4 de novembro de 2012

Leituras Digitais (28 de Outubro a 3 de Novembro)

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

O acordo foi anunciado nesta segunda-feira e envolve as duas maiores editoras de livros do mundo. O grupo britânico Pearson e o grupo alemão Bertelsmann acertaram a fusão da Penguin e da Random House, e criaram a Penguin Random House. Uma revolução no mercado da edição, para enfrentar o desafio dos ebooks ou livros digitais.
Recently we’ve been exploring how the war for readers currently raging between e-reading platforms such as Kindle, Sony, Nook & Kobo might have unintended and damaging consequences for the publishing industry. By slashing e-book prices by as much as 97%, launching their own self-publishing imprints or launching often half thought-out e-lending schemes, e-reading platforms are at risk of killing the book business in the process of chasing ever larger markets.
Originally released in early 2012, Apple’s education-themed ebook creation tool took bold steps as the first WYSIWYG program to export an ebook just as its author envisioned it. As I noted in my review of that software, however, the first version of iBooks Author was very much a 1.0 product, with strange omissions and odd workflows for users who didn’t want to build textbooks. Ten months later, an updated version—iBooks Author 2.0 (Mac App Store)—brings simplified tools, new templates, portrait-only options, and a better publishing workflow to the table. Naturally, I couldn't resist taking the updated program for a spin.
One reason some consumers haven’t jumped on the ebook bandwagon is because they’re concerned the format they select might become obsolete in a few years. Others dismiss that as unfounded pessimism but I have an example of how it can happen, and not with some fly-by-night platform. This problem happened on Apple’s extremely popular iOS platform.
There are lots of startups exploring new ways to to charge for ebooks, including Afictionado’s subscription service in the UK and Valobox’s by the page sales model in the US, but it wasn’t until today that I encountered one that wants to charge you after you’ve read the book.Total Boox, which I found via eReaders.nl, is an Israel based company that is planning to do just that. Their service is in beta, with plans to launch next year, and earlier this month they released an Android app for the early adopters.
Books have undergone a massive transformation from a physical object to something entirely different: the electronic book, or "e-book". This report provides background on e-book markets and examines various policy issues related to e-books. These include differing tax rates in countries between physical books and e-books, consumer lock-in to specific platforms, limitations on how users can read and share their purchased content, and a lack of transparency about how data on their reading habits is being used.
The dream of a national digital public library is inching closer to reality. The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA)initiative was launched in December 2010 with generous support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Since then it has been working to transition from a planning initiative to a fully independent 501(c)(3) organization and has crafted a draft job outline for DPLA Executive Director.
The DPLA plans to make the cultural and scientific heritage of humanity available, free of charge, to all via a large-scale digital library. It will be “an open, distributed network of comprehensive resources that will draw upon the nation’s resources and heritage from libraries, universities, archives, and museums in order to educate, inform, enlighten, and empower everyone in the current and future generations.” 
Picking locks can presage a crime—or be a useful skill for those who lose their keys. Cracking the digital-rights management (DRM) that secures works that are distributed electronically, such as e-books and films, is illegal in many countries. But it can be tempting when rules seem unfair or arbitrary. Calibre, a free software programme, can strip the DRM from proprietary e-book formats. It has over 11m users. Other more furtive means are available too. David Price, head of piracy intelligence at NetNames, a brand-protection firm, says no DRM system has yet remained uncracked.Stoking the trend is consumers’ growing realisation that they may not be (as they often think) buying their e-books, music downloads and other digital content outright. In many cases they are in effect just renting them, subject to tough rules buried in small print. Proprietary software can tie the e-book to a particular device. And the provider of the content can revoke the owner’s rights at whim.
Many digital publishing companies are increasingly looking to iOS and Google Android to make standalone apps for their ebooks or digital properties. They also deal with the traditional ebook format that is available via online retailers like Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo. Dedicated app development geared towards a singular platform normally warrants an extensive programming department to generally refine the apps over time and add new content. Digital publishers and online retailers all make apps to garner customers’ dollars and offer distribution systems to push sales to the end user. HTML5 seeks to disrupt the current model everyone is employing through the entire digital publishing industry.
Ebook publishing is full of problem areas, most of which cannot be addressed through standardisation but can only come about via a sea-change in the behaviour and nature of the various participants in the ebook industry.There are, however, several issues that could be addressed, at least partially, via standardisation, that would make everybody’s life easier if implemented.
According to the latest numbers from the Association of American Publishers, adult trade ebook revenue only grew by 48% in July 2012 versus the same period last year. For any business, that kind of growth in just a year would be stupendous; but the ebook business has had four straight years of triple digit growth.Even children’s ebooks, which have lagged in growth versus their adult counterparts, dipped below the triple-digit threshold for the first month this year, “only” increasing revenues 89% in July 2012 versus the same period last year. Children’s ebook growth had been at a furious pace in the first half of the year mostly due, we think, to The Hunger Games. Now that that best-seller is finally falling off the list, children’s ebook growth is coming back down from the upper atmosphere – not quite all the way to earth but almost. Children’s ebook growth year-to-date is still 222%.
New York Times E-Book Best Sellers
A version of this list appears in the November 11, 2012 issue of The New York Times Book Review. Rankings reflect sales for the week ending October 27, 2012.

E-Book Fiction

1.     THE RACKETEER, by John Grisham
2.     MY KIND OF CHRISTMAS, by Robyn Carr
3.     NYPD RED, by James Patterson and Marshall Karp
4.     REFLECTED IN YOU, by Sylvia Day
5.     GONE GIRL, by Gillian Flynn

E-Book Nonfiction

1.     PROOF OF HEAVEN, by Eben Alexander
2.     KILLING KENNEDY, by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard
3.     NO EASY DAY, by Mark Owen with Kevin Maurer
4.     KILLING LINCOLN, by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard
5.     THE MASTER OF DISGUISE, by Antonio J. Mendez with Malcolm McConnell

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