Now available: Design for Impact by Erin Weigel

Our ebook strategy: feedback, please!


We’ve been muddling over how exactly to support the burgeoning demand for ebooks. As a publisher, it’s a hugely confusing mix of readers (like Stanza), devices (like Kindle, Sony Reader, and the iPhone) and formats (like PDF and Epub). Our ebook strategy is a work in progress: we’d love your input on our current plan:

  • So far: we’ve been providing our books as DRM-free PDFs that have been optimized for on-screen use (yes, we’ve actually tested the design with real-live users).
  • Definite plan: We’ll soon start providing another variety of PDF (also DRM-free). It’s a printer-optimized version (toner-hungry elements deleted) that we hope will satisfy those who want to make their laser printers earn their keep.
  • Does this make sense? Three ideas:
      1. Embed high-resolution images in our screen-optimized PDFs. We’re trying this now and it actually works pretty well when you use Acrobat Reader. The resolution is better than what you’d get from our Flickr feed, and you don’t have to go online.
      2. Support Epub, which works on the iPhone and Sony Reader. It looks like Epub files can be generated from InDesign, which is what we use to lay out our books.
      3. Wait on the Kindle: it doesn’t seem good at support books with lots of images and lots of color. Yet.

      Does this sound like a reasonable plan for a small publisher to take in Q1 2009? You’re the customer; please let us know!