Demerits of digital books
The Factors affecting the popularity of Malayalam eBooks
1 Malayalam language is a complex script and its preparation is more difficult. Flowing text formats like ePub or mobi are suitable for all devices giving more digital experience to their consumers. But people lack such eReader devices due to the high price. Different O.S, browsers, software, Apps…Malayalam displays have no uniformity. Any reading problem is a threat to screen reading, especially Malayalam.
2. Giant publishers like Amazon, Apple, Sony, Smashwords, Kobo are not supporting Malayalam digital books now (2014). They have a trusted, safe and secure mode of payment system. People are not willing to share email, bank details to new publishers.
3. Piracy is a main demerit associated with digital books. Main publishers have a strict digital right management system to avoid piracy that may end in technical errors to reading devices. However, this activity continues and gives loss to publishers and writers.
4. Vanity comes here also. In some homes, the book shelf is only a demonstration to pretend that they are highly educated!
5. A print book- You can touch, feel and smell it. Majority of Senior citizens are always with this traditional way of reading. In other words, leading writers of Kerala are coming from such backgrounds.
6. Malayalam eBooks have no promotional advertisements, awards. No minimum guarantee of royalty. While searching the same, some spiritual books or old generation books can be seen. As in all book history, book content is king. Low quality in editing, proofing and font of digital titles may cause reduced popularity.
7. Plagiarism is another demerit of Malayalam eBooks, conversion to print book may happen there.