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Posts Tagged ‘E-books’

Self-published porn leads WH Smith to come offline

WH Smith yesterday took down its website in reaction to the weekend discovery that it was amongst a number of digital retailers – also including Amazon and Barnes & Noble – selling William Faulkner novels self-published pornography featuring depictions of incest, rape and bestiality. Instead of the usual shopfront, visitors to the Smith site were greeted by a holding page featuring a statement from the business saying ‘a number of unacceptable titles were appearing on our website through the Kobo website that has an automated feed to ours’. WH Smith, of course, takes both its e-book hardware and software from the Canadian e-reader manufacturers, including its massive library of titles, which in this case appears to have passed to the Smith site without any vetting along the way.

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Cory Doctorow & Charlie Stross release novel for free download

As he has in the past, Boing Boing co-editor Cory Doctorow yesterday posted his new novel – co-written with British sci-fi author Charlie Stross – online for free download under a Creative Commons License. In a post on Boing Boing Doctorow provided a link to his own site, Craphound, which is hosting HTML and PDF files of The Rapture of the Nerds, and asked that those who enjoy the novel ‘buy a personal hardcopy at your local bookseller, or from your favorite online seller, or donate a copy to a library or school’, adding ‘if you’d like to reward us for our use of Creative Commons licenses, and reward Tor Books for its decision to drop DRM on all its ebooks, we hope you’ll buy an ebook at your favorite ebook retailer.’ The link was accompanied by further links to both physical and digital retailers.

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Harper Voyager looking for un-agented submissions

HarperCollins’ sci-fi, horror and otherwise otherworldly imprint Harper Voyager has announced that, for the first time in over a decade, it will be accepting un-agented submissions from authors, with a view to building a backlog it can then publish as monthly e-books. For the fortnight spanning 1 October to 14 October, new writers can head to http://www.harpervoyagersubmissions.com/ and, having filled out the accompanying form and checked that they have complied with the publisher’s guidelines, submit their long-brewing masterpiece about the grim dystopian future where the hair cuts you!, or whatever.

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Amazon taking this whole Indian Summer idea a tad literally

Evidently determined to prove that Barnes and Noble isn’t the only digital bookseller that can expand to new territories this week, why should it be?, Amazon is taking the Kindle to India. Hear that Barnes and Noble? That’s the second most highly populated country in the world – 1,241,491,960 people at last count, second only to China. ‘Suddenly getting a foot in the door of a market with a population of 62,641,000 doesn’t seem quite so great an achievement, does it?’ asked Amazon, as it got Barnes and Noble in a headlock, shoved it face first into the nearest toilet and encouraged it to ‘drink it up!’ as it hit flush. 

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Rise of the Machines: Amazon e-book sales pass print

It’s a moment everyone always knew was coming, and it’s finally here: Amazon said yesterday that sales of Kindle downloads have officially sailed past print sales in the UK. Of course, it can say anything it likes, because its figures remain unaudited and, given the lack of further comment on the matter, look likely to remain that way. If you’re prepared to take the omnimegahyperconglomerate (or whatever) at its word, however, then for every 100 print books it has sold so far in 2012 in the UK, 114 of its paid-for e-books have been downloaded (and if you’re really, really bad at maths, that means that e-book sales are 14% higher than print sales). UK Kindle owners are apparently buying on average four times as many books now as they did before buying the device.

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Fifty Shades of Grey fastest selling UK paperback no one admits to buying

In news that, for the sake of hilarity, we’ll attribute to The Daily Mail, EL James’ piece of Twilight slash fiction Fifty Shades of Grey has well and truly transcended its origins as a word of mouth e-book success story (most likely whispered about behind a theatrically raised hand) to become the fastest selling UK paperback since sales records began. Having topped the UK bestseller list for four straight weeks, sold more than 550,000 copies (over 100,000 of which were shifted in a single week) and overtaken the likes of J.K. Rowling, Dan Brown and, funnily enough, Stephenie Meyer, the book is now on track to sell over a million copies in the UK alone by year’s end.

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Gravity’s Kindle: Thomas Pynchon’s back catalogue digitised at last

In what hopefully isn’t a portent of his impending death, Thomas Pynchon has joined the likes of Ray Bradbury in finally consenting to have his works made (legally) available as e-books after long refusing to authorise such a move. The legendary American author of Gravity’s Rainbow, The Crying of Lot 49 and Mason & Dixon will see his seven novels (the aforementioned three, as well as V., Vineland, Against The Day and Inherent Vice) and one book of short stories, Slow Learner, available in digital format from today, his publisher, Penguin Press, has told the New York Times.

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