21 de agosto de 2011

Leituras Digitais (14 a 20 de Agosto)

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

  Certainly, electronic books have overcome their technological obstacles. Page turns are fast enough, battery life is long enough, and screens are legible in sunlight. Digital sales now account for 14% of Penguin's business. But there are reasons to reject the idea that the extinction of the printed book is just around the corner, just as there were reasons to reject the notion that e-books would never catch on because you couldn't read them in the bath and, y'know, books are such lovely objects.
  What will the digital world look like in ten years?  The trends are already clear.
  Capacities in bandwidth and storage will continue on their exponential path.  The explosion in the volume of information and number of devices will persist.  Our data will be linked and most likely be processed in qubits rather than bits.
  However, trends tell us very little.  It’s discontinuities that drive history.  Everything seems fine and then boom!  E-commerce comes along, then search engines, social media, smart phones and on and on.  Much like the flood that set Noah on his journey, such events, although driven by trends, take us in completely new directions and create new orders.
  New tools have been released as part of the Europeana Project that will help you calculate when a copyright will expire. The tools are free to use and they cover 30 countries (the 27 members of the European Union plus Switzerland, Iceland & Norway) and can be found at http://www.outofcopyright.eu.
  My point is that I, like a lot of other people, enjoy books as objects. Despite the difficulties that can arise from their accumulation, I like that they occupy physical as well as mental space. In fact, I quietly entertained the futile hope that the whole idea of e-books and e-readers would prove to be a transitory fad, that everyone would just somehow forget that books were cumbersome and comparatively expensive to produce and not especially good for the environment and that they could very easily be replaced by small clusters of electronic data that could be beamed across the world in seconds without ever taking up any actual space. I did not want what happened to CDs to happen to books. But then I took this small, smoothly utilitarian rectangle of grey plastic out of its box and fired it up. Within minutes, I was beginning to understand its crazy potential. In no time at all, I had downloaded a small library of free, out-of copyright classics. There is, obviously, something to be said for being able to walk around with the complete works of Tolstoy on your person at all times without fear of collapsed vertebrae or public ridicule. There is also, just as obviously, something to be said for having immediate access to a vast, intangible warehouse of books from which you can choose, on a whim, to purchase anything and begin reading it straight away. It occurred to me that Borges would have been thrilled and horrified in equal measure by the Kindle. In fact, in a weird way, he sort of invented it (in the same way that Leonardo “invented” the helicopter and various other gadgets).
  LiquidText founder and CEO Craig Tashman (@CraigTashman) says his annotation and document manipulation software began as an academic project, but commercial applications quickly became clear as students participating in the research started asking for copies. The software allows users to annotate, highlight and manipulate PDF content with multitouch gestures. It may be the next major step toward making etextbooks more practical for students — and it's another nail in the coffin for the "death of marginalia" debate.
  Amazon.com has made the first "major" acquisition for its New York-based publishing imprint, snapping up rights in bestselling self-help author Timothy Ferriss's new book The 4-Hour Chef.
The online retailer has moved aggressively into publishing over the last year, with imprints covering everything from romance to literature in translation and mysteries and thrillers. Earlier this summer it hired publishing bigwig Larry Kirshbaum, former chief executive of the Time Warner Book Group, to head up its New York imprint, and it is Kirshbaum who has spearheaded the world rights deal for Ferriss's work.
  Canadian novelist Kate Pullinger has said the power of Amazon, Apple and Google has put publishers in a "difficult situation".
  Speaking as part of BBC Radio 4's "The World at One" "Future of the Book" series, Pullinger said she did feel optimistic about the future of publishing. However, she added: "I think the big publishers have got themselves into a difficult situation with the stranglehold that Amazon, Apple and Google have on bookselling currently, but I think there are other ways. Just as long as the internet remains a kind of open territory there will always be other economic markets [and] business models for people to exploit; there are myriad of ways for readers to find writers and writers to find readers."
  Once upon a time, hardcover books were the only way that book lovers could read new titles. This allowed publishers to charge a premium for a product — a big, shiny hardback book — that actually isn’t much more expensive to produce than a paperback. Today, most publishers release the ebook edition of a new title at the same time as a hardback. Ebooks are a cheaper, more portable, quicker way for fans to get hold of their favourite author’s latest work so it’s absolutely unremarkable that hardcore book buyers are migrating to that format. Sure enough, hardback sales have dipped in the past 12 months but, in the same period, ebook sales have soared. In terms of both unit sales (up 4.1% from 2008) and revenue (up 5.6% from 2008), American publishers experienced a bumper year last year.
  Europe has lagged behind the U.S. in widespread adoption of e-books, but a new report suggests that they are finally taking off. The e-book market in Western Europe grew by 400 percent in 2010, a new report finds. By 2015, e-books should make up 15 percent of total book sales in the region. (By contrast, in the U.S., they were already at 6.4 percent in 2010.)
Futuresource Consulting, a UK-based consulting firm, published the research on e-books and e-readers. “Despite all this rapid growth in demand for e-books in Western Europe, the market is still in its infancy, representing less than 1 percent of total consumer spending on books,” Futuresource market analyst Fiona Hoy said. “Moving forward, there are enormous opportunities within the market and our forecasts show Western European e-book revenues will reach €1.6 billion by 2015, accounting for 15% of total book spend and representing one out of every five books sold in the region.”
  As publishers are looking for new opportunities and areas of growth, US publishers are urged to take an interest in the rest of the world.
 Alana cash, a successful filmmaker has written a long article for (http://www.insearchofdesign.com/) in which she describes the considerable problems she has experienced as she attempted to get her book TOM’S WIFE published as an ebook, and she has agreed to let me share some of her experiences with you guys, in a spirit of “I fell into the holes in the road, here are some warning signposts to help you avoid doing the same”.
  When she decided to publish her ebook herself, she had a look at the various online outfits who offer what is called Publish on Demand (POD), such as Smashwords, Lightening and CreateSpace (the last being the outfit who distribute her films for her) and that is when her problems began.
New York Times E-Book Best Sellers

  These lists are an expanded version of those appearing in the August 28, 2011 print edition of the Book Review, reflecting sales for the week ending August 13, 2011.

E-Book Fiction

1.                      NOW YOU SEE HER, by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge
2.                      THE HELP, by Kathryn Stockett
3.                      THE BLACK ECHO, by Michael Connelly
4.                      THE SILENT GIRL, by Tess Gerritsen
5.                      SMOKIN' SEVENTEEN, by Janet Evanovich

E-Book Nonfiction

1.                      HEAVEN IS FOR REAL, by Todd Burpo with Lynn Vincent
2.                      IN THE GARDEN OF BEASTS, by Erik Larson
3.                      BOSSYPANTS, by Tina Fey
4.                      UNBROKEN, by Laura Hillenbrand
5.                      SEAL TEAM SIX, by Howard E. Wasdin and Stephen Templin

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