19 de fevereiro de 2012

Leituras Digitais (12 a 18 de Fevereiro)



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

Whatever the absolute numbers, what this means is that consumer e-book sales are growing at a fairly consistent rate in the UK, and that rate appears to be much steeper than the rate seen in the US over an equivalent period. Since the Kindle launched in the US, in late 2007, trade e-book sales, as measured by the Association of American Publishers, have tended to at least double each year—2007 ($32m), 2008 ($53.5m), 2009 ($166.9m) and 2010 ($441.3m)—but they have never grown by as much as 500% in one 12-month window.
What’s interesting to me, beyond the privacy concerns I’ve addressed elsewhere, is how, with Kindle, book publishers now seem to be confusing means with ends.  It’s understandable, really.  As literary people they’re disposed to think about books as ends in themselves — as items people acquire for purposes of reading.  Indeed, this has long been the “being” of books, especially physical ones. With Kindle, however, books are in the process of getting an existential makeover.  Today they’re becoming prompts for all sorts of personal and ambient information, much of which then goes on to become proprietary to Amazon.com.
O site Dosdoce começa o ano de 2012 com a disponibilização de um novo estudo, desta vez uma «Cronologia da edição digital (1912-2012)», um guia para entender melhor a rápida evolução que está a acontecer na recente, mas intensa, história da edição digital.
O estudo (27 páginas, pdf) está disponível gratuitamente, mediante uma licença Creative Commons, para os utilizadores registados no Dosdoce.
So, what are the challenges of standard reflowable ebook design? Besides the difficulty of imposing a font on the reader, who will always have the option of changing it, the main problem is that reflowability precludes the existence of set proportions. Designing a printed book is all about arranging the text and illustrations on the page in the most visually pleasing way, but when you factor in reflowable text and a variety of screen and font sizes, it is virtually impossible to control the end result.
What's truly amazing about this was just how obvious it was years ago when we (and many others) pointed this out. I mean, with the music execs you could kind of understand the mistake, because if you really don't think through a few steps out, you could be forgiven for thinking that DRM makes sense as a protectionist measure. But if you're a Big Six publisher, you didn't even have to think ahead a few moves. You just had to look at the monster the labels created by demanding DRM in iTunes (something they'd already started to move away from just as the Kindle was ramping up) and realize that demanding DRM would create the same situation with Amazon. But what's even more amazing is the fact that the big publishers still haven't figured this out so many years later.
The distinction between the ebook/webpage, webpage/ebook is not a material one. In technological terms they are exactly the same thing. But when McGuire first mooted his argument on Twitter in April last year my response likely mirrors the response of many book readers, "Books are researched, written, edited, published, marketed … and hence paid for. The internet is ego noise, hence free." The distinction many of us draw between a book and a webpage is one of quality and hence of value. The real question raised by McGuire's argument is whether we continue to value ebooks as books, or as webpages. Books are something we pay for. Webpages are things we read for free. Which model will win out?
But here's the last thing: it's all about metadata. This is where we came in: Amazon recommendations. While Gus was principally complaining about Amazon's UX, I think his scepticism reflects something else: a sense that recommendations are better taken from people we trust than from algorithms. This remains a widespread notion, particularly among those of us of a certain age (and is of course the war cry of the kinds of gatekeepers who are losing their influence). But I insist: I'll go with the algorithms, thank you. Despite loving their power, I don't even really trust the niche communities referenced a moment ago; they tend to grow their own "leadership" and pretty soon we're back in the realm of gatekeepers, albeit on a minor scale.
The self-publishing distributor Smashwords hit a new milestone earlier this week, just in time for its fourth anniversary. The world’s largest indie ebook distributor is now handling 100,000 eBooks from over 36,000 authors and publishers.
This four-year-old company is far and above the competition, and it handles more self-published titles than anyone short of Amazon (and possibly B&N PubIt!). Smashwords distributes to the Kindle Store, B&N, Kobo, iBooks, and it sells DRM-free eBooks in multiple formats direct from its website to anyone, anywhere in the world.
New York Times E-Book Best Sellers

A version of this list appears in the February 26, 2012 issue of The New York Times Book Review. Rankings reflect sales for the week ending February 11, 2012.

E-Book Fiction

1.                      KILL SHOT, by Vince Flynn
2.                      CATCH ME, by Lisa Gardner
3.                      THE SWEETEST THING, by Barbara Freethy
4.                      DEFENDING JACOB, by William Landay
5.                      PRIVATE: #1 SUSPECT, by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

E-Book Nonfiction

1.                      ONCE UPON A SECRET, by Mimi Alford
2.                      BEHIND THE BEAUTIFUL FOREVERS, by Katherine Boo
3.                      HEAVEN IS FOR REAL, by Todd Burpo with Lynn Vincent
4.                      STEVE JOBS, by Walter Isaacson
5.                      HILARITY ENSUES, by Tucker Max

Wall Street Journal E-Book Best Sellers (Week Ended Feb. 12)

Nonfiction E-Books
TITLE
AUTHOR / PUBLISHER
THIS WEEK
LAST
WEEK
Once Upon a Secret
1
New
Mimi Alford/Random House
Heaven Is For Real
2
1
Todd Burpo with Lynn Vincent/Thomas Nelson Publishers
Behind the Beautiful Forevers
3
New
Katherine Boo/Random House
Steve Jobs
4
3
Walter Isaacson/Simon & Schuster
Hilarity Ensues
5
New
Tucker Max/Blue Heeler Books
American Sniper
6
4
Chris Kyle with Scott McEwen, Jim DeFelice/William Morrow & Co.
Ali in Wonderland
7
New
Ali Wentworth/HarperCollins
Unbroken
8
5
Laura Hillenbrand/Random House
The Vow
9
New
Kim Carpenter, Krickitt Carpenter with Dana Wilkerson/B&H Publishing Group
Hiding From Reality
10
New
Taylor Armstrong/Gallery Books

Fiction E-Books
TITLE
AUTHOR / PUBLISHER
THIS WEEK
LAST
WEEK
Kill Shot
1
New
Vince Flynn/Atria Books
The Hunger Games
2
1
Suzanne Collins/Scholastic
Catching Fire
3
2
Suzanne Collins/Scholastic
Mockingjay
4
3
Suzanne Collins/Scholastic
Catch Me
5
New
Lisa Gardner/Penguin Group
The Sweetest Thing
6
Barbara Freethy/Barbara Freethy
Defending Jacob
7
9
William Landay/Random House
Daddy's Home
8
A.K. Alexander/A.K. Alexander
Private: #1 Suspect
9
8
James Patterson, Maxine Paetro/Little, Brown
The Help
10
10
Kathryn Stockett/Penguin Group

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