I was looking for a copy of this book online: http://www.lds.org/library/display/0,4945,8865-1-4828-2,00.html
and I found it quite easily on the Church's website. It's one of the better books I've read in a long time--well written, well organized, a great reference (and yes, I do read a lot of reference books for fun).
Anyway, the thing that struck me is that the Church really "gets" what ebooks should be about. You can download the book in two different accessibility formats, which are clearly spelled out and the links placed at the TOP of the page (easy to find). Plus you can download the whole book. Or you can get it chapter by chapter in html, pdf, or mp3 format.
That is a perfect e-book! Accessible without a reader (but you could use it with, too). Accessible for people with disabilities (and who want to listen while driving). Accessible for people with all levels of computer functionality. Easy to get, easy to read--and not just by the tech-savvy, or those who can afford a $400 ebook, or those who can buy software and texts. Plus you can read it online, share it on facebook (or 226 other sites), email it to someone (in whole or in part). That's how it should be.
It's a model the publishing industry might consider taking note of. I understand that bunches of people want (and need) to make their livings using specialized skills in publishing. But I'm beginning to wonder if the world wouldn't benefit from a YouTube for reader/writers, with ebooks following the church's format--easy to access, easy to read, easy to share. I know there are lots of places out there that claim to be that, but they are all caught up in getting you published officially, and that's a turn-off to me. What I'm talking about it an e-book clearinghouse for ALL writers, just like YouTube is a video clearinghouse for all movie makers, who use it for many many reasons. Did it replace "real" movies? NO. I'm not talking about replacing "real" publishing. Just talking about a place where writers can dump their stuff--for their families to read, for their friends to read, where things can be rated and highlighted by the staff or community. You know, like we post our videos of our kids on YouTube so Grandma can see, not so we can get famous.
It's probably already out there, but none of the writers I know are using it--so....how do we do this?
Any programmers willing to take on this one and make me a YouBooks?