Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Slightly sNOOKered

To the Nook developer event yesterday in London, full of anticipation. The Nook team were coming to London to address developers - they must have something to say, right? Wrong.

The Nook is a US-only device (you need to have a US-registered credit card to buy one and then buy content), so has zero appeal outside of North America. Barnes and Noble and Nook as brands also have no resonance outside of the US. So the team gave us their best marketing spiel, with lots of slides of smiling Americans, without understanding that this is an insanely long bet for UK developers or publishers.

I'd guess that most UK developers/publishers have a strong UK constituency they need to keep happy, even if it's just in the boardroom. Developing just for the US requires a deep breath and deeper pockets.

But it's the same story with the Kindle. You could develop for the Fire, but it's not available outside the US, and the Kindle apps haven't been updated to support KF8 titles, so enhanced ebooks and apps are out. Effectively there's been no progress on the platform for years, unless you live in the US.

Apple, meanwhile has been charging ahead with iBooks 2 and the App Store and a nice authoring tool, but doesn't have the market share to make it viable as your only channel, so, if you love iOS, it's the app store for you.

It feels like an epublishing log-jam right now in Europe if you want to do enhanced or fixed-layout titles. The market-leaders haven't made it to Europe and Apple are neglecting to promote their platform.

All we can do is wait and see, assets to hand, ready to jump when we can.

The model we use to do this a repository system. Build an asset repository and re-purpose when the metrics make sense.