26 de fevereiro de 2012

Leituras Digitais (19 a 25 de Fevereiro)



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

Interviewed after winning England’s Costa Prize for Literature in late January, the distinguished novelist Andrew Miller remarked that while he assumed that soon most popular fiction would be read on screen, he believed and hoped that literary fiction would continue to be read on paper. In his Man Booker Prize acceptance speech last October, Julian Barnes made his own plea for the survival of printed books. Jonathan Franzen has also declared himself of the same faith. At the university where I work, certain professors, old and young, will react with disapproval at the notion that one is reading poetry on a Kindle. It is sacrilege.
Are they right?
Sanford Forte, founder of the California Open Source Textbook Project, expects that in 10 years, open source textbooks will rise from an insignificant share of the market to up to 25 percent. But he does not foresee major publishers imploding during that time, though he said that they will likely have to adapt.
“They are being forced to change,” Mr. Forte said. “But I don’t see the open source movement completely replacing the commercial publishers.”
With the decline of in store placement due to the closure of Borders (which made up nearly a quarter of sales for some books), reduction of titles carried by Wal-mart, and retail space at Barnes & Noble replaced by nook promotions, in store book discovery is declining for many titles. There is simply less space that can be physically devoted to new books.
Further, with digital book sales increasing from 20-30% this year to likely over half by the end of the year, more customers will be discovering books in new ways. And that is the challenge for authors, publishers, and readers.
How to find a new, good book in the age of digital books.
“Ebooks are just the latest to be targeted. If you look back to the 1950s, for instance, the advent of the mass market paperback original caused panic and outrage in the rest of the publishing world. They believed it wasn’t possible to make any money from cheap paperback originals as the profit margins were too slim. And yet, somehow, here we all are.”
Also in the olden days, editors were trained to recognize possible plagiarism. Perhaps more importantly, editors were widely read themselves and thus suspicious based on their own broad reading. A book editor, in the olden days, was not an entry-level position. One rose to it; it was a position of prestige. It attracted people like former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and master writer Bennett Cerf. Today, the editor is closer to, if not, an entry-level position. The glamour of being an editor at a prestigious traditional publisher is gone — gone with the consolidation of the industry into a few international conglomerates whose first interest is the quarterly bottom line.
Consequently, traditional publishers are no longer fulfilling their role as gatekeepers. In the absence of fulfilling that role, what purpose do they serve? Many ebookers today would say traditional publishers serve no role at all and should follow their dinosaur ancestors into oblivion. Perhaps they are right. Perhaps the time has come for the breakup of the conglomerate publisher and the return of the smaller, independent publishers, the ones who made publishing a great profession and brought great literature to the reading public.
There is an opportunity for discovery in a bookcase. This is true of the contents of any library or bookshop, and it goes without saying that you can tell a great deal about an adult from the volumes on his or her shelves. But more formatively than that, because I grew up in a house full of books, I do feel that many of those I chose to pull down ended up making me who I am. And naturally I have worried: what, in turn, will my children say they found for themselves? For now, they’re lucky enough to have plenty of physical books to choose from. But beyond that, they may learn more about science and technology than I ever did, and they have already heard the voice of T S Eliot.
So instead of wondering if books are dead, perhaps we should be asking: were they ever more alive?
It is, of course, the same tactic Amazon used against Macmillan two years ago when that company didn’t do what it was told and negotiated terms with a rival e-retailer named Apple. It is also, interestingly enough, the same tactic taken against Melville House when we went public in 2004 about what we thought — and our attorney confirmed — were illegally high discounts. We refused to pay, and our buy buttons disappeared overnight.
At the time, we were distributed by IPG, who left us to fight that fight on our own. (Shocker: Melville House lost.) We were disappointed that they didn’t stand up better for their clients then, but we are glad to see them doing it now. (Melville House is no longer distributed by IPG.)
New York Times E-Book Best Sellers

A version of this list appears in the March 4, 2012 issue of The New York Times Book Review. Rankings reflect sales for the week ending February 18, 2012.

E-Book Fiction

1.                      PRIVATE GAMES, by James Patterson and Mark Sullivan
2.                      KILL SHOT, by Vince Flynn
3.                      I'VE GOT YOUR NUMBER, by Sophie Kinsella
4.                      DEFENDING JACOB, by William Landay
5.                      THE SWEETEST THING, by Barbara Freethy

E-Book Nonfiction

1.                      THE VOW, by Kim and Krickitt Carpenter with Dana Wilkerson
2.                      UNORTHODOX, by Deborah Feldman
3.                      HEAVEN IS FOR REAL, by Todd Burpo with Lynn Vincent
4.                      STEVE JOBS, by Walter Isaacson
5.                      ONCE UPON A SECRET, by Mimi Alford

Wall Street Journal E-Book Best Sellers (Week Ended Feb. 19)

Nonfiction E-Books
TITLE
AUTHOR / PUBLISHER
THIS WEEK
LAST
WEEK
The Vow
1
9
Kim Carpenter, Krickitt Carpenter with Dana Wilkerson/B&H Publishing Group
Unorthodox
2
New
Deborah Feldman/Simon & Schuster
Heaven Is For Real
3
2
Todd Burpo with Lynn Vincent/Thomas Nelson Publishers
Steve Jobs
4
4
Walter Isaacson/Simon & Schuster
Once Upon a Secret
5
1
Mimi Alford/Random House
American Sniper
6
6
Chris Kyle with Scott McEwen, Jim DeFelice/William Morrow & Co.
Unbroken
7
8
Laura Hillenbrand/Random House
Killing Lincoln
8
Bill O'Reilly, Martin Dugard/Henry Holt & Co.
Behind the Beautiful Forevers
9
3
Katherine Boo/Random House
An Unexpected Twist
10
New
Andy Borowitz/Andy Borowitz

Fiction E-Books
TITLE
AUTHOR / PUBLISHER
THIS WEEK
LAST
WEEK
The Hunger Games
1
2
Suzanne Collins/Scholastic
Catching Fire
2
3
Suzanne Collins/Scholastic
Mockingjay
3
4
Suzanne Collins/Scholastic
Private Games
4
New
James Patterson, Mark Sullivan/Little, Brown
Twilight
5
Stephenie Meyer/Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Kill Shot
6
1
Vince Flynn/Atria Books
I've Got Your Number
7
New
Sophie Kinsella/Random House
Ice Age
8
Brian Freemantle/Open Road
Defending Jacob
9
7
William Landay/Random House
The Sweetest Thing
10
6
Barbara Freethy/Barbara Freethy

Vídeos

Book Business to Trifurcate, Says Mike Shatzkin

FoldMe: Interacting with Double-sided Foldable Displays

PageOne Stickman Animation

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