We are very excited to be presenting our first round of ArtScroll ebooks to the public. I am sure many of you are wondering – what about the other ebook devices on the market – why just the iBooks app – which only works on the iPhone, iPad and iTouch. What about Kindle?
Here is the inside scoop:
Sorry I don’t speak Hebrew:
I have been testing various dedicated ebook readers for the past 10 years for ArtScroll – I still have my original RocketReader (paperweight anyone?)! We have watched the technology slowly evolve over the years – but until the iPad and iBooks application came out – we simply did not have a platform that could support ALL of the ArtScroll publications. This is due to one critical factor – Hebrew – ArtScroll’s best selling books have Hebrew in them – and lots of it – and the current popular eReaders on the market (like Kindle and Nook) don’t support Hebrew. Hebrew on these eReaders either looks like a bunch of little squares or the letters are backwards and there is no Nikkud – the little vowel marks.
Our goal was simple – find a device that supported interspersed Hebrew and English (Right to left and Left to Right characters) in the same paragraph – with the Nikkud (vowel marks) – with resizable and reflowable text. The iBooks family of devices do this! Finally we can present Hebrew English books with Nikkud – that can be resized and reflowed on a massively popular platform. There are still some minor aesthetic issues with the positioning of the Nikkud on the ibooks devices – but it is functional and correct.
It’s just too complicated for me to handle:
But our real dream is to have the classic ArtScroll texts like the Talmud, Torah, Tanach, Siddur and other translated works in digital format – these just cant be presented on the Kindle and the Nook! Firstly they don’t support Hebrew and secondly the page layout is too complex for these devices. For example, a page of the Stone Chumash has 5 different text blocks that have to be kept in sync with each other in order to work properly – the Kindle and Nook can’t support that level of complexity.
I am just way too insecure:
Did you know that you can find instructions online on how to hack a Kindle book and remove its security protection in about 30 seconds? It is no secret that Kindle books aren’t secure – you may not know how to – but there are many thousands of people that do. So why don’t other publishers care? We assume its because the lifespan of the average mass-market book is not very long – its here today and gone tomorrow – read it once and done! What about a Chumash or a volume of the Talmud – these books have a shelf life of a lifetime – if not multiple generations. This makes ArtScroll books a high value target for hackers. We are committed to protect the intellectual property of our authors and to safeguard the enormous investment put into the classic works that we have produced over the years.
The iBookstore is secure (at least for today) and we feel that the rights of our authors are being properly protected.
This is clearly an evolving market. We are working to produce all of our books in digital format. But one thing we do know for sure – as of today there are 120,000,000 devices in the world that will support the reading of the first round of ArtScroll ebooks – and there will be more to come.
You can visit our current offering of eBooks at artscroll.com/ebooks
- the ArtScroll eBook Maven