has a piece from the London Book Fair looking at opposition to the idea of “enhanced” e-books. Karolina Sutton, senior agent at Curtis Brown, expresses concern that only “superbooks” will get the expensive enhanced treatment, leaving midlist authors out in the cold. She is also concerned that the “gimickiness […] distracts from the actual word.”

Also from the London Book Fair, Publishing Perspectives brings a look at comic books as iPhone and iPhone apps, as well as discussion of what the best way to translate comic books to such a format might be. Comic book creators are concerned by the cramped size of an iPhone screen, which does not offer room for the traditional two-page spread, and also the relatively low price of apps. (The iPad is not mentioned in this article.)

CNet offers a review of Prizmo, a $40 book-scanning application for Macintosh set up to allow the use of a digital camera instead of a scanner. The process is simple: you snap a picture of a page then tell Prizmo where the four corners are, and it uncurves and crops the page for you. The process seems similar to the one used by the Japanese “riffle scanner” I covered in March, save that with Prizmo the correction must be done manually, one page at a time.

Nate the Great at The Digital Reader notes that Overdrive has released an audiobook library app for iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. (We previously mentioned Overdrive’s release of the Blackberry version; there are also versions for Android, Windows Mobike, PC, and Macintosh.)

I downloaded the iPhone app and tried it out; it can download MP3 (but not WMA) audiobooks from any Overdrive library. Simply browse the library on Mobile Safari, check it out, and click on the download link, and the app will do the rest. It’s an iPhone native version, which means it can be pixel-doubled for the iPad—but the audio resolution does not suffer.

Salon Magazine has reached a content-sharing agreement with Barnes & Noble—some articles from Salon will appear in B&N’s online magazine B&N Review and vice versa—and Salon will also be linking to the B&N sales pages for any books it mentions. While the Nook is not directly mentioned, I would expect that any magazine that is a Barnes & Noble house organ would receive prominent placement there.

A couple of Apple notes: Apple has confirmed that those who pre-ordered 3G iPads will receive them on April 30th. (We previously mentioned that new orders would be shipped May 7th.)

And in a reprise of his comments at the iPhone OS 4.0 launch, Steve Jobs again associated Android with porn stores. In the e-mail he sent in reference to cartoonist Mark Fiore’s rejected satire app (which we mentioned the other day), he said:

Fiore’s app will be in the store shortly. That was a mistake. However, we do believe we have a moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone. Folks who want porn can buy and [sic] Android phone.

Of course, this only seems to apply to “porn” that doesn’t have prestigious names attached to it. There are still Sports Illustrated swimsuit apps on the app store.


  1. I agree that the ‘enhanced’ book idea is essentially turning books into movies, increasing costs and reducing the number produced. If this added considerable value, I guess I’d be okay with it but as a reader, I don’t really see it. I’m great on experimentation but let’s not assume that there’s huge value in doing something just because it can be done.

    Rob Preece

  2. I remember that main sales point for CDs and later DVDs when they appeared was extra content (nice booklets with lyrics and arty photos of the band, interview with the director on DVD…). They were just trying to justify high price compared to the cost of making a plastic disc. After initial wave and when prices came down all that became not so important. Public is interested in the main content. It will be the same with books. Once prices come to more realistic levels for new e-fiction and adoption rate of the prevailing format becomes higher, they will forget about fancy apps…

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