ePub eBooks From Apple Will Use FairPlay DRM

January 30, 2010

This has never been a question in my mind so I’m really shocked to see posts around wondering if the ePub eBooks sold through the iBookstore will have DRM.

Of course they will!

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The Threshold

January 26, 2010

Every. Thing. Changes. Tomorrow.

Publishers Versus Readers

January 26, 2010

Avid Readers Want Both eBooks and Print Books

He also noted that a staggering two-thirds of avid readers surveyed were 45 or older. In contrast, only 28 percent were in the 18+ bracket. Publishers face two unique challenges: keeping the baby boomer readers as they retire and building new readers with a younger generation.

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

I did that here: Appleā€™s iSlate Gives Book Publishers False Hope

What I have to add is this:

People grow up. Those who grow up with any sort of impulse towards self-direction and initiative understand that reading is important. They also grow up to understand that people need to be paid.

What I said in the prior post still stands, generally. Instead of selling to an existing — and shrinking — pool, enlarge it:

In a London pub, Studs meets a Welsh miner from the Rhondda Valley. “You’re from Chicago; you must know Nelson Algren.” Whiskey flows. Then the old boy sings out the titles of all Algren’s books in a mellifluous Welsh accent. — R.I.P. Louis “Studs” Terkel

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

How the hell was that miner reached?

Studs Terkel Will Save Publishing

January 26, 2010

Studs Terkel: Last words with a Voice of America

I went looking for an anecdote from Studs Terkel’s epic 1974 book, Working, and wound up with another and a different point to make:

“So when I did the book Working, there was in it a portrait of a waitress, Dolores Dante. She was a girl. And at the end she starts crying about her life and being a middle-aged woman when the kids have left. And much later a guy stops me in the street and says, ‘You son of a bitch. After reading about that waitress in your book, I’m never going to speak to a waitress again the way I did before.’ So I affected that guy. Dolores affected that guy. It was her moment of immortality.”

People are curious about other people.

Why doesn’t publishing use this fact to sell non-gossipy, non-trashy books?

It’s the same damned impulse — near-pathological, stalker-like curiosity — and it can be used to publishing’s benefit.

How would that guy have known what the lot of a waitress was like if he hadn’t read that book? How many people — especially in these Gotterdammerung me-me-me times — stop to consider what another person’s life might be like?

The young and callous look at a waitress with contempt, if they look at her at all.

Terkel’s book shows the human being behind (or stuck in) that occupation.

I’m not going to lay out examples of how this can be done. Earn your damned marketing salary, dammit.

Paper Fetishism And eBook Prejudice — In 1987!

January 25, 2010

Let me set the history for you. In 1987, the Apple Newton was still two years away and the Palm Pilot was still nine years away.

So consider the foresight it took to have this little exchange in the third episode of Star Cops:

Chandri: You’re impressed with my library, Commander.

Spring: Yes. Yes, I am. I’m more impressed by the weight allocation it took to bring them — and all of this — from Earth. You must have friends in the freight business.

Chandri: It was all paid for, I assure you. I don’t like electronic books. Something about poetry particularly which needs to be read from the page. It dies when you put in on a viewing screen.

It takes place in the first minute in the video after the break.

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Note To Self: Sylvester Stallone

January 19, 2010

One of the absolute joys of reading Writer’s Digest were the interviews.

There was one with Sylvester Stallone — yes, the movie star, who also wrote a film called Rocky — back in the 1970s.

That interview was so striking it has forever stuck in my mind.

I’ve been begging Writer’s Digest to put it online — yes, for free! — because it would be instructive to everybody.

But apparently that’s not possible due to rights issues and lawyers and all of that kind of rotten stuff that drains the life out of us.

I forgot what issue it was and had been wailing about that on Twitter. Someone finally took pity on me and provided the info. Which I swear I saved but somehow managed to then lose.

Well, I got it again and I’m putting it here.

Thank you very much! I won’t lose it now.

And if any of you have that issue or can get access to it, do so! It’s really something.

After the break, an audio track embedded in YouTube that gives some of the background of the creation of Rocky. Yes, despite the fact it’s that prat Anthony Robbins doing it, it’s worth hearing.

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Happy 90th Anniversary, Writer’s Digest!

January 18, 2010

At 90, digest’s writerly as ever

Ninety years ago, one of the biggest questions facing aspiring writers was whether to write in longhand or type their material. Today, one of their biggest questions is how to use blogs and social networking to promote themselves.

But one thing hasn’t changed in the past nine decades: The magazine to which millions of writers have turned for answers to such questions is Writer’s Digest.

Published by Sycamore Township-based publishing company F+W Media, Writer’s Digest is celebrating 90 years in business… .

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Video Of The iSlate In 1994: Yes 1994!

January 13, 2010

I get all sorts of grief from people for advocating digital books over the eCrap ePub eInk eBook model of today.

Maybe this video will get them to STFU. It’s from 1994 and shows not only an iSlate-like tablet, but a fully digital newspaper.

Mind you, there are flaws here. But I’m astonished at the breadth of the vision.

I can’t think that Knight-Ridder is pleased to have this video surface. What the hell did you do with all that talent and vision you hired, KR? Nothing!

— thanks to @wmacphail via Twitter

Desperate U.K. Newspapers Get Stupid

January 8, 2010

The Right to Link: the right to create, forward and follow links.

Why do we need a campaign to protect the right to link? Well moves are afoot in the marketplace that could lose us internet freedoms that we have taken for granted till now. Most of us aren’t even aware it’s happening.

This is absolutely stupid.

If UK newspapers think I’m going to land on their cloggy front pages when all I want to do is read one of their articles, they’ve got their heads stuffed up their bums.

As they withdraw from the Internet, I’ll see fewer and fewer of their items. Is that really what they want — fewer readers?