Carolyn Meads interviews Arthur Attwell about ebooks in South Africa.
While there is a lot of talk about ebooks, there are many other real issues and opportunities in working with digital files rather than print books. For example, in the education sector we should see publishers experimenting with textbooks being remixed by teachers (e.g see Symtext or Bookriff), schoolchildren getting homework help by SMS, libraries previewing books before purchasing them, books reaching schools more quickly digitally (e.g. see Paperight, which my company is developing), authors working collaboratively with editors and each other, or even with the public (e.g. seethis approach from forward-thinking media company O’Reilly). There are other opportunities in adult education, healthcare, community development and so on. All of these ideas could be monetised, and all stem from the staff in publishing houses getting comfortable with working with digital processes – this isn’t hard, it just takes effort and imagination.