8 de abril de 2012

Leituras Digitais (1 a 7 de Abril)

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

Thanks to the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act, it’s illegal to break DRM, even if you’re not violating copyright. Say, for example, you’ve bought a DRM-locked iBook from Apple and you want to switch to a Kindle. Converting the underlying files (going from EPub to Mobi) is a solved problem—a program called Calibre does it with a simple drag-and-drop operation. Of course, it’s illegal, because that conversion involves removing DRM. It is not only illegal to convert lawfully purchased e-books, it’s illegal to make a tool that does so; illegal to tell someone how to make such a tool; and illegal to distribute that tool. Even if you wrote the book and own the copyright, it’s illegal for you to remove DRM to convert your own book.

In practice, this means that once you use DRM, every cent your customers spend on DRM-locked e-books becomes a whip for the retailer to beat you with. Because once your customer is locked into a retailer’s DRM-locked format, your customer becomes the retailer’s customer. This is especially troubling when you consider that the duty cycle of a handheld device like a Kobo, Nook, or Kindle is all of 18 months. Every year or two your customers have the opportunity to switch platforms. If their e-books have no DRM, they can simply switch. But if they are DRM-locked, switching platforms could mean abandoning their e-books.
Baden-Baden-based market research company Media Control GfK International has launched Germany’s first authoritative e-book bestseller lists, featuring the top 20 fiction titles (“Belletristik”) and the top 10 non-fiction titles (“Sachbuch”).

According to Börsenblatt new media editor Dr. Michael Roesler-Graichen, Media Control will collect sales data reported by online bookstores and publishers. The reported sales cover about 40 percent of the whole e-book market (B2C) in Germany.
Like Amazon, which announced two weeks ago that it would be publishing 122 original titles this fall, Kobo will be offering complete publishing services for authors, including book editing and design.

"It's part of the new market and if you expect to be a number 1 player in that market globally it's table stakes — you have to provide it," Serbinis told CBC News.
Agency pricing has had another benefit for the consumer. It has made the rise of the indie ebook distributor, like Smashwords, possible along with the rise of the indie ebook author. It is not that these entities didn’t exist before; they did in the form of vanity presses for the pbook crowd. Rather, they have become legitimized, something the vanity presses never were able to accomplish.

Because the Big 6 agency pricing is so high, readers like me began to explore alternatives. And now I buy primarily indie authored ebooks at places like Smashwords. The competition among indie authors to get noticed and read has been such that ebooks are often priced at $2.99 and less, all the way down to free. Even here, however, agency pricing is beneficial because I can buy those books at Smashwords or Barnes & Noble or Books on Board or any number of outlets and not worry about price — it will be the same at every store.
Two million books will be available in an online digital library to rival Google's collection, according to Professor Robert Darnton, who promised the new database would overcome copyright hurdles by next year.
In December, we published a leaked document from Hachette that spelled out the relevance of publishers in the digital age, why authors and agents should work with them. It inspired much debate on the subject. Since then, we’ve seen much more discussion about the place of big publishers in the publishing ecosystem.
Two major themes continue to arise, specifically among authors:

1. Can this publisher help me sell more books than I could with another publisher or on my own?

2. What will they pay me in royalties for my content and, ultimately, how much money will I make?
With a tap, a slider popped up on the screen, and as it was dragged to the right, the screen lit up evenly with a rather cool light. In the dark, it was plainly noticeable as a glow, and in uneven light — say, shade or a shuttered room — the slight illumination made the screen much more readable. At full blast it was definitely projecting some light (technically speaking it was reflecting it), but it was still a soft glow and not the harsh flashlight of a backlit LCD.
New York Times E-Book Best Sellers

A version of this list appears in the April 15, 2012 issue of The New York Times Book Review. Rankings reflect sales for the week ending March 31, 2012.

E-Book Fiction

1.                      FIFTY SHADES OF GREY, by E. L. James
2.                      FIFTY SHADES DARKER, by E. L. James
3.                      FIFTY SHADES FREED, by E. L. James
4.                      GUILTY WIVES, by James Patterson and David Ellis
5.                      LOVER REBORN, by J. R. Ward

E-Book Nonfiction

1.                      THE BIG MISS, by Hank Haney
2.                      DRIFT, by Rachel Maddow
3.                      WILD, by Cheryl Strayed
4.                      STEVE JOBS, by Walter Isaacson
5.                      THE POWER OF HABIT, by Charles Duhigg


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