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, Barnes & Noble, or anyone else. You sign up for an ‘open book’ account and use this login on any of these platforms for purchasing or reading digital books.
With this ability you can buy a kindle book and read it in iBooks, or an iBook and read it in Google books, etc. 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, though, regardless of this would contain the same words.
I’m referring specifically to novels here. I treat novels independent of textbooks and magazines because they don’t need to be interactive or require 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 indefinitely to a single platform.
So what does all of 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 what I’m calling “the 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 ‘paying for’ 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, the publishers and writers win.
Now to find a way to make this happen?