Things I Want

As a newbie author, I’ve been watching the publishing industry for a while. I’m a fan of the publishing industry as I’m somewhat of a nerd and love love love books. They were my saving grace as an unhappy teenager and as an adult, they are the saving grace from keeping my ass from expanding to ginormous (I do most of my reading on my elliptical, ICYWW).

We’ve established that. I’m also a realist and recognize that publishing is going through some challenges in growing and facing the demands of an increasingly digital world. I’ll be the first one to admit that I do the bulk of my reading on my ipad now, something I vehemently resisted for a while. But sadly, if I want to read, it’s going to be on a device that I always have with me: my ipad or my phone.

That said, I still buy physical books for my keeper shelf. I like nothing more than flipping through a book for a particularly poignant scene or tagging a page for notes to come back to later.

So, in acknowledging that I want both physical books AND digital books, here’s a few things I want to see.

I want an open source ebook reader app that will let me read from BN, Kindle or iBooks or PDF that will SYNC my books like the Kindle and Nook apps do. I like being able to go between my ipad and my phone to keep reading when I’m standing in line or otherwise find myself with a few minutes. I dislike being locked into a single ecosystem which all three of the major players in the ebook market do. Calibre is very close to having the ability to manage all of my ebooks. Give me the ability to sync it, either using iCloud or Google or something and I’ll be a happy girl.

I want a Kids Tablet of some kind. The Nook Kids app is a great app. It’s full color and it’s BOOKS. Not games. Not read out loud movie versions. It’s books. I want a Nook tablet for kids that is for books. I love my ipad for my kids but hell, it’s a little expensive for them to be lugging around. I don’t, however, want a toy like the kids tablets that were the big thing at Christmas last year. The games suck, the ability to transfer files to the damn things requires a PhD and we won’t even start on the battery life issues. A ruggedized Nook for Kids or larger iPod, again ruggedized, would be great for getting the kids some portable books and learning apps that aren’t over priced and dumbed down.

I want print on demand from the Big 6 publishers. I love love love that I’m published in a digital imprint and I’m also a realist in that it makes sense to publish digitally these days. The ability to sell through in print is challenging for solidly established authors, let alone an unknown debut like me. So no, I don’t necessarily want my publisher or any publisher to stay locked into a publishing model that is going to keep losing money if the authors don’t sell enough physical books. But I’m also aware that there is a digital divide and some people either cannot afford an ereader, don’t have the internet connectivity in order to effectively use an ereader or simply won’t use one. I don’t know if that’s 60 people or 600 people and I’m not asking any publisher to guess. But I would love, love, love to see a print on demand option that is seamless to the buyer which makes the book available in print.

I want bundling. I buy a lot of books that are both digital and print. Nonfiction gets bought in my house in hard cover and digital. Fiction on my keeper shelf gets bought digital and print (don’t tell my spouse). I want bundling that saves a little bit of money. I’m not asking for buy one get one free. But a little off the top would be nice.

The last thing I want is probably something only I want but it’s a big one for me because well, I’m anal that way. You know how you can take tabs and run them down the side of a book and label it? Yeah, I want a pdf reader that can do that. I want to be able to see my tabs on the side of the page on my ipad. Maybe it’s my OCD but the app that lets me to that has an automatic client in moi.

So those are things I want. Greedy? Maybe. Self centered? Maybe a little of that, too. But these are things that I’d be willing to be other people want, too. And the company that delivers any of these fills a capability gap that is currently out there.

Let’s see if anyone is listening.

9 comments for “Things I Want

  1. Arkansas_Annie
    March 2, 2012 at 10:23 pm

    Rats! My comment got posted twice. Sorry!

    • jessiescott1210
      March 2, 2012 at 10:36 pm

      no worries!

  2. Arkansas_Annie
    February 29, 2012 at 8:13 am

    Thank you for your post, Jessica. I'm one of those readers who still prefers old-fashioned books, the kind made from dead trees. I don't have an e-reader and must read digital works on my home computer, which after an hour or so of sitting is hard on my butt. ____I have a terrible Luddite habit of being the last kid on my block to learn and use new technology. ____After a lifetime of handling printed books, to me the true experience of reading means getting comfy, as in a bed or on a couch, and picking up a good book—or a trashy one, whatever I'm in the mood for.____But as you pointed out, in book publishing digital media is the wave of the future. Clearly the current e-publishing world isn't as reader-friendly as it should be. If publishers of e-books and manufacturers of devices to read them want to keep selling their products, they will have to rectify the situation. Doing so would be in their best interests as well as ours. ____I hope that soon each of the items on your wish list will become realities. ____Keep up the good work!

  3. Mary Anne Landers
    February 29, 2012 at 8:05 am

    Thank you for your post, Jessica. I'm one of those readers who still prefers old-fashioned books, the kind made from dead trees. I don't have an e-reader and must read digital works on my home computer, which after an hour or so of sitting is hard on my butt.

    I have a terrible Luddite habit of being the last kid on my block to learn and use new technology.

    After a lifetime of handling printed books, to me the true experience of reading means getting comfy, as in a bed or on a couch, and picking up a good book—or a trashy one, whatever I'm in the mood for.

    But as you pointed out, in book publishing digital media is the wave of the future. Clearly the current e-publishing world isn't as reader-friendly as it should be. If publishers of e-books and manufacturers of devices to read them want to keep selling their products, they will have to rectify the situation. Doing so would be in their best interests as well as ours.

    I hope that soon each of the items on your wish list will become realities.

    Keep up the good work!

  4. February 28, 2012 at 11:10 pm

    I don't use a cell but most in my family do and so I can see the connection being a good thing. I've always loved books but medical limitations make it difficult to hold printed materials so having a kindle is a God send. I've worked in a library system and would like to see them implementing this medium as well as audio books. I like your list and think they will eventually exist but being a woman you cut to the chase whereas men man see the eventually outcome but charge for each step along the path to the ultimate goal.

  5. Paige
    February 28, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    I can totally relate to the kids reading platform,. We purchased an iPod touch this year and have downloaded apps that help with vocabulary an spelling but its so delicate. Not to mention expensive. I have friends whose kids have destroyed the screen after dropping multiple times. One even ran her son's thru the washing machine after it was left in a pants pocket. Something more durable and larger would be great!

  6. February 28, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    Agreed. It's a great list. Perfectly reasonable. *stands and applaudes*

  7. Brian
    February 28, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    Man, you want alot. All I want is to get laid.

  8. veronicascott
    February 28, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    I like your list, seems reasonable to *me*!

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