15 de abril de 2012

Leituras Digitais (8 a 14 de Abril)



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

Whether on Kindle, iPad, Nook, or other LCD display, type suffers compared to print. So is good typography even possible for today’s electronic devices? From the standpoint of the craft’s two underlying principles — legibility and readability — the answer is "no.
Amazon is picking up its literary largess during an especially charged season in the company’s relationships with the rest of the book world. For the first time, the “Big Six” publishers — HarperCollins, Random House, Hachette, Simon & Schuster, Penguin and Macmillan — have refused to sign Amazon’s latest annual contract. The main sticking point is exorbitant increases in “co-op promotional fees” for e-books that the publishers see as an illegal gouge by another name.
Of course, no one can now put the genie back in the bottle. It was the publishers who largely allowed Amazon to create its model, and how bitterly they must and should regret the model that was there in the making. How? In business school speak, by dealing with Amazon on a wholesale model, and with the traditional bookshops – their lifeblood for centuries – on an agency model. In simple terms, Amazon was allowed at its inception to buy from publishers at far, far lower prices than its bookshop competitors. It was a terrible mistake, and a savagely disloyal one. Everyone in the trade knows that now. Not least the publishers, who are finding themselves in all sorts of legal knots as they try, second time around, to control price-setting in the newly emerging and deeply significant ebook market.
The amount of paper used for books in one year was estimated at 1.5 million metric tons, and each book produced gave off an estimated 8.85 pounds of carbon dioxide. Study groups have found that the carbon released from eBooks is offset after people read more than 14 eBooks. For the life cycle of a device for reading books, the carbon emitted is offset after the first year. The savings in carbon emitted into the air is around 168 kilograms for the following years after the first year of use.
Publishers really are in the stronger position to halt Amazon’s dominance; they just lack the willpower to do more than whine. Agency pricing (which is legal; the Department of Justice is investigating whether there was collusion to impose agency pricing, not whether agency pricing itself is legal) was a first step but as done by publishers, insufficient.
What really needs to be done is for publishers to decide that their ebooks can only be sold in the ePub format and only with Adobe adept DRM (i.e., essentially social DRM like B&N uses). Once you break the Amazon closed eco system, everyone can compete on the same terms. Combine this with correct agency pricing, and the playing field becomes perfectly level. Now ebooksellers will have to compete on other factors, such as customer service.
The Department of Justice has filed an antitrust lawsuit against Apple and Hachette Book Group, Simon & Schuster, Penguin Group, HarperCollins and Macmillan, charging them with colluding to raise e-book prices when they moved from the wholesale model to the agency model. Reports have S&S, Hachette and HC agreeing to settle with the DOJ, while Penguin is opting to fight the charges. Apple and Macmillan are not settling.
Barnes & Noble considers its integrated GlowLight as a key differentiating feature. Iannone said that engineers also improved the touch performance in the new product (it's more sensitive and accurate) and handed me a Kindle Touch to play around with for comparison. The new Nook did seem more responsive in my limited time with it; page turns also seemed slightly faster compared with on the Kindle.
In shaving off a little bit of weight from the Nook, Barnes & Noble's engineers didn't change the battery. The company says you can get up to two months of use with Wi-Fi off (based on 30 minutes of reading a day) and up to a month when using the GlowLight (again, this is with Wi-Fi off). Other specs also remained the same. You get 2GB of built-in memory and an expandable memory slot that accepts microSD cards up to 32GB.
What’s going on here is a massive fight between traditional publishers and electronic upstarts, between established authors like Scott Turow  who have a big stake in the established business model, and upstarts like Amanda Hocking. Before you laugh at the idea of a midwestern nobody publishing their own books, ask yourself if the Big Six would’ve wanted the profits from the 1.5 million books Hocking sold. On her own.
J.K. Rowling, who struck gold with her Harry Potter series, wisely kept the digital rights to the books. Now she can publish them as she wishes, charge what she wishes, and keep the vast bulk of the profits to herself. A shrewd move more authors are likely to demand.
New York Times E-Book Best Sellers

A version of this list appears in the April 22, 2012 issue of The New York Times Book Review. Rankings reflect sales for the week ending April 7, 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.                      THE LUCKY ONE, by Nicholas Sparks
5.                      GUILTY WIVES, by James Patterson and David Ellis

E-Book Nonfiction

1.                      MRS. KENNEDY AND ME, by Clint Hill with Lisa McCubbin
2.                      THE BIG MISS, by Hank Haney
3.                      ESCAPE FROM CAMP 14, by Blaine Harden
4.                      THE POWER OF HABIT, by Charles Duhigg
5.                      STEVE JOBS, by Walter Isaacson

Wall Street Journal E-Book Best Sellers (Week Ended April 8)

Nonfiction E-Books
TITLE
AUTHOR / PUBLISHER
THIS WEEK
LAST
WEEK
Mrs. Kennedy and Me
1
New
Clint Hill with Lisa McCubbin/Gallery Books
Ball Four
2
Jim Bouton/RosettaBooks
The Big Miss
3
1
Hank Haney/Crown Publishing Group
Lifeboat No. 8
4
Elizabeth Kaye/Elizabeth Kaye
Steve Jobs
5
5
Walter Isaacson/Simon & Schuster
The Power of Habit
6
6
Charles Duhigg/Random House
Escape From Camp 14
7
Blaine Harden/Penguin Group
Drift
8
3
Rachel Maddow/Crown Publishing Group
Heaven Is For Real
9
9
Todd Burpo with Lynn Vincent/Thomas Nelson Publishers
The Westies
10
T.J. English/St. Martin's Griffin

Fiction E-Books
TITLE
AUTHOR / PUBLISHER
THIS WEEK
LAST
WEEK
Catching Fire
1
2
Suzanne Collins/Scholastic
Fifty Shades of Grey
2
4
E.L. James/The Writer's Coffee Shop Publishing House
Mockingjay
3
3
Suzanne Collins/Scholastic
The Hunger Games
4
1
Suzanne Collins/Scholastic
Fifty Shades Darker
5
5
E.L. James/Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Fifty Shades Freed
6
6
E.L. James/Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
The Lucky One
7
Nicholas Sparks/Grand Central Publishing
Guilty Wives
8
7
James Patterson, David Ellis/Little, Brown
The Lost Years
9
New
Mary Higgins Clark/Simon & Schuster
On the Island
10
Tracey Garvis Graves/Tracey Garvis Graves

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