I agree it would be nice.
Originally Posted by derrythe
Currently I have four readers (B&N, e-Reader (e-reader.com and Fictionwise.com) Stanza, and Kindlle). I have about fifty books stored on the iPhone. I have about another 150 books paid for and stored on the servers of distributors. I have at least one book that I have purchased twice, once from each of two distributors.
There is an affinity between the readers and the sources; While some books are available from multiple sources, the e-book is readable only using the reader associated with the source. The Barnes and Noble and Kindle readers know only about their respective distributors, the e-reader knows about ereader.com and Fictionwise.com. Stanza, now owned by Amazon, knows about a dozen sources, including Fictionwise.
While it is still possible, it is difficult to manage books across readers and distributors.
I understand that the Apple iBook reader will be able to handle multiple formats and that Apple may source books from multiple sources.
I understand that there is some affinity between Amazon and the Kindle reader(s), at least to the extent that the book is "whisper synced" across devices.
One issue will be DRM. At least in the short run, the bind between content and readers is at least partly about enforcing DRM.
While I have been reading e-books since long before the iPhone, it has only recently become clear how important e-books will be. I hope that, at least in the long run, publishing, distribution, and display of e-books will be independent of one another However, it may take a decade or more for this to sort out in a way that satisfies authors, publishers, distributors, and readers that their interests are protected.