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Other posts by Joanna Cabot

How do we know our eBooks aren’t being altered?
April 18, 2014 | 2:32 pm

ebookI read a very interesting post this week at GoodeReader, which asked this question: how do we know our eBooks aren't being altered? When I first read the headline, I thought this would be about post-publication correction, which I don't think is necessarily a bad thing. I don't want my books to be re-written whole cloth after they have been bought and read, but I welcome revisions which involve correcting typos or improving poor formatting. But our friends at GoodeReader are asking about something else. From the article: In a recent thread at the e-reading website MobileRead one user explained their reasons of...

Filter, read, learn: the puzzle of reading print vs screen
April 18, 2014 | 12:35 pm

reading print vs screenI have read almost a dozen articles in the past few days that attempt to puzzle out the new hot question: do our brains process screen text differently from paper text? Does reading too much online somehow 'ruin' our brains for long-form reading? I'll state at the outset that from everything I've read on this, science does not have a definitive verdict on reading print vs screen, so I can't answer these questions. What I can do is apply my own decently well-educated common sense filter to some of the things I'm reading and come to my own conclusion. Firstly, this one...

Morning Roundup: iPad Mini refurbs available. Is Amazon KDP MFN legal?
April 18, 2014 | 9:00 am

iPad Mini refurbsiPad Mini Refurbs Now Available from Apple – Including Retina (The Digital Reader) Want to buy an iPad Mini but found them just too expensive? I have some good news for you. You can now pick up Apple’s iPad Mini Retina for about 16% off. That’s not a great discount, no, but it is about as good as you will get from Apple. *** Is the Kindle Direct Program MFN Legal? (Go To Hellman) If you sell an ebook through the Kindle Direct program, Amazon doesn't want you to offer it for less somewhere else. It's easy to understand why; if you're a consumer, you hate to pay...

Morning Roundup: Bloggers are media, Goodreads launches “Add Amazon Books” feature and more
April 17, 2014 | 9:00 am

bloggers are mediaNew Competition Highlights Indie Books (Indie Reader) The Pulitzer prize winning British newspaper, The Guardian, is co-sponsoring a new competition exclusively for indies. *** Goodreads Launches Add Amazon Books Feature (Digital Book World) You can now add books you’ve purchased on Amazon – both print and Kindle books – to your Goodreads shelves. This will be available in the next few weeks to members in the U.S., Canada, and Australia. *** Court Declares That Yes, Bloggers Are Media (Techdirt) While it seems crazy that this kind of issue is still being debated in 2014, it's good to see a court make such a clear statement on the...

Morning Roundup: February bookstore sales dropped. Which metrics really matter? and more
April 16, 2014 | 9:00 am

bookstore sales droppedThe Chicago Sun-Times Shuts Down their Comment Section (The Digital Reader) It’s widely accepted that the anonymity of the internet can turn almost anyone into a troll, and nowhere is this more true than in the comment section. *** February Bookstore Sales Dropped 6.8% (Publishers Weekly) Hampered no doubt by bad winter weather, bookstore sales fell 6.8% in February, to $791 million, compared to February 2013, according to preliminary estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau. *** We are Drowning in Data About Readers and Attention, But Which Metrics Really Matter? (GigaOM) Thanks to the web and real-time measurement tools, the media industry has gone from having...

Morning Roundup: Mobile first isn’t enough. Enhanced eBooks don’t enhance education and more
April 15, 2014 | 9:00 am

mobile firstKindle Direct Publishing Now Offers Up to Date Sales Data (GoodeReader) Self-published authors can celebrate as Amazon introduced a brand new Sales Dashboard on the KDP Reports page to give you up-to-date reporting of paid, borrowed and free orders as they are placed in Kindle stores worldwide. *** Stand Down, Amazon Warriors: Comic Book Guys Already Killed the Comic Book Store (Book Riot) My relationship with brick-and-mortar comic shops ended pretty much the second comiXology entered the market place. For me, it isn’t Amazon that will kill the independent comic shop: it’s the Comic Book Guy. *** Publishers: Mobile First Isn't Enough (The Digital Shift) While mobile...

Morning Roundup: National Trust, could be improved, Books for Passover and more
April 14, 2014 | 9:00 am

national trustPublic Access to Public Books: The Case of the National Trust (The Scholarly Kitchen) But Newitt then points out that while the National Trust’s work in this regard has been invaluable and in many ways exemplary, it has left one important component of many of these properties far short of “open… to everyone”: the books that are housed in their libraries. *** Digital Library Lending Has a Long Way to Go (GoodeReader) It feels like every new step in the right direction also leads to a host of new problems and closures for public libraries where digital lending is concerned. *** Books to Get You in...

Weekend Roundup: Using ePub Split on Boxed sets. Amazon to launch smartphone in June? and more
April 13, 2014 | 11:57 am

epub splitUsing ePub Split to Create Individual Books From Your Collection from Box Sets (Dear Author) The 99c price tag for these epic box sets of 8, 10, and 14 sets of novels is awesome. However, reading them on a digital device is suboptimal. You don’t get a very good idea of where you are in the novel based on page count or percentage or locations. Further, it’s hard to catalog these books since there are multiple authors for the box set. *** Why Features, Not Speed, Determine How People Select iOS Browsers (GigaOM) Apple may think they hold all the cards when it comes...

A case study in the difficulties of the permission culture
April 11, 2014 | 6:25 pm

permission cultureI wrote on Thursday about a great term Techdirt has been using to describe the new normal 'permission culture' in which we find our every media move governed by a rights-holder who can, or cannot grant permission for the use we desire. Whether it's 'this movie is not available for streaming on your country' or 'you bought the book but Amazon can tell you which device you can read it on,' users are being told they can't do something which may seem common sense to them. GigaOM has a great little case study which raises some interesting questions on this. Actress...

Why aren’t eBooks disrupting the college textbook market?
April 11, 2014 | 12:25 pm

college textbook marketThanks to Nate at The Digital Reader for sending this article my way. The write-up, from a blog called Fast Company has some interesting insights into why the college textbook market has not been taken over by ebooks yet. I have long held my own ideas on this matter. I have taken one course which had an online textbook option, and the functionality was so limited that it wasn't even worth bothering. Cut and paste was completely disabled, the books could not be read offline, they were scanned PDF and not OCR-searchable, and they expired the day after the course ended....

Morning Roundup: Amazon Publishing: authors are customers. How I became a booktuber and more
April 11, 2014 | 9:00 am

amazon publishingRIP, Sue Townsend (Boing Boing) She was one of the great comic writers, with all that implies: wisdom, wit, compassion and ruthless honesty. She was 68. *** Amazon Publishing: Authors are Customers (Digital Book World) “Our authors are our customers,” Sarah Jane Gunter, director of international publishing for the company, told me at the London Book Fair this week. “Amazon Publishing is going to become a house that is focused on authors. Our focus is service.” *** The Bullies Win: Authors Abandoning Publishing Over Online Behaviors (GoodeReader) News has come out this week of at least two authors who have declared that they will no longer write...

The Flip Side of the ‘Permission Culture’ Argument
April 10, 2014 | 12:28 pm

Permission CultureTechdirt has put up a great piece about what they are calling the 'permission culture' problem. They are referring to the difficulties of a business model such as Netflix, which has moved from distributing physical goods to distributing streaming digital ones: "The problem is that, unlike earlier movie-rental options, streaming rights fall fundamentally within a permission culture. Netflix is a great illustration of what's gone wrong here. It's gone from having a nearly unrivaled catalog of films available to rent to being the butt of Onion jokes. What happened: It shifted from a system where nobody had a veto power over...