Ebooks: Neither E, Nor Books eBook

Cory Doctorow
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 28 pages of information about Ebooks.

Ebooks:  Neither E, Nor Books

Paper for the O’Reilly Emerging Technologies Conference, 2004

February 12, 2004

San Diego, CA

Cory Doctorow




This talk was initially given at the O’Reilly Emerging Technology Conference [ http://conferences.oreillynet.com/cs/et2004 ], along with a set of slides that, for copyright reasons (ironic!) can’t be released alongside of this file.  However, you will find, interspersed in this text, notations describing the places where new slides should be loaded, in [square-brackets].

This text is dedicated to the public domain, using a Creative
Commons public domain dedication: 

> Copyright-Only Dedication (based on United States law) > > The person or persons who have associated their work with this > document (the “Dedicator”) hereby dedicate the entire copyright > in the work of authorship identified below (the “Work”) to the > public domain. > > Dedicator makes this dedication for the benefit of the public at > large and to the detriment of Dedicator’s heirs and successors. > Dedicator intends this dedication to be an overt act of > relinquishment in perpetuity of all present and future rights > under copyright law, whether vested or contingent, in the Work. > Dedicator understands that such relinquishment of all rights > includes the relinquishment of all rights to enforce (by lawsuit > or otherwise) those copyrights in the Work. > > Dedicator recognizes that, once placed in the public domain, the > Work may be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, used, > modified, built upon, or otherwise exploited by anyone for any > purpose, commercial or non-commercial, and in any way, including > by methods that have not yet been invented or conceived.


For starters, let me try to summarize the lessons and intuitions I’ve had about ebooks from my release of two novels and most of a short story collection online under a Creative Commons license.  A parodist who published a list of alternate titles for the presentations at this event called this talk, “eBooks Suck Right Now,” [eBooks suck right now] and as funny as that is, I don’t think it’s true.

No, if I had to come up with another title for this talk, I’d call it:  “Ebooks:  You’re Soaking in Them.” [Ebooks:  You’re Soaking in Them] That’s because I think that the shape of ebooks to come is almost visible in the way that people interact with text today, and that the job of authors who want to become rich and famous is to come to a better understanding of that shape.

I haven’t come to a perfect understanding.  I don’t know what the future of the book looks like.  But I have ideas, and I’ll share them with you: 

Project Gutenberg
Ebooks: Neither E, Nor Books from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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