- We break the class into 8 groups of 4. Each group will examine one ebook platform, looking at their breadth, depth, and prospects.
The 8 Groups
- Barnes & Noble/Nook
- Google Books
- Feedbooks + partners
Each group should prepare two things:
- a 3–4 page handout outlining what you’ve found. Bullet points are OK, but it needs proper references and citations, just like in a paper.
- a 5-minute presentation to the class, summarizing what you’ve found. No Powerpoint or slides.
Here are the questions that should guide your research. You may not be able to find definitive answers to all of these, but you should do your best.
- What is the range of their offerings? What are the major pieces of the platform?
- How do the elements of the platform work together?
- What do you think makes this platform most compelling to people?
- What can you find about the size of the audience this platform holds?
- How does this platform compete or distinguish itself from the others? What strategies, tactics?
- What facilities are there for “social reading”?
- What’s new for winter (that is, the XMas buying season) 2011?
Marks will be awarded on two main criteria:
- how much info you’ve turned up; how comprehensive your research is
- how clear your presentation is
Some research tips
1. When you search Google, look on the left-hand side of the page for options constraining your search to “Past year,” “Past 2 months” and so on. If it doesn’t appear automatically, look under “More search tools”—this will help keep old results out of your search, so you can focus on up-to-date information.
2. Wikipedia has a good deal of information about these platforms, and more general information about ebook markets more generally. Some of it is a year or two old, however.
3. Most announcements regarding these platforms appear on Teleread.org—don’t forget to read the comments that accompany these articles, as they often have valuable insights or critiques.
4. Don’t just research your own platform; look at stories about the other 7 as well; this will give you more insight and perspective into your own. Compare/contrast!