SharePoint Nick Meets eBook Pricing

November 28, 2008

Sony eBook Reader

So although there are no storage, transport, shelf or shop staff costs for ebooks, you actually have to pay more for them!!!

Ridiculous! If the ebooks were half the price of the paper books I’d buy one without thinking but while the ebook prices are this way they can *%$* off!

Will the dying dinosaurs of print keep trying to tell people their common sense personal observations are out of whack?

Hey, dying dinosaurs, these are the people who want to buy your eBooks.

Just not at the ridiculous prices you’ve been setting!

Previously here:

eBook Pricing 101: The Magic Formula
eBooks And Pricing

Writer David Hewson Meets Sony Reader

November 28, 2008

Author meets the future: how electronic is it?

[L]et’s say it out loud, reading on screen just isn’t the same.

At least not on a conventional flat screen, which the Sony very much does not have. I won’t bore you with the technology but it is nothing like the flat screen in your TV or computer monitor. This is a kind of electronic ink. A tedious fact in itself were it not for two things: it actually looks very good indeed, sharp and very much like real text. And it has no backlight so the Sony uses no power whatsoever when you are simply reading a page — only when you ‘turn’ to a new one.

How close to paper is it? Very close, particularly in bright daylight (when most electronic screens are utterly readable). The background isn’t as white a you’d expect, and you can’t see much in dark situations where a laptop would be very readable. But it’s a lot better than I expected, and I was quite happy flicking through books very quickly with it indeed.

So there’s the first lesson I learned about the Sony. You need to see it to believe it. Prejudices, for or again, really don’t count for much because this is quite unlike anything else you’ve ever encountered before.

Here’s the second big surprise: the size and feel of the thing. It’s tiny, little bigger than a paperback book, beautifully made, with a sturdy and expensive-looking satin metal shell encased in a cover that feels very like brown leather (which it isn’t). I’ve seen other book readers and they all, let’s be frank, look like calculators that have spent too long in McDonalds. The Sony isn’t plasticky, doesn’t shout ‘geek’ and feels very, very nice in the hand.

This is the first part of what promises to be several installments.

eBooks Vs. ePrint

November 28, 2008

eBooks and Digital Editions

All the Exact Editions publications already work on the iPhone, all our pages are web pages, so its not in our plans to develop a comparable solution for fungible text. We think (and more important Google Book Search thinks) that pages and page lay-out matters. This ‘conservative’ or ‘post modernist’, ‘hyper-referential’ preference comes with predilections for colour, illustrations, complex layout, paginated references and citations. All the gorgeous apparatus of print that is lost when books, magazines and newspapers are boiled down to a simple ASCII/XML stream.


Hardware Standards Proliferating

The very diversity of these devices will make it impractical for publishers to create different versions of their properties for different platforms. Rather than re-format and re-package content for devices with varying interfaces and form factors, much better to offer a digital edition that can be served and used through any valid web browser. Let the browser take the strain as Apple have done so magnificently well with the new Safari on the iPhone. Safari defeats the small scale of the screen by allowing web pages and images to be squeezed and slid around within the browser.

Just when I think, “At last! ePub! A standard! We can all move forward now!”, comes Exact Editions offering another counter-argument.

I’d like to Fast Forward five or ten years from now to see what everything has settled on.

Bye-Bye Borders = Hello eBooks!

November 28, 2008

Publishing Models, Translations, and the Financial Collapse (Part 8)

If Borders were to go bankrupt — and this is still an if — it would be one of the greatest catastrophes to hit the publishing world in decades. Even after liquidating as much stock as possible, publishers would receive massive returns, millions of dollars would be lost, and going forward, publishers would have 1,100 fewer stores to sell to.

All the more reason for every publisher — big and small — to ante up and really, truly bet on eBooks.

No returns.

And with the Sony Reader’s vision of wireless to come, publishers (and writers!) can set up their own stores to sell their own eBooks.

Sure, people can still order print books from Amazon — but do publishers really want Jeff Bezos to have a second hand around their necks?

With the right marketing, eBooks can fill the gap: The Bookstore Comes Home. (Note, I do not consider that good marketing, but it is one of the points that should be made, I think.)

ECTACO jetBook At Blowout Price!

November 28, 2008

Teleread reports the ECTACO jetBook is $100 off at Newegg, making it now hit the Golden Spot of $199.00 for an eBook reading device.

I wrote about the jetBook in two posts: Micro Fondle: ECTACO jetBook eBook Reader and in More About That ECTACO jetBook eBook Reader.

Since then, ECTACO has announced ePub and MobiPocket support will be coming:

With The International Digital Publishing Forum newly released EPUB specification format based on XML, this is the new standard for eBook production and leading eBook device manufacturers.

Ectaco announced that the jetBook eBook reader will support both – most popular in US MobiPocket format and open EPUB format in Q1,2009. Many professionals think that this event will make jetBook the greatest eBook reading platform in the US and Europe

— but what’s unclear here is whether the current hardware will support it. Also unclear is whether it will suppoort DRMed ePub and MobiPocket files.

Buyers of the original Sony Reader PRS-500 had to trade-in that model for $100 towards the PRS-505, because the 500 hardware could not support ePub and PDF reflow.

So while $199 is an absolutely great price (especially when ECTACO’s own “holiday sale price” is $309.95), it still might not get any capability beyond what it currently offers.

ECTACO jetBook website

Free eBook From Zoe Winters

November 28, 2008

A PDF file available here.

Also at that post, details of other file formats coming shortly.

Note to Zoe and all others: I need big covers. Something at least 440-pixels wide for blog pimpage here.

Second Free Charlie Huston eBook!

November 28, 2008

It’s in PDF format and the link is at the bottom of this post.

Previously here:

Where’s The Next Free Charlie Huston eBook?
Free eBook By Charlie Huston!