Publishing

E-Book Sales Are Falling? Maybe?

You look suspicious. How strange. It’s almost as if you think that because those numbers come from the Association of American Publishers, they might indicate something rather different from the death of the e-book; they might be a signifier of the rise of smaller publishers not tracked by the AAP, and/or, the growth of online reading via eg Wattpad or Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited. Author Earnings argues that what we’re really seeing is that AAP publishers “have seen their collective share of the US ebook market collapse.” Mathew Ingram in Fortune adds, rhetorically, “Isn’t a drop in sales just a natural outcome of the publishers’ move to keep e-book prices high?”

From Book It, Baby | TechCrunch

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Is History Written About Men, by Men?

"In recent years, as academic history has taken a turn toward the cultural and social, producing more and more works about women, minorities, and everyday life, the kinds of history books you see on the New Releases table at a Barnes & Noble have begun to feel like throwbacks." http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/history/2016/01/popular_...

American Libraries Edits Upset Authors

We probably do not need to spell out why we are disappointed by this but, just for the record, we have two major problems:

These were not superficial changes and the editors at American Libraries should have spoken to us before publishing them.
More substantially, we feel it is grossly inappropriate for a magazine that is supposed to represent libraries and librarians to insinuate a vendor’s perspective directly into an article without the authors’ knowledge or permission. This is especially true when the vendor has a very obvious financial motive for being part of the conversation.
Let us state for the record that we did not speak to anyone at Gale/Cengage about this article, we had no role in developing or carrying out the survey, we did not see those quotes prior to publication and would not have included them in our article if we had.

Importantly, our problem is not with Gale/Cengage but with the way American Libraries is handling their relationship with them in the context of the article we wrote.

From Um … about that American Libraries article we wrote | Stewart Varner

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Faber boss says future of book publishing is mobile

The chief executive of publisher Faber & Faber has challenged the book publishing industry to respond to the rapid increase in smartphone use, particularly by young readers.

“Perhaps in the 21st century the zero-law of publishing will be understand mobile. Because without expert understanding of it, we may not be able to create the new audiences,” said Stephen Page, speaking at the FutureBook publishing industry conference in London.

From Faber boss says future of book publishing is mobile | Technology | The Guardian

Class of 2016: Works Entering The Public Domain

Pictured above is our top pick of those whose works will, on 1st January 2016, be entering the public domain in many countries around the world. Of the eleven featured, five will be entering the public domain in countries with a ‘life plus 70 years’ copyright term (e.g. most European Union members, Brazil, Israel, Nigeria, Russia, Turkey, etc.) and six in countries with a ‘life plus 50 years’ copyright term (e.g. Canada, New Zealand, and many countries in Asia and Africa) — those that died in the year 1945 and 1965 respectively. As always it’s a sundry and diverse rabble who’ve assembled for our graduation photo – including two of the 20th century’s most important political leaders, one of Modernism’s greatest poets, two very influential but very different musicians, and one of the most revered architects of recent times.

Below is a little bit more about each of their lives (with each name linking through to their respective Wikipedia pages, from which each text has been based).

From Class of 2016 | The Public Domain Review

Betting Big on Literary Newcomers - WSJ

It’s increasingly a winner-take-all economy, publishing executives say.

As a result, publishers are competing for debut literary talent with the same kind of frenzied auction bidding once reserved for promising debut thrillers or romance novels. “If they feel they have the next Norman Mailer on their hands, they’re going have to pay for that shot,” literary agent Luke Janklow said. “It’s usually the result of a little bit of crowd hysteria in the submission.”

From Betting Big on Literary Newcomers - WSJ

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Elsevier stopped me doing my research

Full disclosure, I downloaded approximately 30GB of data from Sciencedirect in approximately 10 days. This boils down to a server load of 35KB/s, 0.0021GB/min, 0.125GB/h, 3GB/day.

Approximately two weeks after I started downloading psychology research papers, Elsevier notified my university that this was a violation of the access contract, that this could be considered stealing of content, and that they wanted it to stop. My librarian explicitly instructed me to stop downloading (which I did immediately), otherwise Elsevier would cut all access to Sciencedirect for my university.

From Chris H.J. Hartgerink's Notebook

Elsevier leads the business the internet could not kill

“Elsevier is not a stodgy, stuck-in-the-mud publisher,” she says. “ They are out there experimenting because they have the resources to do that.”
In the 20 years since Forbes predicted Elsevier’s downfall, the publisher’s revenues and profits have quadrupled. Academics might not like it, but the 135-year old publisher shows no signs of going away.

From Elsevier leads the business the internet could not kill - FT.com

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Advertising and All That Icky Stuff: Designing Digital Reading Experiences for the Real World

I started my quest to write an article about creating the best digital reading experience by seeking out designers at publishing-tech companies and getting their thoughts on the subject. One of the first designers I spoke to was Zane Riley, one of the first product designers at Brit + co. After I introduced my passionate spiel about reading and technology, he dropped a truth bomb on me: The publishing-tech world is a tricky world to design for, he said, because these products don’t inherently profit from what makes them useful, such as a seamless reading experience or beautiful, clean UI.

From Advertising and All That Icky Stuff: Designing Digital Reading Experiences for the Real World — Thoughts on Media — Medium

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On The Dark Matter Of The Publishing Industry

The problem with their legacy universe is that you just can’t *control* digital things the way you can paper things, and that’s the real reason the traditional publishing industry is cutting off its nose to spite its face when it comes to ebooks. It’s precisely what DRM represents: an absurd and pathetic attempt to recreate in the digital realm a command-and-control system that profits off the characteristics of *paper.*

To be clear, what I’m saying is that traditional publishers actually make their money not from the traits of novels, or biographies, or any other kind of *text:* they make their money from bundles of paper that can essentially be seized or held up at the border, or be pulped, or burned, or just deteriorate in ways a digital file can’t.

From On The Dark Matter Of The Publishing Industry | TechCrunch

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