I’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting.
“xBook” is my designation, coined here:
Since people cannot decide whether they are “enhanced” or “enriched” or “eBooks with extras,” I am coining the term xBook to encompass digital books that contain audio, video, and other interactive elements that require more than an eInk device to read. xBook has the advantage of not being a widely-known trademark and the “x as extra” is easy to explain to people. (Western Skyland Corporation holds a trademark for “xBook.” Western Skyland Corporation is a beard company for Microsoft. Since all but one other trademark held by this beard company is dead, I think it’s safe to use xBook as a generic term since it is not being actively used in the marketplace by the registrant.) Note that xBook should refer to an eBook — ePub or Kindle format — with extras, not an app, such as Vook.
What I didn’t know then was that Apple was part of the IDPF and waiting for the ePub3 spec to be finalized.
Now I wait to see what clever Apple-only extensions to ePub3 this toolkit will bring.
This explains why Push Pop Press let themselves be bought by Facebook. That was their only remaining exit strategy.
It also explains why suddenly Amazon started making noises about Kindle Format 8. Expect more noise in the days ahead.
Things we need to know:
1) How much of WebKit will be in the new iBooks?
2) If these xBooks are also viewable via the web, it’s game over for everyone else. Well, Amazon will fight and kick and bite, but everyone else is doomed.
3) Will DC Comics and Marvel be showcased? Digital comics are a natural for this and pave the way for book subscriptions. Weep for Comixology and the rest.
5) Will Electronic Arts be showcased (see here)? If so, amp up everything to eleven for significance.
5) How many idiot Big Sixers think this will allow them to charge outrageous prices to save themselves? That’s not going to work.
6) Will Apple trot out a brand name writer of some sort (or brand name comic book creator)? If so, amp up to twelve the significance of the event.
This will really be the first post-Steve Jobs Apple Event. The most important thing about it is that it follows in the spirit of Jobs: