The BBC brings us the news about Machine Supply, a new web-connected book vending machine from Matt Webb. Traditional book shops are under increasing threat from the digitisation of both the product and the market place. But one tech entrepreneur has bucked the trend, combining the physical and the digital with a book shop in a vending machine that tweets when it makes a sale. Machine Supply is the brain-child of Mind Hacks author Matt Webb, who explains the concept. The vending machine was deployed about a month ago in the lounge at Campus London, one of Google's incubators. Those of us who can't see it in person can follow the vending machine on Twitter (it tweets each sale, and also book recommendations) or see it in operation in the following video: Interesting idea, but I have to wonder whether this will go anywhere. With the first known book vending machine having been invented nearly 200 years ago, the idea isn't new. Penguin promoted the concept during its early years (when it was still a paperback-publishing outsider), and indie bookstores have developed custom designs. There have been sightings of book vending machines in Barcelona, Tokyo, and Stockholm, as well as an ebook vending machine in Japan, [...]
Amazon was recently awarded a $30 million contract by the New York City Department of Education to provide eBooks to students over the next three years. They'll accomplish this by providing the different schools in the district access to a special marketplace designed especially for them. This is the same route that the company has taken with several colleges to provide digital textbooks.
What's interesting is that the contract doesn't cover the hardware necessary to view the books. Amazon is only providing the marketplace, and the books contained within it. It will be up to the schools to provide the method of accessing the content. Thankfully, eBooks can be viewed on any number of different devices, which makes it easier.
One of the questions most commonly posted to us by authors is: “when should I publish my eBook?” We see authors publishing on every day of the week – some on Mondays, others on Wednesdays, to Thursdays and even Fridays. But do we have a preferred release date? Short answer: yes. While there currently is…
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