Posts tagged ebooks

Ten Free eBooks for Writers

November is National Novel Writing Month. Or, as NaNoWriMo puts it: Thirty days and nights of literary abandon with a challenge to start and finish a 50,000 word novel.

In support of the effort, Amazon has a deal going on: Ten ebooks about writing, for free.

I haven’t read any of them but free’s free so there’s not much of an excuse not to check them out. I think I’ll start with Write Good or Die

Li Gardner has the list and the links over at Google+

Weighty eBooks

A scientist demonstrates that when you fill your Kindle with digital books, it actually gets heavier.

Via The Telegraph:

Using Einstein’s E=mc² formula, which states that energy and mass are directly related, Prof Kubiatowicz calculated that filling a 4GB Kindle to its storage limit would increase its weight by a billionth of a billionth of a gram, or 0.000000000000000001g.

This is roughly equivalent to the weight of a small virus, while the equivalent number of books – about 3,500 – would weigh approximately two tons.

So now we know.

Kindle + Library Card = Free Books

Amazon announced today that Kindle and Kindle app users can now check out electronic books from 11 thousand local libraries around the United States.

You know, like we do with analog books. Except this time you receive the book via WiFi or USB.

Unlike analog books you can make margin notes and highlights and librarians won’t give you the stink eye for doing so.

Visit your local library’s Web site to see if it’s participating in the program.

The challenge for ebook designers and developers is to think less about “layout” and more about “choreography.”

Text can be fluid and responsive — it can reshuffle itself due to display size, orientation, or user interaction. Our job is not to dictate where words on a virtual page must be, but instead to guide them to where they should be. It is not enough to overload a digital page with clickable doo-dads, overlays, and animation: all the elements must move together in concert and, above all, not impair the basic reading experience or enjoyment of the work. This implies a close relationship between an author, a visual artist and a developer — all three must work together to create compelling, adaptive, interactive texts.
Liza Daly, Owner, Threepress Publishing, to Jenn Webb of O’Reilly Radar. At its best, digital design is choreography.
Michael prided himself on being unreasonable, and only in the later years of life did he mellow sufficiently to occasionally refrain from debate.

Michael Stern Hart, best known for his invention of eBooks and as founder of  Project Gutenberg, died Tuesday. He was 64.

In honor of his legacy, download a free book from Project Gutenberg and give it a read. They are over 36,000 available in  60 different languages. 

Obituaries via Project Gutenberg, the Telegraph, the Guardian, Ars Technica and a nice thread on Hacker News with anecdotes from those that knew him.

If you’re a data junkie, O’Reilly Radar has a freebie for you: its collected writings on big data since June 2010 published as an ebook.
Called Big Data Now: Current Perspectives from O’Reilly Radar, the book covers:

Data issues — The opportunities and ambiguities of the data space are evident in this segment’s discussions around privacy, the implications of data-centric industries, and even in the debate about the phrase “data science” itself.
The application of data — An exploration of data applications showed that this segment is quickly expanding to include everything from data startups to established enterprises to media/journalism to education and research. A “data product” can emerge from virtually any domain.
Data science and data tools — The tools and technologies that drive data science are, of course, essential to this space, but the varied techniques being applied are also key to understanding the big data arena.
The business of data — This is all about the actions connected to data — the process of finding, organizing, and analyzing data that allows organizations of all sizes to improve and innovate.

Download (via O’Reilly).

If you’re a data junkie, O’Reilly Radar has a freebie for you: its collected writings on big data since June 2010 published as an ebook.

Called Big Data Now: Current Perspectives from O’Reilly Radar, the book covers:

Data issues — The opportunities and ambiguities of the data space are evident in this segment’s discussions around privacy, the implications of data-centric industries, and even in the debate about the phrase “data science” itself.

The application of data — An exploration of data applications showed that this segment is quickly expanding to include everything from data startups to established enterprises to media/journalism to education and research. A “data product” can emerge from virtually any domain.

Data science and data tools — The tools and technologies that drive data science are, of course, essential to this space, but the varied techniques being applied are also key to understanding the big data arena.

The business of data — This is all about the actions connected to data — the process of finding, organizing, and analyzing data that allows organizations of all sizes to improve and innovate.

Download (via O’Reilly).

The printed word is alive and well whether it takes a paper delivery or digital delivery.

Tina Jordan, Vice President, Association of American Publishers, interviewed by the New York Times.  Publishing Gives Hints of Revival, Data Show.

A survey of 1,963 publishers by two major trade groups reveals that the book publishing industry is on the rebound.

Key findings via the Association of American Publishers

Overall U.S. publishing revenues are growing
Publishers’ net sales revenue has grown annually; 2010’s $27.94 Billion is a 5.6% increase over 2008.

Overall U.S. publishing unit sales are up as well
Publishers’ 2.57 Billion net units sold in 2010 represent a 4.1% increase since 2008.

Americans, young and old, are reading actively in all print and digital formats
2010 total net sales revenue in the consumer-focused Trade market is $13.94 Billion, increasing 5.8% since 2008 (and excluding 2011’s e-book sales surge). Both Adult Fiction and Juvenile (non-fiction and fiction) have seen consistent annual gains.

Tis the season of negotiation and for college students the option is this: carry textbooks or give up sex for a year.
According to Business Insider, 25 percent would just as well go the celibate route:

Education software company Kno found that students would make surprising sacrifices to get out of lugging around heavy textbooks. In fact, 34 percent would prefer to stay in every Saturday night for a semester… Even more surprising, 1 in 4 college students said they would give up sex for an entire year to not carry around textbooks.

Business Insider notes that 71% of students surveyed will switch to digital editions if and when available.
Maybe when Oklahoma State University’s School of Media and Strategic Communications offered iPads to students last fall it had more than learning on its mind.

Tis the season of negotiation and for college students the option is this: carry textbooks or give up sex for a year.

According to Business Insider, 25 percent would just as well go the celibate route:

Education software company Kno found that students would make surprising sacrifices to get out of lugging around heavy textbooks. In fact, 34 percent would prefer to stay in every Saturday night for a semester… Even more surprising, 1 in 4 college students said they would give up sex for an entire year to not carry around textbooks.

Business Insider notes that 71% of students surveyed will switch to digital editions if and when available.

Maybe when Oklahoma State University’s School of Media and Strategic Communications offered iPads to students last fall it had more than learning on its mind.

perfectmarket:

kwayb:

“Please Turn Off your books”via @ The New Yorker

perfectmarket:

kwayb:

“Please Turn Off your books”
via @ The New Yorker

Publishing may be in trouble but storytelling is not. Authors such as Amanda Hocking are understandably giving the industry the jitters. Hocking didn’t succeed in getting her young adult novels into print in the traditional way, so she uploaded digital versions on to the web, making them cheaply available. At first she sold only a few copies. Soon, however, she was selling hundreds of thousands of virtual books, and only now has she signed a deal with St Martin’s Press.
Eric Wagner, literary editor of The Times, 25 June 2011.
futuramb:

Rowling Conjures Up Potter E-Books - WSJ.com
When Rowling enters the new world of e-books and direct interaction with her “readers” it dramatically speeds up the transformation of the publishing industry from a chain and into an ecosystem of adaptive players of many different forms.
Another aspect is that it accelerate the change of the asynchronous nature of a relation between a storyteller and his or her audience into an ongoing interactive many-to-many conversation where the author or initiator gets a very different and continuously participating role than just an author.

What it takes for publishers to finally get serious about ebooks.

futuramb:

Rowling Conjures Up Potter E-Books - WSJ.com

When Rowling enters the new world of e-books and direct interaction with her “readers” it dramatically speeds up the transformation of the publishing industry from a chain and into an ecosystem of adaptive players of many different forms.

Another aspect is that it accelerate the change of the asynchronous nature of a relation between a storyteller and his or her audience into an ongoing interactive many-to-many conversation where the author or initiator gets a very different and continuously participating role than just an author.

What it takes for publishers to finally get serious about ebooks.

My wife and daughter and I were sitting around the dinner table, talking about what kind of contract I would do next, and with what publisher. And my then eleven-year-old daughter said, “Daddy, why don’t you just self-publish?”

And I thought, wow, no one would have said something like that even a year ago. I mean, it used to be that self-publishing was what you did if you couldn’t get a traditional deal. And if you were really, really lucky, maybe the self-published route would lead to a real contract with a real publisher.

But I realized from that one innocent comment from my daughter that the new generation was looking at self-publishing differently. And that the question—“Should I self-publish?”—was going to be asked by more and more authors going forward. And that, over time, more and more of them were going to be answering the question, “Yes.”

Barry Eisler, a New York Times best selling author, recently turned down a $500,000 advance from a publisher in order to self-publish his next book.

In a lengthy Q&A with author Joe Konrath, Eisler explains how the legacy publishing system works, why he thinks self-publishing makes sense and what lessons both self and legacy publishers can learn from digitation of the publishing industry.

Via Novelr:

Amanda Hocking is 26 years old. She has 9 self-published books to her name, and sells 100,000+ copies of those ebooks per month. She has never been traditionally published. This is her blog. And it’s no stretch to say – at $3 per book/70% per sale for the Kindle store – that she makes a lot of money from her monthly book sales. (Perhaps more importantly: a publisher on the private Reading2.0 mailing list has said, to effect: there is no traditional publisher in the world right now that can offer Amanda Hocking terms that are better than what she’s currently getting, right now on the Kindle store, all on her own.)

And that is stunning news.

Or, as Business Insider puts it, “Welcome to the disruption.”

Imagine an ad for a sports drink that says “Is your day feeling like the worst of times?” that appears in “A Tale of Two Cities” next to the line “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” or ads for condoms interspersed through “The Scarlet Letter.
Forrester analyst James McQuivey, Marketers Test Ads In E-Books, Wall Street Journal.