Men at the Epub Factory, Old and Cunning

Somebody want to tell Alex Turcic, he don’t owe nothing, and boy ought to get running?

I don’t know, I’m watching junior, recognizing a need, sorta take back over MobileRead’s message postings, Commander Taco style.  But the topics break down along two categories: Kindle FUD, and epub Real Soon Nows.  With the latter, typical for the breed, not entirely accurate.

You know, we’re now at the point where .epub BS is sorta like Jon Noring’s “I Came Close” in an IDPF board election where the man finished 7th.  Sad that you’d try it, but so what if the thing you’re fibbing about had happened?  However, I wonder why the comparatively youthful M. Turcic has launched his war on relevance.

At this point, at least in publishing, no rational adult honestly feels that Kindle is a flop.  It may or may not be an Ipod-like hit, but it’s selling ebooks in numbers never thought possible, and the demographic for the device, serious, educated book buyers (folks who might pick up one or more hardcovers a week), is new to ebookland.

And Turcic, you know, did the right thing when a rule-breaking technology came along. He reorganized, blew the conch shell once or twice to get MR Natives back contributing to the library, and sorta gave up on trying to be a book reviews site.  So, given, traffic’s up for everbody post-Kindle, (even me, and I turned off my ads after Rothman started telling black people how they should identify themselves), Turcic should probably be happy with the results.

But judging by the posts, he clearly ain’t.  And it could be something personal.  Sony, after all, courted Mr. Turcic, and his site’s members.  Which was great, and free rides to San Diego, and Sony’s reps were pretty accesible a couple of years ago.  MR was won over, Sony sold better than any ebook device prior to Kindle, all was happy and good in ebookland, until, err, well, Kindle launched and sold out in six hours.  And maybe the issue is anger with Kindle.

And if it is anger, cool.  As a dude who pro se against a global media corporation, I’m all for hopeless endeavors.  I think it needs to happen more, and he’s welcome to my copies of 300, V For Vendetta of the Milagro Beanfield War for sustenance.  Will Kindle not to sell by any possible means.  Go to, sirrah, go to.

But if Mr. Turcic has chosen his current course because of, say, constant emails from an Adobe guy who doesn’t have much credibility outside MobileRead…  well, you know, it’s, like, the best years of his site they want to steal.

As a punchline to all this, there was a bit of software, first made available on MobileRead, that really could have been a game-changer for Sony’s Reader.  It Comic Book LRF, a program that… converted comic books into .lrfs.  Buggy thing, and it had issues, however there are a lot of people reading cbf’s out there, and they look pretty good on a six-inch screen, and this is even content that Sony has an edge in, maybe, compared to Amazon.  I’d've said something when I first tried the program months ago, but I’m out of favors for Sony, and especially didn’t want to convince them, only to hear they’d do SPX, but not replace the bankrupt Quebecor’s role in providing open bar to any and all….

Then ComicBook LRF disappeared from the MobileRead site, crowded out by so much epub blather…

/At least MR could tell Astak, though a CBF viewer won’t work great on a five-inch screen…

//Nah, some Latvian publishing house just announced support  for .epub… as an import format.

About dmoynihan

Me here.
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  • DMcCunney

    I’m still active on MobileRead, and largely unfazed by the Kindle FUD and ePub blather.

    As I commented to another poster, a standard, whether proposed or actually approved by an industry standards body is meaningless until actually adopted by the industry. Who publishes books in ePub format? What can I use to read them?

    The biggest leap forward I can see ePub taking is Amazon supporting it on the Kindle. (The phrase “When Hell freezes over” comes to mind.)

    There are rumors that Sony will add ePub support in a firmware update, but those are just rumors as yet, and will still leave the question of books in that format to display on the reader.

    From here, it looks like ePub might be a nice intermediate format for ebooks, readily converted to the format the end user will actually read, which might be Mobi, Sony LRF, or eReader.

    Right now, I’m using Mobi Creator to put some older stuff in RTF and PDF format into Mobi format so I can read it on my PDA, because Creator will import from those sources. I expect to do similar things when ePub versions are more available.

    I simply want books in a widely supported format I can read on whatever I happen to have handy. Mobi is a good choice because of the range of devices there is a Mobi reader for. (Lack of a Mac reader is a little surprising, though, and would irritate me if I had a Mac.)

    We’ll see.