Amazon Pulls Thousands of E-Books in Dispute

Amazon pulled more than 4,000 e-books distributed by the Independent Publishers Group off its site this week after it failed to exact better terms from the distributor.

Full article


Download the Universe

Excerpt from article by David Dobbs - I’m pleased to announce a new site I’m part of. I’m one of an otherwise distinguished handful of reviewer-editors for Download the Universe, a site conceived by Carl Zimmer in an off-hand remark last month during a ScienceOnline session on e-books. We aim to meet a simple but stark and urgent need: While lots of new science books are coming out in e-book-only form, it’s hard to find reviews of those books or a single site or publication where such books are noted. Download the Universe is that new place, and along with Carl Zimmer, my fellow editors (listed below) include some sharp minds and some of our best science writers. We’ll be regularly posting both short and long reviews of new (and existing) science books that are published only in e-book form — usually 2 or 3 a week — as well as occasional comments or essays on trends in science books and e-book publication.

Full article at Wired.com: Download the Universe Right Here: A New Site for Science E-Book Reviews


An Open Letter (and a Challenge) to Jonathan Franzen

Open letter from Diesel ebooks in response to Mr. Franzen’s recent comments as reported by The Telegraph.

Reading denaturalized

Reading denaturalized
If we think of the printed book as a natural or perfected object, who are we to say that we don’t like black ink on white paper, or that rectangular books are annoying? With the relatively recent recognition of dyslexia and other learning disabilities, perhaps people are becoming slightly less afraid to speak up about their individual and idiosyncratic experiences and frustrations with ink-on-paper, but by and large the message is clear in our culture that smart people read and reading people are smart, and if reading is difficult for you, the problem is with you, and not with the book.


By one benchmark at least, we are probably halfway through the (r)evolution

A couple of major (Big Six) publishers have acknowledged that ebook revenues for them have passed 20% of their revenues. Of the 80% that remains print, I think it would be conservative to estimate that 20% of that is sold online. That’s an additional 16 percent of their business. Adding those together tells us that, for at least some very major companies, 36 percent of of their sales are being transacted online. That would leave, on average, about 64% of the sales for print sold through brick-and-mortar retail and other more minor channels. ”On average” should not be read as “typical” on a title-by-title basis. It isn’t. For immersive reading, or straight text like novels and biographies, the percentage sold in stores is already almost certainly substantially lower. My hunch, and nobody really keeps these figures (but I think I’ve found a way to get at them, which we’ll try to show at a future Publishers Launch conference) is that it may already be down to 50% print in stores for new titles.

Full article: By one benchmark at least, we are probably halfway through the (r)evolution

Penguin Stops Selling e-Books to Libraries

Penguin, which only offered backlist e-book titles for library lending, is terminating its contract with OverDrive, the library digital vendor, and starting February 10 will cease to offer any of its e-books or audiobooks to libraries. Penguin is negotiating a “continuance” agreement that will allow libraries that have already purchased Penguin e-books to continue to loan them.

In addition, Penguin has also prohibited over-the-air downloads of Penguin e-books to Kindle devices or apps. Patrons of libraries that do have Penguin e-books will have to download them to a personal computer and use a USB cable to load them into their Kindle devices. While the scope of Penguin’s concerns over library lending are not clear, it does appear that the role of Amazon devices—OverDrive has partnered with Amazon to allow library patrons to borrow e-books via wireless download to their Kindle devices—in library lending is a factor in Penguin’s decision to withdraw its e-books from OverDrive.

Full article


Library Renewal: Pioneering Electronic Content Delivery For Libraries

Ever wonder why libraries aren’t able to offer electronic content like e-books, music files and streaming multimedia as well as they offer print materials, CDs and DVDs? Library Renewal is trying to find a solution. They say it turns out, this is a surprisingly complex situation to understand, let alone improve. They do research, form strategic relationships, and create ways for you to get involved and let your voice be heard. If you believe the future of your library is tied to easy electronic content access, you have found your home base for those efforts.

Check them out at LibraryRenewal.org

Keeping library books on Kindle for extended times

Here is a blog post about the ability to keep Overdrive library books on the Kindle for extended times.

Seems that if you keep the wireless on your Kindle off library books will not expire.

The good faith way that people might see this happen is if you are using your Kindle in a remote location without access to wireless for an extended period. (e.g. Person in Navy that has Kindle at sea for 6 months)

A Crowdfunded Approach To Setting E-Books Free

Paidcontent.org story on one idea to make ebooks more readily available to libraries and readers,

"What do To Kill A Mockingbird, A Wrinkle in Time and Little House on the Prairie series have in common, besides being beloved? None of them are available legally as e-books. A new site aims to make these and other e-books available to the public (and in libraries), as DRM-free Creative Commons works, via crowdfunding.

The newly launched Unglue.it, now in alpha, is a place for individuals and institutions to join together to liberate specific e-books and other types of digital content by paying rights holders to relicense their works under Creative Commons licenses."

No More E-Books Vs. Print Books Arguments, OK?

Jonathan Franzen's in the news again, this time talking about how e-books are chiseling away at the foundations of civilization as we know it. Absurd, isn't it? That the author of two of the better regarded novels of the past decade (give or take) would be concerned about how you read his books. The problem, according to Franzen, is manifold. E-books and digital readers are a con designed to rob you of money that you could otherwise be spending on paper books; e-books are trivial non-objects that you cannot hold and fetishize; print books are durable ("I can spill water on it and it would still work!" he is quoted as saying); and, most perniciously, e-books are supplanting the gorgeous permanence of book-books. "But I do fear that it's going to be very hard to make the world work if there's no permanence like that," Franzen said. "That kind of radical contingency is not compatible with a system of justice or responsible self-government."

Full piece on NPR



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