At next week's conference on the Future of the Book, I'll be really interested in one topic as a writer. And this topic affects you too, if you write for work. Which you do.
How People Will Read Digitally
To create effective digital publications, you need to understand how people read digitally. This session explains the latest research findings and shows some cutting edge techniques being developed to enhance the digital reading experience.
David Bainbridge, University of Waikato
Since this is about ebooks, the implications for writers go far beyond what we know about how people read web content on a computer screen. Ebook readers do not have the same type of computer screens, and they're not online, usually. And people read ebooks on iPhones: the tiny screen is an everyday book "page" for many.
I'm sure I'll learn much about how to write ebooks for the new environment. Obviously, any old book can be turned into an ebook. And obviously, endless examples of short, easy, how-to books have been written expressly for sale as a PDF.
But as a writer I want to know how I can make a work of fiction desirable, enticing, comfortable, and friendly, in the new environment? What design tips will work regardless of how the books are read? What sort of structure might work well -- must every future novel be picaresque, for instance?
The same information will apply, somehow, to business writing. It'll be fun trying to figure this out.
Exciting times. Meantime,
Radio NZ audio: Sherman Young discusses the future of books.
Image: bolted books by artist David Boyle.
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