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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 &...

Latest Nielsen UK figures show ebooks eating into soft covers
July 29, 2014 | 10:25 am

nielsenThe latest figures brought together in the Books & Consumers 2013 UK Annual Review from Nielsen Book, which "provides an overview of consumer book purchasing in the UK in 2013 compared to 2012, using data based on 80‐90,000 book purchases made by a nationally representative sample of 37‐38,000 book buyers per year," shows ebook purchases in the UK rising to one quarter of Nielsen's estimated total, at 25 percent for 2013 versus 20 percent in 2012. However, this growth came at the expense of paperback books, with softback purchases declining from 55 to 50 percent over the same period, in the...

Morning Roundup: Consumer protection for ebooks? Publishers and subscription services
July 29, 2014 | 9:00 am

subscription servicesUK Police Start Replacing Ads on Copyright Sites with Warnings (GigaOm) The new “Operation Creative” tactic is designed to tackle the funding of copyright-infringement websites without making users vulnerable to malware, as an earlier pilot accidentally did. However, it’s a bit worrying to see police censoring elements of webpages. *** The Latest News on Book Adaptations (Book Riot) Hollywood loves to mine the book world for stories, new and old, that can be re-imagined and brought to the big and little screen. If you like to read the book first, here are a list of books to either add or bump up your TBR...

Why Subscription Services will be the way of the future
July 28, 2014 | 4:43 pm

subscription service next issue logoTwo articles came my way this morning on the subject of subscription services---one on Next Issue, an all-you-can-read magazine service, and the other on Scholastic's decision to close their eBook 'store' and replace it with a subscription-based web service. Neither of these articles terribly surprised me. I think more and more specialty book services will be going this way in the future, and here is why---this is the model today's children will be learning, and when they are grown, it will seem completely natural to them. The idea of 'owning' a digital file will seem pointless and ridiculous to them. Let...

The roots of English stupidity
July 28, 2014 | 2:25 pm

dunce.jpgThe roots of English anti-intellectualism and willful ignorance are long, deep, and twisted. The consequences you can see all over, in terms of literacy levels, reading habits, social order, and even prison numbers, and many other metrics that TeleRead tracks, but the causes are buried in the English past. Just every so often, however, it helps to lay them bare to explain just what the hell is going on in England, and what kind of hope, if any, there is for the country. The odd thing is that most Protestant countries outside the Anglo-Saxon sphere are renowned for their high standards...

TARDIS mini-libraries prove libraries are bigger on the inside
July 28, 2014 | 12:39 pm

Doctor Who fans everywhere will be able to tell you that the TARDIS, the Doctor's iconic time and space travel machine, is bigger on the inside than it looks from the outside - which is a fine metaphor for a library, whose content can encompass a universe and range far across time and space. And it seems that many U.S. exponents of the Little Free Library movement have made the connection and created TARDIS Little Free Libraries. The TARDIS Little Free Libraries seem to be popping up in as many different guises as the Doctor's various regenerations. The Pinterest board on...

Kirklees considers “nuclear option” as UK libraries holocaust continues
July 28, 2014 | 10:24 am

The West Yorkshire town of Kirklees is contemplating closure of all but two of its 26 libraries, along with other services like braille books for blind readers, as one option while it seeks to more than halve its library budget. According to the Huddersfield Daily Examiner, Kirklees Council has to find cuts to bring its £6.3 million ($10.7 million) library budget down to £2.8 million ($4.75 million) by 2017. Kirklees Council leader Clr David Sheard called the all-but-complete-closure plan the "nuclear option," versus a lesser program of cuts which would save some more of the library network and services, but which also...

Morning Roundup: Accidentally going digital. Libraries react to Kindle Unlimited
July 28, 2014 | 9:00 am

kindle-unlimited-rumor620x350Accidentally Going Digital (Book Riot) I suppose this led to a gradual build-up of digital in my life, as books I really, really wanted to read were available, but only digitally. So what choice did I have? Lacking that choice meant more and more digital, and I suppose less and less thinking about it. *** Scholastic to Close Storia Bookstore; Customers Could Lose Access to their eBook Purchases (The Digital Reader) This US publisher announced in April that they will be changing their Storia ebook platform from a retail service to a subscription service, and as part of that transition Scholastic recently announced that...

Book review: Beside the Seaside, edited by Scott Harrison, Snowbooks
July 27, 2014 | 2:23 pm

Well who'd a thought it: An almost local tourism-level themed anthology confined to a short stretch of English coastline that turns out to be a surprisingly good collection of modern British horror and dark fiction. Of course, it helps if the stretch of coastline you have to deal with is the Yorkshire coast immortalized by Bram Stoker as the landfall of Count Dracula, where the ruins of Whitby Abbey and Scarborough Castle still lour down from the clifftops. Or if you have contributors like Johnny Mains, himself editor of the superb Best British Horror 2014. (His "The Girl on the Suicide...

Creative Commons cookbooks for low-income aspiring chefs
July 27, 2014 | 12:25 pm

cc-logoI found a great little write-up at Lifehacker about Leanne Brown---a student in food studies who, as part of her course project, has released two gorgeous cookbooks on cheap, healthy home cooking. The best part? Both books are available for free on her website under a Creative Commons license, so that those who truly need this information can have it, and learn. The first book is called 'From Scratch' and is a vegetarian cookbook for people just beginning to cook at home. The second is called 'Good and Cheap' and is a vegetable-heavy guide to healthy eating on the $4-a-day 'food...