Good piece from Joe Wikert, even if I don’t completely agree with everything he says:
End the practice of artificially puffing up content
The greatest aspect of Kindle Singles is, of course, their short length. The first one I read was a Single about media and I remember thinking how a typical business book editor would have asked the author to turn this 30-page gem into a bloated 300-page mess. It happens all the time and its a function of both physical shelf presence and perceived value. In the ebook world there’s suddenly no physical bookshelf an individual title has to have a spine presence on. Now we just need to stop equating \”shorter\” with \”cheaper\”…more on that in a moment.
via Joe Wikert’s Digital Content Strategies: Kindle Singles and the future of ebooks.
It will be fascinating to see if big retailers (as distinct from booksellers) can further ebook adoption. I suspect they can and probably will, publishers should be hoping so anyway:
Sathianathan said it was a good time to join Tesco and lead its digital book service. “Technology is changing how people read,” he said. “Offering a digital book service is an example of what Tesco does best – focusing on the customer and anticipating their needs as the market evolves.”
via Sathianathan to head Tesco’s blinkboxbooks | The Bookseller.
A very nice, very smart, very exciting idea:
Initially, Ury and his cofounder, Kaye Puhlmann (both formerly consumer experience designers for digital ad agencies; Ury has worked with clients like Apple, Nike and Starbucks), imagined that families would be the primary users of the site. “Parents reading on the iPad to their kids in bed,” Ury said. Parents and kids are indeed using Storybird — “and a lot of people create stories almost as extended greeting cards,” Ury said — but it turns out the largest demographic is teachers and students. Over 125,000 schools are now on Storybird, with teachers issuing assignments to students and using the site in the classroom to help kids with their writing skills. The most recent demographic — and “the most voracious,” according to Ury — is teen and tween girls. “They are using it for what I’d almost call conversation and communication,” he added, sharing images and messages with each other online “the same way you might use Tumblr.”
via With 2 million members, Storybird is ‘reverse-engineering’ the picture book — paidContent.
A must read, not just for the piece itself but the vigour of the comments below it!
The simple fact is that the romance of the printed book outlives the demonstrable usefulness of printed books in any particular discipline, and it dies very, very hard. To be clear: I’m not saying that printed books have outlived their usefulness, only that when they do outlive it, the romance lingers on.
via The Digitized Book Corpus and the Cracking Dam « The Scholarly Kitchen.
On Wednesday I spoke at an inspiring event, the LitNet NI Literature Forum in Belfast. It was hosted by the Arts Council Of Northern Ireland and organised by Catherine McInerney of LitNet NI.
It brings together an amazing range of voices and opinions from the literary and publishing sectors in Northern Ireland, from agents to writers, arts officers to librarians, with a good sprinkling of organisers, poets, publishers and academics.
There was a great energy in the room and while the forum is ony a few months old, it seems to have a real head of steam. My read on the future was that it was secure. It seems ready to grow beyond its original founding and beyond indeed the LitNet NI beginnings into a truly inclusive voice for the literary & commercial publishing and reading sector in Norther Ireland.
So you can see why I found it inspiring, but there’s more.
The same day and the same event was the venue for the sectoral launch of PublishingNI a new company dedicated to promoting and growing Northern Irish publishing and writing.
There’s a real energy and passion at work in Northern Irish publishing sector right now and I was excited and pleased to be part of it.
As for what I spoke about, well I started off with a dispassionate overview of how digital publishing and distribution were fundamentally reshaping the world of books and literature, changing models we have come to see as ‘the right way’ of doing things. I got a little carried away towards the end of the talk and discussed the need for a concerted response from the entire reading and writing sector to the encroachment of technology firms intent and leading the sector in a direction of their choosing. Maybe it was in the air.
But then again, maybe it was a bit intemperate, but it’s not untrue.