Monday, June 04, 2012

Are Apps The Future of Book Publishing?

(Photo credit: John Blyberg)

Are Apps The Future of Book Publishing? -- Forbes

We’re at the dawn of the tablet era now. Earlier this month, Apple sold 3 million of its new iPad during the opening weekend, with some analysts expecting over 60 million of the tablets to be sold worldwide. What’s more, e-book readers are selling even more briskly than tablets. People are using those e-readers, too. On, books for its Kindle outsell its paper books.

What’s more, the explosion of e-books is putting pressure on publishers between demands for price cuts on one hand, and competition from independent authors like Amanda Hocking, who earned over $2 million selling e-books on her own before signing with a major publisher.

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My Comment: Are apps the future of book publishing .... well .... readers are using them so I would have to assume that the answer is yes.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

How Brick-And-Mortar Bookstore Thrives Because Of Amazon

The Man Who Took On Amazon And Saved A Bookstore -- Forbes

Certain business ideas seem doomed to fail. You can walk into a restaurant or retail chain and know instantly that its days are numbered.

That’s the gut sense I had when I learned that someone new had bought the Harvard Book Store – a comforting oasis for bibliophiles and casual browsers – just a few blocks from my office in Cambridge. In a town where independent bookstores have been folding faster than Starbucks can open coffee shops in China, this naïve optimist embarked on his new venture in the dark days of the recession, under the shadow of Amazon, and as e-books began their zenith rise.

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My Comment: An exception in the trend of closing bookstores.

Monday, May 21, 2012

'Kinky' Ebooks Sell Fast

The Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy is by best-selling author E L James.

'Kinky' Ebooks Sell Fast In Age Of Digital Privacy -- The Telegraph

It's not just Fifty Shades of Grey that is selling fast - erotic novels for women are booming because they can be bought and read away from prying eyes, say publishers.

Sales of erotic novels as e-books are soaring because readers "can get a kinky novel and nobody knows", according to publisher Brenda Knight

The days of furtively buying a saucy tale and hiding it under the copy of a respectable Elizabeth Gaskell novel at the counter are long gone.

With Kindle and Nook allowing for discreet downloading and reading, erotic novels for women are booming. Kensington Books, an American publisher, says its Aphrodisia collection of adult ebooks accounted for 57 per cent of sales in 2011, compared to only two per cent in 2008.

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My Comment: Yup .... sex sells.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Can Fiction Survive The Ebook Age?

A little light reading? ... reading an ebook at the beach. Photograph: Alamy

Can Literary Fiction Survive The Ebook Age? -- The Guardian

Some claim that literary fiction has 'lost the next generation' of readers – but brilliant writing remains as important as ever

The death knell has been sounded for literary fiction often enough that it's great to see someone cheering it on. But when Francesca Main added the words "Go print" to a tweet celebrating the strong performance of literary paperbacks, it was enough to launch a fierce debate about what literary fiction is really for.

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My Comment: If the content is there ... the readers will also follow.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Publishing World Struggles To Adapt To New Lines

London Book Fair: Publishing World Struggles To Adapt To New Lines -- The Guardian

The partying goes on at Earl's Court, but new formats and self-publishing are changing the industry

The trays of free wine and boastful talk of six-figure deals struck at dinner parties might seem to some like the last days of decadence for a publishing world in denial about the digital storm clouds gathering overhead.

But in the main hall of Earl's Court, hundreds of publishers gathered for the 41st London Book Fair have been showing stands of lovely new books as editors meet agents and foreign publishers keen to buy unpublished books, sell foreign rights, and relentlessly talk up their new titles.

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My Comment: A sobering analysis that the hardcover book is the way of the dinosaur.

Monday, April 16, 2012

A Look At The Future Of Books

People looking at an e-book reader app on the Apple iPad.

A Dark Day For The Future Of Books -- CNN

(CNN) -- Wednesday was a dark day for the future of books.

The Department of Justice charged Apple and five large book publishers with conspiring to raise e-book prices. Three of the five publishers quickly capitulated rather than face the risk and expense of a protracted legal battle.

Much of the case revolves around the decision of five of the largest six publishers to simultaneously adopt the agency pricing model immediately before Apple launched the iPad and iBookstore in April 2010. At that time, Amazon commanded about 90% of the e-book market. Amazon priced many books at $9.99 -- which was below the cost at which Amazon was paying the publisher -- in an effort to drive e-book adoption among consumers and capture market share.

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Saturday, April 14, 2012

Vatican And Oxford Libraries Announce Joint Digital Conversion Of Some Manuscripts, Books

The "Historia naturalis" [Italian] Historia naturale (Venice Nicolaus Jenson, 1476) is one of the items to be digitized during the collaboration of the Bodleian Libraries and the Vatican. Courtesy Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford / MCT

Vatican And Oxford Libraries Announce Joint Digital Conversion Of Some Manuscripts, Books -- McClatchy News

WASHINGTON — More world literature just got its door kicked open digitally. For the first time scholars will be able to compare material kept in the separate collections for centuries.

The Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana and the Bodleian Libraries of the University of Oxford have announced a 4-year project to convert some of their important holdings into digital form for all to see — even if readers can’t understand the Medieval Latin, ancient Greek or Hebrew the documents are written in.

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My Comment: They are finally getting onto the band-wagon when it comes to digital libraries .... a few years late.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Yahoo Mulls Plan To Put ADVERTS In eBooks

Birds Eye Fish Fingers: Could nautically themed books be 'brought to you' by brands such as Birds Eye?

Moby Dick (Brought To You By Cap'n Birdseye): Yahoo Mulls Plan To Put ADVERTS In eBooks -- Dialy Mail

* Video ads WITHIN text of books
* Words could even be inserted into text of novels
( Two patent applications submitted in U.S. last week

Yahoo is investigating plans to put adverts inside ebooks on devices such as Amazon's Kindle or Apple's iPad.

The idea could lead to increased product placement on modern novels - or books offered for free in exchange for adverts within the text.

Adverts could range from simple sponsorship - 'Oliver Twist is brought to you by Scots Porage Oats', to videos within the text.

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My Comment: Smart .... very smart. This is a cool war for online libraries to make money on their products.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

U.S. Sues Apple Over 'Price Fixing' E-Book Deal With Five Major Publishers

Ebooks To Be Cheaper As U.S. Sues Apple Over 'Price Fixing' Deal With Five Major Publishers -- Daily Mail

* Justice Department to sue Apple
* Separate deal with publishers
* Could end 'price fixing' for ebooks
* Ebook prices risen up to 50% in last two years

America's Justice Department could sue Apple as early as Wednesday over alleged electronic book price fixing.

The DoJ will settle with several publishers as early as this week, two people familiar with the matter said.

The case could have major knock-on effects for pricing on electronic books online and on devices such as Amazon's Kindle.

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My Comment: Some Publishers are already settling with the Justice Department, and some are predicting that the DoJ will lose their case.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Death Of The Paperback

Photo: The rise of e-readers such as the Amazon Kindle has seen paperback sales decline

Death Of The Paperback In E-Reader Revolution: Sales Drop By 25% In A Year -- Daily Mail

From the Da Vinci Code to Harry Potter, the paperback has been a literary staple for decades.

It was almost 80 years ago when the likes of Penguin Books made quality fiction available for mass market consumption at affordable prices.

But now, with sales down by nearly 25 per cent year-on-year, some senior industry experts are heralding the ‘death of the paperback’.

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My Comment: And I expect this trend to continue.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

World's First Flexible E-Paper Display To Be Mass Manufactured

LG Display Begins Mass Production of World's First Plastic E-Paper Display

LG Begins Mass Production Of World's First Flexible E-Paper Display -- Hot Hardware

LG has officially begun the process of mass producing the world's first plastic electronic paper display (EPD) that is designed to be used in eBooks. LG's EPD measures 6 inches and offers a resolution of 1024x768. This display offers a paper-like reading experience on a plastic substrate that is as slim as cell phone protection film. The film is flexible and can be bent at a range of 40 degrees from the center of the screen. LG Display's plastic EPD is just 0.7mm thick, which is 1/3 slimmer than current glass EPDs. It weighs 14g, or about 0.49 ounces.

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My Comment: Impressive.

Monday, March 19, 2012

No Chinese 'Dissidents' In London's Book Fair

London Book Fair Criticised For Inviting Only State-Approved Chinese Writers -- The Guardian

Exiled Chinese poet Bei Ling says he is 'amazed no independent voice, no exiled or dissident writer' is being represented

The London Book Fair is facing claims it has bowed to pressure from Chinese authorities by failing to invite dissident and exiled writers to next month's event and choosing only state-approved authors.

Bei Ling, an exiled poet and essayist, has written to the British Council, the organisers of the cultural programme of the fair, which is one of the biggest international publishing events in the world, expressing his surprise over its plans to host Chinese state-approved writers and organisations.

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My Comment: Will the London Book Fair do anything to change this .... unfortunately no.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Printed Encyclopedias Are A Thing Of The Past

William Smellie, who co-created the first Encyclopedia Britannica in Edinburgh 244 years ago. Photograph: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Printed Encyclopedias Were Once A Rare Source Of Knowledge. But No More -- Ian Jack, The Guardian

Information – 'the sum of human knowledge' – had a different shape in the era of the printed encyclopedia

There can be no clearer evidence of the swift and steep decline of the printed reference book than these figures taken from a recent New York Times: In 1990, the Encyclopedia Britannica sold 120,000 sets (each set comprising 32 volumes) in the USA. That turned out to be its peak year. Since its last revision in 2010, it has sold only 8,000 sets in the same market. Another 4,000 sets lie in a warehouse. When the last of those goes, the paper-and-ink Britannica will be no more. This week its publisher announced that future editions will appear exclusively online, bringing to a close a printing history that began in Edinburgh in 1768.

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My Comment:
I concur .... the web has changed everything.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Encyclopedia Britannica Ending Their Print Version (Updated)

Lamenting The Loss Of A Print Icon -- CNN

(CNN) -- Ronnie Oldham could sell encyclopedias. He was named National Rookie of the Month in 1988 for his ability to push the Encyclopedia Britannica.

He was so good, he once sold a set to a blind man.

Oldham learned the importance of brand identity, market leadership and customer appreciation as a traveling salesman for the famed company. He also knew how to close a deal.

"You had to produce, or you were gone."

It's been about 20 years since he last sold one of the iconic sets. The information age had dawned in the 1990s, and Oldham "saw the handwriting on the wall." He bolted.

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Previous Post: Encyclopaedia Britannica Stops The Print Edition After More Than 200 Years

More News On Encyclopedia Britannica Ending Their Print Version

Encyclopedia Britannica ends print, goes digital -- Reuters
Encyclopaedia Britannica ends print run -- L.A. times
Encyclopedia Britannica ceases to exist -- in print -- L.A. Times
The Encyclopaedia Britannica is going out of print --
The dull but dependable Encyclopaedia Britannica bows to the digital facts of life -- The Telegraph
Encyclopaedia Britannica ends its famous print edition -- BBC
Encyclopaedia Britannica: After 244 years in print, only digital copies sold -- Christian Science Monitor
Encyclopaedia Britannica Is Dead, Long Live Encyclopaedia Britannica -- Fast Company
A bittersweet bye-bye to Britannica -- CNN Money
Encyclopaedia Britannica Goes Out of Print, Won't Be Missed -- The Atlantic
Encyclopedia Britannica puts an end to print publishing -- Christian Science Monitor
Loving Encyclopaedia Britannica -- Robert Wright, The Atlantic
Britannica Print Edition Kicks the Bucket, So Is Wikipedia Our New Lord and Master? -- Time
Death of the Salesmen: Britannica's Former Door-to-Door Sellers Reminisce -- Wall Street Journal

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Encyclopaedia Britannica Stops The Print Edition After More Than 200 Years

A set of the Encyclopaedia Britannica on the shelves of the New York Public Library. Ángel Franco/The New York Times

After 244 Years, Encyclopaedia Britannica Stops the Presses -- New York Times

After 244 years, the Encyclopaedia Britannica is going out of print.

Those coolly authoritative, gold-lettered reference books that were once sold door-to-door by a fleet of traveling salesmen and displayed as proud fixtures in American homes will be discontinued, company executives said.

In an acknowledgment of the realities of the digital age — and of competition from the Web site Wikipedia — Encyclopaedia Britannica will focus primarily on its online encyclopedias and educational curriculum for schools. The last print version is the 32-volume 2010 edition, which weighs 129 pounds and includes new entries on global warming and the Human Genome Project.

More News On Encyclopaedia Britannica Ending It's Print Edition

Digital Kills Printed Encyclopaedia Britannica After 244 Years -- Wall Street Journal
Encyclopaedia Britannica announces final entry for print edition, continues in digital form -- Washington Post/AP
Closing the Book: Encyclopedia Britannica Goes All Digital -- Time
Encyclopaedia Britannica ends print, goes digital -- Reuters
Encyclopaedia Britannica to end print editions -- FOX News
Encyclopaedia Britannica halts print edition, goes digital only -- L.A. Times
Encyclopedia Britannica to stop printing books -- CNN
Encyclopaedia Brittanica stops publishing print version, goes digital-only -- Globe And Mail
Encyclopaedia Britannica stops printing after more than 200 years -- The Telegraph
Encyclopaedia Britannica Ends 244-Year-Old Print Edition -- Bloomberg
Encyclopaedia Britannica drops print and goes digital only -- CNET
Your tome is up... Encyclopedia Britannica ends its print edition after 244 years as it fully embraces digital age -- Daily Mail
Factbox: Britannica goes totally digital -- Chicago Tribune/Reuters

Saturday, March 10, 2012

A New Chapter In Publishing: Printed Book Sales Plummet As The E-Reader Grows In Popularity -- Daily Mail

* Sales of printed novels fell by a quarter in the first two months of this year

The rise of e-readers - such as Kindle - is thought to be behind a slump in sales of the printed novel in the UK, figures have revealed.

In the first eight weeks of 2012, Britons bought 7.6million printed novels - almost two-and-a-half million fewer than books bought in the same period in 2011.

The slump - which does not include non-fiction and children's books - coincides with a jump in sales of e-readers, which include Kindle and iPads.

Read more ....

Friday, March 09, 2012

The Ultimate Library

Storage: Internet tycoon Brewster Kahle has spent $3million building this repository in San Francisco where he hopes to archive as many books as possible

The Ultimate Library: Online Archive Aims To Collect A Physical Copy Of Every Book In Existence -- Daily Mail

An internet tycoon turned latter-day Noah is trying to collect a physical copy of every single book in existence in case of a cataclysmic internet failure.

Brewster Kahle has spent $3million building a book repository in San Francisco, California, where he hopes to archive as many books as possible.

So far he has managed to accumulate about 500,000 volumes - ranging from American Indian Policy in the 20th Century to Temptation’s Kiss - but one day he hopes to have 10million.

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My Comment: I am sure that such a collection will be very available one day as a collector's item .... in a few centuries.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Collusion! Apple, Publisher Partners Accused Of Raising E-Book Prices

Justice Department May Sue Apple, Publishers On E-Books -- Reuters

(Reuters) - The Justice Department has warned Apple (AAPL.O) and five major publishers that it plans to sue them, accusing them of colluding to raise the prices of electronic books, a person familiar with the probe said on Thursday.

Several parties have held talks to settle the potential antitrust case, said the person, who was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

The five publishers facing possible Justice Department action are Simon & Schuster Inc, a unit of CBS Corp (CBS.N); Lagardere SCA's (LAGA.PA) Hachette Book Group; Pearson Plc's (PSON.L) Penguin Group (USA); Macmillan, a unit of Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck GmbH; and HarperCollins Publishers Inc, a unit of News Corp (NWSA.O).

U.S. and European officials have been investigating whether e-book publishers and Apple fixed prices in the growing electronic book industry, blocking rivals and hurting consumers.

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More News On The Justice Department Investigating Apple Over E-Book Pricing

U.S. Warns Apple, Publishers -- Wall Street Journal
Apple, publishers threatened with Justice lawsuits, report says -- Washington Post
Apple, book publishers facing potential US suit: WSJ -- AFP
DOJ targets Apple and publishers for e-book price fixing -- CNN
Publishers could face legal action over ebook prices -- The Guardian
Government Pressuring Publishers to Adjust Pricing Policy on E-Books -- New York Times
Apple, publishers in DOJ crosshairs over e-book prices -- MSNBC
U.S. reportedly warns Apple, e-book publishers about price-fixing -- L.A. Times
Report: U.S. threatens Apple, book publishers with price collusion suit -- Seattle PI
DOJ Threatens Apple, Book Publishers with Lawsuit Regarding E-Book Sales -- Daily Tech