Posts tagged with ‘ebooks’
A Book is Like a Lover
- FJP: The Believer has a wistful Q&A with Maurice Sendak, most famous for his book, Where the Wild Things Are. Sendak died in May, 2012.
- Believer: What do you think of e-books?
- Maurice Sendak: I hate them. It’s like making believe there’s another kind of sex. There isn’t another kind of sex. There isn’t another kind of book. A book is a book is a book. I know that’s terribly old-fashioned. I’m old, and when I’m gone they’ll probably try to make my books on all these things, but I’m going to fight it like hell. [Pauses] I can’t believe I’ve turned into a typical old man. I can’t believe it. I was young just minutes ago.
- Believer: Is the problem with e-books partly a problem of color?
- Maurice Sendak: Yes. Picture books depend on color, largely. And they haven’t perfected the color in those machines. But it’s not that. It’s giving up a form that is so beautiful. A book is really like a lover. It arranges itself in your life in a way that is beautiful. Even as a kid, my sister, who was the eldest, brought books home for me, and I think I spent more time sniffing and touching them than reading. I just remember the joy of the book; the beauty of the binding. The smelling of the interior. Happy.
- FJP: The full interview can be read here -- bitly.com/Un2H91
Barnes & Noble held an earnings call today and said that while overall revenues from its Nook e-reader are down, e-book sales are keeping its overall revenue streams afloat.
Via the Financial Times:
Barnes & Noble can thank the erotic series Fifty Shades of Grey for helping to boost traffic through its stores, lift sales of ebooks and narrow first quarter losses.
In the three months to July 28, the bookseller reported a net loss of $41m, or 78 cents per share, compared with a loss of $56.6m, or 99 cents per share, a year earlier. Analysts had forecast a loss of 98 cents.
The EL James Fifty Shades series, dubbed “mummy porn”, occupies the three top slots on the New York Times best-seller list for ebook and print sales and had its origins in online publishing before breaking into traditional publishing.
Barnes & Noble’s introduction of Nook ebook readers has helped the company offset the slump in demand for printed books in the US while establishing a sizeable presence in the US ebook market.
And via The New York Times:
Nook sales, at $192 million, remained flat from the year before. Sales of digital content, which include books, newspapers, magazines and apps, increased 46 percent. Total college bookstore sales increased slightly to $221 million.
The company has poured money into its Nook business in order to compete with Amazon, Apple and other rivals in the crowded e-book market. Last week, it dropped the prices for its color tablets.
Takeaway: Hope there’s more breakout erotica in the upcoming months?
Nicholas Carr writes that book publishers should follow the lead of a few record labels that give away mp3 downloads of an album when you purchase the vinyl.
Via Rough Type:
Buy the atoms, get the bits free. That just feels right - in tune with the universe, somehow.
There’s a lesson here, I think, for book publishers. In fact, bundling a free electronic copy with a physical product would have a much bigger impact in the book business than in the music business. After all, in order to play vinyl you have to buy a turntable, and most people aren’t going to do that. So vinyl may be a bright spot for record companies, but it’s not likely to become an enormous bright spot. The only technology you need to read a print book is the eyes you were born with, and print continues, for the moment, to be the leading format for books. If you start giving away downloads with print copies, you shake things up in a pretty big way.
Adam Penenberg writes at Fast Company that Amazon’s erotica ebook section is rife with plagiarized works. Seems “authors” are simply cutting and pasting stories found elsewhere (such as from Literotica), putting pen names on the titles and passing them off as their own.
Via Fast Company:
Writing a book is hard. All those torturous hours an author has to spend creating, crafting, culling until nonsensical words are transformed into engaging prose. It’s a whole lot easier to copy and paste someone else’s work, slap your name on top, and wait for the money to roll in. This creates a strong economic incentive, with fake authors—Sharazade thinks it’s possible they are organized gangs based in Asia—earning 70% royalty rates on every sale, earning far more than a spammer could with click fraud. The new self-publishing platforms are easy to use and make it possible to publish a title in as little as 24 hours. There’s no vetting, editing, or oversight, and if your work is taken down you can always throw up more titles or simply concoct a new pen name and start over. There’s even a viral ebook generator that comes packed with 149,000 articles that makes it possible to create an ebook in minutes.
Penenberg’s proposed solution is to require those submitting ebooks to use a credit card that would be charged should the work infringe on existing copyright.
It sounds reasonable, but if there are “organized gangs” I’d imagine they could also get their hands on pilfered bank accounts.
His other solution is to run content through plagiarism detectors such as such as Turnitin and iThenticate before a book goes on sale. This would work somewhat like YouTube’s Content ID system where uploaded content is scanned to see if it matches existing, copyrighted work. Those that match get blocked until the copyright holder decides whether he/she/it wants the work to be published.
Via Online Journalism Blog
Amazon just announced a $6 million pool of money that it plans to pay authors. All you have to do to get a share of the loot is commit to sell your ebook exclusively through the Kindle Store and agree to let your ebook be lent to Kindle Prime members. Amazon has already signed up a number of authors, including 31 of the top 50 self-published ones (J. Carson Black, Gemma Halliday, J.A. Konrath, B.V. Larson, C.J. Lyons, Scott Nicholson, Julie Ortolon, Theresa Ragan, J.R. Rain, Patricia Ryan, and more). It looks like Amazon launched this to support the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library that Amazon launched just over a month ago. When it launched it had around 5 thousand titles as well as some less than voluntary participants. But there’s a catch. Authors are required to give Amazon an exclusive on any title in the program. That means they’re giving up the rest of the ebook market. Would any authors care to weigh in on the deal?
Amazon’s press release announcing the plan is here.