19 de dezembro de 2010

Leituras Digitais (12 a 18 de Dezembro)

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

  Basically, as with everything we manufacture, it has to be a balance between environmental considerations and what we need (want), and it behooves us to attempt to find ways of achieving our aims with the least possible environmental impact.   Looked at in this light, whilst I love eReaders, and approve of them in a number of ways, I have never really considered them to be particularly beneficial to the planet.
  Recent news indicates that Borders Group(NYSE:BGP) has filed an intent to purchase rival bookseller Barnes & Noble(NYSE:BKS) as of this past Monday.  Nothing is set in stone, as of yet, but this could have some interesting and far-reaching effects on the eReader and eBook marketplace should it some to pass.  Borders has been trying for some time to enter into the Kindle dominated eReader market, but buying the company currently making the second most popular eReader on sale today (sometimes estimated to hold as much as 10% of the market) would give them some real hope of making a place for themselves.
  Marketers are exploring a variety of formats, including sponsorships that give readers free books. Videos, graphics or text with an advertiser's message that appear when a person first starts a book or along the border of the digital pages are also in the works. Ads can be targeted based on the book's content and the demographic and profile information of the reader.
  In several European countries, books are subject to a reduced VAT rate in light of their status as a “cultural” product. This has been complicated by the emergence of e-books, which tend to be viewed as electronic products for taxation purposes and are thus subject to full VAT (19% in Germany, as opposed to the reduced rate of 7%). As a result, there are cases when the end customer pays more for an e-book than for its print counterpart, simply because of the VAT discrepancy.
  The Publishing Innovation Awards will recognize the best ebooks and book apps based on their merits in the areas of origination, development, production, design, and marketing. To celebrate the launch of the awards, organizers at Digital Book World 2011 Conference + Expo will present the inaugural Publishing Innovation Awards in five categories – Fiction, Non-Fiction, Reference, Children’s, and Comics — during their opening ceremony on January 24th, 2011 at the Sheraton Hotel & Towers in New York City.
  I wrote earlier this week that publishers need to prepare for a decline in print-book sales that’s much steeper than what we have seen thus far, and that is likely to accelerate the reshaping of the industry. The reasons why this seems inevitable derive not from any intrinsic superiority of e-books, nor any growing technophilia or screen-tropism of readers, but rather from the structure of the market.
  The German National Library, Oxford University and Europeana have signed an agreement to digitise family papers and memorabilia from the First World War to create an online archive about the people involved in the conflict.
  Books already tell stories, but when their words are combined and analyzed with computational tools, they tell bigger tales. By studying billions of words that appeared in books published over the last 200 years, the researchers found that references to God have been dropping off since about 1830. People are becoming celebrities earlier in life now than in the past, but their fame is more fleeting as their names drop out of the lexicon. References to past years are dropping off more quickly as cultures shift their focus to the present. And censorship leads to discernible shifts in a person’s or event’s cultural footprint, as evident in tracking Tiananmen in Chinese books, or the Jewish artist Marc Chagall in German books from the Nazi era.
  What, though, of the digital book, and its promise of a rich, new, constructive interaction with the text? With this Christmas looking like the moment when the transition from codex to screen will finally gain real traction, will the expectations of new digital readers be fulfilled? And is there anything to encourage my own ambitious sense of the revolutionary changes in narrative that digital books might bring about?

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