Mike Cane

A Kindle In Libraries Post

So, no doubt you’ve read this. You should if you haven’t but here’s the gist of it:

Amazon today announced Kindle Library Lending, a new feature launching later this year that will allow Kindle customers to borrow Kindle books from over 11,000 libraries in the United States. Kindle Library Lending will be available for all generations of Kindle devices and free Kindle reading apps.

So much about this adds up to cool news for readers, even if in the medium to long-term it suggests that Amazon is getting a pretty monopolistic hold on the ebook market (something that might have been thought to be waning).

Mike Cane has an excellent post looking at the implications of it all here. He’s got some dynamite in there too.

4) Self-published writers in their right mind won’t give a damn about whether their book is available at the Sony Reader Store, Kobo Bookstore, or Barnes & Noble bookstore. They’re all just dead. While Kobo still has an international edge, as Amazon rolls out into other countries, they’ll just crush them.

5) No one cares what the hell the eBook format is. People just want to read. Only geeks care about whether the file format is Kindle or “universal” ePub (which isn’t universal since Barnes & Noble broke it!). ePub has now become a niche eBook format. The IDPF can take as long as they want with the ePub 3.0 spec. No one cares anymore. Except maybe Apple — who can now hijack the spec until they discard it.

Don’t read just self published authors there by the way. Think small independent publishers too when you see that.

A wise man or woman wouldn’t bet on this being the winning shot in the war for Libraries (though I have my doubts about their ability to survive the transition to digital distribution) but it sure gives Amazon a healthy advantage.

Mike’s a little keener then I am on the death of print, a technology I still have some affection for and suspect has greater reserves of use then is generally expected these days, though in a much less popular form than right now (except maybe for your mass, mass-market cheap titles!), but who knows, he could be right.

I’ll say this though, it is a stab in the heart of bookstores. Way to bring ebooks to the book loving crowds in an easy seductive fashion!

Beautiful April day!
Eoin

A Point Of Two On The Mike Cane And JA Konrath Thing

So I read this, and I disagreed, whereas normally I’m on board with Mike.

1) Ebooks are new and exciting, new names are making their way to the top of the pack, some of them are interesting names with back-stories in ‘traditional’ publishing, some of them are not. Some of them are loud and self promoting, some of them are not.

Should we condemn the loud ones for having had a change of heart regarding self publishing as Mike would JA Konrath (the target of his post)? Should we say that the self promotion makes his case somehow less valid? And should we call his numbers into question? I don’t think so mainly because it doesn’t really serve a purpose. The ebooks are selling, if Konrath’s taken the wrong message from those sales then soon enough the sales will drop and someone else will suck them up, if he hasn’t he’ll stay up on top.

Personally, if it works for him, I say good luck to Konrath. He’s worked hard to get where he is. I would caution writers to look at the work not the results before deciding if Konrath’s route is for them, but that’s about it, after all as Keynes said, “When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?”

2) In all of this, we shouldn’t ignore the fact that the authors who have sold over a million ebooks to date are HUGE traditionally published writers like James Patterson and Stieg Larsson. It seems to me that as ebooks become more mainstream, mainstream authors will dominate more.

There will of course still be surprises and outsiders. Digital publishing IS democratic in that it provides access for all but NOT equal in that outcomes differ very widely and often randomly for no discernible reason.

We can expect print bestsellers to be ebook bestsellers, at least until the notion of having started in print and then moved into ebooks becomes something so distant and rare that we find it novel or amusing.

Getting riled up about it won’t change it, that much is clear!
Eoin

Quick Link | 21st Century Book Publishing Problem « Mike Cane’s iPad Test

This is a not improbable outcome of the future development of digital publishing. Mike Cane is thinking pretty far ahead here, it’s worth reading and thinking about!

Oddly enough  met someone today whose vision it is to make sure these kinds of problems go away for digital content and digital intellectual property.

In five years, the contract Publisher A had for the book expires. Publisher A no longer has the right to offer that book.

The way lawyers work, Publisher A will have to remove that book from its servers.

Your book goes POOF!

This should not happen.

via 21st Century Book Publishing Problem « Mike Cane’s iPad Test.