9 de setembro de 2012

Leituras Digitais (2 a 8 de Setembro)



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

We’ve seen a lot of righteous indignation following David Streitfeld’s recent New York Times article on the occasional practice of paying for positive book reviews on Amazon. I read the story and moved on without giving it much thought: I assumed that everyone knew that the review system on Amazon was rigged.There were two reasons why I assumed this. The first reason was that this has been specifically revealed before. Christopher Keenan self published his The Hacker Hunter last October. A month later it had 180 five-star reviews, apparently with the vast majority placed by the author through numerous pseudonyms. He even went to the trouble and expense of purchasing a copy of the book for most of his surrogates. As the story unfolded on bulletin boards and blogs Amazon banished all the fake reviews, setting a lesson to others who would so boldly game Amazon.The other reason is that all the online review systems are rigged. I’ve been hearing about this for years, and noticing it for just as long. Travel reviews are the most notorious offenders –  hotel listings on TripAdvisor had previously set new how-low-can-you-go standards in gaming online reviews.
It turns out that, yes, you can take it with you when you head for that great reading room in the sky. All my mourners will have to do is tuck my Kindle (and cable) into my casket and I’ll be set. Grave goods like these will be the envy of heaven or hell.Why should this work? Because, dear readers, your Kindle e-books never die so long as you keep your account open. They are immortal. I have this from the e-book seller’s mouth, even though it came out sort of sideways at first.
Several universities have recently tried a new model for delivering textbooks in hopes of saving students money: requiring purchase of e-textbooks and charging students a materials fee to cover the costs. A recent report on some of those pilot projects, however, shows that many students find the e-textbooks “clumsy” and prefer print.The report is based on a survey conducted this spring of students and faculty at five universities where e-textbook projects were coordinated by Internet2, the high-speed networking group. Students praised the e-books for helping them save money but didn’t like reading on electronic devices. Many of them complained that the e-book platform was hard to navigate. In addition, most professors who responded said that they didn’t use the e-books’ collaborative features, which include the ability to share notes or create links within the text.
Digital and print-on-demand technology has made self-publishing much easier. But for every self-published work that gains traction, the overwhelming majority of books don't.
I started Crowdscribed.com as vehicle for authors to crowd fund and crowd source their projects. We are working to develop two crowd funding models, a public model and a private model. As part of the public model, we are going to have authors post their projects on the site. Visitors to the site will be able to vote on the project, thumbs up or thumbs down. This will give authors the chance to test market their projects before committing to full production. If the crowd likes the project, the book will likely do well.
The 3 new devices are the Kobo Glo, Kobo Mini, and Kobo Arc. That last is an Android tablet, and it has a 7″ screen, dual core 1.5GHz CPU, 1.3MP camera, and will hit store shelves this November for $200 and $250 in 8GB and 16GB flavors. The full spec sheet is at the end of the post. It’s not a bad tablet, but then again we don’t know what specs the new Kindle Fire will have or what it will cost.
We all know that the increasing number of new publishing platforms are challenging the traditional models of publishing. There is a growing interest and enthusiasm for the capacity of anyone to publish and create, but is there equal interest on the impact of quality or value of these texts to the reader? Currently, publishing in digital spaces emphasizes producers, rather than consumers. This unbalanced focus has the potential to impact children's reading experiences in negative, as well as positive ways, and is already having a significant impact on the world of children's literature.
Amazon is planning to take a Charles Dickens approach to publishing with the launch of fiction in serial form via its Kindle device. Amazon has reached out to authors on both sides of the Atlantic, with the launch, when it comes, expected to be global.According to one source the short works were originally due to begin being released this summer, with Amazon working on a complicated payment mechanism that would allow customers to buy all the fiction in the series for one price, with the amount paid scaling up as more parts were published.
The range of Kindle hardware Amazon launched Thursday wasn’t spectacular; a new “Paperwhite,” high-contrast Kindle tablet for $119, plus a $179 3G option. Amazon also upgraded the Kindle Fire tablet and added an interesting new HD model that starts at just $299 with an 8.9-inch screen.But the real innovations were in features and pricing: X-Ray, a tool to connect customers to the movies they want to see, via the IMDB database that Amazon acquired, and a new in-game advertising service that can deliver physical as well as virtual items to the customer, using Amazon’s one-click method. And there’s no contract or annual fee to use the inexpensive but limited wireless broadband services attached to the Kindle. The 250MB per month limit is plenty for downloading books from Amazon, but nowhere near enough for worry-free Web browsing or streaming music or video. Amazon wants you to be able to buy for free, fast and on the go - but that’s about it. Virtually every feature was designed to facilitate shopping at Amazon’s store.
The Kobo Arc is the latest generation tablet and a direct successor of the Kobo Vox. This new device has been revised from the ground up to give you the best reading experience on a full color display. Many companies simply release vanilla tablets and try and sell you on email, facebook, and an internet browser. Kobo has gone the route of Barnes and Noble and Amazon to give you a custom UI and a new Overlay called Tapestry.
When And Other Stories looks for books to translate, it uses foreign-language reading groups, who make recommendations and cull out weaker candidates, editorial crowd-sourcing if you will. They also provide invaluable information in an industry notoriously devoid of market research, and build a network of enthusiastic, engaged supporters.Evidence that the system works is in the fantastic choices And Other Stories has made. The eight books they’ve published in the past two years have far outstripped the expectations anyone would have for a small, new publisher — they’ve been lauded, reviewed in major venues and nominated and selected for awards (including Deborah Levy’s Swimming Home, currently long-listed for the Booker Prize and Juan Pablo Villalobos’s Down the Rabbit Hole, shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award).
New York Times E-Book Best Sellers
A version of this list appears in the September 16, 2012 issue of The New York Times Book Review. Rankings reflect sales for the week ending September 1, 2012.

E-Book Fiction

1.     FIFTY SHADES FREED, by E. L. James
2.     GONE GIRL, by Gillian Flynn
3.     FIFTY SHADES DARKER, by E. L. James
4.     FIFTY SHADES OF GREY, by E. L. James
5.     LAST TO DIE, by Tess Gerritsen

E-Book Nonfiction

1.     UNBROKEN, by Laura Hillenbrand
2.     WILD, by Cheryl Strayed
3.     KILLING LINCOLN, by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard
4.     THE AMATEUR, by Edward Klein
5.     A STOLEN LIFE, by Jaycee Dugard

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

Nonfiction E-Books

TITLE
AUTHOR / PUBLISHER
THIS WEEK
LAST
WEEK
Unbroken
1
3
Laura Hillenbrand/Random House
Wild
2
5
Cheryl Strayed/Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Killing Lincoln
3
Bill O'Reilly, Martin Dugard/Henry Holt & Co.
The Amateur
4
4
Edward Klein/Regnery Publishing
A Stolen Life
5
8
Jaycee Dugard/Simon & Schuster
Obama's America
6
Dinesh D'Souza/Regnery Publishing
Heart in the Right Place
7
Carolyn Jourdan/Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
Double Cross
8
Ben Macintyre/Crown Publishing Group
The Last Lecture
9
Randy Pausch with Jeffrey Zaslow/Hyperion
Enslaved by Ducks
10
Bob Tarte/Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill

Fiction E-Books

TITLE
AUTHOR / PUBLISHER
THIS WEEK
LAST
WEEK
Fifty Shades Freed
1
1
E.L. James/Vintage
Gone Girl
2
3
Gillian Flynn/Crown Publishing Group
Fifty Shades Darker
3
2
E.L. James/Vintage
Fifty Shades of Grey
4
5
E.L. James/Vintage
Last to Die
5
New
Tess Gerritsen/Random House
Catching Fire
6
6
Suzanne Collins/Scholastic
Mockingjay
7
9
Suzanne Collins/Scholastic
Bared to You
8
8
Sylvia Day/Penguin Group
Obsidian
9
New
Jasmine Jade/Ellora's Cave Publishing Inc.
Bones Are Forever
10
New
Kathy Reichs/Scribner

Vídeos
E Ink at IFA 2012

Unboxing the Kobo Glo and Kobo Mini

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