Last week saw the release of a new Kobo range, and (not to be outdone) the yearly release of the new Kindle line. Despite Bezos’ insistence that he doesn’t need his customers on the ‘upgrade treadmill’, Amazon released an upgrade to pretty much every single one of their devices, including two new Kindle Fire tablets and the predicted backlit eInk reader. So, as readers, what are we looking at for Christmas this year?
Posts Tagged ‘digital publishing’
A recent report from the The Consortium for School Networking in America has highlighted that schools should be allowing their students to bring their own technology to the classroom, rather than just for use at break times. Whilst this is economically viable for schools it does pose a few problems, not only for the parents who will need to be buying this technology for their kids, but for educational Publishers. It essentially means that every title will need to work seamlessly across all devices. This is a big headache for educational publishers, who are creating digital components for their courses.
or The Future of Storytelling Might Not Be So Fancy
Two weeks ago, a friend of mine, knowing my penchant for all things techy and mental, sent me links to two websites, both of which contain experimental digital fiction. One, a short fiction website called Dreaming Methods, uses clever coding to create an app-like experience in your browser. The second, Nawlz, is a more conventional interactive comic where the frames move and change depending on user interaction, thus giving the reader the illusion of control (it’s actually rather good).
Last week, after my observation that Waterstones is not in a better position to offer bundling now than it was last year, I had a brief debate on Twitter about pros and cons of bundling print and digital during which someone (oh so rightly) asked the question: ‘do customers even want an eBook version of the printed novel they just bought?’ This led to a couple of posts, and Sam Missingham brought out some numbers over on the Futurebook blog from a survey done with 4,000 customers 9 months ago. Here’s a summary:
This week on BookMachine, we kicked things off with the The ABC of Waterstones: A Bookseller’s ‘Promised Land’ and 5 questions for Carolyn Jess Cooke, then looked at This week in literary prizes and the news that Today in tyrants: Hussein daughter seeks publisher for father’s memoirs. And if all that wasn’t enough, we had 5 questions for Rebecca Swift of The Literary Consultancy.
Elsewhere on the web it was a mighty busy week too, especially if writing’s your thing: here are 10 Ridiculously Simple Tips for Writing a Book, and Getting your first book published: Lessons learned! Meanwhile this post has Six Tough Truths About Self-Publishing (That The Advocates Never Seem To Talk About), while there’s the argument that Discoverability and Marketing Are Publishing Company Differentiators. Here’s How to fight back against bogus Amazon/Kindle reviews, and what about some Self-Publishing Statistics – Who are the Top Earners?
On the tech front, some are asking Can We Please Move Past Apple’s Silly, Faux-Real UIs?, is it a symptom of Nostalgia and Finitude in Digital Media?
For designers there’s The Future of Book Cover Design in the Digital Age discussed and Publishing Perspectives asks: Does Digital Publishing Really Encourage More Reading?
It seems that If You Want to Succeed in Business, Read More Novels, even though Over half of surveyed e-reader owners use devices to conceal ‘shameful’ reading habits. And for all that reading over the weekend, you might need 17 Cozy Reading Nooks Design Ideas.
Everyone’s a critic
The web, and not least Amazon’s customer review functionality, has been blamed for the demise (or at least the endangered species status) of the professional literary critic. There’s not doubt that the amount of space in the national press given over to books is less than ever, and the number of literary editors has diminished too. Needless to say, the whole newspaper market is changing and shrinking, thanks to this Internet thingummy. So, Bookmachiners, I ask you – is this such a bad thing?
I have a weird dual perspective on this issue…
If, like me, you spend a lot of time on the internet (like… y’know… enough to clock when adverts change on the same web pages) you will probably have noticed the intense ramping up of aNobii activity across all digital channels recently. In the past two months, their online advertising reached the level of intense saturation usually reserved for dating websites – displaying as gates on pirated videos before you watch them, weird sidebar ad placement on forums, promoted tweets, heaps of whacky Pinterest boards… and so on.
So given the company launched in 2006, why now?
Did you ever have a super-indie friend when you were younger? The kind who would have a party catered by his friend who owned a microbrewery and his other mate who was a DJ, and there wouldn’t be room to park your bike next to the warehouse and when you went inside your friend would kiss you on both cheeks and give you a beer in a jar with the label on because it was not only environmentally-friendly but also re-appropriating some mass-market iconography, and you’d find yourself drawn into a conversation about Berlin even though no-one had ever been, and then your friend would ask you what you thought of his art and you’d say it’s fantastic and he’d say ‘really?’ and you’d say ‘of course!’ and then you’d notice the warehouse was decked out with his photography and they all had price tags on them and you’d walk away £200 lighter carrying three black-and-white photos of lamp-posts?
Well, that friend can pack away his tiny kegs and price tag stickers, because the internet has spawned a new way to be totally indie and totally cashed up at the same time. Kickstarter.
I’m not going to lie – I’ve always thought audio books were lame as hell. The disappointing nephew of the hardback; the ugly duckling of the literary landscape. They bring back memories of long car rides to boring towns when my mum would put on a tape of some Victorian period drama read by an artist’s rendering of Jane Austen. Invariably I would hear half of it and then miss some and then hear some more of it and the leaps in narrative would piss me off and the English accent would clash with the Australian landscape, and the cases for the tapes were ugly and would get under my feet – a car accident waiting to happen.