Barnes & Noble plans instore NFC Nook-book bonk-buying
Can we expect a 'publish to Nook' button in Word?
B&N's CEO reckons NFC will be the glue to holds the disparate parts of the business together, with the help of Microsoft's money and a following wind.
The idea, expounded during an interview with Fortune magazine, is for a Nook equipped with NFC wireless communication tech to be tapped against shelved volumes, said tomes having been electronically tagged by the publishers at printing so that they respond with relevant information over radio waves.
The bonk would bring up reviews from Barnes & Noble's online incarnation and allow instant purchasing - so the physical shop becomes a showroom for digital purchases.
The model makes sense because at least this way bookseller B&N makes money from the sale rather than bleeding revenue to Amazon (as happens daily in bookshops across the country).
William Lynch, B&N CEO, complained that his company doesn't get enough credit for its technological lead, pointing out that the Android-based colour Nook was a year ahead of the Kindle Fire and that its latest innovation (an e-ink screen with a built-in reading lamp) has sold out.
When it comes to Microsoft's money, and integration, Lynch reckons that's really about content creation rather than shifting the default Nook platform onto Windows 8. Nook, like Kindle, is already available on a range of platforms including iOS and Android, although it lacks the international reach of Amazon's baby, so Windows 8 will (initially, at least) be another supported platform.
But when it comes to content creation then integration, a tie-up with Microsoft Office has got to be the holy grail: one can imagine a "Publish to Nook" button in Word which would surely be a killer feature.
Microsoft's own e-book format, Microsoft Reader, had that as an optional patch which wasn't enough to save the format - Reader will be killed off entirely at the end of August although no content in
.lit format has been available since November. Including a "publish" button in every copy of Word might just tip the balance, assuming the competition authorities don't notice. ®
Re: Does anyone actually do this?
You've actually got multiple questions there.
1) Do I buy books even though I own an e-reader? Yes.
Personally I think the mass market paperback format is dead, but the hardcover format is still alive for me, and when I want a good edition of a book that I like, it's going to be in hardcover.
(Books that I do buy in e-format tend to be technical books that will become obsolete, or the equivalent of airplane novels.)
2) So do I buy those books in a bookstore? Yes.
Someday I'll unleash my rant on an unsuspecting world about the difference between browsing and searching, but for now, yes, a bookstore experience is still superior to the on-line experience, even with the "people who bought 'A Novel' also bought 'B Novel' suggestions.
Supporting my local bookstore over Amonopolyzon is important.
3) Does that mean I will always buy a book I see in a bookstore over the e-book format? No.
See 1) above. Not all books really need (or deserve) to be in physical format.
Re: Calligraphy with Crayons
Scarcely any of your complaints have any bearing on e-book work. Your product's appearance is going to be more dependent on the device than on Word and what fonts you have installed. You're going to use the fonts the user of the e-reader has set it to use.
Plus, an e-book is like a web page: the display parameters can vary widely and the book has to adjust gracefully. You aren't doing typography. More like making strong suggestions as to how the book should look on the most likely display device and try to make it scale to others. I've already had a lot of case where I threw up my hands and said screw the cell phone readers. They're just going to have to pan about a bit to see this page properly.
For more complex designs, such as a tablet-oriented magazine or 'coffee table book with much greater complexity than a simple paperback of the sort the common e-readers emulate, there are apps like Adobe InDesign. For things like novels, Word is fine for bringing the manuscript up to the stage of creating the EPUB file. I do 90% of the work in Word, load to Atlantis for EPUB output, then final tweaks in Sigil.
Ever heard of Atlantis Word Processor?
Having EPUB output from Word would be great. I currently use Atlantis, a word processor that greatly resembles Word2003, for its save as EPUB function. I'd use Atlantis for everything but it has some huge gaping deficiencies that have gone unmitigated in a decade of broken promises. The big one is a complete lack of support for tables. But then, Kindle doesn't support tables either. This makes a lot of formatting very difficult. In a place where I'd use a table in a layout, I instead have to create a graphic image of a table and insert that.
This is very undesirable because it doesn't scale. But there is no other choice for Kindle work right now. The newer K* format isn't supported by the installed base and will only be usable on
niche products for a few more years.
Not seeing the benefit.
I'm one of those people who still browses in bookstores (despite 99% of my book purchases being ebooks), mainly because there happen to be a couple of book stores on my route to work; but despite being (I suppose) and ideal target customer for this idea, I just can't see the benefit, either for myself, or, to be honest, the bookseller. Yes they may get a few incremental sales, but unless this became a default purchasing path for most of their customers (which strikes me as extremely unlikely), it isn't going to save them from the inherent cost inefficiencies of their retail business. It smacks of the typical flawed thinking of bricks and mortar media retailers who refuse to accept they are in the "selling IP" business not the "selling stuff from a building with a counter and a nice coffee shop" business.
It will also be interesting to see if B&N plan to use their Microsoft relationship to expand internationally (presumably not by doing anything so foolish as opening shops).
"Publish to Nook" button in Word?
Technically, it sounds like a nifty idea, but, then... I imagine all those unpublished novelists and poets out there who are unpublished for a good reason, and I think "Publish To Nook" button in Word? aaaauuuuggghhhhhhhhh