Year of the e-Book
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Everyone is talking about e-books and even more e-reading devices have been announced and are waiting for your books to be loaded! Where does IBM stand in all of this?
Personally I think that IBM has been at the leading edge of having e-books available about our products and technologies. Even if you don't read them, surely you've heard of IBM Redbooks. For more than 40 years, IBM has been creating "how to" books to help you build your skills on our products and technolgies. There are half a million IBM Redbooks downloaded every year! IBM Redbooks are available to you for FREE in PDF format. Read these books on your computer, laptop or any device that will accept PDF documents.
Beyond the IBM Redbooks, you can find product documentation for DB2 products in PDF format as well as integrated within the product through online help. Again, as these are PDF files, read them on any device that allows PDFs.
IBM Press has published a wide variety of books that can be purchased in the traditional book format, Kindle format, PDF format, or through online book engines such as Safari Books Online and Books 24x7. If you are an employee with IBM, you automatically have access to all the books available on Books 24x7. If you are a student at a University, you may also have access to Books 24x7. Check with your administrator.
A series of books "For the community by the community" are available from developerWorks. These books are available for you to download for free, in PDF format. Titles in this series are being added all the time... and good news for who want translated editions. The books are being translated by members of the community as well, so you may find a translation that is suitable for you.
If you are looking for books specifically for DB2 pureXML, check out the list of free ebooks that are available for you to download in PDF format.
If you're not sure yet if you want to read books online or via a device, give it a try to see what you think. You can download chapters from various Web 2.0 and Social Media books to see if you like it or not.
Many of the publishers who I work with are presenting e-book strategies to me for future publications. The idea is that the books will be available immediatly in an online format of some kind, but the books are only printed when they are requested / purchased by a reader. This means that the book can be more easily updated when necessary and the publisher will not have a warehouse full of printed books. This makes sense, doesn't it?
Do readers want online books exclusively? I don't think so, yet. Perhaps there will always be a need for a printed book... and if you could see my desk, you'd know immediately that I am a big fan of printed books! I got a Kindle for Christmas, so I've started to see the benefits of reading on such a device. And really, Kindle is just the beginning. Everywhere you look there are different devices being made available: Sony, Nook, iPad, apps on iPhones and Blackberries, etc. I can't keep up with all the new devices, but I found this website that lists many that I've never even heard of! So, take a look if you are interested.
All of this combined tells me IBM is very into this ebook trend AND that 2010 is the Year of the e-Book... at least in terms of supply... so we'll have to wait to see if you the readers buy into the ebook technologies.
If you want to add to this discussion, take a look at this group that I've created on ChannelDB2.com: Electronic Books.