Client question analysis section

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As the materials that are now published in books are learned through computer screens, what about the form will stay the same and what will change? authorship, editing, presentation style, stored locally?

Through the selection of a few scenarios, we shall be able to answer the given questions in much better detail. However, a shortlist of major expectancies/thoughts can be given:

  • Most books shall be published in the same manner as ebooks will. The discussion here is not whether which has preference, but how publishers and the readers will go and act: many articles mention the chicken and egg problem. There is no need, so why create e-books and on the other hand: there are no e-books, so why bother?
  • Authorship is one of the major issues with regard to the future of e-books - many fear the dilution of the protection possibilities, others fear the trouble of DRM arising.
  • Most naturally, the style of the books shall change - major distinction being the book and the e-book (physiology), however, typesetting may be different etcetera. Nothing really surprising here.
  • The issue of DRM has been touched lightly already - there is a worldwide discussion in which not only books are discussed, but also other types of media: e-books are easily *copied and shared amongst others than a physical book itself (a xerox machine consumes a lot of time!). Here, the battle is not against sharing, but about trying to find out what is the best solution against copying and public trust, or more specifically, trust in the public.
  • The future shall have to decide on e-book standardisation: currently there is a major list of different types of readers and an even longer list of different e-book file types.
  • All readers shall have to decide which they prefer, physical or electronical, the electronic book has no big attraction in the short term. Still many people prefer printed books as the reading experience is much more comfortable.
  • As the development of screen technology, the form of a book may stay in between of paper and completed screen. The digital screen can be as flexible and thin as paper and has the same functionality of real books.The new form of the books has combined advantage of portability and big memory.



closely related question:

will there be parallel publishing of a book on screen and print, and if so, will they be mostly similar or will it be a largely different production (such as a novel and movie).

  • The most realistic scenario of book in future is that the paper-book and digital one are co-existed. In the future there will be parallel publishing. Still the computers, lap-tops, e-readers and other digital devices are not so prevail in every corner of the world. There is a demand for a book to be published either paper or digital to satisfy and meet the needs of different regions. In Europe or western countries and innovative counties like Japan, e-books will be developed in a large extent while in the third world still the paper book will be dominant. So the parallel publishing is possible for and publishers can make more profits through this way.
  • The content of books either paper or screen will stay the same, otherwise it will cause confusing and inconvenience of referencing. However, the e-books may provide more additional content, like animation, short video to help illustrate the content, taking the advantage of an e-book.
  • Whether the publishing of screen and paper are similar differs depends on the types of books. For the technological books and educational books it maybe stays the same, but the digital ones may provide some additional interactive animations or short videos to illustrate the important points.
  • However for the children’s book, the paper book has a stable story while the e-book can be more dynamic that the children can choose the different story line according to their own imagination. If things go like this, then the next page will be like that. By other word, the e-book could contain more different content to stimulate the reader and make more interactive
  • Wiki-like book writing platforms are being launched as we speak, multiple authors writing one single book. These type of books could get released under the common dialogue licensing model. People on the internet could vote and decide which books are worth for a printed release.
  • Once you buy a paper, the content will stay stable as it is.E-Books could be made more interactive than papers books, which means that the eBooks can get updated and contain moving images. There could be even interactive parts such as interviews with the writers, or possibilities to ask questions.
  • As the future e-reader may have a wifi, the e-book can provide some the reference or related link in real-time and you can check whatever new in the subject of your book.


what will be the role, if any, of scanned books in the future ecology? sales tool? reference work for searching? only old books will be used this way? old books wont be used even on screens by the general public?

  • Not only old books can act as role of sales tool or reference work for searching, but also the scanned book can be also usage because the e-book is a extensive format of old paper book which inherit the old books more or less.The role of scanned books could be either a sales tool or a reference work for searching, it depends on which scenario is going to happen.
  • In our first scenario, when the e-books getting prosperous, DRM is standardized, related technology are matured and law of copyright on e-books elaborated, the e-books definitely becoming the a sales tool for making profits not only for publishers but also for writers.Because of the existence of DRM, it is not easy to track and get the books you want ,not saying the "copy and paste" tricks. Dased on this arguement, the scanned books are not going to be used as a tool for reference searching.
  • In contrast, in our second scenario where DRM is cracked and abandoned, common license developed, and more people participate and collaborated in the same work or book. Additionally, a wiki-like platform are created, then the e-books is becoming more and more like a open resource where people can access more easily compared to the previous scenario. Such a situation largely promotes the knowledge production where the e-books facilitate the searching for reference. Because common license is the concept that not a single person can own one work that the reference searching is more easily. So the scanned books of future in this case can be the role of reference work for searching.
  • Although in the second scenario that only paper books can be survived which is very extreme case. It is possible that publics refuse to read a book on screen if they think it uncomfortable, if the reading hard ware is not well elaborated and price for e-books is high. So why the pubic should choose e-books on screen instead of paper-and-glue books.However, in our view, the probability of public not accepting the e-books is small.Because the technology is growing so fast that people sometimes are forced to change their habit and old lifestyle including reading. Besides, different stakeholder referring to book industries and other factor like "open source" or "web 2.0" are more or less contributing to the potential development of e-books.Public will accept and get used to reading on a e-book on screen just like people are more likely to get information on internet other than from TV, radio or newspaper.



different question: certain types of books are large part gone already: books of court opinions, phonebooks, readers guide to periodical literature... Given the types of books that are out there, what will they morph or disappear into a computer service?

  • As books and information are updated more and more quickly, some books such readers guider and bibliography are fading away gradually because no one is using that kind of tool books.
  • For the information contained in phonebooks, readers guide to periodical literature are updating more and more faster, the traditional paper-book for these usage can no longer meet the pubic’s needs. It is impossible for publishers to publish them every now and then and the readers are not willing to buy because it can be obsolete very quickly. Additionally, these types of books are not for read but for information searching. How could people still search information manually when the modern technology is so advanced. The manual searching are so slow compared to the computer’s process speed and the correctness can not be ensured as well.
  • Instead,all some online database and digital libraries are becoming in dominance,such as "web of science", "EBSCO". The diminishing or abandon of these book just transformed to a services that provide information for people. As we stated in the first scenario, the yellow book will disappear