On the Adobe eBook Platform – Part 1: An Introduction

This is the first of a 10 part series where I will talk about my perspectives on the Adobe eBook Platform. I’ve noticed that while the platform is broadly used internationally by publishers, retailers, distributors, device makers and libraries – not to mention many millions of consumers – there is not a whole lot of in-depth discussion and coverage on it to be found online. My goal in this blog is to help fill that void a bit, start a conversation with our peers, and to advocate that those of us that participate in this ecosystem make renewed efforts to cooperate and work together. We need to work together for our collective benefit and for the benefit of the most important people to us all: the people who read.

This series will be focused on the business and technical side of things, so probably of interest mostly to folks who work in the digital publishing space. Here’s an overview of the topics I’ll be hitting on:

  • Part 2: Platform Overview
  • Part 3: What’s New?
  • Part 4: What is this Reseller Model Anyway?
  • Part 5: What is Adobe Vendor ID?
  • Part 6: Why Should I Care?
  • Part 7: But Doesn’t DRM Suck?
  • Part 8: Resources and Players
  • Part 9: What Does the Future Hold?
  • Part 10: A Call to Work Together

To provide context for the subsequent posts in this series, here’s a short introduction to me and my company, Bluefire:

I’m Micah Bowers, the CEO of Bluefire Productions, an independent software company in Seattle. We offer digital content distribution tools for retailers, publishers, libraries, and anyone else who has high-value content that they’d like people to read, and with whom they’d like to build a deep and lasting relationship.

Our core products today are “white label” (customer branded) ereading applications for smartphones and tablets.  These apps support PDF and EPUB documents as well as Adobe’s ebook DRM. Our current customers include Books-A-Million, Hastings Entertainment, Mardel Christian & Education, the American Booksellers Association and Kaplan Publishing, along with many others in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Asia, Latin America and South America.

You can learn more about Bluefire and our services by visiting our website at www.bluefirereader.com. For those that are already familiar with us, you might want to check out this recent blog post that explains what we’ve been up to the last couple of years. For my personal background, you can look me up on LinkedIn here.

While it probably goes without saying, I do want to be clear that my comments here on this blog are my own personal perspectives, and in no way reflect the views of Adobe Systems Inc.

It also goes without saying that I’m far from impartial on this topic as these technologies sit at the core of our products.  That said, my intent here is to avoid simply being a cheerleader for the platform, and to instead provide useful information and personal perspectives on the technologies and the role they play in the overall digital publishing landscape.

– Micah