7 de novembro de 2010

Leituras Digitais (31 de Outubro a 6 de Novembro)

Rubrica semanal de notícias e artigos relacionados com a edição de livros digitais.

  The problem in all of this is we're dancing around a core issue: Why not enable a model where customers can resell their ebooks?  It's been said that ebook prices have to be lower than print book prices because of the limitations of the former.  Reselling is an example of one of those limitations.  So what would happen if you could resell your ebooks?
  As the new digital reality continues to disrupt Higher Education, I see a number of possibilities with regards to the shifting power structure in educational content/publishing. The traditional supply chain of publisher–>institutional bookstore–>student/faculty, has been augmented and usurped in recent years by content distributors, technology providers, institutions, and open content repositories. Adding to the crowded market are non-educational participants — textbook rental companies, e-retailers and device makers.
  Carnoy gets a quote from Barnes and Noble's CEO, William Lynch, that B&N did "extensive research on displays" and "discovered" that "eyestrain with LCDs was not the huge issue many people were making it out to be." He added that B&N is using a "high-resolution next-generation panel from LG" that is backlit with LED.
  Carnoy then asks his optometrist for his take on this and reports that the doc doesn't feel there's that much to the eyestrain idea.  It doesn't matter, he feels, if a light is shining into your eyes when you are doing serial reading (words in a string) for long-form sessions as opposed to short magazine reading or surfing the web.  He doesn't believe today's LCD screens cause any eyestrain for anyone but that it's just a matter of "aesthetics" whether they prefer an LCD screen or an e-Ink one for reading.
  Most publishers are operating on the assumption that, even though e-book sales are still a small percentage of overall book sales, there is vast potential for this segment to expand. According to the latest annual study conducted by the Institut für Demoskopie in Allensbach, as reported in the Boersenblatt, only one percent of Germans between the ages of 14 and 69 (480,000 people) currently use an e-reader to read books or periodicals. But another 20 per cent (10.62 million) could imagine eventually using one.
  There are many reasons for using a unique identifier for an e-book. It helps with discoverability and allows you to separate out the different formats of the title, which in turn allows you as a publisher or writer to see how it is doing in various channels. The ability to measure the success rate of each e-book format for any given title is paramount to good marketing. The ISBN also gives you control over your title and your content. If you let someone else assign an identification number to your content, you lose that control, both in terms of quality and ownership.
  What gets lost sometimes in the ebook discussion is an understanding of the role of a publisher. It goes without saying that a publisher does all the things discussed here, but the reality is that those are just a few of the things a publisher must do in order to help authors be successful. It’s great that we make ebooks, but even in an emerging digital marketplace, merely making the ebooks isn’t the core activity of any publisher. Labyrinthine as it might be, making the ebook isn’t the hard part, nor is making them available at various e-tailers. The hard part, and indeed the ultimate job of any publisher, is helping the author find their readers, making those connections that enhance, enlighten and maybe even change people’s lives.
  Perhaps, as Pack implies, the ebook could in these straitened times become the new hardback: an initial release to get the cognoscenti talking up a book ahead of mass-market publication. But publishers need to watch out: once you have given something away for free it can be a shock when you start charging for it. Just take a look at Rupert Murdoch's paywalls, or the disgruntled ebook readers voting with their feet when Amazon bumped up the prices for its Kindle editions. Word of mouth can cut both ways – and it all depends on whether you believe there's no such thing as bad publicity.
  Lanier has mixed views on some of the e-publishing business models that have been created so far. “As much as I admire on many levels, both in terms of marketing and design, what Apple and Amazon are doing, it’s not a long-term plan for civilization,” Lanier said. “The walled garden thing can’t last forever. It’s not sustainable. There has to be something similar to what Apple and Amazon are doing that’s a single, unified, universal store for everybody. There can still be a layer of publishers within that, and Apple and Amazon can be publishers within the universal system. But they can’t have monopoly channels.”
  The recent rapid growth of the market for electronic editions of contemporary fiction, with some titles selling more in digital marketplaces than they do in printed form, seems unlikely to tail off. The latter part of 2010 may mark the point from which future historians date the transition to screen-based reading for literary fiction as well as reference works.

RSA Animate - Changing Education Paradigms

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