Penguin Books seems to be aggressively embracing the concept of digital books. Take a look at this video:
While this is only a demonstration, it is clearly well developed conceptually. The model of using a traditional book framework as a ‘navigation map’ into additional content, applications, and services make complete sense. And it has the potential to redefine the economics of the entire publishing industry.
To make this happen in a way that can scale, the publishing industry (including Apple and other vendors) has to come up with a technical packaging model that moves beyond traditionally focused packaging like the ‘EPUB’ format. Having an open, commonly adopted standard for expressing/delivering these rich, interactive publications can shift publication from becoming one-off developments or publisher specific frameworks into a rich industry ecosystem. I believe that making this happen is the game changer the publishing industry needs. There is a lot to talk about on that front and I want to revisit and expand on it in a later post.
It’s exciting to see some momentum building behind the iPad. So much potential…