20 de Maio de 2012

Leituras Digitais (13 a 19 de Maio)



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

In digital publishing no sooner do we reach one milestone than another slaps us in the face. The figures released this week by Hachette UK are the first to truly demonstrate the step-change in e-book consumption since the beginning of the year.
Digital sales in the first quarter of 2012 were up 250% on the same period in 2011. E-book sales accounted for 20% of sales of relevant titles and over 30% in the case of certain fiction titles, an average of 25% of adult trade sales.
Many publishers share this coolness towards e-lending, with only Random House and Bloomsbury still signed up to OverDrive, the library ebook platform. Hachette's CEO, Tim Hely Hutchinson, spoke recently of his worries that library lending could lead to "ebook giveaways for all". The theory goes that if people can borrow ebooks for nothing, they will have no reason to buy them. The same argument was used against libraries until it turned out that library users spent more on books than anyone else.
Accepting that libraries should be able to lend books means accepting that they should be able to lend them in any format. To claim otherwise is illogical and exposes a deep unease both with what "owning" an ebook actually entails, and with the whole concept of public libraries.
It looks like that front-lighted Kindle rumor I reported on last month is going to come true. Reuters is reporting that Amazon plans to launch the new Kindle in July 2012. There aren’t any hard details yet on specs or price, but the original source is quite specific that the new Kindle is going to be released 2 months from now.
Publishers (both old and new) must step up and provide the platforms (and rights management frameworks) for innovation needed by booksellers (all types of booksellers) and authors to push reading forward. If they don’t, publishers will fall by the wayside as true innovation will be limited to a few (one?) large players investing on their own behalf’s (see Amazon, Barnes & Noble + Microsoft) while authors take their storytelling to completely new platforms that are altogether outside of the bookselling and library frameworks.
As we rush headlong into e-books, we’re not considering how our libraries will migrate forward in time, protecting personal and institutional investments. Paper books are readable by anyone who’s literate, but e-books require a reader, and DRM ensures that there will be difficulties in the future. Worse, there are several different file formats and different DRMs used by Apple, Adobe and Amazon.
While there is some cross compatibility, there is no assurance that due to technical changes, self-serving rules invoked by publishers, and the interests of middlemen like Apple that what we buy today will be usable in the future. Worse, as we buy e-books from different retailers, we fragment our collections. Some are in Kindle, some are in iBooks, and so on. Retailers want us locked in, and we want freedom.
The result, implies this new research, is that Amazon has democratized the book reviewing process, with consumer reviewers less beholden to special interests and more representative of the book-reading masses. Perhaps most importantly, it rebuts critics who have claimed that Amazon is nothing more than a cauldron of corrupt and uneducated opinions.
Despite the strict editorial firewall between writers and commercial interests, “reviewers may not always have the incentive to provide objective reviews,” explain Professors Dobrescu, Luca and Motta in a new study of the professional book review industry. Newspapers and magazines are 25% more likely to offer a review of an author who has written for their publication before; unsurprisingly, the reviews are slightly more positive. Moreover, professional reviews suffer from self-congratulatory institutional nepotism: novice authors get slammed more often than established ones, especially if they haven’t won any awards.
The Times Higher Education Supplement reports today (17th May) that an EC official has revealed that for researchers receiving funding from its Horizon 2020 program between 2014-20, a requirement to adopt open access publishing for their work “will be the norm.” A pilot scheme underway in seven areas of its current funding programme is to be extended across all peer-reviewed research in the new scheme.
The EC is set to publish an official policy before the summer after consulting with publishers and presenting ideas at an event in Brussels on June 20th this year, according to the THES.
Amazon‘s own print-on-demand service CreateSpace has just announced a new distribution venue. This sub has been printing and distributing books in the US ever since Amazon bought it in 2005, and as of today it can now supply ebooks to all of Amazon’s European websites, including Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, Amazon.fr, Amazon.es, and Amazon.it.
Authors and small publishers now have more options for where they can sell their books. With minimal effort they’ll be able to use their existing CreateSpace account to expand their readership to include dozens of new fans.
Digital archivists have a lot to say on this matter, as they have been dealing with the instability of digital files (not to mention evolving file formats, software, storage and hardware issues) for years. And they are probably the first to point out something that may seem counter-intuitive: Digitization and cloud storage do not necessarily ensure longevity. Steeped as we may be in the fear that digital files will exist forever — those Friendster/Myspace/Facebook/Twitter images of ourselves as teenagers haunting us all our lives — anyone whose computer has crashed, taking photos and word documents with it, knows this probably won’t be the case.
In response to the perceived (read: false) assumption that in the digital age we are over-archiving our lives, “anti-archival” seems to be garnering support. In fact, we aren’t keeping copies of e-books themselves or tracking their technical evolution and divergence in an acknowledged systematic way.
New York Times E-Book Best Sellers

 A version of this list appears in the May 27, 2012 issue of The New York Times Book Review. Rankings reflect sales for the week ending May 12, 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.                      11TH HOUR, by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
5.                      FIFTY SHADES TRILOGY, by E. L. James

E-Book Nonfiction

1.                      MOST TALKATIVE, by Andy Cohen
2.                      THE VOW, by Kim and Krickitt Carpenter with Dana Wilkerson
3.                      THE PASSAGE OF POWER, by Robert A. Caro
4.                      UNBROKEN, by Laura Hillenbrand
5.                      LET’S PRETEND THIS NEVER HAPPENED, by Jenny Lawson

Wall Street Journal E-Book Best Sellers (Week Ended May 13)

Nonfiction E-Books
TITLE
AUTHOR / PUBLISHER
THIS WEEK
LAST
WEEK
Psychopath (Crimescape)
1
--
Dr. Katherine Ramsland/Dr. Katherine Ramsland
Soulless (The Parasol Protectorate)
2
--
Gail Carriger and Bob Condor /Orbit
No Buddy Left Behind
3
--
Terri Crisp and C. J. Hurn/Lyons Press
Most Talkative
4
New
Andy Cohen/Henry Holt
To Heaven and Back
5
--
Mary Neal/Circle 6 Publishing
7 Money Rules for Life
6
--
Mary Hunt/Revell
The Passage of Power
7
2
Robert A. Caro/Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
The Vow: The True Events That Inspired the Movie
8
--
Kim and Krickitt Carpenter, with Dana Wilkerson/B&H Publishing
Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man
9
5
Steve Harvey/HarperCollins
Unbroken
10
8
Laura Hillenbrand/Random House

Fiction E-Books
TITLE
AUTHOR / PUBLISHER
THIS WEEK
LAST
WEEK
Fifty Shades of Grey
1
1
E.L. James/The Writer's Coffee Shop Publishing House
Fifty Shades Darker
2
2
E.L. James/Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Fifty Shades Freed
3
3
E.L. James/Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
11th Hour
4
New
James Patterson, Maxine Paetro /Little, Brown
Mockingjay
5
6
Suzanne Collins/Scholastic
Catching Fire
6
7
Suzanne Collins/Scholastic
City of Lost Souls
7
New
Cassandra Clare/Margaret K. McElderry Books
The Hunger Games
8
10
Suzanne Collins/Scholastic
The Book Case
9
New
Nelson DeMille/Thomas & Mercer
The Innocent
10
--
David Baldacci/Grand Central Publishing

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