When I first reported on the rumored contract talks between Amazon and PRH UK on Sunday, I predicted that the two parties were going to fight a PR battle in the press. I think the second volley may have arrived.
A new Microsoft patent shows how a head-mounted display could transform the experience of reading books — synchronizing a virtual character’s movements and lips to match the words being read aloud from the text.
The patent, awarded to the company today, was initially filed three years ago, but it provides a sense for the direction the company could be headed. One of the inventors listed on the patent is Alex Kipman, who is leading development efforts for HoloLens, the Redmond company’s upcoming “blended reality” headset.
It is importtWhat font is right for your novel? Is it better to mess around and find something new or go with your computer's automatic settings? Do you want different fonts for hard copies, ebooks, and submiss...
Writers are contributing to the fall in their incomes by penning free pieces for large companies in the hope that it will raise their profile and lead to book sales, Roxana Robinson, president of The Authors Guild, has told The Bookseller. She also said that Amazon was devaluing books and writing.
Robinson right, a novelist and short story writer who has also written a biography of artist Georgia O’Keeffe, has been president of The Authors Guild—the US equivalent of the Society of Authors—since March 2014. She said that “it is clear that writers’ incomes are declining”, claiming a drop in the number of people reading books and “struggles over royalty and prices” were among the reasons for lower incomes.
“Amazon discounting book prices means that there is a movement toward devaluing books,” she said. “And I think that has an impact on the way people look at writing. If Amazon keeps pricing e-books at very, very low prices, people start feeling, ‘well, actually, writing isn’t a valuable product’.”
BEA's Global Forum programme for China includes a series of off-site cultural events — perhaps of interest to those who welcome a chance, any chance, to get out of the Javits Center.
BEA information estimates China's publishing market to have stood at some $19.4 billion in 2012, roughly half that of the States' at the time. It is thought that the country now is producing some half-a-million new titles each year. Past Global Market Forum countries have included Mexico, Russia, Spain, Italy, and the Arab World.
Diversity will get an extra push at this week's BookCon and BookExpo America. Last year, a virtually all-white lineup of speakers at publishing's annual national conventions highlighted the whiteness of the industry itself.
Earlier today The Bookseller published a piece where Roxana Robinson, the president of The Author's Guild, shares hew view on key issues like the ongoing appeal of the Google Books case, authors writing for free, and Amazon destroying book culture as we know it. Starting from least interesting to the most exciting, Robinson mis-characterized the... Read More »
Literary culture needs benign rich people. But celebrity authors won't save the U.S. bookstore
Marianela Camacho Alfaro's insight:
"During my years writing about books and bookstores for the Los Angeles Times, I wrote the obits of several shops, and when I did, I often called heads of bookselling organizations. I still recall one telling me how it was the specialized shops – like that great mystery bookstore in South Pasadena – that fit into the niched new economy and knew its audience better than a general bookstore could. Within a few years, that one went down, too, as did the wonderful Mystery Bookstore in Westwood. And since the recovery, rents in cities like L.A. and San Francisco and Brooklyn and Boston have gone through the roof, which makes it harder for shops selling fixed-price items to survive.
But you don’t hear a lot about this kind of thing, especially when there is not a celebrity involved.
So what’s the larger context? For years, Amazon paid no sales tax while it competed against brick-and-mortar stores that did; it still gets huge amounts of support from the federal government (that $600 million from the CIA is more than four times the entire National Endowment for the Arts budget) and Wall Street serves as an endless financial teat. Amazon is like the dumb rich kid in your high school who runs for class president and wipes everyone else off the map because Mom bakes the whole school cookies and Dad hires someone to wash their cars."
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