Ebooks

Is This the Future of the Digital Book?

PLENTY of authors dream of writing the great American novel.

Bradley Inman wants to create great fiction, dramatic online video and compelling Twitter stream — and then roll them all into a multimedia hybrid that is tailored to the rapidly growing number of digital reading devices.

Mr. Inman, a successful Silicon Valley entrepreneur, calls this digital amalgam a “Vook,” (vook.tv) and the fledgling company he has created with that name just might represent a possible future for the beleaguered book industry.

Full story in the NYT

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Verizon Wireless: More E-book Readers May Be Coming

Are e-book readers going to be the next big thing in wireless? Verizon Wireless chief executive Lowell McAdam said "four or five" of them are in various stages of development in the company's open development labs.

"We want to be smart enough to go where the customers drive us," McAdam said, citing e-book readers as an example of a category that appears to be hot at the moment.

More here

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Authors have lost the plot in Kindle battle

Cory Doctorow says Amazon's Kindle 2 text-to-speech feature is not so much violating authors' copyright but rather basic consumer rights.

Dropping $359 (£251) on a device whose features are subject to the outcomes of ongoing negotiations to which you are not a party is, frankly, nuts. Would you buy a car if it was known that your air-conditioner and stereo system could be remotely disabled?

Fujitsu Launches Color e-Book Reader in Japan

Japanese electronics maker Fujitsu has stepped into the e-book fray with the a color e-paper mobile device aimed at consumers. Thin and lightweight like its competition the Kindle, Fujitsu Frontech’s awkwardly named FLEPia, is now on sale in Japan and will start shipping on April 20 for around $1,000. Customers will have the option of purchasing e-books through the FLEPia-ya Web site via Japan’s largest e-book online retailer Papyless while connecting the device to the Internet via wi-fi.

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More women are reading e-books

Today’s typical e-book reader is a woman, “between 40 and 50 years old, who tends to have a higher-than-average income and level of education.” A few years ago, by contrast, the most likely consumer of e-books was a male gadget freak.

More at the Christian Science Monitor

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Collecting Digital Books




We will discuss move of University Presses other publishers to publish in digital format and the consequences and logistics of adjusting to this. How do libraries "collect" such material? How do we manage it?

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Red Mars available for free download on Kindle

Here is the Amazon record for the paperback edition of Red Mars (Mars Trilogy) that sells for $7.99

The Kindle edition can be downloaded for free on Amazon: Red Mars (Kindle edition)

This is a good strategy by the publisher. Red Mars is the first book in a trilogy. If people download the first book and really enjoy it they may buy the second and third book. Those sell for $6.39 a piece. Green Mars

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A 'Kindle Society' Can Be Literate

On Talk of the Nation on NPR:

On this week's opinion page, Jacob Weinberg, editor-in-chief of the Slate Group, focuses on the new Kindle device. In a recent opinion piece on Slate.com, he asked: "Why should a civilization that reads electronically be any less literate than one that harvests trees to do so?"

You can listen to the 17 minute piece here.

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Will E-Book Anti-Piracy Technology Hurt Readers?

The following story is on NPR. There is a message that the audio will be available at 7pm eastern. There is text that can be read now.

As the book industry attempts to move from hardbacks to downloads, booksellers and publishers are struggling to prevent readers from pirating eBooks the way some music fans pirate music.

On the front line of that effort is digital rights management technology, or DRM, that is embedded into eBook files. DRM lets the companies control how copies can be made of eBooks and which devices can display them. But some users say DRM also prevents them from reading the eBooks they've bought.

Full piece here.

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Farewell to the Printed Monograph

Inside Higer Ed The University of Michigan Press is announcing today that it will shift its scholarly publishing from being primarily a traditional print operation to one that is primarily digital.

Within two years, press officials expect well over 50 of the 60-plus monographs that the press publishes each year -- currently in book form -- to be released only in digital editions. Readers will still be able to use print-on-demand systems to produce versions that can be held in their hands, but the press will consider the digital monograph the norm. Many university presses are experimenting with digital publishing, but the Michigan announcement may be the most dramatic to date by a major university press.

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