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A Promise by Harvard's Librarian

From Publishers Weekly: Scholar and Harvard University librarian Robert Darnton vowed that the Digital Public Library of America, a nonprofit, nationwide effort to digitize and offer access to millions of free, digitized books and special collections would launch by April of 2013. “I make this promise to you,” Darnton said at the close of his talk, entitled “Digitize, Democratize: Libraries and the Future of Books": “We will get this done.”

Flexible ebook screens mass produced by LG

It appears LG is making good on its promise to bring flexible displays to e-book readers, as the Korean consumer electronics company revealed that it has started mass production of the "world's first" plastic electronic paper display (EPD).

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Libraries boycott Random House over e-book prices

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.

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Amazon, B&N make concessions for Potter ebooks

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.

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Commentary by publishing consultant Mike Shatzkin about Amazon not being able to sell Potter ebooks directly.

Bringing Up an E-Reader

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.”

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Librarians, Publishers and eBooks

Video streaming by Ustream

Hat tip to EarlyWord for this video. See their post for more details about video.

Will Kindle's Free Samples Change the Structures of Plots?

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

Thinking more about ebooks and libraries and what big publishers should do

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

Books Women Read When No One Can See the Cover by Katherine Rosman

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.

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Libraries + E-Books: Why they belong together.

"...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."

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