Unlimited Content: The Killer Kindle App?

When it comes to progress on the e-learning curve, one could easily argue that the music industry is well ahead of the book publishing industry. Napster and other illegal file-sharing tools forced the music industry to wake up and smell the coffee. Apple then stepped in with the iPod/iTunes combination and promptly ruled the world...for awhile...

As this BusinessWeek article notes, the pay-per-song model might be living on borrowed time. All you can eat subscription models like Rhapsody are gaining popularity. It makes sense to me. After all, I don't care how much music I "own"; I just care how much I have access to. Would I pay $12.99/month for the right to fill up a 30-, 40- or 80-gig MP3 player with all the music I could possibly want? You bet, especially since I'll know the door is always open to download even more as my interests and tastes change.

Now stop and think about how this applies to the book publishing world. Could you imagine a model where you pay $X/month for access to an unlimited number of books? It's never going to happen in the print world but I think this could be the killer app for the Kindle, a world where manufacturing and distribution costs are zero. Access to every single book in the entire Kindle library could be yours for a monthly fee. Assuming the monthly fee is reasonable this could be the model that really kick-starts the e-book industry.

Full blog posting at Joe Wikert's Publishing 2020 Blog

China's oldest library opens in the evening

Some interesting tidbits on China's Oldest Library in a story with many uninteresting tidbits on evening hours at a library you'll never see. Built during the period from 1561 to 1566 in West Ningbo, Tianyi Pavilion is a famous old library which once housed an enormous collection of rare volumes, including block-printed and hand-copied books and manuscripts. They have opened to visitors on weekend evenings, in an effort to satisfy public demand.
He Hongyu, vice director of Tianyi Museum, said many Ningbo citizens and non-local tourists found that just half a day wasn't enough time for them to fully utilize the library, while others had expressed wishes to enjoy the evening scenes in Tianyi Pavilion's garden.
A ticket for a night visit costs 10 yuan (about 1.36 U.S. dollars), only half of the price of the day ticket. But visitors are advised to preorder tickets, since only 2,000 lucky people are allowed to enter the library each day.

Emerald Backfiles to Launch at ALA Midwinter

Emerald Backfiles to Launch at ALA Midwinter

New products and enhanced website for 2008

UNITED KINGDOM, December 18, 2007 – Emerald Group Publishing is pleased to announce the launch of Emerald Backfiles in conjunction with the ALA Midwinter conference, to be held January 11-16, 2008 in Philadelphia, PA. Emerald is releasing the digitization of the full archive of its journal titles in business, management, library and information services, materials science, and engineering. Working with the British Library, more than 50,000 articles some going back to the 1800s are now in PDF format and available electronically for the first time. -- Read More

How Much Do Book Blurbs Matter?

Over at the Freakonomics Blog, Stephen J. Dubner comments on whether or not book blurbs have any real value in helping potential customers decide whether or not to buy it. He writes about a letter he received from the editor of a book asking for a blurb:

"If you find [redacted] and [redacted]’s ideas as compelling and inspiring as we do, a quote from you that we could print on the jacket would make a world of difference. I would be happy to help craft a quote if you prefer. My contact info is below."

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