iPad a Boon for Publishing

Yes, I know I am slightly prejudiced when it comes to Apple products, being the proud owner of an iPhone, iPod, plus the iMac on my desk at home and the Apple laptop for traveling…but I feel compelled to blog briefly about the news about the newest Apple gadget, the iPad– if only to counteract the stupid remarks regarding its name. It is a pad of sorts. It is a reading and writing pad and what I’m excited about is its potential to easily publish exciting books, magazines, and newspapers that will be interactive in content.
As a published author and magazine editor I’ve seen the publishing industry go into a steady decline as fewer people read books, newspapers, and magazines. For the past five years it has been forecast that books will become extinct by the end of the 2lst century. The printing and paper costs have escalated book pricing and the overhead for publishing houses has caused many to close their doors and become much more conservative in choosing authors to publish.
I do believe there will always be a market for beautiful quality books, designed with care and printed on fine textured paper. So no, I don’t believe printed books will go completely extinct but I do think their production will become more limited and they will be considered a luxury. Ownership of books will join the league of beautiful note cards sent by the postal service. They will continued to be appreciated by a limited audience.
But when it comes to accessibility and the potential for interaction between the author and the reader, the virtual book read on the iPad will provide unlimited potential for additional photography, illustrations, and information. I’m going to use one of my own books as an example, “Antique American Lamp Buyer’s Guide” because its goal was to provide current information on approximate pricing of various antique lamps while explaining to readers how lamp styles evolved and how to identify particular models. Just imagine if the reader could press on the photo and connect to daily sales of a particular style of antique lamps around the world. With another press of their finger they could watch a video of how the wick is raised and lowered in a kerosene lamp and see the way a lamp looks when illuminated with different chimneys and shades.
The same kind of interaction could take place in magazines. What’s Up? Publications are already available online in digital format, but if readers could press on a feature article and visit with the subject of the story by watching a video or connect to additional updated content as the story evolves; what a wonderful enhancement! Unlike the Kindle and other similar devices, iPad is offering a quality of resolution that will make it an enticing alternative to paper publications. Finally, there will be an option of reading a stack of newspapers and magazines without worrying about creating a stack of papers for recycling. Less paper to recycle is a good thing.

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Unplugged

 

We made a deal, my husband and I. No television, internet, email, ipod or anything electronic for an entire day—yesterday.  That was Saturday and I had a great time, I did use my car to drive to the library and the grocery story, but that enabled me to check out some books and replenish our pantry.

It was a day for reading and fussing over a home-cooked meal.

I took a walk, refusing to wear a watch because what did it matter what time it was. I had no place I had to go. No particular plans.  I sat and day dreamed planning  out some stories I’d like to write. Playing with ideas in my head of how best to create a story I’ve been thinking about.

I did work on some writing—in long hand. It was not a hardship because I always choose paper and pen when I want to deliberately be thoughtful about the words I choose.  I was working on the October Editor’s letter for What’s Up ? Annapolis and What’s Up? Eastern Shore, a challenge because I’m still in June.

How will I be feeling in October? What will be happening then and what will other people be doing and thinking about? I know what October looks like, the colors of fall, but I won’t know what will be happening in politics.  It will be after the Democratic and Republican conventions. The campaigning will be in full swing. Maybe they’ll be an outrageous scandal or a wonderful invention will hit the street – a break through fuel that liberates us from our dependence on gasoline.  How will I know about these things if I don’t listen to the radio, plug into the internet, or start text messaging my friends? It’s not practical to be unplugged for more than a day, but oh what a glorious day!