The open book format
I have been meaning to write this for a while now. We need an open book format for digital books. Or more accurately, we need a single login for our purchased digital books that is independent of Apple, Amazon, Google and Barnes & Noble. You sign up for an ‘open book’ account within any of these platforms and can use this login on any of the platforms to buy and read your digital books.
So with this ability you can buy a kindle book and read it in iBooks. You buy an iBook and read it in Google books. The names of the books you buy are saved to your open book account. The platform you buy the book on gets the profit from the purchase. The books could be presented differently on each platform, but regardless of this they would contain the same words.
I’m talking specifically about novels here. I treat novels separate to textbooks and magazines because they don’t need to be interactive or have special treatment. In the end novels are a large amount of words in a certain order. The open book format solves the biggest gripe I have with digital books: having your digital books tied to a single platform.
So what does this achieve? It provides people with the freedom to buy the book they want without having to think about the bullshit of digital books. It allows book publishers to add ‘open book DRM’ to their books without hurting the consumer. And it enables anyone to jump into the e-book world with both feet knowing for certain that their book purchases won’t come back to haunt them in the years to come. This is simply how novels should work in the digital world; it makes sense, and consumers need a solution to this “stranded book purchase” problem. I could see it making a paying customer of many a book pirate, and it getting most-everyone to consider very seriously moving to digital novels.
In this scenario the consumer wins, the best platform wins, and because digital books are cheaper to produce and distribute, and easier to buy, even the publishers and writers win.
Now to find a way to make this happen?