iPad was released on Saturday. And no, I didn't buy one, but yes, I was tempted. Although I do like new technology, I don't tend to be a super early adopter. I figure I'll wait until the second generation version, after some of the kinks (if any) are worked out, and once the price comes down a bit.
But I'm excited (and also terrified) to see how the iPad will affect the publishing industry, and I think it will, just as the Kindle has affected the industry. I definitely see lots of opportunities, especially for four-color books (picture books!). If you haven't seen it yet, here's a demo that Penguin unveiled last month. (The quality/sound of the video isn't that great, but it's still worth a watch to see what could be the future of books.)
Here's a more recent video that shows us how it currently looks to read books on the iPad. I gotta say, I love the page turning--you can actually see what's on the back of the pages as you turn!):
(both videos via Galleycat)
And another evaluation, from Publishing Perspectives:
The one thing I'm really curious about is how easy it will be to edit on the iPad. I've started to transition over to editing completely electronically. (A recent poll in our editorial meeting showed that a huge majority of editors are already editing electronically.) For a while I was editing on paper, and then transferring my comments into Track Changes in Word and emailing to my authors. But it's starting to feel really...well, wrong to print novels out any more. And so the shift. But before the shift I had worried about two things:
1) I thought I would tend to not read as carefully on screen, but I've found that I've been reading more carefully.
2) I also worried about eye strain. This has proven to be a bit of an issue--when I'm in a zone, I don't want to stop editing, and afterward my eyes hurt and I have a bit of a headache. But according to this article in the NY Times, I should just make sure to rest my eyes every 20 minutes to prevent eye strain.
I like editing on screen okay, but I really would prefer to have something I could lay on the table. If editing is natural on the iPad, this just may be as life-changing a piece of technology as the eReader. I'm excited to experiment.
I thought I'd take a poll on technology. Here are my five questions:
1) Have you purchased or do you intend to purchase the iPad?
2) Do you edit electronically or on paper?
3) If you are a published author, do you receive edits from your editor electronically (for example, via Track Changes in Word)? If you're a publisher, do you edit electronically?
4) If you are a published author, do you receive the copyedited manuscript electronically? If you work for a publisher, do the copyeditors work electronically?
5) What do you think is a fair price to pay for a new release electronic book, considering that the hardcover price is $17. What if the hardcover is $25?
Thanks for participating! A week from today, I'll do a random drawing, and send one commenter a Little, Brown books of his/her choice.