From Salon (and old news I know):
On the Goodreads Facebook page, sentiment about the acquisition is running 10-to-one against it. Many members felt proprietary about the site and posted with surprising venom that they felt betrayed and were going to delete their accounts. A typical response: “You screwed us over. Take your money and run. You know the site you worked so hard on” will be corrupted by Amazon.” More measured voices implored Goodreads “please don’t compromise the integrity of the best online community of book lovers.”
At the New York Times, David Mamet goes the self-publishing route:
As digital disruption continues to reshape the publishing market, self-publishing — including distribution digitally or as print on demand — has become more and more popular, and more feasible, with an increasing array of options for anyone with an idea and a keyboard. Most of the attention so far has focused on unknown and unsigned authors who storm onto the best-seller lists through their own ingenuity.
The announcement by ICM and Mr. Mamet suggests that self-publishing will begin to widen its net and become attractive also to more established authors. For one thing, as traditional publishers have cut back on marketing, this route allows well-known figures like Mr. Mamet to look after their own publicity.
Association of American Publishers data now has ebook sales at 22% of US market. Paid Content link has more.
It’s been a whilst since I last posted – after all, for most of us, the ebook is such a natural part of our lives that the sturm and drang of publishing industry mergers and the churning out of christmas special celebrity cookbooks is just grist to a very old mill. I did present at a conference where there’s was some last gasp romanticising, but that’s for another post. Perhaps.
Anyhow, a quick link to something which sums up where we’re at… I came across a book vending machine a few years ago at Edinburgh airport (for those who can’t get their books via wifi). And now there’s this:
A Toronto bookstore has come up with a creative way to add value to old, discount books that otherwise may clutter its storage: an antique-seeming “book dispenser” that randomly spits out old books for $2 a pop.
Is this the future of printed books??
Cool interview with Margaret Atwood in Pandodaily. Sample:
We tend to be “Golden Age” about everything. We imagine a past about things being better, but we’ve forgotten a lot of stuff. Out of the Gutenberg printing presses poured lots of pornography, which we decided to forget. The classics are just the part of the iceberg that is still visible.
The point is when you make things more accessible and visible as they are on the Web, it doesn’t make things a lot worse. It’s just all in front of you, and you can see it.
The eBook to pBook pathway continues. The Bookseller writes of another successful self-published ebook author being taken on by a major – this time, Penguin:
Razorbill, the teenage imprint of Penguin Children’s, has done the first English language publishing deal with self-published author Tammara Webber…
Webber has been self-publishing her books – college romances aimed at a crossover readership, a genre which has now been named “New Adult” – since 2011, hitting the New York Times e-book bestseller list with Easy, which has sold more than 150,000 copies according to Razorbill.
A link to a New York Times piece interviewing William H. Gass, who has published a new essay entitled “Abstractions Arrive: Having Been there all the Time” as an ipad only ebook (available on the ibook store). Why the big deal? Because Gass is widely known as the author of “In Defense of the Book”, an essay in which he argues that the electronic alternative is no alternative to print. An interesting, albeit brief interview explains how his thinking shifted…
In The Observer, a story about unglue.it, a kick starter for unearthing lost classics and turning them into ebook:
unglue.it crowdsources appreciation for classic books, soliciting donations from superfans with the aim of acquiring the rights and releasing them as free ebooks
Nice long piece in The New Republic from David A Bell, contemplating libraries in the age of eBooks:
And in a development that even just thirty years ago would have seemed like the most absurd science fiction, there are now far more books available, far more quickly, on the iPhone than in the New York Public Library.
From Sony… a hybrid of game and reading, using print and the PS3. From Time:
The name of this work in progress is Wonderbooks. It’s an augmented reality book that works with the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Move accessories, with 12 pages of thick card stock on the inside that the Move’s camera can read. On-screen, users see an image of the book at their feet, with 3D imagery superimposed on top, and they can interact with the book using the Move motion controller.