20 de novembro de 2013

Blimunda n.º 18

No mês dos 91 anos de José Saramago, a Blimunda traz com ela duas entrevistas de Sara Figueiredo Costa a dois dos jovens autores mais promissores em língua portuguesa: Afonso Cruz e Ondjaki. O primeiro acaba de lançar o seu novo romance Para onde vão os guarda-chuvas(ed. Alfaguara), o segundo, Ondjaki, que acaba de ser distinguido com o Prémio Literário José Saramago, atribuído pela Fundação Círculo de Leitores, pelo romance Os Transparentes(Ed. Caminho).

Em estreia nas páginas da Blimunda, Jeronimo Pizarro traz-nos um texto sobre literatura de viagens, com passagens por Pessoa, Camilo Pessanha ou Dinis Machado.No infantil e juvenil, destaque para os 130 anos que a Biblioteca de São Lázaro, em Lisboa, está a comemorar, partindo do texto absolutamente atual de Feio Terenas, o primeiro bibliotecário da rede de Bibliotecas de Lisboa. Presente também nas páginas desta secção a recente edição portuguesa de Como Apanhar uma Estrela, de Oliver Jeffers, pela Orfeu Negro.

Quase a terminar, o centenário de Camus não é esquecido, através de um texto de Juan José Tamayo, que integra a sua obra Cincuenta intectuales para una conciencia crítica, publicada em Barcelona pela Fragmenta. E como dos 91 anos de José Saramago se trata, a Blimundaentrou nos arquivos da Biblioteca que leva o nome do autor e descobriu as dedicatórias que outros escritores deixaram gravadas em livros que ocupam as prateleiras daquele magnífico espaço. Um trabalho de arqueologia literária que terá continuidade no próximo número daBlimunda.

A terminar uma nota para a capa desta edição, que apresenta algunas mudanças gráficas permitindo um contacto mais rápido com os temas que preenchem as suas páginas. Para janeiro, outras mudanças se anunciam.A todos, boas leituras!
Disponível para download no site da Fundação José Saramago.

17 de novembro de 2013

Leituras Digitais (3 a 16 de Novembro)

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

For years, Open Access has been seen as a way to remove barriers to research in developing countries. In order to test this, an experiment was conducted to measure whether publishing academic books in Open Access has a positive effect on developing countries. During a period of nine months the usage data of 180 books was recorded. Of those, a set of 43 titles was used as control group with restricted access. The rest was made fully accessible.
Parents can now go into their “My Account” page and set up a subordinate account for their kid. That subordinate account is restricted to accessing only the kid-safe section of Kobo eBookstore. This unfortunately also cuts off a lot of otherwise safe content that wasn’t specifically published for kids, but I guess you cannot have everything.
There's a lot to be said for being first. Barnes & Noble beat the competition to the punch with the Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight -- an e-reader with built-in front lighting. And though we busted the company's chops with regards to its claims of keeping marriages together, the feature really did feel like the next big step forward for e-readers. Naturally, then, Amazon and Kobo released similar offerings soon after, with front lighting that frankly blew the Nook out of the water. As those companies further iterated their lines, Barnes & Noble maintained radio silence, something many chalked up to troubles with its hardware division.
The fact that indie booksellers in the U.S. can now sell Kindles under a new Amazon program, Amazon Source, doesn’t necessarily mean they want to. “At first glance, this looks like a Faustian bargain,” says Bradley Graham, co-owner of Politics & Prose Bookstore in Washington, D.C., whose e-book sales through Kobo over the past year have yet to make a dent in the store’s bottom line. Certainly it’s not a “partnership” in the true sense of the word, as he points out, since booksellers hadn’t heard of Source until Wednesday morning, with the exception of two Seattle-area bookstores that participated in the pilot: the University of Puget Sound Campus Bookstore in Tacoma, Wash., and JJ Books in Bothell, Wash.
Sony is going to be shipping their 13.3″ E-ink writing slate next month in Japan. This device had originally been announced back in May, and it has spent the past 5 months in beta tests at several Japanese universities, collecting user feedback.The DPT -S1, which in the past has been nicknamed the Mobius eReader, has a 13.3″ screen with a resolution of 1,200 × 1,600. It comes with a dual touchscreen (optical and active digitizer). One can operate this ereader either by touching it with your fingers or by using the included stylus.
Although it’s happening a bit later than originally anticipated, Kodak Alaris and On Demand Books, which sells the Espresso Book Machine, will begin the first pilot outside a bookstore or library in the U.S. by pairing an EBM with a Kodak Picture Kiosk in a drugstore this spring. Family-owned Bartell Drugs, the oldest drugstore chain in the U.S. with 61 stores, will test the EBM at its University Village store in Seattle. The store will be able to create photo books as well as self-published books and more than 7 million books in-copyright or the public domain via the EspressNet® digital catalogue. That will make the third Seattle EBM; both Third Place Books and University of Washington Bookstore have the machine.
The demand for electronic books (e-books) and the e-book readers are complementary. On the one hand, the emergence of e-book readers such as Amazon’s Kindle has triggered the recent growth of the e-book market. On the other hand, several issues in the e-book market can a§ect the future of the e-book reader market. Considering this complementarity, this paper quantifies the impact of digital rights management (DRM) and discounted e-book pricing on the demand for e-book readers. We collect conjoint survey data to estimate a random coefficient demand model using a hierarchical Bayesian method. Our counterfactual experiments suggest two things. First, Kindle’s and Nook’s market shares would increase by dropping DRM. Consumer welfare would increase seven percent if all e-book readers dropped DRM. Second, an increase in e-book prices would increase iPad’s market share at the expense of that of Kindle and Nook. Consumer welfare would decrease 6 to 10 percent if Kindle’s and Nook’s e-book prices went up by 50 percent.
O surgimento das mídias digitais abriu um horizonte de possibilidades de circulação da informação literária. Em vez de levar o livro impresso à morte fulminante, como alguns acreditavam, os e-books se afirmam como outro suporte de leitura, muito útil em determinados contextos devido à portabilidade. Os escritores Enéias Tavares e Fábio Yabu analisam o assunto.
While the much-trumpeted death of the novel doesn't seem to be happening any time soon, I do have a very real fear that we readers stand on the brink of another literary death. For, now that we are well and truly ensconced in this age of Kindle, my worry is that the fine art of inscribing a book with a pertinent message for its recipient is starting to look decidedly peaky.
Bowker has ranked Smashwords the largest US producer of indie ebooks in 2012 according to their new annual Self Publishing Report for 2012. Smashwords was also ranked as the second largest producer of self-published books after CreateSpace when counting the combined production of both print books and ebooks (Smashwords doesn't do print).
Uma apresentação de Kathryn Zickuhr, investigador do Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, acerca  da forma com as bibliotecas estão a lidar com a mudança digital e acerca dos hábitos de leitura e de frequência de bibliotecas por parte dos americanos e daquilo que eles esperam das bibliotecas no futuro.
If you love Calvin, Susie, Mrs. Wormwood, Spaceman Spiff, Hobbes and the rest of the C&H cast of characters then I have some good news for you. Bill Watterson’s classic comic strip Calvin & Hobbes is (legally) available as an ebook for the first time ever.
A New York court has dismissed a lawsuit against Google by authors who accused the internet giant of digitally copying millions of books for an online library without permission.US circuit judge Denny Chin, in Manhattan, accepted Google's argument that its scanning of more than 20m books, and making snippets of text available for online searches, constituted fair use under US copyright law.
Amazon’s Kindle rules the roost in e-books, but tablets could soon overtake it for digital reading, FutureBook’s fourth annual Digital Census suggests.The survey of more than 2,000 people with professional links to the industry found that nearly half (47.6%) now commonly use a Kindle for their personal reading. But not many fewer (43.6%) now use an iPad—a figure that has risen steadily over the last few years of the Census. It has been boosted over the last year by Apple’s launch of the iPad Mini, and the recent unveiling of the iPad Air can only increase its popularity as a reading device further.
Customers can now upload their own photos or choose from hundreds of images and patterns, including Amazon-exclusive designs, to create personalized Kindle covers and skinsAmazon.com today announced an all-new service that allows customers to personalize Kindle covers and skins—all for the same price as a standard cover. Customers can now design their own Amazon Origami covers and a variety of other covers and skins for Kindle by uploading photographs from their own library, choosing from a variety of Amazon designs made exclusively for Amazon Origami covers, or choosing from a library of hundreds of images, logos, designs and patterns—including popular comic, movie and television show graphics from Peanuts, National Geographic, Breaking Bad, Star Trek, and more.
New York Times E-Book Best Sellers

A version of this list appears in the November 24, 2013 issue of The New York Times Book Review. Rankings reflect sales for the week ending November 9, 2013.

E-Book Fiction

1.     SYCAMORE ROW, by John Grisham
2.     THE EDGE OF ALWAYS, by J. A. Redmerski
3.     MINE, by Katy Evans
4.     MIRAGE, by Clive Cussler with Jack Du Brul
5.     ENDER'S GAME, by Orson Scott Card

E-Book Nonfiction

1.     DOUBLE DOWN, by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann
2.     KILLING JESUS, by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard
3.     TWELVE YEARS A SLAVE, by Solomon Northup
4.     THINGS THAT MATTER, by Charles Krauthammer
5.     GEORGE WASHINGTON'S SECRET SIX, by Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger

7 de novembro de 2013

Editorial Divergência divulga regulamento da antologia «Por Mundos Divergentes»

A Editorial Divergência acaba de disponibilizar o regulamento da sua primeira antologia. Os interessados poderão enviar os seus textos até 31 de Janeiro de 2014. 
De forma a promover a ficção especulativa em Portugal na forma do conto em Língua Portuguesa, a Editorial Divergência dá início ao
concurso para a Antologia “Por mundos divergentes”.

1. Apenas podem concorrer textos inéditos, em língua portuguesa, sem acordo ortográfico e submetidos pelos próprios autores.

2. Podem concorrer autores residentes em Portugal Continental e Ilhas.

3. O limite de palavras será entre as 5 000 a 15 000 palavras.

4. Todos os textos deverão estar inseridos no género de ficção especulativa: fantasia, terror ou ficção cientifica, sob a temática utopia/ distopia.

5. O prazo limite de entrega é 31 de Janeiro de 2014. Os textos enviados após essa data não serão considerados para efeito do concurso.

6. Cada autor poderá enviar até dois textos com a mesma temática (distopia/utopia) ou diferente (um texto utópico e um distópico).

7. Os textos devem ser enviado para o e-mail: ed.divergência@gmail.com com o assunto Antologia. Serão aceites textos apenas em formato .doc ou .odt. Todos os trabalhos receberão um e-mail da recepção do envio.

8. Na primeira página de cada submissão deverá constar o título do texto, o nome do autor/ pseudónimo, o género, e-mail, contacto telefónico e morada.

9. O resultado será tornado público até 30 de Abril de 2014 através do blogue da editora. Os autores serão contactados previamente via e-mail.

10. O júri é constituído por dois elementos da Editorial Divergência e dois convidados.

11. O número de autores seleccionados será decidido pelo júri.

12. Os critérios de selecção serão parametrizados em termos da envolvência da trama, credibilidade e coerência das personagens e mundos criados, originalidade e fluidez narrativa. Valorizar-se-ão histórias passadas em território português.

13. Os textos vencedores serão publicados pela Editorial Divergência em formato papel e ebook.

14. A Editorial Divergência reserva-se ao direito da não publicação da antologia por falta de qualidade dos textos.

15. Os direitos de autor poderão ser pagos através da oferta de exemplares ou através dos 10% de direito que o autor detém. A editora retém o direito de publicação dos textos por um prazo de dois anos a contar da data de publicação.

16. Não haverá recurso à decisão do júri.

17. Qualquer situação omissa ou dúvida de interpretação neste regulamento será decidida pela administração da Editorial Divergência.

18. Ao submeter o texto, o autor está confirmar que tem conhecimento e que aceita as regras deste concurso.
Para mais informações, podem consultar o site da editora, ou a sua página no Facebook.

3 de novembro de 2013

Leituras Digitais (20 de Outubro a 2 de Novembro)

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

The Kobo Aura is the latest ebook reader from Kobo. It has a 6" E Ink Pearl screen and is the little brother to the 6.8-inch Kobo Aura HD that was released earlier in the year. The Kobo Aura is a new addition to Kobo’s line of ebook readers and is being marketed as more of a premium ebook reader along with the HD; it does not replace the Kobo Glo, which still remains available for $20 less.The Kobo Aura is the first Kobo ereader to use a capacitive touchscreen instead of an infrared screen. Additionally, the screen and bezel are all on the same level and not indented, a first for E Ink ebook readers everywhere. This gives the device more of a tablet-like appearance, which is quite nice, but there are some drawbacks.
The harmonisation of VAT across print and digital books could move a step closer this week with the European Council to debate the level of VAT imposed on e-books this Thursday (24th October).According to the TMF Group, the Polish presidency has proposed harmonising the amount of VAT charged on e-books in a "downwards" direction. Currently, an EU directive dictates that European countries impose the upper rate of VAT on e-books, but France charges their lower rate of 5.5% and Luxembourg, where Amazon, Kobo and Nook have their European headquarters, charge just 3%. In the vast majority of European countries print books are VAT free, as in the UK, or the lower rate is charged.
The new Sony PRS-T3 e-Reader may be a bit underwhelming but the one device that everyone wants, is not commercially available. The Sony 13.3 e-Reader was unveiled at the SID Display Week conference in Vancouver, BC and we had comprehensive hands on with the next generation e-Reader. There has been zero news regarding this device for the last four months but we now have confirmation that it is being tested at three Japanese Universities.The Three Universities are Waseda, Ritsumeikan, Housei and are scheduled to start pilot tests for the commercialization of the product. These schools will all be getting free devices direct from Sony to beta test the devices and to see if they will be the right fit for academia.
Just as crowd-sourcing and crowd-funding has taken off in recent years, it was clear this model was seeping into many other areas of business. One small startup that latched onto the model was Unbound, a UK startup that worked out that if they made their authors rock stars, then the fans would follow and subsequently fund a new model for publishing which did not require the “hits” model followed by traditional publishers. This was more a virtuous cycle where fans would fund new books and authors could generate new fans. Thus today, Unbound, what appears to be the world’s first crowdfunding publishing house, has secured a £1.2 million / $1.94 million funding round from Forward Investment Partners, DFJ Esprit and Cambridge Angels.
The three big shifts taking place in trade book publishing are very much interrelated. The fact that consumers are buying about half their books online is one. That means that publishers are not entirely dependent on books being placed at retail to make sales, which is the second. And the marketing that used to take place around store inventory is becoming digital, which is the third.And that trinity of changes is leading to another trinity of changes inside the publishing houses as publishers find that the old rules don’t apply around what used to be three pretty-much-constants: time, timing, and budgeting.
For the second year running, the European Publishers Council (EPC), representing Europe’s leading media organisations, is delighted to present to you the EPC Global Media Trends Book.This book captures the trends in revenue and usage patterns for a variety of digital media, Internet and more, and then analyses and projects the future of these digital media segments.
As the fourth edition of Books in Browsers kicked off, an event described by the organizers as “a small summit of the next generation of publishing companies,” the first group of speakers focused overwhelmingly on readers as the transformative force in publishing.
Mesmo numa altura em que o Facebook e demais redes sociais fazem parte do quotidiano de milhões de utilizadores da Internet, incluindo em Portugal, os aspectos mais valorizados pelos leitores de produtos digitais estão relacionados com a possibilidade de obter informação adicional e não de comentar ou partilhar informação.
A característica mais destacada na leitura digital, referida por 48% dos inquiridos, foi a possibilidade de, através de um motor de busca, saber de imediato mais sobre o autor ou o tema do texto. Seguem-se 44% de inquiridos que referiram como positivo o acesso a outros textos e os links associados.
O inquérito, coordenado pelo investigador do ISCTE Gustavo Cardoso, foi feito online, no primeiro semestre deste ano, a utilizadores de Internet de países de todos os continentes: Inglaterra, Brasil, Espanha, Alemanha, França, Índia, Canadá, China, África do Sul, Rússia, EUA, Itália, Turquia, México, Austrália e Portugal.
The e-book is in the way. I don’t mean that we should go back to reading print (though it wouldn’t hurt). I mean that our love of books has led us to create digital objects that severely limit what we can do with them. In making electronic books look and act like books—in being guided by a notion of simulation rather than reinvention—we have constrained ourselves from taking advantage of the potential of electronic reading. Long live the book. But the e-book’s days have come and gone.Most debates about the future of reading have turned around the question of whether or not to go electronic. Books good, Internet bad. Internet free, books bulky. But that debate is over. We have gone electronic, whether we like it or not. What we have not done is take advantage of this shift. We’ve moved backward, not forward in terms of reading.
Well how’s that for a bit of the boot on the other foot then? It turns out that the biggest roadblock in the way of Amazon’s publishing ambitions is Barnes & Noble. This is after Amazon has bulldozed its way through the book retailing industry and taken huge bites out of the e-book one. But it turns out that to launch best selling general interest titles it still pays to have bookshop exposure. And that’s just the thing that Amazon doesn’t have (obviously) and which Barnes & Noble isn’t willing to give them.
According to a new report from Eurostat, 3 out of 5 Europeans shopped online in 2012 with 32% buying clothes or vacations and only 23% buying books and other content.This report is based on a 2012 survey, so it’s not exactly current, but it does tell us that some EU members like Denmark and the UK are showing a higher percentage of online shoppers (79% and 82%, respectively) than others.
Today, Amazon launched Kindle MatchBook, a new benefit that gives customers the option to buy—for $2.99, $1.99, $0.99, or free—the Kindle edition of print books they have purchased new from Amazon. Over 70,000 books are enrolled in Kindle MatchBook, with more being added every day. Now customers can visit www.amazon.com/kindlematchbook to see all of their print books that are eligible for the Kindle MatchBook edition. Customers can also see when a book is eligible for Kindle MatchBook on the book’s detail page.
In part one of this two-part series, I examined business models of the all-you-read ebook subscription services.  Here in part two, I’ll examine how ebook subscription services may redefine the value of books.  The answer isn’t quite as obvious as we might think.
Barnes and Noble unveiled their second generation Nook with Glowlight at an exclusive event in New York City on Monday. Good e-Reader was live on the scene getting the exclusive scoop on what this new device brings to the table.
Publishers have often had their own bookstores and even ebookstores, and today HarperCollins joined the party. They’ve just launched a new niche ebookstore, and it could be the first of many.HarperCollins has partnered with Accenture to build a niche ebook community/ebookstore which will be focused on CS Lewis’ Narnia series. The new site is live today at www.narnia.com, and it offers readers a chance to buy ebooks direct from HC or from a variety of other retailers. And if ebooks aren’t your thing,  you can also search for other retail sites that offer the series in either paperback or hardback.
Once thought destined to reach 50% or 80% of all book buying and reading in the U.S., ebooks have stalled out on their way up to higher altitude.According to a new study from the Book Industry Study Group, for the past year or so, the share of all new ebooks sold — both in units and dollars — has been flat at about 30% and just under 15%, respectively.
For the most part — and there are lots of exceptions, though these too are difficult to parse — you buy an ebook from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or any of the other most popular “walled garden” retailers, you can’t transfer it freely between devices, you can’t cut and paste text from it and, perhaps of most importance to consumers, you can resell or give it away. Sure, your license allows you to “share” some ebooks, which is a poor, poor substitute. Bundling is all but nonexistent. (Yes, Amazon is promising to make it so — Kindle MatchBook went live yesterday.) Subscription services are still nascent and limited. Heck, even trying to borrow an ebook from the library — if you can get the book you want — is still a small chore (please, somebody euthanize Adobe Editions, stat). In Europe, despite the European Union, you still don’t have a single book market.
The Cybook Ocean has an 8″ screen with a resolution of 1024 x 768 (close to the same as on the latest 6″ screens). It comes with 4GB Flash storage and a microSD slot.  Battery life is expected to be around 10 weeks, though it’s not clear whether that is with the frontlight on or off.
Feared by independent booksellers, decried by writers as one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse, Amazon has announced startling plans to champion unknown poetry and short stories with its own literary journal.The journal, called Day One, will be a weekly digital publication featuring a single short story and one poem a week, among them works in translation, from aspiring, debut authors around the world, as well as original cover art commissioned from emerging artists and illustrators.
Sony will be releasing the PRS-T3S e-reader in the next few weeks and the big news about this device is the integrated back plate. The original PRS-T3 reader that came out about a month ago has a built in cover. You simply needed to always have the cover on because once you removed it, the back internals were showing. Many readers demanded a reader that did not force them to have a case and Sony listened.
New York Times E-Book Best Sellers

A version of this list appears in the November 10, 2013 issue of The New York Times Book Review. Rankings reflect sales for the week ending October 26, 2013.

E-Book Fiction

1.     SYCAMORE ROW, by John Grisham
2.     THE GOLDFINCH, by Donna Tartt
3.     THE HUSBAND'S SECRET, by Liane Moriarty
4.     ENDER'S GAME, by Orson Scott Card
5.     WE ARE WATER, by Wally Lamb

E-Book Nonfiction

1.     THINGS THAT MATTER, by Charles Krauthammer
2.     KILLING JESUS, by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard
3.     TWELVE YEARS A SLAVE, by Solomon Northup
4.     DAVID AND GOLIATH, by Malcolm Gladwell
5.     JOHNNY CARSON, by Henry Bushkin

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