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As the shift from a print-centric book world to a digital one accelerates, more and more digital publishers are creating themselves.
The biggest publishers, with the resources of sophisticated IT departments to guide them, have been in the game for years now and paying serious attention since the Kindle was launched by Amazon late in 2007. But as the market has grown, so has the ecosystem. And while three years ago it was possible to reach the lion’s share of the ebook market through one retailer, Amazon, on a device that really could only handle books of straight narrative text, we now have a dizzying array of options to reach the consumer on a variety of devices and with product packages that are as complicated as you want to make them.
Free or very inexpensive service offerings through web interfaces suggest to every publisher of any size, every literary agent, and every aspiring author “you can do this” and, the implication is, “effectively and without too much help”. Indeed, services like Amazon’s KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) service, Barnes & Noble’s PubIt!, and service providers Smashwords and BookBaby, offer the possibility of creating an ebook from your document and distributing it through most ebook retailers, enabled for almost all devices, for almost no cash commitment. -- Read More
"As much as I love books, they are not always convenient. On a recent trip to Seattle, I borrowed two paperbacks from the local library so I’d have something to read on the plane home. A week later, I had to put them in a mailer and send them back to my daughter, who lives in that city. It was a bit of a pain."
From the New York Times article entitled "Of Bugs and Books", author Ann Patchett (State of Wonder) speaks about books, ebooks, bookstores, best-sellers, reading habits, author appearances, cicadas (the bug part) and so on:
"Everything cycles back around. Things I didn’t think could ever make a comeback — Newt Gingrich and platform shoes — proved capable of startling resurgence. Now when someone tells me a trend is dead, I think, no, probably just dormant.
Take bookstores, for example. With the demise of the Borders chain and the shaky footing of Barnes and Noble, one might be tempted to write off the whole business. But as one who spent her summer on a book tour, I would like to offer this firsthand report from the front lines: Americans are still reading books. Night after night after night I showed up in a different bookstore and people were there with their hardbacks. Sure, I signed a couple of iPad covers, Kindle covers. I’ve got no problem with that. But just because some people like their e-readers doesn’t mean we should sweep all the remaining paperbacks in a pile and strike a match. Maybe bookstores are no longer 30,000 square feet, but they are selling books. "
Patchett and her business partner, Karen Hayes, and will open the doors to Parnassus Books in her hometown of Nashville in October.
In the film versions of “Pride and Prejudice” the music jumps and swells at all the right moments, heightening the tension and romance of that classic Jane Austen novel.
Will it do the same in the e-book edition?
Booktrack, a start-up in New York, is planning to release e-books with soundtracks that play throughout the books, an experimental technology that its founders hope will change the way many novels are read.
Self-published author John Locke has just signed a deal with a major publisher. In June this year, the American writer of contemporary crime became the first author to sell a million copies on Kindle.
While the publisher, Simon & Schuster, will handle sales and distribution for Locke’s books, they won’t cash in on his digital sales.
Locke – who sold his digital books via Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing platform – is responsible for the popular Donovan Creed novels.
Commentary by Mike Shatzkin on this story: John Locke and S&S show us another kind of deal we can expect to see again
The "Perspectives" department in the July/August 2011 issue of Public Libraries features op-ed essays on the HarperCollins/OverDrive controversy by Kate Sheehan, Anne Silvers Lee, A. Paula Wilson, Brett Bonfield, and Kristin Whitehair. None of the essays are featured (that is, available for free) on the PLA website, but Bonfield's piece, "Getting Paid," carries a CC0 license and is available for free on Scribd.
Are there any other ALA-published articles that now carry CC0 licenses? How much longer until the next one appears?
Why Print Can Exist in Harmony with Digital
Since digital publishing has exploded in popularity, the dialogue over print media and its existence has been an intense one. For centuries the printed page has been heralded as the keeper and communicator of knowledge. It was an incredibly efficient means of disseminating information quickly and relatively cheaply. But then the digital age came along and now there is a new contender in the battle. And for a while we’ve seen the nature of this debate between print and digital focus on how print can deliver content differently and better than its digital counterpart. Instead of going down that path, we’d like discuss a rarely raised argument for print, from a designer’s perspective.
The printed book is doomed: here's why
By Shane Richmond, Head of Technology (Editorial)
A couple of weeks ago I spoke to a senior executive from a big Silicon Valley company. We talked about digital media and in passing he mentioned digital books. “I doubt that my daughter will ever buy a physical book,” he said. His daughter is nine.
Story at Teleread: http://bit.ly/n6HCJ2
They have a link to an article at Forbes and a link to the advisory opinion and some discussion.