Late on Friday night, a tweet from the writer Alan Gillespie appeared on my feed that read ‘Read @jeremyduns‘ timeline for a literary Hollyoaks episode. Mental.’ It was accompanied by retweets of Ian Rankin, saying ‘I’m sitting here, numb, staring at @jeremyduns timeline this evening…. ‘, and of Duns himself, who said ‘If you want to read my tweets about RJ Ellory’s sockpuppeting,
@stevemosby has kindly just collated them’ and linked to this Storify thread.
Sales figures. A detailed breakdown of sales of devices by country, including market share, plus a deep look into the data they hold for each customer, as well as how their recommendation system works. CEO Jeff Bezos is likely to unveil their print-to-ebook sales ratio, alongside comparative figures of how each version of Kindle has sold over a specific date range. He will announce the collaborative work he is doing with publishers and retailers to move toward an aggregated eBook sales chart similar to Neilsen’s Bookscan, and his plans to be far more transparent with the press in the future regarding profitability and strategy.
HA! Ok, enough of that.
A couple of months I wrote an article for the Futurebook blog in recognition of the site’s world-wide reach, and I thought it was time to share some of these thoughts with the BookMachine crowd and also re-visit some of the scenarios, which have now been published.
Working at a design agency that primarily works with educational publishers has given me an understanding of many requirements and considerations that need to be met for producing material (both print & digital) for many different markets. However, publishing for a global market is different to market specific publishing. The premise is that technology has made content (books, ebooks, websites, resources etc) accessible to a wider range of audiences across the world. This poses new challenges for publishers who need to meet the demands and requirements of a global market.
The Guardian points to a particularly nausea-inducing case of cross-platform synergy – more than usual, even, where the words ‘cross-platform synergy’ are concerned – courtesy of those loveable pseuds at Chicken Soup for the Soul, the self-described ‘famous book publisher and world leader in life improvement, inspiration and wellness’. The world’s fuzziest purveyor of vague, unquantifiable claims (which is also a registered trademark that has laid claim to the url chickensoup.com) is no longer just a metaphor for the life lessons you can learn from your cat or NASCAR, but will soon give your actual insides a tangible hug with its new line of soups, if by ‘a tangible hug’ you mean ‘diarrhoea, probably’.
Picture the technology available when you were a child… I dont know about you but, I dont consider myself to be that old (30’s ahem) and things were pretty shabby. 2D graphics with the only movement in a game being left to right, phone boxes (and calling the operator for a reverse charge call to your mum) no internet and a computer room at school where you could sit in front of a giant box and grow an electronic sunflower in double science (anyone remember that gem?!).
You know how before you got to see The Avengers you had to sit through all the Iron Mans and Captain Americas and Scandinavian God Fall Downs, so that all the preliminary character work was done and blowing stuff up could commence immediately? Well, that’s an exceedingly generous analogy to draw to the contents of this post, which brings news of new deals for two separate e-readers before both join forces with a third. 3D glasses will not be provided, but if you’re reading this on public transportation then we can offer you something approximating a D-Box seat.
There aren’t many people I know who have come away from reading 50 Shades of Grey feeling they have experienced a well-written, deeply thoughtful piece of literature. In fact, I’d go so far as to wager there hasn’t been a single reaction to the book that has praised its ability to deal with serious relationship issues in a considered and useful manner. Most reviews I have read of the thing from various bloggers and critics think it’s trite bullshit.
Apparently, though, it’s such incredibly popular trite bullshit that a women’s rights group in the UK have taken it upon themselves to tell us we must under no circumstances read it, as the idea that a young, naive woman can have a relationship with an older, controlling man is ‘dangerous‘. To ensure we aren’t exposed to any unseemly ideas, they will be holding 50 Shades of Grey bonfire on November 5th.