14 de novembro de 2010

Leituras Digitais (7 a 13 de Novembro)

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

  Consider it an inauguration of sorts, a celebration of the e-book industry becoming a member of the major media club just as digital music and online video have before them. When you influence a billion dollars, people have to take you seriously. In the book business, it means that traditional publishers can no longer live in deny-and-delay mode; meanwhile, digital publishers get invited to better parties and people in other media businesses like TV and magazines look over and wonder if they could cut a slice of this new pie just for them.
  As many commentators have been saying for some time, as the idea of eReaders becomes more established, we are now seeing that both ends of the market are growing.  At the top end we have  sophisticated devices such as the Entourage and Kindle 3, and at the other end there are now an increasing number of cheap, almost throw-away eReaders coming onto the market.   Prices for some of these low end models have gone down to less that 80 USD a piece, and will get even cheaper in time.
  If there’s one overlooked opportunity that the reports identifies, it’s the preservation of digital content. “Congress libraries, national and private, have already begun digitizing paper-based content to secure its preservation,” says the report. “It is a colossal task requiring equally large investments. And it is unclear how digitally born contents will be sifted, particularly in non-linear, hybrid and social formats,” adding, “What is transient and what is heritage? The great classics of digital publishing age of yet to be written.”
  The whole e-book market is rapidly evolving, and a lot of self-publishing companies are offering e-book deals bundled into their print book publishing packages, which makes them harder to break out and evaluate. It's all quite complicated, and in an effort to sort through the confusion, I've decided to offer a few basic tips and present what I think are some of the best options out there for creating an e-book quickly and easily. As things change--and they will--I'll do my best to keep this column up to date.
  There is a new website dedicated to reviewing digital books called Dailyebookreviews.com. The site will feature daily reviews of eBooks in the science fiction, fantasy, horror and thriller genres. In addition to the daily reviews, the editors on the site will feature one title a day as the “Daily Pick” and feature one author a week in the “Spotlight On” column.
  We’ve mostly all bought into the myth that copyright exists mainly to benefit the artist and for the good of all mankind. It might be good to remember that it was created for business purposes, and it’s meant to protect companies from having their work seized by competitors.
  The publishing industry seems to have only become more atomized as the digital revolution works its disruptive magic, and most of the chatter these days focuses on a problem that hasn’t yet been accurately measured or defined. If instead we could start working on these other more concrete problems, we might create real opportunities for authors and publishers to reach paying customers.
  Libraries will have to embrace digital books to stay relevant to readers looking for books. Of course libraries' relevance involves much more than simply being a repository for books, e- or otherwise. Libraries are community centers. They are places where people can access not just literature and the latest magazines, but also find Internet access and computer stations.
  In an acknowledgment of the growing sales and influence of digital publishing, The New York Times said on Wednesday that it would publish e-book best-seller lists in fiction and nonfiction beginning early next year.
  The lists will be compiled from weekly data from publishers, chain bookstores, independent booksellers and online retailers, among other sources.
  The ebook market is a battle of the titans. It's Amazon versus Apple versus Barnes & Noble versus Sony. It also crucially involves all the big publishers, who are scared of going digital but know they must embrace it lest they go the way of the music industry, and so have been taking two steps forward and one step back.
  But Amazon played beautifully every step of the game. And now, in a market that is growing very big, very fast, and probably has strong network effects, it has an early lead which makes us think it will end up dominating it.
  The Kindle is, in other words, what Marshall McLuhan referred to as a "horseless carriage", the term first given to automobiles – in other words, an in-between stage on the way to a technological leap that we haven't quite grasped yet. The Kindle's one-dimensionality is strategic, but it is also short-sighted. Everything is pointing to the likelihood that the book will be absorbed into a multimedia world in which we switch from text to video to the internet in quick succession – some even believe all at the same time.

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