Ebooks

The County of Los Angeles Public Library Expands Its eBook Collection by 10,000.

(Los Angeles, CA) - Today, the County of Los Angeles Public Library announces that it will add an additional 10,000 eBooks to its digital collections. These eBooks will be available free of charge for County Library card holders at http://colapublib.org/eBooks.

Yesterday, Amazon.com announced that “Kindle and Kindle app customers can borrow Kindle books from more than 11,000 libraries in the United States.”

Support for the Kindle platform means that even more County Library customers can take advantage of the County’s growing digital collection. Other supported devices include the Nook by Barnes & Noble, the Sony Reader, the iPad and smartphones including the iPhone, Blackberry and Android.

County Librarian Margaret Donnellan Todd says, “We are a library for the 21st century. Our mission is to support reading and the love of books. For a hundred years this Library has made the printed word accessible to all Los Angeles County residents. For the next hundred years and beyond, we will continue this important mission. Our investment in eBooks and digital technology ensures that we provide continued access to books regardless of format.”

Many library patrons looking to purchase an eBook reader first ask the County Library which one is compatible with its digital collections. With the addition of support for the Kindle, the County Library now supports all major eBook reader platforms. -- Read More

Amazon Turns Your Local Library Into Retail Book Chain

Amazon threw down the gauntlet against terrestrial competitors today by announcing that Kindle and Kindle app customers can borrow and purchase Kindle books from more than 11,000 local libraries in the United States.

Full piece at the NYT blog ReadWriteWeb.

Note: Kindle books at your library was announced months ago. There are news stories coming out today because libraries are going live with the feature.

Story in PC World - Borrowing Kindle E-Books: A Hands-On Guide

Public Library eBooks for Kindle Now Available

Public Library eBooks for Kindle Now Available, Check Your Library
Amazon and OverDrive have quietly started rolling out Kindle ebook lending from public libraries, albeit in Beta. Even though there hasn’t been any official announcement yet, some public libraries have already started lending ebooks for the Kindle. (e.g. Seattle)

Across the digital divide

From this livejournal post by author Seanan McGuire.
This doesn't change the part where, every time a discussion of ebooks turns, seemingly inevitably, to "Print is dead, traditional publishing is dead, all smart authors should be bailing to the brave new electronic frontier," what I hear, however unintentionally, is "Poor people don't deserve to read."
We cannot forget the digital divide. And we can't—we just can't—be so excited over something new and shiny that we walk away and knowingly leave people on the other side.

We can't.

I'm Okay If Amazon Replaces Drugstores But We Better Not Let It Replace Libraries

From an essay whose author thinks it would be a downright shame to let Amazon marginalize the public library: To lose bookstores hurts. But the idea of the library itself being supplanted by e-commerce is downright dystopian. Blockbuster was just a video store, Tower Records just a music store. But a public library is something ineffable and sacrosanct, a cornerstone of democracy. Libraries were the first pillars of the DIY movement, long before the age of Make and Etsy--they offered a do-it-yourself education, free of charge. No one is actually accusing Amazon of killing the library, the way Netflix pretty much killed Blockbuster. But as the e-book revolution continues to erode the physicality of books, we should ensure that it doesn't erode. Read more at:
http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/helloworld/27158/?nlid=nlcomp&nld=2011-09-14

What smaller publishers, agents, and authors need to know about ebook publishing

What smaller publishers, agents, and authors need to know about ebook publishing

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

Judging a Book By Its Cover in an Electronic Age

Judging a Book By Its Cover in an Electronic Age

"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."

Ann Patchett, New Bookstore Owner Talks about Touring, Bookstores & More

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.

Are books dead and can authors survive

Are books dead, and can authors survive?
At the Edinburgh international book festival this weekend, Ewan Morrison set out his bleak vision of a publishing industry in terminal decline. Here's a shortened version of his argument

Bells and Whistles for a Few E-Books

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.

Full article in the NYT

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