Archive for December, 2010|Monthly archive page

Books for Christmas?

Here’s what happens when a three year old unwraps books under the tree (video link).

Happy Holidays 🙂

Graphing Google Books…

Google’s digitised books are now searchable with their cool nGram tool, available here. From a piece in New Scientist:

From the more than 15 million books digitised to date, Aiden, Michel and colleagues from Google and Harvard selected the 5.2 million with the most reliable data – a total of more than 500 billion words. If written as a single line of text, this would stretch to the moon and back 10 times. Then the researchers counted up the number of times each word appeared in the dataset during each year from 1800 to 2000…

This let them follow changes in word use over this period, as the total number of English words in use rose from 544,000 in 1900 to more than 1 million in 2000, with the vast majority of that increase coming after 1950.

Go to the Ngram viewer and type in a term. Trying hard to think of something useful to do with it, but it’s pretty cool…

Giving it all away

From The Australian:

Having discovered that it is now impossible to sell books to people, publishers have finally taken to giving them away.

On March 5 next year, on the occasion of World Book Night, a million volumes will be given away free of charge, gratis, and without anyone having to have bought two others they didn’t really want in order to get the cheapest for nowt.

According to a report in The Times, “the publishing industry is gambling that handing out an unprecedented number of free books will persuade people to read more paid-for ones”.


Bookscan for authors

OK. So it’s not wikileaks, but the secret world of book sales has become a little less secret. The New York Times reports that Amazon has opened up Nielsen Bookscan data for authors signed up to author central:

In a move to provide authors with a service their publishers have not, Amazon is making current Nielsen BookScan sales data available to authors on its site, the company announced Thursday. Authors typically wait six months or more to receive royalty statements from publishers, which contain book-sales information.

Authors with books for sale on Amazon who have signed up to use Author Central, the site’s free author portal, will be able to see the book-sales information starting Thursday morning.


BookScan’s sales tallies do not currently include sales of e-books, for the Kindle or other devices.

eBook sales stats

Q3 2010 –  $119.7 million in the USA. Wholesale. Courtesy the IDPF. Click the link for the J curve 🙂

Google’s Book Store

Google’s long-awaited bookstore has launched in the US. From dot.rory at the BBC:

After many delays Google has finally got into the bookselling business. Its eBooks store is only available in the United States for now, but it is far more ambitious in scope than might have been imagined.

I had thought that the search giant might dip a toe in the water with free titles and some of the out-of-print books it has been scanning under its controversial Google Books programme. In fact, it appears to have a wide selection of current titles at keen prices…


Here comes Google

Announced earlier this year, it appears that Google Editions is finally about to happen. From the WSJ:

The long-delayed venture—Google executives had said they hoped to launch this summer—recently has cleared several technical and legal hurdles, people close to the company say. It is set to debut in the U.S. by the end of the year and internationally in the first quarter of next year, said Scott Dougall, a Google product management director…

Google Editions hopes to upend the existing e-book market by offering an open, “read anywhere” model that is different from many competitors. Users will be able to buy books directly from Google or from multiple online retailers—including independent bookstores—and add them to an online library tied to a Google account. They will be able to access their Google accounts on most devices with a Web browser, including personal computers, smartphones and tablets.