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Stop Blaming Amazon for the Actions of Consumers
by Nate Hoffelder
22 Jul 2017 at 2:06pm

It is always fashionable to hate the winner. In 2017, in bookselling, that is Amazon. I was reminded of that truism this week when I read a piece on Book Riot concerning Amazon Books. Leah Rachel van Essen read that bogus clickbait PW piece about Amazon Books being the fifth largest bookstore (it's not), and after getting suitably enraged at Amazon, van Essen proceeded to blame Amazon for killing off indie bookstores and chain bookstores. Excerpt: Why should you be angry? Independent bookstores have survived in spite of the risk of Amazon over the last few decades, squeezing through hard times thanks to their more personal, localized experience. ... This is about the physical bookstore movement. Even the book chains had to struggle against Amazon. My local bookstore has had rapid declines in employee hours over the years, and it has been in danger of closing more than once. ... Just like independent bookstores, some book chains have survived in spite of Amazon?s takeover of the book selling industry, and now they are cautiously growing again. ... But the truth remains that Amazon Books would not have a space to grow into without the vacancy left by the slow death of book chains and [...]


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Paul Biba?s eBook, eLibrary, eMuseum and ePublishing news compilation for wee...
by Paul Biba
22 Jul 2017 at 8:22am

Editor's Note: The following is a compilation of tweets from @PaulKBiba, the former editor of Teleread and an editor of Project Gutenberg?s Facebook page. New Article: ?The Evolution of an E-Book Demand-Driven Acquisition Programme at Swinburne University of Technology (Infodocket) Amazon Has A Fake Book Problem, Scammers Break The Kindle Store (David Gaughran) Rijksmuseum. digital collection displays 605185 works of art in hi-res, free to download and use - do enjoy... (Rijks Museum) New #ebook @gutenberg_org: The Memoirs of François René Vicomte de Chateaubriand sometime Ambassador (Project Gutenberg) Today's Washington Post has a @MikeLindgren piece on "What libraries lost when they threw out the card catalog" (Washington Post) The July/August 2017 Issue of D-Lib Magazine Now Available Online & D-Lib Mag is Ceasing Regular Publication (Infodocket)   Stream a 24 Hour Playlist of Charles Dickens Stories, Featuring Recordings by Laurence Olivier, Orson Welles & More (Open Culture) The world's libraries tell the W3C that DRM is bad for the web (Boingboing) British Library digitising rare printed Bengali books (Millennium Post) "Trends in Digital Preservation Capacity and Practice: Results from the 2nd Bi-annual? (Digital Koans) A collection of free coloring books from libraries and museums (Kottke) Cox Media Group launches new [...]


You just finished reading Paul Biba?s eBook, eLibrary, eMuseum and ePublishing news compilation for week ending Friday, July 21 which was published on The Digital Reader.

Voting for the 2017 Hugo Awards Has Closed, and the Sad Puppies Were Nowhere ...
by Nate Hoffelder
20 Jul 2017 at 6:27pm

News is by definition the reporting of recent events, but sometimes it is equally important to note when an event does not occur. On Sunday, the voting period for the 2017 Hugo Awards ended. According to the announcement, a total of 3,319 votes were cast (compared to 3130, 5950, 3587, and 1850 in the past four years). You can see the list of candidates on the Hugo Award website.  What you won't find is any sign of  the influence of the Sad Puppies. According to author Sarah Hoyt, the organizer of this year's Sad Puppies, that's because there was no slate this year. Starting in 2013, the Sad Puppies (and its Rabid Puppies offshoot),  were either a concerted attempt to introduce a right-wing slate, a regressive slate, an indie slate to the Hugo Awards, or, an attempt to wrest control of the Hugo Awards from an insider clique, prove there was a clique in control of the Hugos, or simply to sow chaos. (The descriptions varied depending on who you asked, the year, and how much they had had to drink). This year, however, there was no coordinated Sad Puppies campaign. As Hoyt explained in June on her blog and on [...]


You just finished reading Voting for the 2017 Hugo Awards Has Closed, and the Sad Puppies Were Nowhere to be Seen which was published on The Digital Reader.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher?s Stone to be Released as Enhanced Kindle in...
by Nate Hoffelder
20 Jul 2017 at 2:41pm

Here's some news that will keep Potter fandom on the edge of their sat until September: I've just heard that  a new enhanced Harry Potter ebook will be released on 5 September. The first enhanced Harry Potter ebooks were released for iBooks in late 2015, but the new one is being developed for Amazon's Kindle in Motion, and will feature animated goblins, moving covers, and more: Other highlights from the moving book will include a multi-page spread of the lively Diagon Alley, an animated portrait of Draco Malfoy and a handy guide to trolls. As well as moving images, readers can still tailor their reading experience, adjusting font sizes with the newly sized words magically reflowing around the animation and images, and, if they choose, toggle the animations off or on. This ebook is going to be the 22nd title to be released in the Kindle in Motion format, Amazon's second go at an enhanced Kindle ebook. Launched last year, KiM features full page animations, moving covers, and page backgrounds that don't interfere with  changing the text size (a defect found in fixed-layout ebooks). So far Pottermore has only announced Harry Potter and the Philosopher?s Stone in the new edition, but they may [...]


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Morning Coffee ? 20 July 2017
by Nate Hoffelder
19 Jul 2017 at 9:33pm

Here are a few stories to read this morning. Some facts on Sci-Hub that Wikipedia gets wrong (engineuring) 2 New Harry Potter Books Set to Be Published in October (Cosmopolitan) When Reader Targeting Goes Wrong (David Gaughran) Forget George Eliot: now it's male authors disguising their sex to sell more books (The Guardian) The quiet catastrophe, then reinvention of book publishing (Which-50) A Huge Archive of Amazing Stories, the World's Oldest & Longest-Running Science Fiction Magazine (Since 1926) (Open Culture) image by xmacex


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Google?s Personalized News Feed ?the feed? Will Choose What you Should Read N...
by Nate Hoffelder
19 Jul 2017 at 11:22am

When Google shut down Reader four years ago,, they made it clear that they wanted to replace self-directed reading choices with an app that algorithmically choose what a user should read next. At the time Google called that app Google Now, but the latest iteration is simply called "the feed", and Google says it got a major update this week. The Verge's Casey Newton reports that the feed showed up in their account this week, and they weren't impressed. Google today is rolling out its take on the news feed, a personalized stream of articles, videos, and other content. The feed will appear in its flagship app for Android and iOS, simply called Google. The feed, which includes items drawn from your search history and topics you choose to follow, is designed to turn Google?s app into a destination for browsing as well as search. Google is hoping you?ll begin opening its app the way you do Facebook or Twitter, checking it reflexively throughout the day for quick hits of news and information. ... The Google feed came to my account Tuesday afternoon, and I spent a long while scrolling through it. The feed offered up articles on several of my interests: Netflix, Instagram, Game [...]


You just finished reading Google?s Personalized News Feed “the feed” Will Choose What you Should Read Next – But Only if You Let Google Spy On You which was published on The Digital Reader.

You Can Now Gift a Kindle eBook From the Manage Your Content & Devices Page
by Nate Hoffelder
19 Jul 2017 at 9:22am

Amazon customers have long had the option of buying a copy of an ebook as a gift simply by visiting a book's listing on Amazon.com. Now we can do the same from our account pages. A reader  tipped me to a recent change to the Manage Your Content & Devices Page. (Thanks, Chad!) Amazon is now promoting  the gifting option in a text banner: Loved reading a book? Now share your happiness with your friends and loved ones by gifting it to them from Manage Your Content and Devices page. You can give an ebook by clicking the 3-dot menu to the left of the title, and then selecting the "purchase a a gift" option. This will bring up a purchase screen that, judging by the design, very few people have seen since this option was first made available years ago. Seriously, that page looks like it was designed around 2005 or so. It looks nothing like any current page on Amazon.com, raising the question whether anyone is using this gifting feature. Have you given a Kindle book as a gift? What did you think of the process, and more importantly what about the giftee? Recipients can exchange an unwanted ebook [...]


You just finished reading You Can Now Gift a Kindle eBook From the Manage Your Content & Devices Page which was published on The Digital Reader.

Barnes & Noble Plays Musical Chairs With Senior Management
by Nate Hoffelder
19 Jul 2017 at 7:03am

B&N can't make a profit, but the ailing retailer sure can hire new VPs. In the past month B&N has announced the hiring of a new VP of Stores and a new VP of real estate development under what could well be described as a clean sweep policy. One of the VPs who had been let go had been hired by the previous B&N CEO, Ron Boire, and held his position for under a year. Other senior management have also left the company during the past year. The VP of stores, Carl Hauch, comes to Barnes & Noble via CityMed and Advance Auto Parts. He replaces Michael Ladd, who had held the position since last June. (Ladd came to B&N from Sears, possibly with Ron Boire.) The new VP of real estate development, James Lampassi, joins B&N from Petco. He is replacing a 21-year Barnes & Noble veteran, David Deason. In related news, Jaime Carey, who had been hired as President of the restaurant group in June 2016,  left the company in December (according to his LinkedIn profile). He left a company that has struggled to respond to a pair of paradigm shifts. More and more retail sales move online and a lot [...]


You just finished reading Barnes & Noble Plays Musical Chairs With Senior Management which was published on The Digital Reader.

Morning Coffee ? 19 July 2017
by Nate Hoffelder
18 Jul 2017 at 9:33pm

Here are a few stories to read this morning. Amazon Titles Dominate Amazon E-book Bestseller List (PW)  Taking a Look at Apple?s Six Month E-Book Bestsellers (PW) In a world of peak attention, how can books survive? (The Bookseller) Aggregator vs. Aggregator (Plagiarism Today) In Praise of the Alphasmart Neo (The Digital Reader) image by homethods


You just finished reading Morning Coffee – 19 July 2017 which was published on The Digital Reader.

No, Institutional Licensing is Not the Solution to Textbook Prices
by Nate Hoffelder
18 Jul 2017 at 12:27pm

Textbook prices have been rising faster than healthcare for decades. this has inspired the growth in use of open educational resources and even degree programs that don't require paid textbooks. Arthur Attwell, on the other hand, has a different solution. He wants schools to license textbooks just like they currently license access to academic journals. From Medium: For years in South Africa, the textbook-publishing industry has face real threats to its future, because???faced with non-delivery of books???government is desperate to change the way it buys them. Other countries face similar challenges. Government officials often cite the ?high price of books? as a key issue. Whether you buy the state?s argument or not, the system is going to change, and publishers can either lead the change or be changed. To have any real effect, the change must be a fundamental change in the mainstream textbook business model: instead of selling copies, we must sell licences. Specifically, we must sell licences with no limitations on the number of downstream copies. This is especially urgent and appropriate for school books, though it?ll work for universities and colleges, too. And it?s perfectly suited to a world of tablets and ebooks. Best of all, it will save government [...]


You just finished reading No, Institutional Licensing is Not the Solution to Textbook Prices which was published on The Digital Reader.

Wattpad Now Pimping Writers to Hachette Romans
by Nate Hoffelder
18 Jul 2017 at 7:40am

We all know that authors have been using Wattpad to refine their work before officially publishing it in the Kindle Store and elsewhere. This has been going on since at least 2011. Not all authors want to take that last step of going into business for themselves, however, which is why Wattpad has been announcing partnerships with trade publishers. Today Wattpad announced a partnership with one of Hachette Livre's French imprints. The partnership, which is the latest under the Wattpad Studios umbrella, represents the most extensive partnership between Wattpad and a European publisher. Three Wattpad stories have already been selected for publication in the French language as part of the partnership: Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board, Mr. Popular and I, and She?s With Me.   Following the launch of Wattpad Studios last year, Wattpad has been working closely with publishers and entertainment companies to co-produce stories for print, TV, film, and digital. Wattpad has no claim on the works created by its 55 million members, but it does have reading stats on each story and it is now using that info to identify popular stories that have yet to be published as ebooks. Wattpad Studios exists to connect writers with the companies that want to [...]


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