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Posts tagged e-book

Court finds in favor of HarperCollins over ‘Julie of the Wolves’ backlist e-book rights
March 18, 2014 | 11:47 am

We covered the HarperCollins vs. Open Road case a few months ago, over e-book editions of the late Jean C. George’s novel Julie of the Wolves. George signed a contract with Open Road to publish the e-book editions, arguing that there was no way her original 1971 contract with HC could cover e-books because they hadn’t even been invented yet. However, Andrew Albanese at Publishers Weekly reports that the district judge in the case has ruled in HarperCollins’s favor, finding HC’s interpretation of the contractual language convincing. The case came about when George wanted to publish an e-book edition...

If Amazon drives competitors out of business, will it raise its prices?
March 13, 2014 | 11:53 am

One oft-expressed fear many hold about Amazon is that if it manages to drive other companies out of business with its “predatory” loss leader pricing on new e-books, it will then raise its prices, drop its royalties, insist on lower wholesale prices from publishers, and stick it to consumers, authors, and publishers all at once. But is this really likely to happen? According to Tim Worstall, a Senior Fellow at the Adam Smith Institute in London, basic economics says no. The thing about Amazon is that absolutely nothing prevents new competitors from entering the market, now or in the...

The early history of e-books
March 13, 2014 | 11:05 am

Host-by-Peter-James-002The Guardian has taken a look back at early e-books, trying to determine when they began. One example the article points out is a novel called Host, published as a publicity stunt on two floppy disks in 1993. Since the book was about a scientist who downloads his mind into a computer, I imagine it seemed like a natural way to drum up some publicity. The Bookseller reports that London’s Science Museum has accepted the book for display as “the world’s first electronic novel,” but there seems to be some question as to whether that’s really true. As the...

Story Cards tablet CCG gamifies reading for K-12 students
March 12, 2014 | 2:58 pm

storycardsHere's an intriguing game I just learned about. Educational publisher Amplify, makers of the Amplify Android tablet we covered last year, has come up with a way to gamify classic literature, in the hopes of getting students interested in reading it. Story Cards is a turn-based character-driven CCG. Players unlock character cards with specific abilities by reading the books they come from, and can gain bonuses by answering trivia questions related to the books in question. The game supports both single-player and multi-player modes. Students can build their own decks and compete with the game or each other. The...

Diane Duane and Peter Morwood give away free e-books for World Book Day
March 6, 2014 | 10:53 am

coverHappy World Book Day! Just because there are no e-books involved in the “official” World Book Day promotion doesn’t mean there aren’t any to be found. Diane Duane and her husband Peter Morwood are offering one e-book each for free download today. Duane’s is the New Millennium Edition of So You Want to Be a Wizard, first in her excellent Young Wizards series. Morwood’s is Greylady, first in his Clan Wars series. If you haven’t dipped your toe yet into Young Wizards, So You Want NME is a great way to start. I reviewed it for...

StoryBundle offers ‘Epic Fantasy Bundle’ with titles by Gaiman, Sanderson, Hickman, David, and more
March 6, 2014 | 5:09 am

The_Camelot_Papers_Cover_FinalThe other day, I mentioned the Humble Bundle’s plans to expand its e-book offerings. Today it turns out that the Humble Bundle’s closest competitor in the world of e-book bundles has just come out with another one itself. For the next three weeks, StoryBundle is offering its “Epic Fantasy” bundle on a semi-pay-what-you-want basis. The minimum payment is $3 for six DRM-free multiformat e-books, and if you pay at least $12 you get three more. The base-level donation books are The Sacrifice by Kristine Kathryn Rusch Spirit Walker by David Farland ...

Humble Bundle plans to expand e-book, audiobook offerings
March 3, 2014 | 8:25 pm

humblelogoRemember the Humble E-Book Bundles? Humble’s done a couple of them (not counting the ones by other bundle sites) plus an audiobook bundle, and wants to do more. Calvin Reid has a great article at Publishers Weekly looking at the Humble Bundle e-book program in depth. It has some interesting facts. It turns out that the first two pay-what-you-want Humble E-Book Bundles were actually organized by Cory Doctorow. Not a big surprise given their DRM-free nature. The problem was that DRM-free nature meant Macmillan (whose Tor subsidiary had already gone DRM-free) was the only Big Five publisher willing to...

Diane Duane runs 60%-off Pancake Tuesday e-book sale
March 3, 2014 | 7:28 pm

pancake-bunnyAs I’ve mentioned before, Diane Duane is one of those very few authors who runs her own e-book store for her and her husband’s books, rather than relying on the big-name stores. She just informed me that she is running a 60%-off sale on her e-book store in honor of Pancake Tuesday. Use the coupon code PANCAKES at checkout to get a discount on all of Duane’s DRM-free, multi-format e-books, including the complete 9-volume set of the revised Young Wizards New Millennium Editions. The sale ends at 23:59 Hawaiian time on Wednesday March 5th, which is 4:59 a.m....

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...