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LAST year, Christmas was the biggest single day for e-book sales by HarperCollins. And indications are that this year’s Christmas Day total will be even higher, given the extremely strong sales of e-readers like the Kindle and the Nook. Amazon announced on Dec. 15 that it had sold one million of its Kindles in each of the three previous weeks.
But we can also guess that the number of visitors to the e-book sections of public libraries’ Web sites is about to set a record, too.
And that is a source of great worry for publishers. In their eyes, borrowing an e-book from a library has been too easy. Worried that people will click to borrow an e-book from a library rather than click to buy it, almost all major publishers in the United States now block libraries’ access to the e-book form of either all of their titles or their most recently published ones.
ebrary’s Download Survey
ebrary's Librarian Download Survey [PDF] In March of 2011, ebrary initiated a survey of librarians that
largely addressed changing technologies and expectations for e-book access. Most of the first fourteen questions (with the exception of 7 and 12) collect demographic or vendor specific information. Approximately 80% of the 1,029 respondents were from academic libraries with only 7% from public and the remaining 13% from corporate, government, school or other.
Is It A Book, Is It A Movie...No, It's Movie-Book!
Although you'll find a few links to check out iPad's latest contender, the Kindle Fire, what is more intriguing than the latest enhancements for eReaders is the recent announcement of Booktrack's synchronized music integration into The Power of Six by Pittacus Lore, published by Harper Collins Children’s Books.
Facing economic gloom and competition from cheap e-readers, brick-and-mortar booksellers entered this holiday season with the humblest of expectations.
But the initial weeks of Christmas shopping, a boom time for the book business, have yielded surprisingly strong sales for many bookstores, which report that they have been lifted by an unusually vibrant selection; customers who seem undeterred by pricier titles; and new business from people who used to shop at Borders, the chain that went out of business this year.
Background info from Cory Doctorow: Robert LLewellyn, Red Dwarf star, has a great little video series called Carpool, where he gives someone he's interested a lift to work in a car that's been fitted with cameras and microphones, and interviews that person while driving her or him to work. Last summer, Robert gave me a ride to the airport while I was on my way to the World Science Fiction Convention in Reno and interviewed me about ebooks and publishing. It came out great.
In Europe, e-books are taxed as high as 25 percent, much higher than printed books, leading some to believe publishers are being paid not to innovate.
Full article:European E-Book Sales Hampered by Tax Structure
Simon & Schuster released an e-book edition of Ray Bradbury's science fiction classic "Fahrenheit 451" on Tuesday. First published in 1953, "Fahrenheit 451" is a dystopia in which reading is banned and it is the job of firefighters to burn books. 451 degrees Fahrenheit is the temperature at which paper burns.
The irony of releasing an e-book edition of a novel built around the death of print books was not lost on Bradbury, which is why he resisted the e-book idea. The Associated Press reports that the author was dismissive of the form, saying that e-books "smell like burned fuel." Bradbury, a noted futurist who at one time was a consultant for NASA, told the New York Times in 2009 that the Internet is "meaningless; it's not real.... It's in the air somewhere."
But the 91-year-old author has since changed his mind -- about e-books, at least. Hence "451" is available to digital readership.
Full article in the LA Times
NPR also has this related piece: Fahrenheit 451: What's The Temperature At Which E-Books Burn?
Cutting their own throats
If the big six began selling ebooks without DRM, readers would at least be able to buy from other retailers and read their ebooks on whatever platform they wanted, thus eroding Amazon's monopoly position. But it's not clear that the folks in the boardrooms are agile enough to recognize the tar pit they've fallen into ...
Penguin reverses course for now on Kindle lending
One of the country's largest publishers, Penguin Group (USA), is temporarily restoring libraries' ability to loan their e-books for Amazon.com's Kindle - but only through the end of the year.
The future in one word: platforms
"One of the reasons why librarians don't talk very much about ebook platform chooice is because, by and large, we've already decided the matter. Libraries have made their choice, voted with their dollars and their energies, and have overwhelmingly selected Overdrive as our platform.
Yes, we have outsourced ourselves with an ebook platform that betrays many of the values that the public admires us for in exchange for a user-experience that be described in any variations of the word, horrific."