Every fourth exhibitor presents electronic products
On the 52. Book fair presented itself 6.887 exhibitors, the number of new publications increased to 91.407 titles. In total, the publishers from 107 countries exhibited more than 377.000 titles exhibited. Almost every fourth manufacturer presented electronic products such as cd-roms or e-books.
E-book – reading device of the future?
Edu- and infotainment
Rarely has the industry been so divided at the book fair. Actually, the manufacturers and distributors all wanted to be united in hall 4, but in the meantime you have to look for many publishers at different locations. Instead, manufacturers of packaging materials and cd publishers were to be found among the traditional offerings. Here one could also see one or the other "book on demand machine" in operation.
Some school book publishers could only be found in the info book area. In principle, there are only a few outstanding innovations to report. All children’s programs focus on cartoon characters and offer plenty of material to click on. New editions are first and foremost the encyclopedias 2001. Havas presents the first software from the addy series, which deals with the euro. Klett offers a software, with which one can find out after an individual test, which further school is to be recommended. If there are still gaps in german or mathematics, the software can be used for targeted tutoring.
Trend: after the software, the books
Cornelsen now also gives adults the opportunity to bring their spelling skills up to date. An aptitude test enables targeted training of personal weaknesses. Of course, the "spelling training course" also offers an internet connection, which, in addition to 50 additional exercises, includes 3 months of tutoring. Tivola turns more strongly to well-known figures from the world of children. The cd-rom with the mouse is already on sale and "the little raven sock", known from the children’s book "all mine", is in the final stages of production and will be released in a month.
The future is supposed to be digital, but the company is still moving along old paths. There is hardly anything new to report in the area of learning software. Only in the area of language learning software is a trend emerging that integrates speech recognition software into the learning process in order to train improved pronunciation. Otherwise, the focus here is also on cartoon characters to accompany the learner. There is still a gap between claim and reality in the determination of the age group. Particularly in the area of children’s software, it is apparent that many programs are actually quite suitable for 5-year-old children, if there were not another break in the textual task definition. Reverse negative examples can also be found again and again: the target group of 8-year-olds is targeted, but the games correspond to the level of preschool children. Nevertheless, one could see at the book fair that the wheat is slowly being separated from the chaff.
Without ennobling a software edutainment hardly seems to sell anymore, or why are there so many "good marks" for children and educational software? First and foremost thomas feibel should be mentioned, who again presents two books with his critique factory at the markt+technik publishing house. His mark of nobility is the mouse, whereby there is a gradation from one to six mice. Hardly any product does without the image of six mice and, if need be, quickly produces stickers for the sales packaging. The "rough children’s software guide 2001" presents more than 400 programs and thus offers a comprehensive, albeit moodily written, guide.
Go to "big brother the game" (the big brother games) he writes: "damn nochdemo! This is even more stupid than the show. Yes, is that possible at all?" and thus also picks up on the current discussion that thomas gottschalk got rolling in the last wetten-dass show and thus met with a wave of disenchantment, at least in the bild newspaper. Also at the opening ceremony of the book fair played the "tendency to trivialization or zlatkoization" a role. In great britain, for example, the book on the tv series is the top-selling title.
Thomas feibel describes the following as surprise titles "emil and pauline" from the manufacturer united soft media. He was particularly skeptical in view of the favorable price for the titles of the software series. For scarcely 30 dm one receives according to its data "good educational software at a top price." when browsing through the children’s software guide, you will always find programs that are hardly ever advertised otherwise. "Tommy’s world of bards", awarded with five mice, points out a cd-rom for deaf children. "Without pointing the finger" the german federal ministry for economic cooperation and development presents a cd-rom, which is available free of charge, about the film "crime scene manila" which attempts to convey the social background of the film. According to feibel, the cd-rom is rounded off by a comprehensive service section in addition to useful information on film work.
At "rough learning software guide 2001" come into their own instead of mousing in the evaluation buffalo. Feibel no longer evaluates and discusses the educational software alone; a total of 40 teachers, padagogues and experts are now involved in the selection process. Nevertheless, it is clear that subjective criteria still play a role in the selection of the book. Schuler also helped with the assessment, but does a saying like on page 291 originate "they are not drill programs" actually by children?
Who would like to read the feibel recommendations immediately on the computer and try out the demo software accommodated on seven cd-roms, gets the identically titles of digital publishing or looks on the homepage.
At the book fair, for the third time, the giga mice were awarded by the magazine "family co" were awarded. For the deputy editor-in-chief albert herchenbach is certain: "learning software is now as much a part of the school experience as a ruler, a pencil and a sandwich. If children are also given the opportunity to use the many excellent learning opportunities on the internet, they will later have the best chances of starting their professional lives". The giga-maus software prize is intended to draw parents’ attention to good software.
Another prize was the european multimedia prize europrix. Here, however, it was noticeable that one member of the jury came from sweden and that accordingly many awards went to scandinavian countries. Also conspicuously often represented were prize winners from poland, this year’s guest country of the book fair. So at least such award ceremonies do not gain any credibility.
Ebook and electronic publishing
The most important goal of the exhibitors at the book fair is probably to familiarize visitors with the innovative possibilities so that they perceive them as an enrichment rather than a threat. Many booksellers see their hides swimming away with the e-book and therefore still order rather cautiously, although already approx. 600 titles should be present. However, the majority of available titles are currently only available in english.
If booksellers continue to resist, the online trade will soon cover 100 percent of this area. Already today, the term "media store" embossed. But this is also due to the fact that the stores that have so far only specialized in online book retailing have not yet generated sufficient sales. That’s why the range will be expanded in the future. In addition, the hopefuls such as "books on demand" and the "e-books" a lucrative future market. (see also: electronic publishing poses new challenges for the book market).
At "books on demand" readers will be able to compile their own books in the future. Birthday or christmas books are particularly being considered. Out-of-print editions will also be able to be reprinted quickly in this way.
It is questionable, however, whether the e-book will really catch on. Although the reading instruments are now also reminiscent of books, the purchase prices are still too high for these devices to really establish themselves on the broad market. There is also the question of whether a device that can only display books is at all suitable for the mass market. Palm, psion and others can already offer more comprehensive software applications today. Probably a special reading software for these devices will be more marketable or the hardware bookers will have to learn. Above all, however, they must slim down considerably, because who wants to hold a waltz of 500 grams like the reb1100 (rocket e-book from gemstar), which will be released in spring 2001, or 940 grams like the color e-book reb1200 in his hands when reading digitally??
At least rocket is confident that with the e-book system it can offer a trustworthy product for the publishing industry. The publication of king’s "riding the bullet" resisted all hacking attempts according to the publisher. At the moment you can buy the rocket e-book with 16 mbyte at bol for 675 dm. Three titles are included: the new spelling from the bertelsmann lexikon verlag, a german-english dictionary from pons and the kafka story "the metamorphosis". The e-book can store a total of 50 editions simultaneously. In the long term, the marketing of newspapers and a umts connection are also being considered.
Cd-rom: remembering for the present and the future
The most important cd-rom of this year’s book fair was presented on wednesday in a press conference by the "survivors of the shoah visual history gmbh" presented. It is entitled remembering for the present and future. Survivors describe their personal experiences during the holocaust. The cd-rom aims to make it possible to experience the personal dimension of persecution during the national socialist era. An interactive biographical approach has been deliberately chosen as the basis for conveying the events. At the center are interviews with two jewish survivors: irmgard konrad and hans frankenthal.
The cd-rom is supplemented by an extensive glossary and a moderated internet forum where classes can exchange their project experiences in the future. So-called "dimensions" deepen individual aspects of the persecution. Here you can hear from other survivors. Alfred jachmann, also a holocaust survivor, told the press conference that he had experienced first-hand when people used generalizations too much and therefore did not want to speak of "the youth" speak: "the aim [of the cd-rom] is not to awaken feelings of guilt, but to show what people have done to others", jachmann said, stressing that he knew from many conversations with schoolchildren how interested young people are in this topic. He further pointed out that there are "he also pointed out that there are still eyewitnesses, and they do important work when they explain the historical factors that ultimately led to auschwitz."
The cd-rom was made possible by the support of the initiative "partners in tolerance", founded by axel springer verlag, bertelsmann ag, hubert burda media and cornelsen verlag. The cd-rom can be used in secondary schools i and ii as an introduction or supplement to the lessons. The single license costs 49 dm and the school license 149 dm.
In keeping with the theme, mattel interactive has published the cd-rom "anne frank house". A virtual tour of the rooms in prinsengracht 263 reconstructs the lives of the victims using original documents. Among other things, you can get to know the room of anne frank and get an insight into the historical events surrounding the fate of this girl, who gained sad fame through her diaries.