How Do You Sign An EPub?

I'm heading home from the Embedded Systems Conference right now. You can check out our ESC 2011 show coverage as well as the video interviews that are posted on Engineering TV.

In the meantime, I was discussing ebook issues with a couple people at the show. I've written a number of print books and have signed a few at trade shows where they were on sale. I do not have a best seller but it it the thought that counts. Those dozen books I signed are really rare. :)

The problem these days with digital books is there is really no way for an author to provide a signed copy of their book! Sure, you can type in something and you could include an image of a handwritten note. It is even possible to digitally sign a PDF file using a digital certificate but these are not quite the same thing. In fact, they are all quite different because these are items that are readily copied. I wonder how someone is going to sign a Kindle if they have an ebook instead of a print book. Better yet, how do you hold a digital book signing?

There are other issues related to digital media as well. For example, any are trying to lock down content to a particular device. Lose or destroy the device and the content is lost. Sure, it is possible to destroy a print book but trashing a library tends to be a bit more difficult than breaking an e-reader.

I recently lamented the loss of Digi-Key's paper catalog (see A Sad Day As Digi-Key Goes Green And Drops Its Printed Catalog). The loss of personalized books is a bit more important and does not have a good alternative at this point.

For now. Here is my signature.

- Bill Wong

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