All that Litlove writes is well thought through and exquisitely written, this is no different. The theme is important, thought-provoking and relevant to publishers of al kinds,
But I also feel that the vastness of the web is producing its own issues now. When there are millions of blogs that could possibly be read out there, the inevitable consequence is a dissolution into insularity. When I first started writing and reading blogs, I had the impression of a huge virtual city, teeming with life. Now, four years later and several thousand book blogs richer, it feels more like I live in a blog village that is part of a network of other villages – all of which I could visit if I could follow the right pathways, except of course no signposts exist. It’s hard to track down blogs I really appreciate. I can arduously work my way through the blogrolls of others, I can google for reviews of the kinds of books I like and hope that produces good results (not just a bunch of blogs that no longer update). But what attracts one blogger to another is profoundly subjective and often unquantifiable, a matter of style, a question of voice. There’s no other way of tracking blogs down than individually, by trial and error and hours of visiting.
via Blogging and Reaching Out « Tales from the Reading Room.
Seriously silly thing for iTunes to be doing!
Little did he know that when he opened the EPUB file in iTunes, iTunes had the audacity to add a little file to his original EPUB document. No, not only to the EPUB that he copied to iTunes, but also to his original EPUB file. The file is called “iTunesMetadata.plist”. You wont see it unless you look inside an affected EPUB.
To add insult to injury, when Andrew tried to upload his EPUB to the iBookstore, his ebook was rejected because of the aforementioned error! In short, iTunes adds an erroneous file to his EPUB and then Apple says he cant upload the file because of it.
OK, thanks to more information from Andrew, I’ve figured out what the problem was. Although it’s true that iTunes annoyingly adds that iTunesMetadata file to your original EPUB file when you copy the file to iTunes, that’s not what’s causing the invalidation. But if you use iTunes to add a cover to your EPUB, as described in this video by Terry White, and then upload that EPUB to iTunes Producer, that EPUB will not validate and thus will not be accepted into the iBookstore, because the cover image is not properly contained in the OPF file.
via Pigs, Gourds, and Wikis: iTunes invalidates EPUB files for iBookstore.
Nice post from Philip here. Personally I think the physical retail presence and access to HEAVY BOOK BUYERS and BROWSERS via that retail presence is the key to Barnes & Noble’s success with the Nook.
It’s an odd story in a way but it reinforces the idea that one of the key weapons in the future of the industry is knowing the customer OR having access to them directly. The three winners in the ebook space right now, Apple, Amazon and Barnes & Noble all have either huge databases of customer information or direct access to them in places where they part with their money, we shouldn’t miss that when thinking about this today.
Many people wrote off the Nook when it first launched in the US. The name was a bit, well, odd. It had a funny colour strip that didn’t serve much use, except to show book jackets. The e-books available weren’t cheap enough, when compared to Amazon’s overly aggressive pricing. And it had initial shipping problems, a sure-fire technology killer. It was seen as the last gasp of a dying mammal washed ashore by a particularly arch digital wave.
We neglected to look at the two key advantages it had over the Kindle. There was the innovative sharing function, which Amazon has now copied, that gave users a sense of having purchased something tangible—not just a license to read. And of course the ability to read any book for free in one of the chain’s 700 shops, making a physical connection to the shops via digital. The latter gave it something Amazon could never have.
via Waterstone’s needs to find its Nook | FutureBook.
Sara Lloyd is great and to an extent, she is on the money with this column. The problem is that she’s only right to the degree that we accept the current model is permanent.
We still have an eye to the future, of course. We still ask each other: “So . . . what do you think is the Next Big Thing?” We still geek out and ponder the impact of HTML5 on epub. We feel the need to prepare for that, but we’re feeling better and better equipped to do so.
The fear factor is abating. A sense of “business as usual, but different” is descending. Books are not being killed off. We’re simply adjusting to an additional format. Of course, this is exactly the time that we should all give ourselves a great big poke in the ribs, sit up straight and pay attention.
I tend to think it isn’t and while the book is in no danger (although it will certainly change and adapt and morph), publishers very much are. Which is why it’s nice to see here last lines:
Necessity is the mother of invention, but relaxation is the mother of a short sharp shock, so let’s not rest on our laurels. Not yet. Not for a long time
via Ugly rumours | theBookseller.com.
I’m a fan of publishers taking charge of their own destiny, especially when the future is so uncertain.
That said, I just don’t think publishers have the right skill sets right now to actually set prices for consumer facing products.
They need to work very hard to get those skills though, because, as long as they are setting prices without knowing what they are doing, the longer they’ll make bad decisions and probably hurt themselves in the long term.
More than three-quarters of people working in the book trade believe e-books should be priced at current street prices or less, according to early results of a FutureBook survey into digital thinking. The majority of respondents indicated that publishers are best placed to set this price, even though they don’t believe the agency model has a long-term future.
via Publishers should set e-book prices, says FutureBook survey | theBookseller.com.