Innovation and the Future of e-Books

By John W. Warren.

Published by The International Journal of the Book

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The technological development and cultural acceptance of e-books today parallels the state of the printed book in the 15th century. E-books are increasingly available from a variety of distributors and retailers, and work on a myriad of devices, but the majority remain simply digitized versions of print books. Some devices or platforms include such tools as word definitions, highlighting, and note taking, but many of these tools simply mimic what students and researchers have traditionally done with printed texts.

This paper examines three examples of innovative e-books in order to illustrate the potential and pitfalls of electronic publications. The first is a history e-text that includes 1,700 primary-source documents—such as Presidential memos, reports, and even audio and video clips—linked from footnotes, providing a treasure trove of research material to readers. The second is a novella in hypertext form. The third example examines digital textbooks that include multimedia, assessment, and other digital tools. Each of these cases demonstrates creative approaches, business models, and methods of review that point to the enhanced, interactive, interlinked future of the e-book.

Keywords: e-Books, Information Society, Electronic Texts, Innovation, Hypertext, Open Access, Digital Publishing, Enhanced E-books, Interactive, e-Learning, e-Scholarship

International Journal of the Book, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp.83-94. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.380MB).

John W. Warren

Marketing Director, Publications, RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, CA, USA

John W. Warren is Director of Marketing, Publications, at the RAND Corporation, a nonprofit research institute that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. John has nearly two decades of experience in the publishing industry, with special focus on marketing and digital publishing. Previously, John managed marketing efforts for Mexican publisher Fondo de Cultura Económica, Sage Publications, and Sylvan Learning, Inc., and has provided consulting services to firms seeking to expand business in Mexico and South America. He has presented at major publishing conferences in the United States and internationally. He has a Masters in International Management from the Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies (IR/PS) at the University of California, San Diego.

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