5 de dezembro de 2010

Leituras Digitais (28 de Novembro a 4 de Dezembro)

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

  The launch of the iPad and price cuts to the Kindle resulted in a significant increase in the number of digital reading devices owned by consumers between June and November, with 21% of book shoppers now owning a dedicated e-reader or tablet. The finding is part of the Codex Group's most recent national book shopper survey, which polled 6,250 book buyers on various aspects of their book-buying habits. Codex estimated that the introduction of the $139 Kindle in July helped to spur sales of 800,000 units between June and mid-November, with total units sold estimated at 2.7 million. The growth in Kindle unit sales drove overall e-reader penetration among book shoppers to 14% in November, and penetration levels could reach 22% by mid-2011, Codex predicted. The forecast is based on a dramatic increase in the number of book buyers stating they plan to buy a digital reading device this year.
  But Jones warned that booksellers were being left behind in the race for digital sales. In total 85% of publishers said that they sold books or journals in electronic format, but just 37% of booksellers said they sold content electronically. And while digital sales were below where most people had expected them to be, publishers' expectations of growth far outweighed those of booksellers. While more than half of publishers believed that by 2020 over 20% of their overall sales would be taken by digital books, only one-third of booksellers agreed.
  A series of new British online initiatives is hoping to do for authors what Steve Jobs and iTunes did for the music industry and establish a culture of making micro-payments for small pieces of content: the short story becomes the single-track download, with prices starting at 99p. The newspaper and magazine industries, as they wrestle with the challenge of monetising their content, should be following this closely.
  Google's e-book platform Google Editions will launch in the US before Christmas, it can be confirmed. Speaking at FutureBook 2010, The Bookseller's digital conference, Jason Hanley, strategic partner development, said the launch was now close, and the platform was expected to go live before the holiday season begins.
  Here’s the thing. What we’re looking at here is something called a convenience tax. In buying pd ebooks you’re paying to avoid the hassle of having to go out and look for a free copy. The convenience tax is why, for example, things cost more at a store near the interstate than at one far away. This is a normal part of economics.
  If you’re writing an academic paper and need to cite a Kindle book, you’ll quickly notice a problem: there are no pages, and therefore no page numbers. The wrong approach is to complain about the device for not being a printed book; the better approach is to figure out how to make it work for your research, so you can take advantage of ebooks now instead of waiting for academia to catch up.
  The big question remains: “Where are the revenue streams for digital publishing?” And although much hope is pinned on the iPad (and other tablets), we still don’t know exactly how big this market will be. YouGov, an international internet-based market research firm, offered figures projecting that 12% of the UK population will soon own a tablet, demonstrating the huge potential market for publishers. But while experimenting with content on these devices is still key to learning what will and won’t work, the risk of these experiments not generating revenue makes this learning process difficult for many publishers.
  The best way to protect yourself from this kind of thing is to check with Project Gutenberg when shopping for classics, especially if the book was written before your lifetime. On the Amazon Kindle store, dishonest publishers will frequently remove the original date and substitute a new one, so it’s harder to tell, but you can usually spot an older work if you look carefully.
  To reiterate the underlying idea behind the World Reader project, it is aimed at bringing ebooks to the kids and communities in developing countries, starting in Ghana to test the idea and learn how they have to go about it.   They have gone much further than to simply get their hands on a lot of Kindle ereaders ( for this exercise they have about 440 Kindles) and bunged them into a couple of random schools.  They have engaged thoroughly with the Ghanaian Education Ministry, local publishers and authors, schools and various other grass route organisations in Ghana.  In other words this is a very solidly grounded project.  Carried out by people with a vision and a desire to help the world, but with their feet firmly planted in the real world.
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