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The archivist’s conundrum: History is written by the lucky
July 8, 2014 | 5:31 am

_76046394_black-prince_splAn article a friend posted on Facebook got me thinking. It involves recently-discovered evidence about a historical figure, Prince Edward of Woodstock, suggesting that a putative “massacre” he committed might not actually have happened at all. It occurred to me that, in this modern era, we tend to assume we can know anything about someone just from what we find in a quick Google. It's sometimes hard to wrap our brains around the idea that much of what we know from ancient times could be wrong, as all we have is what managed to get saved through sheer dumb...

Amazon wants co-op payments, and also concessions in the UK
June 24, 2014 | 4:02 am

So, thanks to a leak, we’ve finally found out what the Amazon/Hachette spat is over. The New York Times reported a couple of days ago that an anonymous source within Hachette says that Amazon wants to extract extra fees for a number of services, including the pre-order button, placement in personalized recommendations, and so on. It looks kind of skeevy at first glance, but it’s really the same kind of “co-op” promotional payment Barnes & Noble extracts for prominent placement of books in its stores. You know how you sometimes see displays dedicated to a single book. or...

Beware Author Solutions, and never ever pay for publishing
March 9, 2014 | 1:11 pm

Author SolutionsIf this isn’t Rule One of self-publishing, it should be: You should never, ever, ever pay someone to publish your work for you. Full stop. End of sentence. Now, it’s fine to pay for useful services, of course. If you can afford it, it could be a good investment to pay someone to edit your work, or to design your cover art, or even to format your book for you if you don’t feel confident of your own skills in that regard. (Though I’d honestly recommend paying $40 for Scrivener and spending a few days learning...

Small press publisher IntoPrint brings out-of-print books back into print
November 6, 2013 | 10:21 am

intoprint_publishing“From the Mixed-Up Files of Middle-Grade Authors” has an interview with Anny Rusk, publisher for IntoPrint Publishing. “Cynsations” has another such interview that covers a lot of the same ground. As its name might suggest, this small publishing house uses e-book and print-on-demand publishing to bring out-of-print books back into print. It was born of her business partners’ realization that digital technology meant there’s no need for a book to stay out of print. Anny: John Campbell and Greg Luther realized that in the tech age there’s no such thing as an out-of-print book, just books...

A Future for Print in the Digital Age?
January 11, 2013 | 11:45 am

By Gloria Quintanilla 2012 felt like a decisive year for print. E-Book sales surpassed print book sales on Amazon for the first time, and widely-read publications like Newsweek decided to give up on print media altogether, and instead to transition fully into digital publishing. All the while, pundits are still debating if there is a future for print in a world dominated by digital formats. Similar discussions are going on between book lovers and authors, who are worried about the publishing industry being ill equipped to respond to their demands. So here's the question: Is it possible to have the best of both worlds? Can...

Espresso Book Machine comes to South Africa
July 29, 2012 | 11:06 pm

South African IT news site IT Web reports that the University of Johannesburg has just acquired an Espresso Book Machine of its very own. Most of the article summarizes what we already well know about the print-on-demand machine and its uses for printing and binding store-quality paperbacks in mere minutes, but it does quote On Demand Books as projecting over 150 machines installed world-wide by the end of 2012. It also links to a Guardian article from 2009 in which the head of marketing for UK bookstore chain Blackwell suggested that the Espresso “has the potential to be the...

Espresso Book Machine not without its drawbacks, University of Utah librarian reports
May 14, 2012 | 12:15 pm

Speaking of the Espresso, a digital publisher’s paen to self-publishing through it led me to a blog post from last year in which librarian Rick Anderson of the University of Utah’s Marriott Library discussed the Espresso’s pros and cons in a bit greater depth than I’ve seen other posts go into. The problems Anderson found mainly have to do with a few technical glitches in the device itself, particularly due to the desert climate of his library being drier than the Espresso was originally designed for. Also, the device has a 45-minute-to-1-hour warmup time due to the glue...

Mike Shatzkin discusses the motives of Amazon
April 30, 2012 | 11:50 pm

Publishing consultant Mike Shatzkin’s latest column is a look at the motives behind Amazon’s competitive behavior, and how it might end legacy publishing. Perhaps the most interesting thing here is that Shatzkin spends the first half of the post giving the devil his due, explaining why Amazon has been looking so good to so many people with manuscripts they want to get out there. If you’ve got the manuscript in hand and you have a choice between [spending months to go from manuscript to published book and earning lower royalties] and having books to show your...

The other Amazon-publisher disagreement: print on demand
April 29, 2012 | 2:02 pm

Everyone is paying attention to the e-book pricing fight against Amazon right now, but Bloomberg Businessweek reports there’s another disagreement going on between Amazon and the publishers behind the scenes that nobody has really noticed: the question of print on demand. Amazon already offers its own print on demand services, used for mainly for small independent or self-publishing, and the technology has gotten a lot better over the fifteen years since it was introduced—print-on-demand titles are by now largely indistinguishable from large-print-run paperbacks. The rub is that Amazon would like to expand its print-on-demand operations so that it can print copies of...

The Evolution of E-books and Interlibrary Loan in Academic Libraries
January 3, 2012 | 9:30 am

Title: The Evolution of E-books and Interlibrary Loan in Academic Libraries Author: Heather Wicht (U. of Colorado) Source: Collaborative Librarianship (3.4, 2011) Abstract: As academic libraries add electronic monographs (e-books) to their collections in increasing numbers, they are frequently losing the ability to lend this portion of their collections via Interlibrary Loan (ILL) due to licensing restrictions. Recently, new options have emerged as alternatives to traditional ILL for e- books. These options introduce new opportunities for collaboration across library departments and with- in consortia. This article discusses the changing nature of resource sharing as related to e-books, ex- amines e-book lending capabilities as they currently exist,...

Library of Alexandria makes 19,000 titles available on the Espresso Book Machine
July 22, 2011 | 10:39 am

Egypt's Library of Alexandria has announced that it's placed 19,000 works from its collection on the Espresso Book Machine (EBM) network, and plans to add another 150,000 Arabic titles soon. The library operates three EBMs, but this also means people around the world can print replicas of the library's titles from their nearest EBM. You can read the press release on On Demand Books' News page. Via INFOdocket...

J.A. Konrath addresses proposed bookstore boycott
May 22, 2011 | 11:48 am

stirredI just posted about how Amazon, via self-publishing and agent-based publishing, poses a threat to publishers who still haven’t updated their business model to compete. Here’s a post from self-publishing booster J.A. Konrath’s blog that points out one of the reasons why Amazon is such a threat. Responding to one bookstore calling for a boycott of Stirred, the book he’s publishing under Amazon’s new Thomas & Mercer imprint (and which will consequently be placed as printed editions in bookstores as well as published electronically), Konrath points out that he has done a lot for bookstores over the years, and...

In an e-book age, is print self-publishing still worth it?
April 3, 2011 | 3:42 pm

ScreenClip(23)On the Self-Publishing Review blog, self-publishing author Rich Evans ponders whether it’s time to go e-book-only on his next self-published title. His first book, Asylum Lake, was self-published via an Espresso Book Machine, giving him a printed 6x9 paperback book for $10 each. He was able to start out with small print runs and sell them for $15 per book, plowing revenues back into getting more copies to have on hand. He did all right selling the print book for a while, especially after promoting it by releasing the first six chapters serially on-line. The Facebook page for the...

Lightning Source expands POD to Australia
September 23, 2010 | 9:08 am

ls_logo.jpgFrom the press release: Ingram Content Group Inc. today announced it will expand its presence in the Asia-Pacific market by establishing a full-scale Lightning Source print-on-demand book manufacturing operation in Australia. “The expansion of our Lightning Source global print solution into Australia is a significant step in the ongoing mission of Ingram Content Group to help content reach its destination swiftly and efficiently to retailers and readers worldwide,” said David “Skip” Prichard, President and CEO, Ingram Content Group. “This expansion of Ingram’s global presence, from the United Kingdom to France and now Australia, provides publishers with expanded market reach and sales...

Espresso Book Machine poised to expand locations, COO Tom Allen says
September 13, 2010 | 10:15 am

image_thumb[1] A few days ago, Book Business ran an interview with Chief Operating Office Tom Allen of On Demand Books, the manufacturer of the Espresso Book Machine (EBM) “ATM for books”. We have covered the Espresso a number of times already; it has the potential to bring the full effect of “print on demand” publishing to local bookstores, libraries, and other institutions everywhere. As of the interview, Allen said, there were 51 EBM devices either installed or pending installation—39 in the USA and Canada and 12 overseas. This was up from 9 installed at the beginning of 2009, and...

Digital publishing and POD: what’s “good enough”?
August 10, 2010 | 12:48 pm

images.jpg Over the course of this summer I've read a couple of great Yankees books: Munson and The Bronx is Burning.  The former was read on my iPad and the latter, because it's not available digitally, was read from a dead tree.  After seeing countless references in both to another Yankee classic, The Bronx Zoo, I decided that should be on my reading list too.  Unfortunately for me, that's another book that's not available digitally.  I also was unable to find a copy at the local brick-and-mortars or even the second-hand bookstore, which got...

Dorchester Publishing goes all digital – drop mass market books and do only ebooks and POD
August 6, 2010 | 11:47 am

header_01.gifPublishers Weekly says that mass market romance publisher Dorchester Publishing will drop print publishing and go 100% to an ebook/print on demand model. According to Dorchester, retail sales are down 25% and it is getting harder and harder to get its titles into stores because shelf space for mass market books has been reduced. They even had to let their field sales force of seven go. The ebook business, however, has had “remarkable growth” which he expects to double again in the next year. Still, digital sales accounted for only 12% of total revenue prior to the company making...

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