Archive for January, 2012|Monthly archive page

They’re Going to Kill Us

Interesting post over at PandoDaily, with a purported publishing industry insider commenting on Amazon’s game plan. The context is the usual (I’ve done it too) list of what ails book publishing, but with the author suggesting that Amazon will emerge as the sole survivor. Don’t know about the source, but the smell of death is in the air:

We can’t pay $1 million for books anymore. Amazon could probably afford to lose $20 million/year in their publishing arm just to put the other publishers out of business. I think that’s what they’re trying to do–throw money around in an industry that doesn’t have any, until Amazon becomes not only the only place where you buy books, but the only place that publishes books, too.

Kindle Library Update

Amazon launched its kindle lending library in November last year and is now reporting that in conjunction with its Direct Publishing scheme, independent authors are earning reasonable money via the lending of their books. At $1.70 per borrow, there’s some money to be made – albeit within the confines of the Amazon ecosystem. From readwriteweb:

Amazon says that total sales of titles in the KDP Select lending program grew faster than KDP titles that aren’t in the lending program, but they don’t say how much. But the $200,000 bonus to the KDP Select fund is a signal of optimism. The fund is divided between the authors each month depending on their percentage of total books borrowed. One author, Carolyn McCray, earned $8,250 from the fund in December.

McHappy Books

A report that mcDonalds in the UK is giving way books instead of toys in their Happy meals:

McDonald’s UK is to hand out around nine million popular children’s books with its Happy Meals, as part of a new partnership with publishing house HarperCollins. The promotion aims to get books into the hands of families and support mums and dads in reading with their children.

Of course, a book is never enough:

Each book comes with a finger puppet to help parents bring the stories to life for their children, and to encourage children of all reading abilities to use their imagination and create their own tales.

Lending eBooks…

Also from the NY Times, a piece from Randall Stross on the challenges facing publishers and libraries in lending ebooks:

… we can also guess that the number of visitors to the e-book sections of public libraries’ Web sites is about to set a record, too.


And that is a source of great worry for publishers. In their eyes, borrowing an e-book from a library has been too easy. Worried that people will click to borrow an e-book from a library rather than click to buy it, almost all major publishers in the United States now block libraries’ access to the e-book form of either all of their titles or their most recently published ones.

Takeoff and Landing

One of the arguments for paper books is that airlines prohibit the use of electronic devices until the aircraft has reached cruising altitude. But are the technical reasons cited by authorities grounded (sorry!) in fact? The NY Times has a look here:

The F.A.A. does allow some electronics during takeoff and landing. Portable voice recorders, hearing aids, heart pacemakers and electric shavers are permitted during all times of a flight.

So I took a Sony voice recorder that I bought at Best Buy and tested that too. The results? The voice recorder puts off almost exactly the same electrical emissions as the Kindle. In many instances of the test, the voice recorder actually emitted more.