11 de setembro de 2011

Leituras Digitais (4 a 10 de Setembro)

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

  The more general question, however, is whether publishers like Amazon (and particularly Amazon) represent a threat to the older magazine model, in which a variety of articles are bundled together and sold for a price that, even on the newsstand, is lower than what a reader would expect to pay if buying everything piecemeal. Part of the reason readers buy magazines is because they are comfortable outsourcing some of the decision-making about content delivery, and welcome the fact that magazines curate the news.
  La guerra de tres colosos del mundo de la cultura digital ha acelerado la evolución y el desarrollo del negocio del libro impreso y digital, cuyas consecuencias están revolucionando un modelo editorial centenario. Un duelo en el ciberespacio con repercusiones en la tierra donde la penúltima conquista no se libra por un territorio sino por la lengua española, con un potencial de 500 millones de lectores.
  In short, it isn’t just the big publishers who are compelled to develop a digital strategy to adjust their businesses to changing times. Their smaller competitors, the agents they depend on to deliver their content, and even the authors that have always just depended on the publishers to handle the business of getting a book from a manuscript to a purchase, are all assessing the new landscape. They are considering what new approaches might reduce or eliminate their need for a publisher, or at least reduce the publisher’s share of the take.
  But so far the great e-book debate has barely touched on the most important feature that the codex introduced: the nonlinear reading that so impressed St. Augustine. If the fable of the scroll and codex has a moral, this is it. We usually associate digital technology with nonlinearity, the forking paths that Web surfers beat through the Internet’s underbrush as they click from link to link. But e-books and nonlinearity don’t turn out to be very compatible. Trying to jump from place to place in a long document like a novel is painfully awkward on an e-reader, like trying to play the piano with numb fingers. You either creep through the book incrementally, page by page, or leap wildly from point to point and search term to search term. It’s no wonder that the rise of e-reading has revived two words for classical-era reading technologies: scroll and tablet. That’s the kind of reading you do in an e-book.
  Publishers do not accept the idea that a book is a book is a book, regardless of whether it is electronic or print. In contrast, consumers like me have always thought that a book is a book is a book, regardless of form. We understand the difference between a hardcover and a paperback because we can both see and feel those differences; consequently, over decades we have become accustomed to paying more for a hardcover than for a paperback, perceiving — rightly or wrongly — greater value in a hardcover than in a paperback. (In fact, it was this perceived disparity that brought about the rise of the trade paperback. The trade paperback is perceived by consumers as offering less physical quality than a hardcover but more than a mass market paperback, and thus worth a price between the two.) But we continue to have difficulty wrapping our heads around the idea that, even though it lacks physicality, the ebook is worth more than the paperback and the hardcover (ever note how many times the ebook price is higher than the hardcover price or so close to it that there is little price differential?) at worst, and worth more than the paperback and only slightly less than the hardcover at best, or that it is worth the same as the trade paperback.
  But the Cloud Reader experience isn’t a dead end at all. It frees you from needing your dedicated e-reader or a constant connection to the Internet; by removing certain interactive options (like annotations or shopping) it allows you to connect directly with the text, giving you some of the best effects of Readibility and Instapaper for reading online. Best of all, it takes another step toward delivering to readers that “buy once, read anywhere” ability they’ve lost in the transition to digital books.
  Despite the hype, the fundamental rules of publishing have not really changed very much. Now, as before, the greatest challenge facing a new writer is to find readers, not to finish and print a book. If anything, self-publishing has made the shelves, both virtual and physical, even more crowded. The obstacles to being noticed are even more forbidding, not less. In a world where anyone can upload a Word doc and call it a book, it’s more valuable than ever to have experts curate the works that are really worthy of a reader’s attention.
  "They run good bookshops that command the loyalty and indeed love of their customers and their customers choose to buy their reading in both physical format through them—that makes perfect sense to me. We in Waterstone's need to offer you a digital reader which is at least as good and preferably substantially better than our internet rival and you will have a much better buying experience purchasing your books through us and that is physical books, digital books both, we don't mind which."
  TO SEE how profoundly the book business is changing, watch the shelves. Next month IKEA will introduce a new, deeper version of its ubiquitous “BILLY” bookcase. The flat-pack furniture giant is already promoting glass doors for its bookshelves. The firm reckons customers will increasingly use them for ornaments, tchotchkes and the odd coffee-table tome—anything, that is, except books that are actually read.
New York Times E-Book Best Sellers

  A version of this list appears in the September 18, 2011 issue of The New York Times Book Review. Rankings reflect sales for the week ending September 3, 2011.

E-Book Fiction

1.                      THE HELP, by Kathryn Stockett
2.                      KILL ME IF YOU CAN, by James Patterson and Marshall Karp
3.                      BLIND FAITH, by CJ Lyons
4.                      THE MILL RIVER RECLUSE, by Darcie Chan
5.                      1105 YAKIMA STREET, by Debbie Macomber

E-Book Nonfiction

1.                      IN MY TIME, by Dick Cheney with Liz Cheney
2.                      HEAVEN IS FOR REAL, by Todd Burpo with Lynn Vincent
3.                      A STOLEN LIFE, by Jaycee Dugard
4.                      UNBROKEN, by Laura Hillenbrand
5.                      IN THE GARDEN OF BEASTS, by Erik Larson


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