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Libraries on Nova Scotia's South Shore are boycotting Random House, one of the world's largest book publishers, over what they call unfair e-book pricing.
The company began charging public libraries up to three times the retail price for downloadable books last month.
For example, the price for libraries for a copy of Catherine the Great, Portrait of a Woman by Robert K. Massie spiked to $85 in late March from $30 in January, according to the South Shore Public Libraries website.
People can buy the same book for $20 to $25, through Random House, Google Books, Kindle or Amazon.
Troy Myers, CEO and chief librarian of South Shore Public Libraries, said the publishing powerhouse does not seem to be concerned about the loss of business so far, but he hopes the boycott will make a statement.
Amazon.com Inc and Barnes & Noble Inc unveiled Harry Potter e-books on Tuesday in deals that suggest the companies made big concessions with author J.K. Rowling for electronic access to the hit series.
Amazon said it struck a distribution deal with J.K. Rowling's new website pottermore.com.
Amazon customers can search for the Harry Potter e-books in the company's Kindle Store, but will be directed to the Pottermore Shop to register and buy them, then add the titles to their Kindle library, the company said.
Commentary by publishing consultant Mike Shatzkin about Amazon not being able to sell Potter ebooks directly.
NYT article on kids and reading.
Excerpt: But is it better than a book? It may take a generation to ever know for sure, and even 10 or 20 years from now it will be debated as the effects of television or video games are still discussed today.
Julianna’s teacher, Kourtney Denning, sees e-books as essential. “Old books don’t really cut it anymore,” she said. “We have to transform our learning as we know it.”
Search-engine optimization reshaped the craft of a good headline. Will Amazon's book promotions have a similar effect on novels?
Full piece at The Atlantic
The reluctance of most big publishers to make ebooks available through library lending is a topic of widespread attention and concern. The AAP turned a chunk of its annual meeting over to the topic and Dr. Anthony Marx, the President and CEO of the New York Public Library, used his time to volunteer his institution for experimentation to find a model for ebook lending that would work for publishers.
I had occasion to talk to a number of Big Six publishers in the middle of last year about their position on library sales. When they registered their concerns with me, some of what they had to say made a great deal of sense.
Full blog post at: The Shatzkin Files
The Wall Street Journal (March 14, page D1) has an interesting article about what women read when there is no lurid cover on the book to embarrass them.
Electronic readers, and the reading privacy they provide, are fueling a boom in sales of sexy romance novels, or "romantica," as the genre is called in the book industry.
As with romance novels, romantica features an old-fashioned love story and pop-culture references like those found in "chick lit." Plus, there is sex—a lot of it. Yet unlike traditional erotica, romantica always includes what's known as "HEA"—"happily ever after."
Kindles, iPads and Nooks "are the ultimate brown paper wrapper," says Brenda Knight, associate publisher at Cleis Press, of Berkeley, Calif., a publisher of erotica since 1980.
Mainstream publishers are launching digital-only erotic labels to feed demand. At the end of the month, HarperCollins UK will launch Mischief Books, with the tag line "private pleasures with a hand-held device."
"...we found that for those [publishers] not making their e-books available through libraries, the sticking point was identifying a business model that protected their digital editions from piracy and loss of sales. This is understandable. It is natural for us to be in a time of flux now. And it is natural for libraries and library leasdership to be pushing for resolution to this situation -- and the sooner the better."
"Libraries obviously want publishers to thrive. Publishers must want libraries to succeed, too, if they want a 'marketing' location for publications (print and digital) in communities all across the country."
From the current edition of Book Business Magazine, a guest column by Molly Raphael of the ALA.
In Praise of E-Books. (NPR)
Author and NPR commentator Andrei Codrescu offers the same praise for ebooks that you might hear coming school adminstrators. He cares about his back more than he cares about books.
When I retire, I promised myself I will read all the great books I said I would read one day, and I'll reread all the books I once loved. And all my life, it seems I carried boxes full of these books from one city to another, from one house to another, and I furnished endless rooms and gave away hundreds of volumes, and I put out my back many times. And as soon as I retired, I was ready to begin. I picked up my featherlight Kindle, the great chiropractor, and took off for the woods....
The rise of e-readers - such as Kindle - is thought to be behind a slump in sales of the printed novel in the UK, figures have revealed.
In the first eight weeks of 2012, Britons bought 7.6million printed novels - almost two-and-a-half million fewer than books bought in the same period in 2011.
The slump - which does not include non-fiction and children's books - coincides with a jump in sales of e-readers, which include Kindle and iPads.