Scholastic Inc. will reissue the first two volumes of Ann M. Martin’s “The Baby-Sitters Club,” in the hopes of igniting enthusiasm in a new generation of readers.
Here is the first prediction:
1. At least one major book will have several different enhanced ebook editions. This will result from a combination of circumstances: the different capabilities of ebook hardware and reader platforms, the desire of publishers and authors to justify print-like prices for ebooks, the sheer ability of authors and their fans to do new things electronically, and the dawning awareness that there are at least two distinctly different ebook markets: one just wants to read the print book on an electronic screen and the other wants links and videos and other enhancements that really change the print book experience. (Corrolary prediction: the idea of an enhanced ebook that is only sold “temporarily” in the first window when the book comes out, which has been floated by at least one publisher, will be short-lived. Whatever is made for sale in electronic form will remain available approximately forever. Or, put another way, if you have a product that requires no inventory investment that has a market, you’ll keep satisfying it.)
Twelve more predictions at the IdeaLogical blog
Story on Morning Edition on NPR
Ten years ago, few imagined that by decade’s end, people would be reading novels on cell phones. A lot has changed in the book world.
“Over the last couple of years, I’ve really noticed if I sit down with a book, after a few paragraphs, I’ll say, ‘You know, where’s the links?
Where’s the e-mail? Where’s all the stuff going on?’ ” says writer Nicholas Carr. “And it’s kind of sad.”
Carr says he’s thought of himself as a serious reader all his life, but in an article in The Atlantic, he argued that the Internet is training us to read in a distracted and disjointed way. But does that mean writers will have to change the way they write to capture the attention of an audience accustomed to this new way of reading? Carr thinks the answer is yes, and he looks to the past to make his point.
It’s the bane of many a public librarian. The phone rings, you answer it, and then politely decline the caller’s offer to donate the last 60 years of National Georgraphic magazine to your library.
“Yes, I’m sure they’re in fine condition. Oh? Been in your mother-in-law’s house for the last 60 years huh? Yes, I know you want to help out, but we’ve got several years of it already. Yes, sir I can tell you’re happy she’s dead but we just don’t have any use for that many magazines. No, actually they’re not all that valuable – you do realize they print several hundred thousand at a time, right? Yes, so they’re not exactly rare or anything.”
Now there’s a much easier way to get every single issue of National Geographic from the last 120 years and it doesn’t involve any donations. You can buy it on its very own hard drive. That’s right, you can get every issue of National Geographic since the dawn of humankind on a 160 GB external drive. As a bonus, the collection only takes up 60 GB, so you’ve got another 100GB to do with as you please.
I wonder if that’d be enough room for every issue of Popular Mechanics…
“Cory Doctorow, my former EFF colleague, now novelist and all-around-inspiration, gave a stirring speech entitled “How to Destroy the Book” in November at a Canadian conference dedicated to literacy. Fittingly, it was spontaneously transcribed and posted online at The Varsity.ca. The whole thing is terrific, but the first portion, an elegy to books and what they mean to us, is stirring and highly recommended to anyone who loves books”
If you believed them then you’d think every book published is, like, really amazing. From The Guardian:
There’s a lot of received wisdom in the publishing world – for instance, if you write non-fiction, your book needs a subtitle. Never mind that fiction doesn’t require that extra bit of explication (Crime & Punishment: Murder and Redemption in the Empire of the Tsars anyone?) if you write non-fiction you simply must spell out what you’re up to for prospective readers! This may be a wise policy or it may be nonsense, nobody knows.
Then there are blurbs, the more of which you can plaster on your paperback the better. Do these blurbs – many of which could be transferred from book to book without great difficulty – actually sway readers? Usually these are from newspaper reviews reduced by your sales people to a string of superlatives here, a comparison to somebody more famous than you are there. If the blurb comes from a review by a famous person, then they may just run with the name of the celebrity alone (“The Da Vinci Code is f*cking awesome!” – Salman Rushdie).
Seth Godin: It’s not the rats you need to worry about
“Amazon and the Kindle have killed the bookstore. Why? Because people who buy 100 or 300 books a year are gone forever. The typical American buys just one book a year for pleasure. Those people are meaningless to a bookstore. It’s the heavy users that matter, and now officially, as 2009 ends, they have abandoned the bookstore. It’s over.”
Who are the heavy users in your library? Can you see anything on the horizon that’s going to cause your best customers abandon your library?