Monday, 20 February 2012

News: E-Book Rush, Book Deals And Libraries In The Lurch

The big news last week was the passing of artiste Whitney Houston. As tributes poured in, some people decided to cash in by publishing e-books dedicated to her and her memory. This, even before she's buried.

All these big pop stars can't even get a break offstage, thanks to the paparazzi and the spectacle-hungry fans they feed with all the latest on their idols. Even in death, her funeral had to be a public spectacle. For the world to mourn along, perhaps. But haven't they been doing that for days prior?

In India, a bookstore dies: The owner of the decades-old Manneys in Pune is folding up his shop because his children aren't interested, and there's no one he can pass the torch on to. So... Will the flame survive long after the hearth is gone? The article says "yes".

Someone is already asking whether out-of-print books can be considered antiques.

  • More e-book app news: The Readium Open Source initiative has been launched to hasten the adoption of the IDPF EPUB 3 standard for e-books. Sounds like a good idea, if Apple, Amazon, etc can get on board. I expect some resistance from Apple in particular.

    Another platform that's "not Apple" (rubbing it in a little, I suspect) is Inkling's free interactive e-book publishing platform.

    Booktype, meanwhile, launches a collection of crowd-sourced e-book tools. From what I can see, it's a bit more involved than Unbound, where authors editors and designers get together to create and publish a book.
  • Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other publishers are fighting over e-books while libraries suffer. The main concern is, according to the report: "If borrowing a book is too easy, in other words, you won’t buy it."

    It seems the digital book has raised serious legal, logistical and technical concerns among publishers and vendors. The tussles among these titans threaten to leave libraries in the lurch over e-book lending: what are libraries if they can't lend books - physical or digital ones?

    Underscoring that is Penguin's decision to stop selling e-books to libraries. They've also shut down some alleged book piracy sites, including
  • More fighting over Amanda Knox's future memoir, which is likely to discuss her murder trial in Italy. Since then, Knox has signed a US$4m book deal with HarperCollins.

    I'm sceptical, naturally. "Truth"? Perhaps. Booming sales? "Would be nice..." Sure.
  • Some "Crabbit Old Bat" has some tips for you blogging writers. I thought the post makes a great point of reference.
  • Apparently, it's hard to name a publishing house.
  • Not a dream publishing success: Randy Susan Meyer's path towards publication. Think this is what the majority of authors face.
  • Quentin Rowan, aka QR Markham, "author" of the controversial Assassin of Secrets, profiled in The New Yorker.
  • Some non-textual content: Shit book reviewers say, by Washington Post fiction editor Ron Charles. I think there's at least one nod to Michiko Kakutani in there. The way Charles intones, "...her lapidary prose..." just cracks me up.

    Do check out Charles's other video where he wears bacon on his head for his video review of Danielle Evans's short story collection Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self.

    There's more pork as devout Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow reads Green Eggs and Ham by Dr Seuss. And does it quite well, too. Tebow to Tebow.


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