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Why we need an e-book DRM DMCA exemption
October 30, 2014 | 8:54 pm

It’s that time again. Ars Technica reports that the Copyright Office is accepting petitions on activities to exempt from the DMCA’s anti-circumvention provisions, making it legal to crack DRM for certain restricted purposes. We’ve reported on this procedure a few times over the last few years. The way it goes is that various people or organizations make proposals and the copyright office considers whether to grant them for the next three years. The exemptions then have to be requested again at the next session if they are to continue. Public Knowledge will be submitting requests to legalize...

In B&N’s closure of Fictionwise, Canadian customers lose big
November 16, 2012 | 2:29 pm

We reported yesterday on the sad news that e-book pioneer Fictionwise will be shutting down at the end of the year. I feel very bittersweet about this. The sweet is that I'm very proud of the revolution that little company started, and I love that e-books are a commonplace, normal thing, and that devices have evolved into cool little gadgets you can affordably buy at just about any chain store. The bitter, of course, is that it didn't have to end this way. Fictionwise never recovered from the one-two blow of agency pricing and its sale to Barnes & Noble. Its...

Barnes & Noble to shutter Fictionwise, eReader, and eBookwise
November 15, 2012 | 8:37 pm

Found via an email from Ed Howdershelt to the Ebook Community Mailing List: the swan song for e-book stores Fictionwise, eReader, and eBookwise. Barnes & Noble has emailed Fictionwise publishers and authors that it is shuttering the long-running e-book stores and will be offering US and UK customers the opportunity to migrate their e-book purchases from said sites to a Barnes & Noble Nook library. (Complete letter pasted below the jump.) It’s really kind of sad: eReader (nee Palm Digital Media, nee Peanut Press) and Fictionwise were two of the first really big e-book stores, feeding the e-book habits...

GenCon Interview: Self-publishing author Michael Stackpole (Part One)
September 12, 2011 | 11:15 am

GEDC0140Here is the first ten minutes of the thirty-minute discussion I had with Michael Stackpole at GenCon last month. I will be posting the other two parts in days to come. Stackpole is best known for his extensive work in writing BattleTech and Star Wars tie-in novels, and he also wrote the novelization of the recent Conan movie. We have covered Stackpole’s blog posts on self-publishing fairly extensively over the last few months, as well as his GenCon panel seminar. In this first part of the interview, we largely discussed the early history of e-books and e-publishing, with a diversion into how...

Barnes & Noble to add autograph function to Nook
April 27, 2011 | 10:35 pm

A couple of weeks ago I covered Autography, a prototype system for autographing digital books involving an iPad 2. Now Barnes & Noble is about to release an upgrade to the Nook reader that will allow Nook owners to have authors sign their e-books using a stylus. (Presumably via the touch-sensitive color LCD screen portion of the reader.) Interestingly, eReader (which Barnes & Noble bought) long allowed authors to do something similar using an Easter Egg function of the Palm PDA reader client. I wonder if that’s what gave B&N the idea? At any rate, for Nook owners...

Gear Diary on craziness of e-book format proliferation
March 20, 2011 | 4:46 pm

Gear Diary blogger Douglas Moran has an entertaining and extremely true rant on one of the big problems with the commercial e-book world these days—the proliferation of differing formats, each of which requires its own reader application. On TeleRead, we call this problem the “Tower of E-Babel”, but Moran just calls it extremely irritating. Moran looks at the old Barnes & Noble e-book reader application, based on Fictionwise’s eReader. All in all, he writes, it was a very good application, and did everything he wanted it to. Then B&N essentially abandoned it in favor of their much-less-functional Nook application,...

Apple enforcement of in-app purchase clause may imperil e-book apps
January 24, 2011 | 11:21 pm

A shot fired by Apple in the ongoing e-magazine controversy could end up having profound implications for reading non-iBooks e-books on iOS devices. It’s no surprise that speculation has been rife about whether Apple was going to kill other e-book apps on its iOS platform ever since in-app purchases were first made available, and again when Apple launched iBooks. After all, apps like eReader and Kindle and Nook and Kobo allow people to buy and download content completely outside the auspices of its in-app purchase store, without Apple getting its 30% cut of the take. So far all our...

Unshelved at the celestial library: The Last Ghost vs. Edge of Time
December 8, 2010 | 2:33 pm

lastghostI’ve been distracted for the last few days. A story idea got into my head for one of the Internet fiction series I contribute to occasionally, and it’s been hard to concentrate on anything else until I could get it out of my head. Unfortunately, I’m still not happy with the end results. It’s one of the most frustrating things in the world, as a writer, when the idea that seemed so awesome in your head comes out on the page like, well, a steaming pile of words. Perhaps in a few days I’ll have a better perspective and can...

Len Riggio defeats Burkle Barnes & Noble board bid
September 29, 2010 | 10:15 am

image45[1] The Wall Street Journal reports that Ron Burkle has lost his bid to seat himself and his chosen nominees on Barnes & Noble’s board of directors. Barnes & Noble shareholders elected founder Len Riggio and his nominees for the other two available seats to the Board of Directors. Barnes & Noble is proceeding to auction itself off, and has said that Burkle’s Yucaipa Companies is welcome to submit its own bid to be considered alongside all the others. It is unclear what the results of the auction will bode for Barnes & Noble’s Nook (and, for...

Backlist e-publisher E-Reads offers advances on e-book royalties
September 28, 2010 | 12:25 am

5948af7c-0272-4e5d-8086-82e2d4b1798fIn a blog post on its own website, backlist e-publisher E-Reads points out that it is now paying advances for e-book rights (and actually has been for several months). It notes that in a Publishers Weekly article looking at e-book publisher royalties, of all the publishers surveyed only E-Reads was paying advances. The PW article notes that E-Reads founder Richard Curtis found a lot of agents were reluctant to offer rights to backlist titles without any money offered up front—it simply wasn’t a publishing model they were familiar with. Most of Curtis’s advances are fairly small, just in the...

Fictionwise closing branded stores
September 13, 2010 | 3:38 pm

Screen shot 2010-09-13 at 3.37.33 PM.pngSo says an article by Richard Curtis at e-reads. According to Richard: These are store-fronts hosted by Fictionwise enabling customers to view only the publishers’ own titles rather than the comprehensive list of all books retailed by Fictionwise. The dedicated publisher pages will be terminated at the end of September, and publishers have been invited to redirect customer visits and purchases to the main Fictionwise website Richard says that, other than this, Fictionwise will continue as normal. Thanks to Marilynn Byerly for the link....

Barnes & Noble’s Nook not an also-ran, but still in the running
August 26, 2010 | 9:15 am

image169[1] Tim Carmody, who I also mentioned earlier today, also has a piece at Wired’s Gadget Lab section on Barnes & Noble’s Nook e-reader, pointing out that despite the tendency to think of e-books these days as largely a contest between the Kindle and the iPad, the Nook has an estimated 20% of the e-book market—a bigger piece of that market than it has of the printed book market. Carmody notes that B&N is going for a hybrid strategy that ties together its physical stores and e-book offerings, giving consumers reasons to come into Barnes & Noble stores and...