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Posts tagged e-book

Are self-published e-books a ‘market for lemons,’ or is it just sour grapes?
March 3, 2014 | 4:52 am

The idea of the e-book market as a market for lemons has once again popped up, this time in a post by Sunita on Dear Author. I covered e-books-as-lemons last July when Baldur Bjarnason at Studio Tendra brought it up, though I kind of went way off-track in nitpicking the differences between e-books and cars in that one. I’m better now, really! To review, the idea of a market for lemons is that, when consumers have no way of telling at the outset whether an item is good or bad, the bad items drive the good out of the...

Apple files opening brief in e-book anti-trust trial appeal
February 26, 2014 | 7:12 pm

Ars Technica reports that Apple has filed a 75-page opening brief in its appeal of Judge Cote’s decision finding it guilty of engaging in a conspiracy with the publishers to help raise prices. The Ars article has a reasonable summary of Apple’s arguments. Fundamentally, many of them are the same arguments that lost it the case in trial court: it just negotiated the most favorable contract for itself, and couldn’t be blamed for what the publishers, busy little bees that they are, imposed on other retailers. It acted to increase competition by making it possible for new players...

Appeals court denies Apple request to stay anti-trust monitor
February 11, 2014 | 11:23 am

The appeals court has issued its ruling on Apple’s request to have the anti-trust monitor stayed in the e-book price-fixing anti-trust trial. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Apple’s appeal has been denied. That being said, the appeals court did issue what it saw as instructions “narrowing” the monitor’s focus. The monitor is, the court said, supposed to make sure Apple has an anti-trust compliance program in place and that employees are being taught about what it means and how it works. He is not supposed to rummage around looking for violations of anti-trust or other laws. In the two-page document (PDF), court...

Google releases Chromecast SDK
February 4, 2014 | 3:56 am

CAM00395-1 Ars Technica reports that Google has finally issued a public SDKpublic SDK (software development kit) for its Chromecast HDMI TV dongle, meaning that for the first time, coders of random audio and video playing apps for Android, iOS, or the Chrome browser will be able to incorporate Chromecasting into their apps without having to work closely with Google to do it. Who knows what kind of apps we’ll get? Might there be a Chromecast e-reader app? It seems kind of unlikely. Due to the restrictions on the user interface, such an app might throw text up...

Unglue.it launches campaign for ‘Lagos_2060’ e-book with new ‘Buy-to-Unglue’ model
January 20, 2014 | 6:20 pm

I just received a press release from Eric Hellman of Unglue.it, the crowdfunding-to-release-free site for e-books. The release announces that Unglue.it is trying a slightly different model for its latest book release. Instead of seeking pledges and releasing the book when it reaches that amount, the site is trying a model called “Buy-to-Unglue,” in which e-book purchases are the crowdfunding mechanism. “Every ebook downloaded comes with a future dated Creative Commons license,” the press release states. “Each purchase brings that Creative Commons effective date, the date the ebook becomes free to everyone, closer to the present.” The...

Is ‘astroturfing’ responsible for spread of publishing myths?
January 9, 2014 | 12:30 pm

astroturfAre many of the complaints we hear about the rise of e-books and Amazon the result of astroturfing—fake “grass roots” campaigns orchestrated by publishing entities? If they aren’t now, they might be soon. That’s the upshot of a blog entry by David Gaughran calling attention to a recent remark by YS Chi, the chairman of Elsevier and president of the International Publishers Association. Referring to attempting to correct publishers’ “image problem” due to various consumer “misperceptions” about the realities of publishing, such as how expensive e-books are to produce versus print books, Chi said (with emphasis added by Gaughran):...

Think e-book sales are slumping? Think again
January 6, 2014 | 12:54 pm

How_to_Lie_with_Statistics_Book_Cover.67104008_stdIn his latest column in the Irish Times, Eoin Purcell addresses the myth of the “e-book slump” that has been promulgated in the last few months. The apparent “slump” can be explained by the absence of new smash hits like The Hunger Games and Fifty Shades of Grey that gave the previous year’s e-book figures an uncharacteristic amount of inflation. He also notes that the American Association of Publishers figures don’t take into account self-publishing, which accounts for 25% of Amazon’s e-book sales. One of the problems is that ebooks have become so large a market,...

Baen’s new mobile site and app show promise
December 23, 2013 | 4:51 pm

Screenshot_2013-12-23-16-09-21Today I was reminded that Baen has a mobile version of its website and mobile apps under development. I’ve been trying out the Android version, which can be found in the “Baen Mobile” forum on the Baen Bar. It offers some interesting features, but is a bit rough and unpolished as of yet—it is early beta, after all. The app promises a convenient way to access both your library and the Baen Bar, but it seems to have some way to go yet. The feature that lets you download books into the app to read them there has a...

Loss leading did not begin with Amazon
December 21, 2013 | 11:00 am

A bookseller slashes prices on bestsellers by as much as 40% over the publisher’s suggested retail price. It starts doing a brisk business, and as a result is able to stock more backlist titles that move more slowly. Competitors cry foul. Some go under. Publishers are driven out of business, or need to consolidate with other publishers to survive. Am I talking about Amazon, whose $9.99 e-books drove publishers into a conspiracy, or the recent consolidation of Random House and Penguin? Actually, no—I’m talking about Barnes & Noble in 1974. Futurebook is carrying an essay by Tim Coutis, from...

Fiction Bundle DRM-free pay-what-you-want bundle is live
December 12, 2013 | 3:28 pm

Fullscreen capture 12122013 31023 PM.bmpThe pay-what-you-want e-book site Fiction Bundle, which I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, has gone live with its inaugural “Chapter 1” bundle. All the titles are revealed. They are: The Godmakers by Frank Herbert Assemblers of Infinity by Kevin J. Anderson & Doug Beason The Golden Queen by David Farland Lights in the Deep by Brad R. Torgerson Bone Shop by Tim Pratt Dust and Kisses by Dean Wesley Smith $10-and-up Bonus: The Complete Stories of Tim...

Confessions of an eBook Fanatic
December 12, 2013 | 10:59 am

Book Riot has a great post up this week about book 'fanatics' which begins with 'I don't care if you dog-ear my pages...' The author then enumerates all the so-called sacrilegious ways he treats his precious books, including cracking the spines, highlighting and annotating, using the frontispiece as writing paper and so on. It had me thinking about ways I do (and don't) behave as a typical ebook reader. Without further ado... 1) I don't care what fonts the publisher has chosen. Sorry, professional typesetters of the world! One of the things that sold me on Kobo vs Kindle...

Google Play Books adds from-device uploading in impending update
December 11, 2013 | 11:16 am

Android Police notes that Google Play Books has gotten an update that allows you to upload e-books into its cloud directly from your device, rather than being restricted to doing it only via the web site. I hadn’t realized Google Books could do cloud storage of your own e-books at all, but given that Google Play Music does cloud storage of your MP3s, I suppose I should have guessed. Need to see about trying that out. There are a few other improvements, too, like landscape mode, lower brightness settings for low-light reading, and so on. The update probably won’t...