eBook Notes For Monday, October 5, 2009

October 5, 2009

A mixture of print, book-related, and e this time.

Muslim honour killing book cancelled over safety fears

Islamisation refers to small but significant erosions of our freedom, bit by bit, demand by demand, concession by concession.

If freedom of expression is the issue, distribute it via BitTorrent.

Film-writer Nick Rowntree celebrates release of £5m movie The Tournament

“The boy least likely to succeed – that’s what they said about me at school. … If any of my teachers knew that I was now a film-writer I’m sure they would drop dead from shock at the thought that I could even manage to string a punctuated paragraph together.”

Jordan book ban over 4th memoir

Bookshops are threatening to boycott Jordan’s looming autobiography – because it’s her FOURTH in five years.

Fine. Tell the bookstores to go to hell. Release it electronically.

Stickee goes multimedia to promote Conn Iggulden’s new book Tollins: Explosive Tales for Children

Harper Collins Publishers has unveiled the campaign, www.SaveTheTollins.com, to promote the launch of the book by Iggulden, whose previous works include The Conqueror Series and The Dangerous Book for Boys.

Very odd. Using basically a web-only digital book to promote a print book. This seems backwards to me.

Ads on the iPhone Makes Perfect AdSense!

As of today, publishers can now drop smart phone optimized AdSense ads inside their mobile content.

There’s the future of the “free” eBook — and “free” digital book. It will contain ads. See the screensnap at that link.

A Letter to 84 Charing Cross Road

Sixty years ago today, on October 5, 1949, Helene Hanff wrote a letter to a bookstore in London. Marks & Co. was located at 84 Charing Cross Road; Miss Hanff was located on East 95th Street in New York City.

This is such a beautiful, wonderful story. Get away from your PC right now and see the movie version of the story starring Anne Bancroft.

Why the Digital Revolution is Missing the Big Picture

Ebooks should expand the book buying market, not be used as an alternative for the print edition. Look at the ads for the iPod: they’re fun, they’re cool, they feature all sorts of (pastel-colored) people who are far funkier than anyone you or I know grooving to the licensed beat.

I’d find people dancing to reading material — e or p — very disturbing.

What is a Vook, and How Will It Change Publishing?

These vooks may not replace the mainstream novel but they could represent a smaller, short story based product that could make authors money in between novels.

Why We Need $4.00 Books

Most books are too expensive. Compared to lower cost alternative media sources, books are becoming niche consumables like caviar.

In my first job, as a temp, I made $5.00/hour. That was the late 1970s and that was great money, above the minimum wage. I could afford whatever mass-market paperbacks I wanted. Today the U.S. minimum wage is $7.25 — and that sometimes won’t buy somebody one mass-market paperback. Affordability is the key to reading, to getting people to build personal libraries.

Archos 5 Android Internet Tablet First Impressions. (Long!)

Good ebook reader s/w (FBreader and Aldiko work well and are very comfortable in the portrait format)

However …

My advise to potential customers at this stage though is to wait. V1.022 software is too buggy for most people and Archos don’t deserve an early rush on sales for such poor quality control. Take the time to check other reviews and opinion and stay tuned here. I’ll test each firmware as it comes out and give a thumbs-up when I think it’s ready. Disclaimer: I’m assuming I don’t have a faulty device.

Still, look at these photos:

Archos Android Internet Tablet _1_
Click = big

Click = big

Photos stolen borrowed from the UMPC Archos 5 Internet Tablet Photo Gallery

I believe both of those are FeedBooks via the built-in web browser. Over at the UMPC Portal post, there’s also a one-hour embedded video which I haven’t yet viewed. Perhaps in that Chippy demonstrates both Aldiko and FBReader. I like the stats on battery life. With brightness turned down to an eye-friendly level, this could be very good for some formats of eBook reading — once the software is stable.

FTC Wants Bloggers To Disclose: My Disclosure

October 5, 2009

FTC Publishes Final Guides Governing Endorsements, Testimonials

I did something like this back in 2007: My Response To “10 Things Your Blogger Won’t Tell You”

Let me do an update for this blog:

1) Sony: I have never requested a Sony Reader to review. Nor has Sony ever offered one. Despite repeated requests, Sony won’t even put me on their damned PR email list! I had to break down and request an invite to the unveiling of the Sony Reader 700. And Sony could have said No.

2) ECTACO jetBook: Several months ago, before I saw the light about how ePub was crap, I was severely curious about how the jetBook would handle ePub. I broke down and requested a review unit. This was ECTACO’s email reply:

Dear Mike,

That would cost You $250.00.

You will have a chance to explore the unit within 7 days and then return it for full refund.

Do you see any review of the ECTACO jetBook here? That would be a No. Seven days is not enough time to review something. Second, if I had to put out money, I could have put out $199.99 — on some days, less! — to get it from Frys or NewEgg.

3) Vook: Unsolicited, Vook sent me an email with free — free! — access to all of their web interface digital books. I used that access to compose these two posts: Vook Debuts Digital Books and How To Properly Integrate Video Into Fiction Digital Books. As it has turned out, I like what Vook is doing and once I am able to actually read their digital books, there will be additional posts. Vook knew it was gambling by giving me access because when I told them I was doing a post, an email asked:

good post or did you flay us?

4) Echelon Press: I have maybe five, if that, free PDF editions of Echelon Press books that were part of giveaways held on Twitter. I haven’t had time to read any of them yet.

5) NetGalley: I have an account on NetGalley, which means I can get pre-publication electronic galleys. I haven’t downloaded anything yet.

6) Moriah Jovan: She has given me a copy of her eBook, The Proviso, as part of an exploration into ePub display and CSS technologies. I haven’t read it.

7) Anthony Neil Smith: He was looking for places to do his blog book tour for his new novel, Hogdoggin’. I offered him a post place both at this blog and my No Flickr blog. I did not get a free copy of his book, did not ask for one, nor did I expect one. I had to do a post for his blog that tied into an ongoing storyline as part of the tour. I liked his previous book, Yellow Medicine, which I borrowed from the New York Public Library.

8) SlashGear: After the live blogging coverage of the Apple iPod event several months ago, Vincent Nguyen announced that I was the winner of a free US$25.00 iTunes Gift Card. I told him I wouldn’t accept it and he should give it to someone else. I don’t know if he did, but I never took it.

9) GearDiary/Judie Lipsett: I keep joking with Judie on Twitter that she should send me some of her leftover loot. She did, in fact, offer to lend me a leftover iPhone. Initially I declined. Then a few hours later, I changed my mind and requested it. She had already passed it on to someone else. She does, however, know better than to ask me, as I’ve turned down a few offers from her, but the iPhone I could’ve briefly used to try out some free software like Stanza.

10) Other: I think that’s it. Anything I write about is because of curiosity or advocacy, with no strings attached. Go ask around on Twitter to see that I will even go so far as to tell someone to go Fuck off and Block them if I disagree with their point of view and especially ethics. My only allegiances are to writers, writing, and to ideas. Anyone who crosses my path today can be cut off tomorrow. And I cannot be bought, leased, rented, or bribed by any company.

Why Digital Books Will Win

October 5, 2009

It’s the End of the Book as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)

Our childhood experiences shape our expectations later in life, and whole generations are growing up with the expectation that entertainment will be available whenever they want it, wherever they are. This will have a profound effect on… everything, including books.

He understands.

Does anyone in print publishing understand?

Does anyone who writes understand?

Does anyone on the frikkin Internet understand?

Print publishers, writers, and eejitastic Internet “pundits” dismiss something such as Vook.

They don’t understand: You’re not their market.

You’re too damned old.

Your age group is dicking around with waste-of-money Kindles and Sony Readers so you can see the text by enlarging it.

You are used to a words-only paradigm.

You are future-book FAIL.

Hey, I’m videogame FAIL, so I see this clearly. I came in at the dividing line between those who would grab at videogames and those who wouldn’t. I fell on the wouldn’t side.

I’m not the market for videogames.

I’m too damned old.

Disney Digital Books, Vook, and other upcoming entrants are the pioneers for the next generation.

Do you think Toyota and Nissan developed full-blown into Detroit-devouring megacorporations? The first cars they imported into the U.S. were outright junk, the Yugos of their time.

But the Japanese were in it for the long haul.

Detroit wasn’t.

Print publishing doesn’t seem to be in it for the long haul, either. As newspapers and magazines drop dead around them, book publishers think sticking their heads in the sand will save them.

That’s no strategy at all.

Finally, I want it understood once again: digital books are not eBooks. The terms should not be used interchangeably!

Previously here:

How To Properly Integrate Video Into Fiction Digital Books
Eveda: How NOT To Do A Digital Book
Vook Debuts Digital Books
Disney + Pixar + Marvel + Apple + iTablet
Smart Digital Books Vs. The ePub FAIL Model
He Understands Something Is Missing
English-Subtitled Editis Smart Digital Book Video
Why eInk, ePub, And eBooks Will Fail
Dumb eBooks Must Die, Smart eBooks Must Live
ALL eInk Devices: BAD For eBooks!