- LISWire: La Veta Public Library Goes Live on LibLime Koha 4.14
- LISWire: Griffin Free Public Library Chooses ByWater Solutions’ Koha Support
First reported a few days ago, the pundits are now adding their 2 cents.
This from Dan Gillmor at Salon: When America's book publishers wrested control of e-book prices from Amazon earlier this year, I expected two results. First, prices would go up. Second, I'd buy fewer new Kindle books. I got that part right.
What I didn't expect, however, was that publishers would be so incredibly foolish as to start raising e-book prices to the point that they were close to, and in a few cases above, the hardcover prices. Here's a non-literary term for this policy: nuts.
I've been keeping loose track of this trend for months, and had noticed that some hardcover books were getting close to the Kindle prices. Then the barrier fell, as the New York Times reported this week, when at least two books actually were more costly to read on Kindle devices than the actual physical book.
How did this happen? It's a classic Traditional Media vs. the Digital Age story. The key players are Amazon, the major book publishers and Apple.
"You could say that everyone is a publisher these days, with blogging, Twitter and Facebook (amongst hundreds of other social media tools). What's more, there are many new devices on which to deliver content - tablets, smart phones, video web sites and more. Ultimately it's a much larger and diverse media ecosystem than it was even a couple of years ago, so the increasing irrelevance of the word 'publish' probably doesn't matter much."
Further to our earlier story about an associate professor at Missouri State U. who referred to the young adult novel "Speak" as "soft pornography," the Penguin Young Readers Group has taken out a full page ad in today’s New York Times to defend the novel by Laurie Halse Anderson.
In an op-ed piece earlier this month in the Missouri News-Leader, Wesley Scoggins wrote that Speak was not appropriate for students of the Republic School District and also challenged Slaughterhouse-Five and Twenty Boy Summer.
From Publishers Weekly: “That such a decorated book could be challenged is disturbing,” said Penguin’s Shanta Newlin about the decision to run an ad. With Banned Books Week now in full swing (Sept. 25-Oct. 2), Penguin believes the ad points to the larger issue of books still being challenged in large numbers across the country, Newlin added. The ad, in fact, notes that "every day in this country, people are being told what they can and can't read," and it asks Times readers to "read the book. Decide for yourself." -- Read More
A Modest Proposal For Publishers and Authors
So, what’s the future of publishing?
For both authors and publishers, it’s largely about who controls access to the tribe.
Because, they are no longer anonymous, random purchasers. They have faces, names, desires, interests and the ability to not only read what you create, but help craft, support, interact with and evangelize it…
From Publishers Weekly: A no-brainer: Americans love their pets. Moreover, they put their money where their hearts are.According to a March 2009 article on PetConnection.com, U.S. consumers spent more than $43 billion on food, supplies, medicine, and health care for their pets in 2008, making that business the eighth largest in the country, ahead of the candy and toy industries. Consumers now spend more than $18 billion annually on pet food alone.
Yet publishing in the pets category is not quite the no-brainer it was a few years ago. Even this reliable market is somewhat saturated. St. Martin's editor Daniela Rapp says, "The sheer number of dog books submitted and published has led to a certain level of fatigue about these projects. This attitude seems to be limited to publishers, the sales force, and buyers for individual accounts and so far hasn't expanded to the consumer. By now I am familiar with the groan ‘Not another dog book!' in the sales reports, but in the end these books still find their audience."
Make no mistake; this category comprises largely dog books, even though cats are more common pets in the U.S. (about 82 million cats to 71 million dogs by the American Veterinary Medical Association's 2007 count). "Of the animal books we publish, dogs do seem to be the most popular," says Leslie Stoker, publisher of Stewart, Tabori & Chang/Abrams Image, which will offer photographer Daniel Borris's Yoga Dogs in March 2011.
Change of pace from the more frequent 'death of print' stories here on LISNews.
This one's about the birth of print; a discussion of the newly published book by Andrew Pettegree, "The Book in the Renaissance" with Tom Scocca of Slate and the Boston Globe.
In the beginning, before there was such a thing as a Gutenberg Bible, Johannes Gutenberg laid out his rows of metal type and brushed them with ink and, using the mechanism that would change the world, produced an ordinary little schoolbook. It was probably an edition of a fourth-century grammar text by Aelius Donatus, some 28 pages long. Only a few fragments of the printed sheets survive, because no one thought the book was worth keeping.
“Now had he kept to that, doing grammars...it probably would all have been well,” said Andrew Pettegree, a professor of modern history at the University of St. Andrews and author of “The Book in the Renaissance,” the story of the birth of print. Instead, Gutenberg was bent on making a grand statement, an edition of Scripture that would cost half as much as a house and would live through the ages. In the end, struggling for capital to support the Bible project, Gutenberg was forced out of his own print shop by his business partner, Johann Fust.
The article continues in a question and answer format here.
Publishing industry consultant Mike Shatzkin has a blog post titled: The printed book’s path to oblivion
Excerpt: It is very hard for me to grasp why anybody would prefer a printed book 30 or 40 years from now. I’m sure by then screen technology will be able to simulate any aspect of the printed book that could possibly be of interest (except, perhaps, for the smell of the paper, ink, and glue, but, then maybe a companion air-wick would do the trick. I wonder if you can use the same aromas for all titles, or whether some customization will be required.)