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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 &...

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...