Amazon has been heavily promoting on Twitter that you can now read comic books and kids books on Kindle for PC. This marks the first occasion that you do not need any of the Amazon hardware or their various smartphone apps.
It’s been a while since I mentioned Storium, the storytelling game start-up that had a successful Kickstarter in 2014. Since then, Storium has been chugging along in beta, making improvements to its game system and hosting many successful games. Recently, Storium’s administrators have posted an update to the Kickstarter campaign indicating that the site is just about to come out of beta and open to the public. Storium is a play-by-post-based storytelling game, of the sort people have been running on blogs, LiveJournals, or forums since time immemorial, with a simple game mechanic based on virtual “cards” that parcels out control over the story evenly to the players and the
Do you have to update your Kindle PC software or else have it stop working? It’s a good question, and I’ve been trying to determine the answer. So far, the results seem to be inconclusive. The only place I’m finding the outright claim that Kindle for PC will outright stop working if not updated is in a comment to a story on The Digital Reader. User “Fbone” said he or she had just been notified that Kindle for PC needed to be updated to version 1.14.1 by April 1, 2016 or it would become inoperable. But Google doesn’t turn up any other articles to that effect besides one Nate Hoffelder
Online knowledge forum Big Think has shared a profile of the Kazakh woman who’s single-handedly taking on the Goliath of scholarly publishing, and leading a global civil disobedience campaign in support of scholarly open access.
The Guardian has given author Lee Child a platform to prognosticate on the rumors about Amazon opening even more brick and mortar bookstores, and the result is painful to read. If you liked Child's factless comments over at The Passive Voice, you're going to love this: Because, even now, for most books and most people most of the time, the biggest spur to purchase is actually seeing an actual book in a physical place. Because for most people most of the time, reading is a take-it-or-yawn-leave-it activity. Books are not quite distress purchases, but neither are they exciting enough for enthusiastic online hunting. (Again, for most people most of the time, which I’ll stop repeating now, but only if the e-fanboys agree to discuss the real world, not their pretend version. Deal?) Nothing sells books better than physical displays in bricks-and-mortar locations. ... Which is a problem for Amazon. Classically it uses books to hook customers and then data-mine them. But it gets only dedicated book buyers. ... Let's skip, for the moment, Child's condescending tone, and consider the point he has raised. Amazon sells something like a third of all trade books in the US, and yet Child thinks [...]
One of the difficulties today’s era of experimentation brings is that goods and services are not as neatly categorized as they used to be. I have an ongoing debate with my esteemed publisher, Mr. Rothman, for instance, on what constitutes an ‘e-book story’ and what does not. If I use my phone for reading, does that mean any story about phones is therefore a piece of e-book news? Shelf Awareness (link here via our friends at The Passive Voice) points out an important flaw in the legacy industry’s super-neat categories. You may miss out on some important information because you didn’t realize it applied to you. The news bit was
Rakuten released its annual financial report on Friday. While the news was generally good, the report also revealed embarrassing details about Rakuten's ebook ventures. Overall company revenues rose by 19% to 713 billion JPY for the year. Quarterly revenues were also up 14%, to 198 billion JPY. . Net profit for the year slipped 38% to 44.3 billion JPY. eBooks were hardly mentioned at all. There were a couple mentions of OverDrive, which Rakuten acquired in March 2015 for $410 million, yes. It's library loans were up 23.5% YoY in the fourth quarter, and Rakuten indicated in its "Vision 2020" brief is that the combined EBITA for Kobo+OverDrive will be positive in 2016. That is a first for Kobo, which has stayed a money pit even two years after Rakuten put a fixer in charge of the ebook company. The single most important mention of Kobo was in a related document where Rakuten explained the write offs it is taking this year on several of its subsidiaries. The Japanese retail conglomerate announced a 7.8 billion JPY goodwill impairment on Kobo. According to Wikipedia, in this situation goodwill is an accounting term for a certain type of intangible asset: Goodwill represents assets that are not separately identifiable. [...]
The Reedsy Book Editor is going to be released next Tuesday and will be very appealing to indie authors. The Reedsy Book Editor combines a beautiful writing experience with powerful collaboration and typesetting features.
All the major US trade publishers have agency deals in place, and that is having the expected impact on their ebook sales. Over the past week HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, and Hachette have released financial statements that show exactly what we all expected. The Bookseller reported today on S&S: The CBS Corporation released its fourth quarter and full year results yesterday evening (11th February), revealing that its publishing arm Simon & Schuster saw an 8% sales increase from $215 to $233m, primarily down to the growth in print book sales. The fourth quarter boost meant the company ended its full year with sales of $780m (£536.5m), up 0.25% from $778m (£535m) a year earlier. However, e-book sales accounted for just 21% of total publishing revenues in the fourth quarter, down from the 24% they accounted for in the same quarter a year earlier. And PW reported that HC was defending its decline in revenue by pointing to the healthy profit margin (12.8%): Lower e-book sales, combined with lower revenue from titles in the Divergent series, led to a 5% drop in sales at HarperCollins in the quarter ended December 31, 2015, compared to the same quarter last year. Revenue at the [...]
A well-intentioned Huffington Post article by Andrew Zack, President and Literary Agent with The Zack Company, and himself a publisher with Endpapers Press, makes a well-timed plea for bookstores everywhere to end their boycott/s of Amazon...
One of the oddest pieces of misreading to come my way arrived earlier with the headline “Only 40 Self-Published Authors are a Success, says Amazon.” This was based on a New York Times profile piece about self-publisher – and more...
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