Following the success of our inaugural #BMHour on Twitter a couple of weeks ago, we decided to do it again. And lo, like Icarus, our wings did melt, so near the sun did we fly. By which I mean not as many people logged onto Twitter around 6.30pm last night as did last time, which I’m sure is a fairly accurate translation from the original Greek. Anyway, there was still some degree of conversation, and this time the topic to kick it all off was ‘How can we add value to digital editions of books and still sell printed material?’ As before, a digest of the main talking points follows.
RobAroundBooks: I’ll offer an early answer – the digital edition needs to compliment the printed one in some way, and vice versa.
Book_Machine: I guess so … would take a while to teach though on top of everything else..
eMCDesignLtd: I think it’s aimed at industry level rather than education for time being. Is it something developers/publishers would adhere to?
Book_Machine: meant teach people to use. Perhaps. Once everything else has been totally normalised
Book_Machine: What would be the advantage of making printed books interactive from an educational point of view?
sophie_cryer: I suppose an advantage is that all resources could be in one place. No more flicking around between slides, DVD etc
Book_Machine: It’s just never ending what you can do with interactive learning materials … can save teachers so much time
gavinsummers: interactivity has great potential for textbooks, game based learning is gaining traction
Book_Machine: mind-boggling? That’s interesting… why’s that?
wendytoole: mind-boggling because you could read a play text, hear various actors delivering line, watch the scene
sophie_cryer: Would publishers make enough money from just selling one resource?
eMCDesignltd: One resource as digital books would be able to encompass everything – video, sound, pics, animations – all in one “object”
eMCDesignLtd: Would the cost of making it available across this many platforms be prohibitive? So would a better solution be to develop web based digital editions that can be pushed out to various content (phones, tablets etc)?
Book_Machine: sounds like a viable solution. Doesn’t really solve loss of margin from printed books but does help with adaptability
gavinsummers: possibly, but need to make sure the e-commerce systems are in place to enable this
eMCDesignLtd: So how do you see both printed & digital working together, or are they not compatible?
mikemurphy1979: if print & digital are eating each other’s space not enough has been done to justify both
Book_Machine: How do you ensure digital eds are widely available and don’t become redundant if technology changes?
That might seem like an abrupt ending, but that was where we called it quits. Read the complete conversation on Twitter under #BMHour
He was chief hack and music editor of webzine Brazen from 2006 to 2010, and hosted Left of the Dial on Subcity Radio from 2008 to 2011.
He can be heard semi-regularly on the podcast of Scottish cultural blog Scots Whay Hae ('20th best website in Scotland!' - The List), and in 2011 founded Seen Your Video, a film and music podcast and blog based in Glasgow. He has a Masters degree in Scottish Literature from the University of Glasgow that will never have any practical application. You are on a hiding to nothing if you follow him on Twitter expecting any kind of hot publishing scoop.