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Perhaps the revolution has reached an evolutionary stage
Excerpt: The dizzying pace at which US consumers were switching from print to digital couldn’t last forever. Based on the numbers being published by the AAP, with a huge assist in interpretation by Michael Cader at Publishers Lunch, it seems that the slowdown has become very noticeable in the past 12 months.
Between late 2007 when the Kindle came out and late 2011, ebook sales doubled or more every year. Since September 2011, during which Cader reckoned sales were double the year before, the monthly numbers are showing much lower (and declining) year-on-year growth. The April numbers showed only a 37% increase from the year before.
I’ve been pondering this question about when ebooks uptake would slow down for a long time. In March of 2010, 17 months ago, I wrote that my hunch was that the switchover “won’t start slowing down until ebook sales are 20-25% of what a publisher expects on a new title.” And I guessed that would occur before the presidential election of 2012. That feels reasonably consistent with what appears to have happened.
Google Plans to Buy Frommer’s Travel Guides
The issue is 36 pages long. The single-column 6x9 version, designed for online reading, is 67 pages long.
A brief look at reported library closures in the FY2010 IMLS tables, updating previous Public Library Closure articles.
Catching up on a few interesting blogging-related items. (Part 2, next issue, focuses on libraries, liblogs and starting, stopping and pausing. Part 1 focuses on issues such as names, comments, science blogging, Brilliant Statements--or, if you prefer, Bewildering Stuff, gengen, technology and the philosophy of blogging, and the power of blogging. Note that this essay prints out as roughly 57 pages in HTML form; if you want it printed, save paper and download the whole issue. -- Read More
Like many coral specialists fifteen years ago, J. E. N. Veron thought Australia's Great Barrier Reef was impervious to climate change. "Owned by a prosperous country and accorded the protection it deserves, it would surely not go the way of the Amazon rain forest or the parklands of Africa, but would endure forever. That is what I thought once, but I think it no longer." This book is Veron's Silent Spring for the world's coral reefs.
Veron presents the geological history of the reef, the biology of coral reef ecosystems, and a primer on what we know about climate change. He concludes that the Great Barrier Reef and, indeed, most coral reefs will be dead from mass bleaching and irreversible acidification within the coming century unless greenhouse gas emissions are curbed. If we don't have the political will to confront the plight of the world's reefs, he argues, current processes already in motion will become unstoppable, bringing on a mass extinction the world has not seen for 65 million years. -- Read More
Book received a Publisher's Weekly starred review.
From James McManus, author of the bestselling Positively Fifth Street, comes the definitive story of the game that, more than any other, reflects who we are and how we operate.
Cowboys Full is the story of poker, from its roots in China, the Middle East, and Europe to its ascent as a global—but especially an American—phenomenon. It describes how early Americans took a French parlor game and, with a few extra cards and an entrepreneurial spirit, turned it into a national craze by the time of the Civil War. From the kitchen-table games of ordinary citizens to its influence on generals and diplomats, poker has gone hand in hand with our national experience. Presidents from Abraham Lincoln to Barack Obama have deployed poker and its strategies to explain policy, to relax with friends, to negotiate treaties and crises, and as a political networking tool. The ways we all do battle and business are echoed by poker tactics: cheating and thwarting cheaters, leveraging uncertainty, bluffing and sussing out bluffers, managing risk and reward. -- Read More
When I was young, I had an eccentric, poker-playing uncle. At family reunions, he loved to show me how to play five-card draw, which introduced me to the concept of betting and bluffing. He’d deal out the cards, ask me to make a mock wager with fake chips, and then tell me to decide whether to fold or go all-in. As an 11-year old, my poker-playing skills weren’t well-honed. So, invariably, I’d fall for my uncle’s bluff by folding too early, turning over our cards, only to find out that I had held the winning hand. My uncle would joyously rake the jackpot into his pile and cackle at me, “You sure left a lot of money on the table, kid!” To this day, I can remember the frustration that I felt knowing I had held the winning hand but still lost the game.
If my uncle were alive today, I think he’d make a similar observation about the publishing industry. He’d say that publishers are leaving millions of dollars on the table each year, because their marketing tends to fold too early. In other words, you can’t afford to let your marketing copy fold when skeptical shoppers call your books’ bluff. When people browse your titles, your marketing copy has to overcome their skepticism and convince them that the book is worth buying. You have to speak the readers’ language and capture their interest. If they call your bluff and your marketing folds, then you lose book sales.
How Google's 'Penguin' Update Will Change Publishing, for the Better
Over the past decade, the publishing industry been swinging on a pendulum created by the effects of search engine optimization (SEO). In the old, primarily print days, the most successful publishers were those that could produce great content for a specific audience and keep that audience engaged via subscriptions or at the newsstands. More recently, the kings of publishing were those that could best engage web crawlers and monetize their sites through a windfall of free search traffic. The focus has been less on creating great content and engaging readers than on producing lots of words on lots of pages to engage web crawlers.
But there is a silver lining to all of this. With last year's Panda release, and the more recent Penguin release, Google is going to flip SEO on its head. If Old SEO enabled some to fool a crawler into indexing borderline junk content to get high rankings, New SEO looks likely to take any notion of fooling anyone out of the equation.
Interesting link at Library Journal
With so many more distractions available to disrupt their attention, perhaps there is more academic librarians could do to help students achieve academic success.
Essayist and humorist David Rakoff has died, novel to be published in 2013
A new book by Kenneth Feinberg traces his years of work in assessing and paying victims’ claims after disasters, whether the 9/11 attacks, the Virginia Tech massacre or the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
No, the campaign for county commissioner isn't happening as of yet. A PDF message is still being forward to feed subscribers, though.
Laser etched Kindle 2
The 58-page issue is also available as a single-column 6x9 PDF designed for e-reading (at http://citesandinsights.info/civ12i7on.pdf)-but please don't use that version for printing, as it's 119 pages long.
Recounting events in the 8-year-old Google Book lawsuits since March 2009, when most of us assumed that the proposed settlement would be approved, and we were primarily discussing whether it was on balance good or bad. It's quite a story, and it's not over yet...
Please don't use the HTML version for printing either, as it's likely to run at least 91 single-spaced pages.
Reminder: Still looking for feedback...
I'd still like to get feedback on Give Us a Dollar and We'll Give You Back Four. See here.
Librarians are only surpassed by religious fundamentalists in their dystopian view of their futures. The past week has shown to me that all this negativity may well be unwarranted. The sheer number of news sources and bloggers who picked up the story of the .Texas Wal Mart that was turned into a library demonstrates to me that when people really think about it, they want to see libraries succeed.
When I first dipped my foot into social media people would frequently ask me, "When will books go away? When will libraries disappear?" That was back when the e-book reader was born and the stock market crash started. The economy was shaken to its core. The fiscal libertarians salivated over the possibility of the possibility of eviscerating the government and slashing the social safety net to shreds. Conservatives and liberals looked at the internet as the ultimate replacement of everything library. Data phones, e-book readers and tablet computers seemed to point to a future when libraries and paper books could be viewed as irrelevant. -- Read More
The issue is 32 pages long. A single-column 6x9 version, designed for use on ereaders, is also available at http://citesandinsights.info/civ12i6on.pdf. The single-column version is 62 pages long and intended only for ereading, not for printing.
The issue includes:
Libraries: Give Us a Dollar: A Case Study pp. 1-6
Would a refined version of Give Us a Dollar and We'll Give You Back Four be directly useful to a few hundred (or a few thousand) public libraries? This two-part example shows how a mythical New York library (directly based on two real libraries) might use a heavily revised version--and how it might use the current version. I'm still looking for reviewers and feedback before deciding how to proceed; these case studies might help.
How to Do Things with Books in Victorian Britain asks how our culture came to frown on using books for any purpose other than reading. When did the coffee-table book become an object of scorn? Why did law courts forbid witnesses to kiss the Bible? What made Victorian cartoonists mock commuters who hid behind the newspaper, ladies who matched their books' binding to their dress, and servants who reduced newspapers to fish 'n' chips wrap?
Shedding new light on novels by Thackeray, Dickens, the Brontës, Trollope, and Collins, as well as the urban sociology of Henry Mayhew, Leah Price also uncovers the lives and afterlives of anonymous religious tracts and household manuals. From knickknacks to wastepaper, books mattered to the Victorians in ways that cannot be explained by their printed content alone. And whether displayed, defaced, exchanged, or discarded, printed matter participated, and still participates, in a range of transactions that stretches far beyond reading. -- Read More
FRONTLINE and ProPublica investigate the hidden cost that comes with the demand for better and faster cell phone service.