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Posts tagged NPR

Publishers, DRM, unauthorized sharing, and the NPR example
April 23, 2012 | 1:00 pm

We’ve heard a lot of people arguing that publishers should fight Amazon by dropping DRM. However, in The Scholarly Kitchen, Joseph Esposito has written a long and thoughtful piece looking at the possible drawbacks of this approach. Esposito first looks at the question of whether unauthorized sharing of e-books increases the market for them. His own guess is that infringement helps sales when there is sufficient friction—i.e. the free copy is harder or more annoying to use for some reason—but hinders them when friction approaches zero. And since free e-books are getting easier and easier to find, publishers...

The information age could require readers to learn fact-checking skills
September 2, 2011 | 6:15 pm

blurOn NPR’s Talk of the Nation today, authors Tim Rosenstiel and Bill Kovach discussed their new book, Blur: How to Know What’s True in the Age of Information Overload. The thesis of the book seems to be that the more information we’re bombarded with by the Internet, the more adept we need to become at assessing the credibility of sources. We should develop the same sorts of skills editors and reporters use to separate fact from spin. The authors talk about the inherent bias in a number of news sources these days that build their audience and income by...

Is free on-line writing devaluing paid prose?
February 22, 2011 | 12:04 am

A few days ago, NPR carried an interesting story looking at the sale of the Huffington Post to AOL. As David Carr pointed out, much of the value of the $315 million sale was created by bloggers working for free. When you look at personal blogs and social media, you might see random people telling the rest of the world trivial things like what they ate for breakfast—but altogether, what this mass of personal creativity represents is content. "As we all twitter away and type away and update our Facebooks, we're creating the coal that sort...

Homeless newspapers help some homeless afford homes
December 26, 2010 | 2:11 pm

contributor-bagsAs much attention as e-newspapers are getting for threatening the livelihood of printed newspapers, there are some areas where selling e-papers just won’t do. One particular case is that of “homeless newspapers,” papers written by and sold by homeless people. NPR’s All Things Considered carried a story on these papers a couple of days ago, and points out an interesting dichotomy: if homeless people do well enough by selling homeless papers to afford homes, should they be entitled to continue selling homeless papers? Homeless street vendors buy the papers at cost and sell them for $1 each, as an...

Latest Cory Doctorow book is self-published, with a little help from his friends
October 27, 2010 | 9:15 am

doctorow_150x224[1] NPR’s All Things Considered has a brief audio interview with Cory Doctorow, and has also written it up in article form. Doctorow’s new project, A Little Help, is a collection of short stories that Doctorow is publishing entirely on his own—for the first time, he is not using a professional publisher at all. Proof-reading, editing, and typo-catching was done by members of Doctorow’s social network, which he also relied upon to help build buzz for the book. And while he’s giving the e-book and audiobook versions away for free, he has not limited himself to strictly selling print-on-demand...

A new children’s book entitled “It’s a Book”
August 23, 2010 | 11:09 am

itsabook_custom.jpg From National Public Radio by Linton Weeks: The premise of Lane Smith’s new work for children, It’s a Book, is simple: Books are under siege. On the first page a donkey asks a monkey, “What do you have there?” The monkey replies: “It’s a book.” “How do you scroll down?” the donkey asks. “Do you blog with it?” Then he asks: “Where’s your mouse? … Can you make characters fight? … Can it text? … Tweet? … Wi-Fi? … Can it do this? TOOT!” Illustrator Lane Smith’s new work, It’s a Book The title says it all. No, the monkey repeatedly replies. “It’s a book.” Smith’s book,...

NPR on the future of books
August 21, 2010 | 9:00 am

npr_logo_thumb[1] The death of the e-book has gone meta. NPR mentions a new children’s book about books, where one character is puzzled by another character reading this dull paper construct that you can’t “scroll down” or “blog with”. Actually, this book is brought up as an anecdote to lead into yet another article on the death of the book (ho hum!), but it is at least fairly well-researched, and suggests a few alternatives to the black and white, life or death depiction to which many paper book adherents fall prey. Dan Visel, of the Institute...

Audio report from NPR: in epublishing revolution rights battle wears on
July 28, 2010 | 11:47 am

images.jpg  A report by Lynne Neary that aired on All Things Considered today. Access the Complete Audio Report and Text Summary And there’s the still-simmering dispute between the publisher Random House and the powerful Wylie Agency over an exclusive deal Wylie recently signed with Amazon to sell digital versions of some bestsellers — books like Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita and Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man that came out before e-books even existed. “When an agent becomes a publisher, that is sort of contradictory,” says bestselling author and Authors Guild President Scott Turow. Turow says the guild is concerned that Wylie may have...

Libraries: The next ‘big thing’?
July 25, 2010 | 4:27 pm

Libraries have been getting a lot of media attention lately, what with the Fox News story asking whether Chicago’s libraries were worth the money (and subsequent responses), and the Old Spice parody and actual Old Spice social networking videos about libraries. Now NPR blogger Linda Holmes wonders if this might be the start of a new movement in pop culture focusing on libraries. Call it a hunch, but it seems to me that the thing is in the air that happens right before something — families with a million kids, cupcakes, wedding coordinators —...

William Faulkner’s lectures digitized and now online
July 19, 2010 | 9:56 am

faulkner.jpgFrom the NPR site: In the late 1950s, English students at the University of Virginia got the opportunity that most American literature scholars would kill for — to speak with William Faulkner. Faulkner spent two years as the writer-in-residence at UVA, where he gave lectures and readings and took questions from students. The lectures were recorded on reel-to-reel tapes, which have now been digitized and published online. Personally, I agree with Stephan Pastis, the cartoonist, in the article that we republished: The Sound of My Fury Toward Overrated Authors Who Confuse Me by Stephan Pastis...

2 Baker & Taylor announcements
May 31, 2010 | 9:34 am

Screen shot 2010-05-31 at 9.30.11 AM.pngThanks to Resource Shelf for picking these up. Baker & Taylor Inc., the world's largest distributor of physical and digital books and entertainment products, today at Book Expo America announced it has signed agreements to provide print-on-demand services - via its TextStream Digital Print Service unit - to Simon & Schuster and German academic publisher De Gruyter. Baker & Taylor Inc., the world's largest distributor of physical and digital books and entertainment products, today at BookExpo America announced it has signed agreements for its TextStream Digital Print Service to provide print-to-order services for Baylor University Press and University of Wisconsin Press. Backlists...

Fresh Air interviews Ken Auletta about ‘Publish or Perish’
April 29, 2010 | 7:15 am

The other day, Fresh Air with Terry Gross interviewed Ken Auletta, the author of the “Publish or Perish” New Yorker article about whether the iPad and the Kindle could “save” the publishing industry (which I mentioned here). The interview is about 20 minutes long and can be listened from that page, or forms the first 20 minutes of the April 27th Fresh Air podcast. The complete transcript is not on that page, but some highlights are. One of the points Auletta brings up is what happens to the independent bookstore in the age of the e-book: ...

Quick Notes: Fundraising for Jeanne Robinson, charging (or not) for on-line content, Amazon in Canada, and more on Gizmodo’s iPhone scoop
April 22, 2010 | 2:32 pm

BoingBoing reports on a benefit to raise funds for Jeanne Robinson, wife of Baen SF writer Spider Robinson, who is battling cancer and needs assistance with medical funds. A number of renowned artists are donating works to an eBay charity auction held by SF podcast Sci-Fi Saturday Night. Journalist Alan D. Mutter, whose “Reflections of a Newsosaur” blog we’ve mentioned a few times before, has a post in which he talks about the best model for newspapers to charge for on-line content, as opposed to the models newspapers are currently trying: The only way...

My iPad hands-on: Stellar for nonDRMed indie and public domain e-books, not just locked bestsellers
April 3, 2010 | 5:27 pm

imageWhere to start---in this first look at the iPad and some major e-reading apps for it? How about the new ones like iBooks and oldies like Stanza? A 32G WiFi-only iPad, almost fresh off the jet from China, is resting on my lap as I type. And even as a fan of public domain e-books and author of a novel from a clueful, DRM-hating small publisher, I’m delighted. No jokes about “hands-on” and the iPad name, please, and don’t be a jerk on the openness issue, either.The iPad is about much more than Apple’s control-freakish App...

NPR covers e-book pricing
March 12, 2010 | 11:44 am

npr_logo E-book pricing seems to be much in the news today. This morning, NPR has a story on the e-book pricing argument, covering both the standard publishing agency line that e-books should cover publishers’ overhead costs (via publisher Jason Epstein) and the belief that e-books should cost less (via analyst James McQuivey and freelance writer Chris Dannen). It is a quite well-balanced report, laying out the major arguments on both sides. The only drawback is that it does not mention Baen, which makes a great counter-example to the argument that e-books necessarily have to be expensive....

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