Brian Tibbetts

September 3, 2015

Reading the Cloud


Publishing & Technology: Reading the Cloud

Brian Tibbetts is a literary agent with MacGregor Literary. Every Wednesday, Brian posts about trends in the publishing industry and developments in technology that impact the industry. You can find him on Twitter @BRIANRTIBBETTS

This week in Publishing & Technology we’ll be talking about e-readers, cloud-based computing, mobile apps, and the Fabrik cloud e-book reader.

When I recently broadened my role with MacGregor Literary, from exclusively dealing in translation and other subsidiary rights to representing new works for publication (for clarity’s sake, I am not open to unsolicited manuscripts at this time), my reading for work increased exponentially. Initially, I was content with reading manuscripts directly on my laptop. But, over time this became an issue as more and more of my time was spent in the office “working.” And less and less “relaxing” with my family. I solved the problem by borrowing a rarely used Kindle from a friend and downloading my work reading as PDFs onto the device. I could then “relax” with the family, while “working.” For some reason the change in device represented a change in my behavior to the observers (who spend half of their time exhibiting second-screen behavior of their own). I have been happy with Kindle, but my friend has been making noises about wanting it back soon for an extended trip out of state, so I find myself with a problem.

Recently, I finally broke my iPhone4. And, while perusing the available upgrades at my mobile provider, I was enticed with a bundled deal that would allow me to also pick up an Android-based tablet for very little extra money. So, I dove into the internet and began looking up Android-based e-reader apps in the hopes that I might find something that mirrored the features of the Kindle that I enjoyed while being compatible with the tablet that I haven’t necessarily committed to purchasing yet.

While reading through Android Authority’s 15 Best eBook reader Android Apps article, I happened upon the Fabrik cloud-based e-reader app, which also appears on several top lists for 2015 Android apps. Initially, cloud-compatibility wasn’t even on my list of considerations in looking for an e-reader or e-reader application. But, the more I think about it, and the more I examine the price differences between smartphones and tablets that seem completely based on the amount of storage available on the various devices, the more cloud-based reading seems like more of an inevitability than a convenient option. I may be too old to ever completely trust the cloud with my music collection, family photos, or books. But for manuscripts that may never see publication and books in which I am interested enough to read, but perhaps not to keep, it may be the next big thing to push me toward the sky.

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