16 de outubro de 2011

Leituras Digitais (9 a 15 de Outubro)

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

Developing skills and capabilities that make their ebook-publishing ability superior to vertical brands is going to be essential for publishers’ survival as the skills and capabilities to do print publishing become less important commercially over time, as they will. Even if you disagree with my aggessive expectations for ebook market penetration, I think you’ll be able to substitute your own and come up with pretty much the same conclusion.
The Spanish book trade is preparing for unexpectedly fast growth in digital sales, Liber, the international book fair for the Spanish speaking world has been told.
Iría Álvarez, trade manager at Santillana, one of Spain’s largest publishers, told delegates at the show in Madrid yesterday (6th October): “With e-books expected to take 22% of the US and 14% of the UK market in 2015, the transition is a going to be lot more rapid than we thought.”
Publishers, at least, were now moving onto the front foot. The report reckoned: "Until 2010, the efforts of the book industry representatives were aimed primarily at containing as much as possible the American e-book and digitisation tsunami from spilling over all too rapidly into major European book markets. During the second half of 2010—and even more so in 2011—as domestic infrastructure for handling e-books were set up, with European retailers betting more and more on e-books (such as Fnac, Thalia, Weltbild), and with Amazon's opening of a German Kindle shop in April 2011, the defensive measures were ripe for abandonment and replacement by policies implemented to embrace the new digital world."
It's clear that there are some good ideas out there, but even more clear that most ebook sites have not yet really engaged with the need to be able to give ebooks to friends. As ereading (and ereaders) become more common, someone is going to have to fix this, or we'll all continue receiving print books as presents even if we'd rather have them digitally.
The International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF) today announced the completion of a major revision to EPUB, the global standard interchange and delivery format for eBooks and other digital publications. The IDPF membership unanimously voted to elevate EPUB 3.0 to a final IDPF Recommended Specification, publicly available at http://idpf.org/epub/30.
EPUB 3 was chartered in May 2010 and developed by a global working group of over 100 contributors, reaching Proposed Recommendation status in May, 2011. Based on HTML5, EPUB 3 adds support for rich media (audio, video), interactivity (JavaScript), global language support (including vertical writing), styling and layout enhancements, SVG, embedded fonts, expanded metadata facilities, MathML, and synchronization of audio with text and other enhancements for accessibility.
This conclusion stems from the idea that by introducing DRM-free music, the music label increases the downstream competition between the traditional format and legal downloads. Because DRM-free music is a stronger competitor for traditional CDs, it forces the prices of CDs to move down, which in turn lowers the legal download price. This competition between the traditional and download formats lowers prices such that some consumers move from stealing music to buying legal downloads. Thus, removing DRM can lower the level of piracy. Furthermore, we find that this result can occur even when consumers do not see any difference in the utility they derive from DRM-free and DRM-restricted products.
While many of our immediate family members own ereaders, most of our librarian colleagues do not. Like many libraries, ours have Kindles to lend, but is it enough to borrow an ereader? Or should librarians own an ereader to truly understand its place in the library, its functionality, and its future?
To explore this question, we designed a year-long longitudinal study, now underway, on the innovation adoption process as it relates to ereaders and our colleagues. Oregon State University Libraries supported our study by granting us a competitive internal award to purchase 34 ereading devices to give to Oregon State University Libraries and Press staff members. Part of the research process has been immersing ourselves, as the principal investigators, in the ereader experience. You can find, compare, and contrast feature lists elsewhere, but we simply wanted to provide a brief rundown of our first-month experiences using our ereaders: the Kobo, the Nook, the Kindle, and the Sony Reader.
With physical bookstores in English-language markets in “terminal” decline, a small number of companies with “no history with books” dominating the consumer book market, and “insane” pricing of books and e-books, the free market had gone too far, suggested the man who oversaw the rise and fall of Borders in the United Kingdom, Philip Downer.
Speaking during the EDItEUR-convened Supply Chain Track at the Tools of Change Frankfurt conference, Downer, now a retail consultant, pointed to the more protected and regulated European book markets as places where diversity in publishing and bookselling was being protected, in contrast to the UK, where Amazon is now selling 30% of all printed books, and the vast majority of e-books.
So how does Epstein see the future of the publishing industry? “Few activities are more important than managing the content of books. The digital future is going to be a huge opportunity,” says Epstein excitedly,  muttering under his breath that he wishes he were young again. “The only filter left is human nature.”
Epstein believes the successful future publishing company will be like the Random House of the 1950s – just “a small group of likeminded managers” – about 8 editors, no meetings and those editors could be living in different countries.
The problem, however, is not really with the apps themselves, but with how Apple takes anything that is an app, including book apps, and puts it in its catch-all “App Store.” There is a category for “book apps,” but in essence your interactive book, which is trying to push the limits of what eBooks can and can’t do, is competing against Angry Birds and a host of other addictive, mind-numbing apps that are designed to help people gobble up thirty-second chunks of their day. There is no cross-referencing between the iBookstore and the “books” section of the App Store—in fact, these people are in competition with each other. As with all apps, everything has to be vetted by the Apple people. In its quest for a beautiful, streamlined environment, Apple is suppressing a real opportunity for innovation in eBooks and browsability by its readership.
New York Times E-Book Best Sellers

A version of this list appears in the October 23, 2011 issue of The New York Times Book Review. Rankings reflect sales for the week ending October 8, 2011.

E-Book Fiction

1.                      SHOCK WAVE, by John Sandford
2.                      THE AFFAIR, by Lee Child
3.                      THE MILL RIVER RECLUSE, by Darcie Chan
4.                      THE HELP, by Kathryn Stockett
5.                      CAN YOU KEEP A SECRET?, by Sophie Kinsella

E-Book Nonfiction

1.                      KILLING LINCOLN, by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard
2.                      BOOMERANG, by Michael Lewis
3.                      SERIOUSLY ... I'M KIDDING, by Ellen DeGeneres
4.                      HEAVEN IS FOR REAL, by Todd Burpo with Lynn Vincent
5.                      UNBROKEN, by Laura Hillenbrand


Frankfurt Video Report: Wednesday, October 12

 Video Interview with John Ingram at the Frankfurt Book Fair

Frankfurt Video Report: Thursday, October 13

Frankfurt Video Report: Friday, October 14

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