6 de janeiro de 2013

Leituras Digitais (30 de Dezembro a 5 de Janeiro)



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

They must also be agreeable places to visit. This means among other things that the proprietor and staff must enjoy talk about books, and be willing to engage their customers in conversation. One of the pleasures that a bookshop can offer is conversation about books. Some seek to attract customers by staging frequent book events. Some couple the bookshop with a coffee shop. But, no matter what they do to attract customers, their great appeal is that they treat them as individuals, and make time spent in the bookshop enjoyable.Intelligently run independent bookshops have a future. I've no doubt about that.. We have at least two in the Scottish Borders , one in Selkirk and the other in St Boswell’s, which are a pleasure to visit, precisely because they are run by people who combine an interest in books and literature with an interest in their customers and an awareness of their tastes. Without such interest and awareness, few bookshops will be long for this world.
One of the iconic moments of recent comics history occurred at the February 2011 meeting of ComicsPRO, the association for comics retailers. During that meeting, DC co-publisher Jim Lee held up a sheet of typing paper and a piece of dental floss as a visual analogy for the relative sizes of the print and digital markets.If he did that today, he could replace the dental floss with a piece of clothesline. The digital comics market has grown from an estimated $1 million in 2009 to $25 million in 2011, according to Milton Greipp of ICv2, and digital comics sales tripled in the first half of 2012 relative to the first half of 2011. Meanwhile, the print market has stayed relatively stable, at a total of $640 million, and Greipp predicts that digital comics will comprise over 10% of the comics market by the end of 2012. Some publishers are already reporting that; most recently, Robert Kirkman told ICv2 that digital sales of The Walking Dead have risen from 5% to 25-30%. In May, Ted Adams of IDW Publishing said that digital was 10% of his sales but given the current rate of growth, he expected it to be 20% next year. Since print sales aren’t shrinking, digital comics are expanding the market as a whole.
Smashwords Direct had originally been announced late last year in the response to the requests from quite a few authors, publishers, and ebook pros (myself included). A lot of us take pride in the ebooks we make, and it bothered us that we had to make a DOC file which would then be automagically mangled into a dozen different file formats.  The automatic process is all well and good, but given that we often make a good quality Epub anyway it is galling to watch a poorer quality file be be distributed to iBooks and other ebookstores.But with Smashwords Direct, the gall is gone.Authors and publishers can now upload an Epub file and either use it to replace the Epub which had been produced by the MeatGrinder, or, and this is the good part, they can upload an Epub for a new title and not have to make the DOC file to feed into the MeatGrinder.
That’s the title of an article by Seth Godin on his The Domino Project Site. According to Godin, the hardest part of publishing a book is getting the first 10,000 copies read and after that, if the book resonates, it should take off. He feels that Kickstarter can solve this problem because an author “… with a tribe can reach out to her readers, activate them and make an offer: if enough of you agree to buy this book today, I’ll write it and send it to you just before a publisher puts it on sale ….” In practice, he says, Kickstarter is “a bit of a nightmare” for an author because of the way Kickstarter is structured and because of the cost of fulfillment and shipping, but he thinks that it is a good method for digital-only publishing.I can’t comment on his thoughts but I did have an interesting Kickstarter-related publishing experience the other day. I came across The Apocalypse Ocean, by Tobias S. Buckell the other day. The dedication is to “… all my readers who banded together to pre-order the book, thus bringing it into being. Your support has been amazing.”
So what went wrong? Mirasol screens were only able to produce 60 Hz video, which quickly drained the battery. When we reviewed the Kyobo e-Reader, we noticed that colors looked washed out. There simply isn’t an interest from large scale companies like LG, Samsung, Motorola, and HTC to use unproven screens with their phones and tablets. Samsung spends a ridiculous amount of money on developing its own screens and purchased Liquavista for its electrowetting display, but has since been quiet about it. In the end, all the big boys have their existing supply chain and don’t want to buy risky new developments.The lack of mainstream support is what destroyed Mirasol, Pixel Qi, and Plastic Logic. All of these companies almost went broke developing factories and research and development sectors. All of them in 2012 announced that they were getting out of making commercial products and instead will license their technology. Pixel Qi has seen the most success with marketing its tech to the military and government sectors.
Poor holiday sales showed both declines in Barnes & Noble’s retail business and its Nook Media business versus last year. Following a successful Black Friday, sales of Nook devices failed to meet holiday expectations, said CEO William Lynch.“We are examining the root cause of the December shortfall in sales, and will adjust our strategies accordingly going forward,” he said in a statement.Retails sales declined 10.9% versus last year while Nook Media sales declined 12.6% versus a year ago.
We’re entering a golden age of publishing. The ebook self-publishing revolution will lead to a more great books being published than ever before. More books will touch the souls of more readers, because indie ebooks make books accessible, affordable and discoverable to more people. These books, in all their diverse and controversial glory, are cultural treasures.Our authors know that every writer – every one of us – is special, and those who doubt this truth will become the dinosaurs of tomorrow. You can’t truly honor the culture of books without honoring the writers who create them. You can’t truly honor the value of books if you measure their value by perceived commercial merit alone. You either value the human potential of all writers, or none at all.
Despite the trends, dedicated e-readers have some selling points. They tend to be lighter than most tablets, and a different style of display improves their battery life. Barnes & Noble says the low-end Simple Touch version of its Nook line can operate up to two months on a battery charge, compared with around 10 hours of reading on its Nook HD tablet.
There have also been major improvements in e-readers, including touch-screen technology and self-lighting screens. "E-readers are dramatically better today than they were even two years ago," says Avi Greengart, an analyst at Current Analysis.Moreover, e-reader prices have fallen sharply, with Kindles starting as low as $69 for a model that comes with ads.
The Spanish book industry in general and the media in particular are focusing almost exclusively on aspects of digitization that have to do with the sale of digital content (e-books). However, there is a wide range of options for using the opportunities offered by technology to support the promotion and sale of more physical books, which currently represent around 98% of the Spanish market, with ebooks currently at only 2%.
The Wall Street Journal is one of the best business newspapers out there, but when they try to cover a tech topic they tend to articles verging on the nonsensical.  You might recall the WSJ columnist who in August gave up on his Kindle because he forgot to charge it before a cross-country flight; today I have an article which argues that ebooks are a failed product niche simply because the adoption rate has slowed.
This article was written by Nicholas Carr, and it is based in part on the recent survey results released by Pew Research Center last week. He points to the detail that more readers have read a paper book than read an ebook and uses that as a basis to pretty much proclaim that everyone who is a proponent of ebooks is wrong.
New York Times E-Book Best Sellers

A version of this list appears in the January 13, 2013 issue of The New York Times Book Review. Rankings reflect sales for the week ending December 29, 2012.

E-Book Fiction

1.     SAFE HAVEN, by Nicholas Sparks
2.     THE COINCIDENCE OF CALLIE AND KAYDEN, by Jessica Sorensen
3.     GONE GIRL, by Gillian Flynn
4.     HOPELESS, by Colleen Hoover
5.     FIFTY SHADES OF GREY, by E. L. James

E-Book Nonfiction

1.     SERIOUSLY ... I'M KIDDING, by Ellen DeGeneres
2.     KILLING KENNEDY, by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard
3.     PROOF OF HEAVEN, by Eben Alexander
4.     LET’S PRETEND THIS NEVER HAPPENED, by Jenny Lawson
5.     KILLING LINCOLN, by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard
           
Wall Street Journal E-Book Best Sellers (Week Ended Dec. 23)

Nonfiction E-Books
TITLE
AUTHOR / PUBLISHER
THIS WEEK
LAST
WEEK
Seriously...I'm Kidding
1
Ellen DeGeneres/Grand Central Publishing
Killing Kennedy
2
3
Bill O'Reilly, Martin Dugard/Henry Holt & Co.
Proof of Heaven
3
1
Eben Alexander/Simon & Schuster
Let's Pretend This Never Happened
4
Jenny Lawson/Penguin Group
Killing Lincoln
5
7
Bill O'Reilly, Martin Dugard/Henry Holt & Co.
No Easy Day
6
6
Mark Owen with Kevin Maurer/Penguin Group
I Suck at Girls
7
Justin Halpern/HarperCollins
Team of Rivals
8
8
Doris Kearns Goodwin/Simon & Schuster
Thomas Jefferson
9
9
Jon Meacham/Random House
I Shouldn't Even Be Doing This!
10
Bob Newhart/Hyperion

Fiction E-Books
TITLE
AUTHOR / PUBLISHER
THIS WEEK
LAST
WEEK
Safe Haven
1
5
Nicholas Sparks/Grand Central Publishing
The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden
2
4
Jessica Sorenson/Jessica Sorenson
Gone Girl
3
2
Gillian Flynn/Crown Publishing Group
The Hobbit
4
1
J.R.R. Tolkien/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
5
Stephen Chbosky/MTV Books
Hopeless
6
Colleen Hoover/Colleen Hoover
Fifty Shades of Grey
7
10
E.L. James/Vintage Books
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel
8
Jeff Kinney/Abrams
The Racketeer
9
8
John Grisham/Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Merry Christmas, Alex Cross
10
6
James Patterson/Little, Brown

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