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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.