I’m in France for a week and while there might well be an internet connection, there will be better things to do than post (hopefully).
Here are a few thoughts while I’m away
Some out of print issues cropping up again. The Bookseller has a piece on it here. Laurence Orbach pours cold water on digital community building, rightly I half think, here.
If Waterstones is stocking the sony e-reader in the UK, does that mean I can get one here?
I don’t want to be a bore
But this ebook and this one too, should not be for sale in Ireland for another 3 years at least, yet they are. I know, I just bought one from the Apple Apps Store
Considering a new paperback edition of Ulysses is available for about £7.50 and Portrait Of The Artist for a measly £2.50 on The Book Depository, I’d say 79 cent each is a massive bargain.
The copyright on Joyce‘s works has lapsed in the US if I’m not mistaken (or at least if Wikipedia is not mistaken) but not here or in the UK. I’ll be Apple never anticipated a territorial issue with iPhone Apps?
The Joyce estate will no doubt be onto this one quick, in the meantime, download away. Hopefully this post will not be prescient if the ebooks are eventually withdrawn.
Publishing News is closing shop on its print and online news operations. These seems sad and a little depressing to me. I like The Bookseller and I have enjoyed the way their website has grown more functional and useful over the last year or so, but a bit of competition never goes astray. Here
Speaking of The Bookseller, Penguin CEO John Makinson has a nice little piece online there about the forbiding nature of the Publishing industry to outsiders. Here
Amazon have an HaperCollins implant working with them. Intriguing> Here
Alan Sutton, my former boss @ Nonsuch Ireland, comes back from the ashes again with a new firm. He never stays down that man. it’s pretty impressive. You’ll note too that the comment thread has had to be policed and clamped down for the night! Here
AND THE BIG NEWS iTunes Apps Store turns out to be a bloody good way of selling e-books or at the very least of hosting them for sales. More on this next week when i think it through properly. Here, Here, Here, Here, Here and Here
At The Bookseller’s Digitise or Die conference I listened to this guy. I liked some of what he said but felt his site Bookrabbit was a little strange and overly complex and something of a LibraryThing clone. Still it was innovative in trying to sell books at least and that makes what is happening there a shame. Here
As for this, who didn’t see this coming for Lonely Planet and BBC? Here
Games are not all child’s play This is an interesting piece though I’d have liked a little more meat, why are really good in depth feature pieces so rare in Irish journalism (I’d love an Irish magazine that promoted long form journalism, 5-10,000 word pieces):
The barrier for entry to the lucrative multibillion dollar cross-platform gaming business may be too high for Irish firms and if the industry is to have any chance of future success clever niches in areas like casual gaming and other supporting fields must be identified.
Still the parallels between book and games publishing are interesting (as are the obvious differences). One of the things that is increasingly frustrating to me is the way Irish people and economic actors simply surrender space to foreign competition. 20 years ago people would have said that Disney’s animation business was protected by enormous barriers to entry and a remarkable catalogue of movies, hello Pixar.
Surrendering territory to rivals can be a wise decision, often it is the correct decision, but there seems to be a tendency in Irish creative industries to surrender space simply because rivals are better funded, longer established and hold greater market share. Are there no opportunities to take some of that share through innovation, smarter products or even, god forbid it, better ideas?