say “Yes, I’m reading from the book, but hey I wrote it so I think that’s ok”.
  4. It is fun to be able to walk into a bookstore or to hit Amazon and see your name on a book.

 

Ok, not sure how I ended up on French fries but what the heck… So on to the real story here. Recently I went to my library to check out a book – but it was checked out. When I got home I went to the website for the library and found out that there are digital collections available for download (see http://www.friscolibrary.com/services/ebooks_downloadable.htm for an example). After downloading some software and the ebook link I was up and going on my laptop reading the book which was not available for checkout.  Not bad, not bad at all.

So, in summary:

Ebooks – ok, Ebooks on my laptop – pretty useful, checking out Ebooks from the library – sweet!