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E-books, the next generation?

I'm interested in e-books because I think they have the potential to change the publishing paradigm (talk about your buzz words!). But except for text books, which have something of a captive audience, e-books have so far been only a blip on the radar, at least for fiction books. However, I noticed this article on Yahoo about kids' books coming out as e-books. It struck me as an interesting development. I guess the strategy is to go with those readers who are most used to electronic delivery—the youngest readers.

The Yahoo article discusses the new BookFlix line from Scholastic (U.S. publisher of the Harry Potter books and a major player in kiddie lit) and references ease of use and the prevalence of laptops as reasons why the idea could work. Here is what the Scholastic site had to say about the pre-K version of this line:

"BookFlix Grades PreK –3. Build a love of reading and learning with paired fiction and nonfiction—online! BookFlix is a new online literacy resource that pairs interactive fictional video storybooks from Weston Woods with related nonfiction content from Scholastic to engage students, reinforce reading skills and introduce young readers to a world of knowledge and exploration."

I'm all for instilling a love of reading. Their "Learn more" link didn't work, which made me wonder if Scholastic is ready for e-books, but they sent me a better link. If they can get their act together and indoctrinate the next generation—and the new book readers pan out—we could finally say that when it comes to the publishing paradigm, shift happens.


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( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 21st, 2007 05:31 pm (UTC)
What's really interesting is that at the moment, YA and other children's books have largely NOT been able as ebooks.

The ones I've seen as ebooks were e-pubbed, not NY, and in one particular case, the author writes for adults under the same name.
Jun. 21st, 2007 05:39 pm (UTC)
That should be available as ebooks, not able. *headdesk*
Jun. 22nd, 2007 05:43 am (UTC)
I suspect ebooks will take off with the current generation of kids. All three of my kids played with Leap-pad electronic interactive books and related electronica. They had lots of fun with them and incidentally learned to read early because of them. I can see it would be only a short hop (pun totally intended) from the current Leap-pad technology to e-book chips for the readers. It would be technology as familiar to them as cell phones and internet are for me. Ten years ago, who would have thought about blogging becoming as big as it is or considered giving a child a cell phone? And yet here it is 2007 and my 6-year old daughter is perfectly comfortable going to her favorite websites (under supervision, of course) and I'm seriously considering giving her a cell phone for her 7th birthday because she'd use it responsibly.

My new release, The Milkman, is available as an e-book. I think that's pretty cool.

Jun. 24th, 2007 03:26 pm (UTC)
It's totally cool, Ian!
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( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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