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Posts tagged e-book

Self-published? Here’s how to get into libraries—via SELF-e, Smashwords and ebooksareforever
July 4, 2015 | 9:23 am

SELF-e — Connecting Libraries, Readers & Self-Published AuthorsWith perhaps as many as 600,000 indie books appearing each year, the library market is a tough nut to crack for the self-published. But what if Library Journal vetted your e-book and---let's be optimistic---pronounced it library-worth? That's the idea of  SELF-e, and in a guest post in Jane Friedman's blog, publishing consultant Porter Anderson explores the pros and cons. One negative of SELF-e, he says, is that the program does "not pay you a royalty when your ebook is checked out by a library patron. It costs you nothing to get into this arena for discovery but it also will not pay...

In Warren Buffett’s own backyard: Underfunded Omaha libraries. National digital library endowment, anyone?
July 1, 2015 | 5:18 pm

Warren_Buffett_KU_Visit"Currently, Omaha Public Libraries' spending per capita is substantially below that of surrounding communities." - Library Board of Trustees President Mike Meyer, as quoted by KETV, source of a related video. The TeleRead take: Library branches may cut hours, one may even close, and meanwhile the budget for books and other content is suffering. Hello, Warren Buffet? Aren't you the same Omaha guy who has sent many billions out of town for Bill Gates's foundation to hand out---with most of it leaving the U.S.? Global altruism is praiseworthy, given all the need for economic development and better health in developing countries; but how about Omaha itself? "The library already...

BookDrop: Email ebooks to your Kindle from Dropbox—even ePubs and other formats not normally supported
June 26, 2015 | 1:54 pm

BookDropBookDrop lets you copy ebooks from your Dropbox cloud to your Kindle gadget or app via email. That includes even ePub books and those in other formats that normally won't fly. How-tos and more details are here. No magic, just a Web-browser tweak and a related service. BookDrop adds a browser bookmark and creates its own subdirectory within Dropbox. Into it you can import ebooks from other regions of your drive. Or you can do the reverse and use Dropbox commands to export to the book-drop subdirectory within /Apps. BookDrop works with "any .epub, .mobi, .pdf, .azw, .cbr, .cbz, .txt, .rif, .doc, .docx, .htm, .html, .gif, .png, .bmp, .jpg" or .jpeg...

A dirty secret of big publishing: More fact-checking needed. Fixes on the way?
June 24, 2015 | 1:10 pm

SiliconJungleWhen I worked on The Silicon Jungle, I didn’t just benefit from a keen-eyed copy editor at Ballantine Books. Sentence by sentence, a computer consultant vetted me. A few years later I published another popular-level technical book at another big house. The amount spent on professional fact-checking? $0, despite the intricacies of the topic. Had I written that Marconi invented integrated circuits, it just might have shown up in the book despite the literary talents of the brilliant development editor. Yes, I’m indulging in hyperbole. But you get the idea. Unfortunately, the second house is far more typical of publishing these days, with book...

Smashwords adds “assetless” pre-orders
June 22, 2015 | 9:21 pm

assetless2Smashwords is changing the way it allows pre-orders on its site for authors. Previously, the entire manuscript needed to be uploaded in order to take advantage of pre-orders, but that is no longer the case. Smashwords founder Mark Coker announced on the company’s blog that preorders are going “assetless.” “Starting today, all 100,000 authors and small independent presses at Smashwords have the ability to upload assetless preorders to Smashwords,” Coker wrote. “No book or cover yet? No problem.” There are many indie authors who do not take advantage of pre-orders, Coker notes in the blog. Less than 10 percent of authors on Smashwords took advantage...

Australian e-book site e-book.com.au to close down
June 18, 2015 | 2:22 pm

e-book.com.au.logoAustralian e-book advocacy site e-book.com.au has announced it will close down at the end of June, 2015. Although we have only mentioned the site a couple of times on TeleRead as nearly as I can tell, the site has been in existence since 2001—a year longer than TeleRead—and has covered e-books and e-book advocacy from an Australian perspective during that time, as well as providing links to free e-book resources. [Thanks to Chris for this wonderful piece of e-book history! Just to clarify one detail, TeleRead predates e-book.com.au by years---see my publisher's note below with documenting links. - D.R.] Site founder...

‘Must’ for next librarian of Congress: A love of reading—including the ebook variety
June 17, 2015 | 8:34 pm

James_H._Billington_8971James Billington, 86, departing January 1 as librarian of Congress, excelled in certain areas such as Russian history. But he was not a librarian by background, and many of the real McCoys hated him. No small number of the library’s techies might have felt the same way. This Reagan-era appointee shunned e-mail and rarely picked up a cell phone. And e-books? Forget it. “Search techniques are embedded in e-books that invite people to dabble rather than follow  a full train of thought,” he said in 2011. Yes, you can dabble. But Billington zeroed in...

Books in Browsers conference on pause. Up with dedicated e-reading apps for now!
June 15, 2015 | 5:29 am

moonI’m not surprised to see the Books in Browsers conference go on pause. For me, most browser-based books are letdowns compared to e-books as read with the better apps, such as Moon+ Reader Pro (screenshot). Moon and the like let you tweak the typography precisely and do other customization. I truly, truly hate the ergonomic disasters that books in browsers can be at their worst. Somehow you can’t get the type size right. Or maybe the content just disappears and you can’t do anything since you exercise so little control. No, I’m won’t necessarily be as hard on b-in-b in the future. The tech is...

Tor and BitLit offer discounted e-books to print book owners
May 4, 2015 | 11:53 am

bitlitTor has just announced it will be using BitLit to make DRM-free e-books of TorForge titles available at a discount to people who can prove they own the physical version of the book. It joins HarperCollins, which began using the program last year. BitLit is an iOS or Android smartphone app that allows readers who can prove they own a physical copy of a book to buy the e-book version at a discounted price. It works by taking “shelfies”—shelf-by-shelf photos of your bookshelves with the spines out—and then attempting to recognize which books you own. Once it’s matched one,...

Publishers should offer e-book bundles for lengthy series
December 25, 2014 | 4:00 pm

ferdelanceMerry Christmas, everyone! If you celebrate it, I hope you’re enjoying it; if you don’t, I hope you’re at least enjoying the day off you probably got on account of someone else’s religion. This year, I gave a number of books to people, including a Nero Wolfe novel to my father. And it got me to thinking about how great it would be to read those books again. A number of years ago, I obtained all 47 of them via means less than completely licit (I was a poor college student in those days), and read through them...

Apple iPod DRM case heats up, but might still fizzle
December 7, 2014 | 12:37 pm

The wheels of justice grind slowly, and sometimes a bit of grit gets stuck in the gears. This seems to be the case with the ten-year-old lawsuit against Apple over the DRM policies it used to enforce on iTunes Music Store music and iPods. Over the last couple of weeks, it’s started moving again, and the testimony and depositions have been interesting to follow. But now it looks as though, just as it’s getting started again, it may come to a complete halt. Locking Out Competitors At heart, the case has to do with the way Apple continually...

Adobe Digital Editions 4.0 tells Adobe what books you’re reading
October 7, 2014 | 6:10 pm

imageYesterday, Nate broke quite a story over on The Digital Reader about Adobe Digital Editions 4.0 sending information in the clear about the e-books you read. It got picked up by The Passive Voice, Ars Technica, GigaOm, TechDirt, Slashdot, BoingBoing, the list goes on and on. Congrats on the scoop, Nate! (Frankly, I’m amazed his blog is still up, given all the traffic this has to be sending his way.) He posted another story today indicating that the bug doesn’t seem to affect prior versions. Effectively, ADE 4.0 gathers up a bunch of information on the books you open...

Amazon’s e-book position ‘weak’ but customer focus too strong for disruption
August 11, 2014 | 4:35 am

Here’s a couple of interesting takes on the Amazon/Hachette affair. It’s kind of refreshing, actually, after all this back and forth he-said/she-said of authors in favor of Amazon or Hachette and Amazon and Hachette themselves to look at what more neutral parties are saying. For starters, here’s Jake Kerr on Medium.com suggesting that Amazon is fighting so hard for lower prices on e-books because, far from being the monopolistic behemoth others accuse it of, its position in the e-book trade is actually fairly weak. This seems a little counterintuitive at first, but Kerr points out that e-book stores have...

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...

Apple bought, shuttered book recommender Booklamp in April
July 26, 2014 | 9:01 pm

MacRumors reports that Apple bought and shut down book-recommendation service Booklamp back in April. Booklamp was intended to be a sort of “Pandora for Books”—it used a similar system of categorizing books based on specific elements—but as I determined when I checked into it last November, it fell pretty far short of actually being useful, for two major reasons: it didn’t have a very big selection due to its opt-in nature, and it couldn’t account for humor. Apple hasn’t been saying much about why it bought the service, but that’s not unexpected. I imagine that, as is usually the...

Authors lost the book war long before Amazon vs. Hachette
June 19, 2014 | 12:28 pm

publishersI meant to cover this piece from The Weeklings when it popped up on The Passive Voice the other day. To my surprise, it’s reprinted on the normally rabid pro-publisher/anti-Amazon Salon Magazine this morning, so I guess I have no excuse now. In this article, J.E. Fishman traces authorial woes all the way back to the 1930s when Penguin began to flood the market with cheap paperbacks. This kicked off a paperback revolution among US publishers. Through all of this disruption no one asked authors what they thought. When it came to business, authors were...

Might digital media resale be legal in Europe?
June 12, 2014 | 3:52 am

After the recent Congressional hearing on first sale, it seems unlikely Congress is convinced that allowing resale of “used” digital media would be a good idea. But as British lawyer Tony Ballard writes in FutureBook, they might see things differently in Europe. Ballard brings up the example of a European Court of Justice decision holding that sales of second-hand computer programs did not infringe copyright, even if copies of the program were made in the process of transferring it. A quirk in the relevant Directive permits the buyer of a computer program (unlike other...

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