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Tuesday, 3 April 2012

And now the eNews

Good news for eBook fans as an American deal will see eBooks getting cheaper and this will undoubtedly spread to other markets too - The US justice department could reach a settlement in the next few weeks with Apple and some of the major publishers suspected of colluding to push up ebook prices, according to two people close to the negotiations. The first formal news from the US government warning Apple that it will sue them for pricing collusion came on Mar 9, two days after the new iPad was unveiled. The settlement is expected to eliminate Apple’s most favoured nation status, which had prevented the publishers from selling lower-priced ebooks through rival retailers such as Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Harry Potter and The DRM Battle - The Harry Potter titles sweep those restrictions away – I can download a copy today and put the same file on my iPad or my Sony reader. And if swap either for a Kobo, I can read it on that too. The book is mine in a way no other major eBook is.Instead of the usual restrictive DRM, the Potter books are watermarked with unique identifiers allowing the publishers to track illegally shared copies back to the original buyer.Those who are honest can enjoy their books as often as they like and on whichever device they like while file sharers can be dealt with as the law and publisher’s will allows.
And that’s pretty much as it should be and we should all applaud the Harry Potter eBooks for being the first major series to go against  restrictive DRM.

Actor, Comedian, Pipe smoker and all round genius Stephen Fry recently commented on DRM - “Open standards make sense. What makes no sense is that large companies in the field still do not understand this. It is time once and for all to end the pointless nonsense of one document sent on one platform being incomprehensible to the user of another.”

A big benefit with eBooks - as far as I can see is that it allows genre fiction which had all but vanished from bookshops to thrive. The eBook market has offered a new home for genres such as the western and adventure story. My own Arkansas Smith becomes available in eBook at the end of this month and this follows a successful run as a print book. However the pricey hardcover edition, largely intended for the public library market, was never going to trouble the mass market. And so fingers crossed for the eBook version. Get it HERE

The classics are back - Turning a classic book into an app takes more than just formatting the text for a digital screen.For Space Dog Books, a new interactive publishing company that makes eBook apps for the iPad, adapting Robert Louis Stevenson‘s classic adventure novel Treasure Island into an app, meant making it interactive.In an interview with eBookNewser, Victoria Davis, founder/CEO of Space Dog Books explained their approach: ”We always design with story in mind and we always make sure interactivity is based on content and works within context. For a classic like Treasure Island, a long novel, we paid close attention to enhance an immersive reading experience and not take the readers out their own personal encounter with the story.”Aside from the classic text, the app includes animations, songs and sound effects based on the original story.

New Zealand falls under the eBook spell - Borrowing e-books from the public library is an increasingly popular option amongst New Zealanders, according to figures released by The Association of Public Library Managers (APLM). The end of last year saw a number of new e-book lending options launched in Public Libraries throughout New Zealand. "Although it is still early days for e-books in libraries the lending numbers paint a clear picture", said APLM spokesperson, Paul Nielsen of Hauraki District Libraries. "Since November there have already been over 13,000 e-books checked out across the country".

We applaud former Waterstone's CEO Tim Coates  - Tim Coates,launched the Bilbary ebook site in America this week as a rival to Amazon and Apple's ebook retail operations. It will go live in Britain next month.While setting up the company, he has continued to campaign for an overhaul of how libraries are managed. He told The Independent: "Someone needs to show leadership. Libraries in the UK need management. The situation is dreadful and getting worse."The dire position led Mr Coates to pledge part of Bilbary's UK profits to individual campaigns to save libraries under threat, bypassing the official channels. "Saving these libraries is more important than engaging with the dysfunctional system," he said.
The project is still in its early stages, and it is unclear which libraries will benefit and how much money will become available. "We'll put in as much as we can," Mr Coates said. "We want to make a point. The library system in Britain is not working."

1 comment:

Charles Gramlich said...

Speaking of cheap ebooks, my story, "Harvest of War" is free for a few days on Kindle. US and UK.