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Shatzkin shares latest on maximizing the backlist in digital publishing era
July 30, 2014 | 6:47 pm

mikeshatzkin.jpgMike Shatzkin's commentary on developments in the publishing industry has often featured in TeleRead in the past - not always in entirely respectful terms. All the same, he's often good for wrap-ups of not-quite-leading-edge newly-received wisdom in mainstream publishing, and one such piece is his latest post entitled (deep breath...): "Publishers need to rethink their marketing deployments and tactics in the digital age to take advantage of their backlists." Shatzkin delves into the traditional publishing priorities of frontlist versus backlist marketing ("Books have always been launched like rockets. The publisher commits maximum firepower to getting them off the ground. Most crash to...

Book review: Cry Murder! in a Small Voice, by Greer Gilman, Small Beer Press
July 30, 2014 | 4:46 pm

The marvelous Small Beer Press, which is producing anything but small beer these days, with two Shirley Jackson Awards this year alone, also produces chapbooks and shorter titles, available mostly as DRM-free direct downloads. One of them is one of the award winners, Greer Gilman's Cry Murder! in a Small Voice, which runs to just 57 pages in the printed version and is also available as a beautifully produced short ebook. One blogger called this simply the best book of 2013. Greer Gilman has a reputation for producing superb work very slowly, and on the basis of this book, you can see...

Kindle for iOS Updated!
July 30, 2014 | 3:43 pm

kindle for iOSMultiple news sources are reporting a Kindle for iOS update today. It sounds like they have added some welcome new features, including: - The default syncing option is now to the most recent page read, not the latest-in-the-book page read. This means that people like me who use the index sometimes can go back to where we were reading and not have the cross-device sync be ruined. You can change it back to the other way if you'd like, via the preferences. - On a related note, a new feature called Kindle Placeholders, allows you to preview other parts of the book...

Alloy Entertainment partners with Amazon on digital-first for young adults
July 30, 2014 | 3:25 pm

Time Warner-owned book packager and entertainment property developer Alloy Entertainment has partnered with Amazon Publishing on a digital-first imprint for young adult titles. As reported in Digital Book World and elsewhere, this builds on Alloy's existing partnership with Amazon for the Kindle Worlds fanfic program, and titles published first on this platform will later be considered for hard copy print runs. According to the original Alloy Entertainment press release, available here: "The new imprint, named Alloy Entertainment, will be part of Amazon Publishing’s Powered by Amazon program. Powered by Amazon enables publishers and authors to leverage Amazon’s global distribution and personalized,...

Why people aren’t buying iPads anymore
July 30, 2014 | 2:25 pm

ipad mini vs ipad airHuffington Post has this little write-up on the iPad situation. In short: sales of iPads are flat, why can this be? They list the usual reasons---other brands are cheaper, Apple won't budge on price and so on---but also offer a new one that's true for me: people simply don't upgrade their tablets as often. Perhaps it's because they prioritize upgrading their phones, which they carry with them daily, so there is no money left for a frill like a tablet. Perhaps it's because there has not been as much innovation in the tablet sector recently---my iPad 2 is still going strong after...

Book review: The Children of Old Leech, edited by Ross E. Lockhart and Justin Steele, Word Horde
July 30, 2014 | 12:25 pm

This is both a superb collection of dark tales and a testament to the highly developed, involved, and even self-referential status of the new new wave of American horror and weird fiction. For it is a tribute anthology from some of the best writers in the field in honor of one of their most esteemed peers, Laird Barron, who is still very much alive and barely into his fourth volume. The Children of Old Leech: A Tribute to the Carnivorous Cosmos of Laird Barron might stand in grave danger of being an incestuous lovefest. Is it? Anything but. Who is the man...

Technology Innovation for Smart Publishing comes too late?
July 30, 2014 | 11:25 am

According to an announcement made on the London Book Fair website some months after the latter's closure, "The TISP network (Technology Innovation for Smart Publishing), the European project coordinated by the Italian Publishers Association which gathers 25 organizations from 12 European countries, has released a set of policy recommendations, giving the publishing and technology sectors a common base at European level to foster and sustain innovation for the first time." The open question is whether this will have any actual influence on the development of e-publishing in Europe. TISP brings together "the two European representative bodies of the publishing and ICT industries,...

Recently flashed CyanogenMod on Nook. How’d it go?
July 30, 2014 | 10:22 am

nexusae0_cmthumb1I'd been meaning to wipe my Nook HD and install Cyanogen Mod 11 for some time now, but the process intimidated me. Then Chris went and created a user friendly guide. A little more than a week ago, I got up the nerve to give it a try. It worked (after a couple of heart-in-the-throat moments), and I thought I'd write up my impressions, both of the process and the results. Let me start by saying if you aren't comfortable messing with technology, you probably shouldn't try this without help. I am fairly tech-savvy, and I had a few bad moments....

Morning Roundup: Preston speaks again. Macmillan makes front-list available to libraries
July 30, 2014 | 9:00 am

MacmillanAnything with an RFID Chip in it Will Have to Carry this Logo in Europe (GigaOM) The logo is designed to make it clear to consumers when the goods they’re carrying contain an RFID smart chip, and to bring retailers and healthcare and banking companies out of a legal “gray zone” when it comes to data protection. *** 7 'Bookish' Things You Missed at San Diego Comic Con (Book Riot) If, like me, you had to live the San Diego Comic-Con experience vicariously through Twitter and YouTube, here’s a quick run-down of the bookish stuff you missed. *** Douglas Preston: on Amazon, Hachette and Indie Authors...

Amazon says it would be content with 30% of revenue if Hachette e-books were $9.99
July 29, 2014 | 8:42 pm

Amazon has posted another update to its Kindle user forum, dispensing more information about the nature of the dispute between itself and Hachette. In fact, this is pretty much the clearest statement of what the actual argument covers that we have yet seen from either side, including those Hachette leakers. (And, interestingly enough, it doesn’t actually agree with some of the content of those leaks! Imagine that?) I haven’t looked for any reactions yet, but I predict the same howls of outrage we got with Amazon’s last such announcement in May, from Hachette partisans complaining that Amazon didn’t have...

Dear Author Reviews eBook Subscription Services
July 29, 2014 | 2:32 pm

dear author logoDear Author has posted a really useful and comprehensive review of Kindle Unlimited, Scribd and Oyster---the three main eBook subscription services. They look at not just the title selection, but also the usability of the apps and the overall user experience. I was heartened to see that Scribd, the only choice available internationally, took top marks from them. Scribd has both traditionally published and self-published titles, allows up to 20 borrows at a time, and has an elegant and nicely produced user interface. There were a few in-progress improvements called for, but overall, it surpassed the more limited catalogue at Oyster...

Amazon’s 100 Children’s Books to Read in a Lifetime
July 29, 2014 | 11:30 am

children's booksSummertime, and the living is list-filled... Here comes another reading list to pile the to-dos onto your TBR pile! Amazon has just come out with a list of '100 Children's Books to Read in a Lifetime.' Our friends at GalleyCat have the whole list up, and it's an eclectic mix of classics (A Wrinkle in Time, Goodnight Moon) and the modern (Jumanji, Harry Potter). Of the 100 books, I count 38 I personally have read, and 15 which are freely available via Project Gutenberg. Want to do some reading? Here are some link to the freebie ones: - Alice's Adventures in Wonderland &...