Living in the Ebook Future

We’re in the middle of a revolution, and everybody knows it.  The maturing of an infrastructure to support electronic books is changing the delivery and exchange of information and entertainment.  Again.

Now, I’m not pretending that I know how this will shake out, but inspired by well, the fact that I’ve been directly involved in bringing about the revolution for a couple of years now, and things like last week’s Amazon/MacMillan smackdown, I thought I might start an occasional series here about the changes ebooks are bringing, large and small.

For instance, a couple of weeks ago, I was attending ConFusion, as science fiction convention held annually in southeast Michigan.  Good convention.  Good programming, good chance to catch up with friends.  While hanging out in the hotel lobby, I saw there, Toby Buckell, a friend and fine SF writer.  I had recently bought a copy of Toby’s Sly Mongoose in ebook format, and had it with my on my reader.  That reader has a touch screen, and a stylus that is very handy for making notes on manuscripts I’ve loaded into it (that’s another post).

But could I use it for…more important things?


So I walked up to Toby and asked if he’d autograph my ebook.

As far as I know, this was a first.  And it worked.  And quickly went meta as people gathered around to snap photos on their smartphones and tweet about the event.

Conclusion: the ebook future is a silly place, but I like it.








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Living in the Ebook Future — 3 Comments

  1. Ooooh, that’s interesting. Does that make your particular copy of the book suddenly “unique?” Does that mean that your particular copy has a “value” that other copies don’t have? Does that change what e-books are yet again, as the data, ie. the content, is superceded by the format and the “container” of that data, as in – AKK – a normal book, because the version you have isn’t interchangeable with anyone else’s copy. Or does it just mean that the added value (not necessarily monetary) of the autograph is just info that could theoretically be added to ANY copy of that e-book? My head is exploding – I’m off to think about it.

  2. That depends. How do you interpret value? This particular ebook has added value to me, because of the experience; the signing, the attention, photos, tweets, being part of a cool event. But would that value translate? Come to that, would the value of the signature translate, because theorteically, I could send out copies of the autograph, separate from the book itself.

    Must stop before eyes start spinning.

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