6 de fevereiro de 2011

Leituras Digitais (30 de Janeiro 5 de Fevereiro)

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

  In 2010, e-book sales rose by around 400% and pulled in almost $1 billion in sales. Madeline McIntosh, Random House's president of sales, operations and digital, said her company is working on the belief that by 2015, half the books readers buy will be e-books.
  Mike Shatzkin, DBW's presiding guru-provocateur, confidently predicted: "ten years from now there ain't gonna be a lot of bookstores. In 2014-15 we'll be half digital. We're looking for a reduction in shelf space of 50% in the next five years; 90% in the next ten years. Bricks and mortar will eventually disappear."
  O problema, insisto, é de substituição, pelo menos no que diz respeito aos leitores; quanto aos escritores, essa substituição começou no momento em que abandonámos a pedra, o papiro, a caligrafia, a saudosa máquina de escrever e, agora, utilizamos o computador, no qual nada é real - nem letras nem páginas -, escrevendo virtualmente as palavras que, mais tarde, surgem impressas por artes que, regra geral, desconhecemos. E é para os escritores que o e-book se transforma numa potencial ameaça, mas apenas no sentido em que, dependendo da velocidade da sua propagação, nos vemos obrigados a repensar o que era um contrato mais ou menos estabelecido entre autor e editoras.
  I have no doubt that we are in the midst of a digital transition. It is here to stay and is proving disruptive—especially to brick-and-mortar booksellers. The only question is. how fast will the migration to digital happen?
  In my opinion, not as fast as the majority of my colleagues in the industry think. I do not believe that by 2014, 50 percent of all books sold will be digital. I believe the number will be closer to 25 percent.
  James Bridle of booktwo.org states: “Ebooks also introduce the possibilities of new behaviour: new ways or writing, reading, sharing, annotating and experiencing. We can only learn about and indulge these if we’re able to let go of some of our paper metaphors.”
  Bridle, like Tim Spalding believes the publishers should change their approach. “For publishers, there are similar questions to the ones we’ve already been facing around DRM and text-to-speech. How much control over the text do you cede to the reader (or, rather: how much control do you attempt to take back through the new technology, a control you never really had with paper books)? As with these technologies, I think we’ll see that the benefits to publishers of more openness outweigh the somewhat nebulous fears.”
  The big story is that in just three years Amazon has positioned itself to triple its overall share of the U.S. book business for all formats. Before the end of 2012, Amazon could own more than half of the U.S. book business across all formats.
  Japan’s cramped living conditions and the arrival of the iPad in May have spawned as many as 60 companies offering to turn paper books into e-books as publishers have been slow to provide content for new electronic readers. Japan has lagged the U.S. in introducing e-books because of a rigid pricing system, uncertainty over copyrights and early problems reproducing Japanese characters on screens, said Toshihiro Takagi, an analyst at market researcher Impress R&D in Tokyo.
  The company reported a net loss of $74.4 million for the quarter that ended Oct. 30 and has reported financial losses every quarter for the last three years. Borders' bricks-and-mortar chief rival, Barnes & Noble Inc., also has been struggling financially.
  "The superstores were viewed by the independent bookstores as dinosaurs that came to kill them — and they did," said Al Greco, a book publishing expert and professor of marketing at Fordham University's Graduate School of Business Administration. "Today, it looks like the big bang has hit and now the dinosaurs are in peril."
  In their infancy e-readers were adopted by an older generation that valued the devices for their convenience, portability and, in many cases, simply for their ability to enlarge text to a more legible size. Appetite for e-book editions of best sellers and adult genre fiction — romance, mysteries, thrillers — has seemed almost bottomless.
  But now that e-readers are cheaper and more plentiful, they have gone mass market, reaching consumers across age and demographic groups, and enticing some members of the younger generation to pick them up for the first time.
  I was there when it all started. Colour Print On Demand (POD). In the less than glamorous surroundings of a printing exhibition (IPEX 2002), a groundbreaking machine from Xerox called the iGen3 was unveiled. But in 2011 is colour POD still out of reach?

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