David Meerman Scott Talks Tablets

Business book author David Meerman Scott thinks that the Kindle Fire is going to change everything for business book publishing. The author of  Newsjacking: How to Inject Your Ideas Into A Breaking News Story and Generate Tons of Media Coverage caught up with eBookNewser for an interview about how tablets change the reading experience for books.

EBN: How do tablets change the reading experience for business books?

DMS: Tablets bring a seamless non-linear experience to reading a book. You can instantly jump from one part of the book to another which is something I’ve always wished for, as a reader of business books and as an author of them. While a black and white graphic is okay in a print business book, the color component and the ability to size for detail is compelling. And you can instantly link from the book to external content too. It means a book read on a tablet is like reading a blog post with links to valuable content from other places. This new book experience means watching the video the author mentioned with one click. It means you can check out the Twitter feed of the expert cited in the text. You can see the cool picture that was once worth 1,000 words.

EBN: Will it require authors to keep updating their content to make sure links are current and content is updated?

DMS: Yes. Links constantly break and new content becomes available. I have an intern who helps me review links on a regular basis. Using a spreadsheet, we check each link to find ones that are broken or redirecting readers, and update them. With my print books, I’ve been doing that as new editions come out (I have links as footnotes). With tablets, I hope to push new versions out on a regular cycle.

EBN: Do you think of the Kindle Fire and the Nook Tablet will be as popular as the iPad?

DMS: Most tablets are just technology. The computer is built because every company needs a tablet but it is not deliberately built to drive a content-driven experience. Apple (with the iPad) and Amazon are both pioneers in this new world of optimized electronic content. I am watching Amazon closely in this marketplace for one simple reason, online content. Amazon is a content company that happens to create technology. For example, Amazon pioneered user reviews which they own hundreds of millions of. They have a fantastic algorithm for categorizing their product listings in a way that makes them easy to both search and browse. No doubt that Amazon is one of the biggest content companies in the world and the Kindle is built to serve the content, not the other way around. For that reason, I predict it will become very popular.

EBN: How do you read eBooks?

DMS: I travel nearly every week from my home base in Boston to speaking gigs around the world. When I am on a plane, I like to read on my Kindle. I got the first version when it was released and have continually upgraded and now have a Kindle Fire. I carry a few dozen books on the Fire so if I start a book and don’t like it or feel like a biography or thriller or business book, I always have one ready.