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Los Angeles Times publishes 99-cent e-book based on news story

TeleRead - 47 min 20 sec ago

The Los Angeles Times has joined the ranks of newspapers and magazines that have begun publishing expanded versions of popular articles as e-books. Today it released a 99-cent Kindle, Nook, and iBooks e-book called A Nightmare Made Real.

The book recounts the story of Las Vegas banker Louis Gonzalez III who was accused of kidnapping and raping the mother of his child, and the investigation his defense attorney and an investigator mounted to clear his name. It incorporates material from a two-psite:teleread.com kindle single

art Los Angeles Times article, as well as expanded profiles of the people involved.

It’s not clear how long the e-book is; the Kindle e-book file is 155KB, so I’m guessing it might be around 60,000 to 80,000 words. Not a “full-length” work by any means, but for that sort of in-depth reporting a 99-cent price sounds just about right.

On Publishing Perspectives, Erin L. Cox wonders if newspapers publishing e-books based on their stories might somehow “thwart” book publishers, since a lot of non-fiction titles that end up with publishers originally started out as newspaper articles the way this one did.

I’m not sure I can really see it having that big of an impact, though; most of the “Kindle Single” style e-books (including the LA Times’s entry) are too short to be published as “real” books. And given the relatively small number of these e-books being published so far, compared to the total non-fiction output of the Big Six, I suspect they don’t have anything to worry about just yet.

RT @Supreme_IQ187: I wrote a poem today during study. Here's the first stanza: "Boing boing boing, Reid's big badoing." This is not a joke. I'll post it later.

Stanza on Twitter - 49 min 4 sec ago
RT @Supreme_IQ187: I wrote a poem today during study. Here's the first stanza: "Boing boing boing, Reid's big badoing." This is not a joke. I'll post it later.

I wrote a poem today during study. Here's the first stanza: "Boing boing boing, Reid's big badoing." This is not a joke. I'll post it later.

Stanza on Twitter - 49 min 25 sec ago
I wrote a poem today during study. Here's the first stanza: "Boing boing boing, Reid's big badoing." This is not a joke. I'll post it later.

The Indies and the E’s, by Ted Striphas

TeleRead - 1 hour 25 sec ago

OR, HOW TO SAVE INDEPENDENT BOOKSTORES ONE E-BOOK AT A TIME

Several weeks ago I mentioned the “Cultures of Books and Reading” class I’m teaching this semester at Indiana University.  It’s been a blast so far.  My students have had so many provocative things to say about the present and future of book culture.  More than anything, I’m amazed at the extent to which many of them seem to be book lovers, however book may be defined these days.

Right now I’m about midstream grading their second papers.  I structured the assignment in the form of a debate, asking each student to stake out and defend a position on this statement: “Physical bookstores are neither relevant nor necessary in the age of Amazon.com, and U.S. book culture is better off without them.”  In case you’re wondering, there’s been an almost equal balance between “pro” and “con” thus far.

One recurrent theme I’ve been seeing concerns how independent booksellers have almost no presence in the realm of e-readers and e-reading.  Really, it’s an oligarchy.  Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and to a lesser extent, Apple have an almost exclusive lock on the commercial e-book market in the United States.  And in this sense, my students have reminded me, the handwriting is basically on the wall for the Indies.  Unless they get their act together — soon — they’re liable to end up frozen out of probably the most important book market to have emerged since the paperback revolution of the 1950s and 60s.

Thus far the strategy of the Indies seems to be, ignore e-books, and they’ll go away. But these booksellers have it backward.  The “e” isn’t apt to disappear in this scenario, but the Indies are.  How, then, can independent booksellers hope to get a toehold in the world of e-reading?

The first thing they need to do is, paradoxically, to cease acting independently.  Years ago the Indies banded together to launch the e-commerce site, IndieBound, which is basically a collective portal through which individual booksellers can market their stock of physical books online.  I can’t say the actual sales model is the best, but the spirit of cooperation is outstanding.  Companies like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Apple are too well capitalized for any one independent store to realistically compete.  Together, though, the Indies have a fighting chance.

Second, the Indies need to exploit a vulnerability in the dominant e-book platforms; they then need to build and market a device of their own accordingly.  So listen up, Indies — here’s your exploit, for which I won’t even charge you a consulting fee: Amazon, B&N, and Apple all use proprietary e-book formats.  Every Kindle, Nook, and iBook is basically tethered to its respective corporate custodian, whose long-term survival is a precondition of the continuing existence of one’s e-library.  Were Barnes & Noble ever to go under, for example, then poof! – one’s Nook library essentially vanishes, or at least it ceases to be as functional as it once was due to the discontinuation of software updates, bug fixes, new content, etc.

What the Indies need to do, then, is to create an open e-book system, one that’s feature rich and, more importantly, platform agnostic.  Indeed, one of the great virtues of printed books is their platform agnosticism.  The bound, paper book isn’t tied to any one publisher, printer, or bookseller.  In the event that one or more happens to go under, the format — and thus the content — still endures.  That’s another advantage the Indies have over the e-book oligarchs, by the way: there are many of them.  The survival of any e-book platform they may produce thus wouldn’t depend on the well being of any one independent bookseller but rather on that of the broader institution of independent bookselling.

How do you make it work, financially?  The IndieBound model, whereby shoppers who want to buy printed books are funneled to a local member bookshop, won’t work very well, I suspect.  Local doesn’t make much sense in the world of e-commerce, much less in the world of e-books.  It doesn’t really matter “where” online you buy a digital good, since really it just comes to you from a remote server anyway.  So here’s an alternative: allow independent booksellers to buy shares in, say, IndieRead, or maybe Ind-ē.  Sales of all e-books are centralized and profits get distributed based on the proportion of any given shop’s buy-in.

There you have it.  Will the Indies run with it?  Or will all of the students enrolled in my next  “Cultures of Books and Reading” class conclude that independent bookselling has become irrelevant indeed?

Via The Late Age of Print

Google open-sources Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)

TeleRead - 1 hour 6 min ago

Google today released the complete source code to Android version 4.0.1 (Ice Cream Sandwich), the version that will ship with the Galaxy Nexus. The code includes a build target for compiling the OS for the Galaxy Nexus, and other device configurations will be added later. The code tree includes the source code for Honeycomb, as well, though Google would prefer people to focus on Ice Cream Sandwich now.

This release will be helpful for those who want to develop software for the Android, as well as those who would like to port it to various other devices that do not officially support it. I wonder if any new e-reading developments will come out of that?

(Found via Gizmodo.)

I Need To Start Writing Poetry I Think ny first stanza go be titled....BITCH...(someone wanna help me out with the rest?)

Stanza on Twitter - 1 hour 16 min ago
I Need To Start Writing Poetry I Think ny first stanza go be titled....BITCH...(someone wanna help me out with the rest?)

Andrys Basten looks at Kindle Fire reviews

TeleRead - 1 hour 16 min ago

From A Kindle World Blog. The definitive compilation.  Much, much more at the site:

All the Kindle Fire reviews started coming in last night, and almost every single review is detailed and quite long.  Somewhat off the topic, someone posted a review of the Kindle Touch 3G, and for the most part she missed the physical keyboard.  I would too because I like to see the full screen when I’m typing a note, and I find the clunky keyboard more reliable than touchscreen, for me.  But the new Touch Kindles are faster, from all reports.

Prospective buyers and even those who have already bought a Kindle Fire should read all the pros and cons in the articles linked to here — there are also helpful tips on using some of the features, besides.
And even tips on bugs or glitches , both of which would be of interest to both groups.

So, although I’m choosing what I felt were stand-out points from the various reviews and will bold-face more unusual notes (especially one with an answer to a question often asked), I encourage going to the articles linked here.

You’ll see that some reviewers had disappointing sessions with the browser while others thought it was wonderful. I don’t know whether that has to do with the info-gathering the Silkbrowser does, server-wise, or whether some WiFi-setups are slower than others, but all the reviewers know what a normal, fast browsing situation is on the WiFi networks they use.  One reviewer I’m quoting seems to mainly just not like 7″ tablets, but I’ve enjoyed my NookColor for over a year despite his complaints about the downsides of that size unit.  I find the size more ‘handy’ than the larger 10″ and actually would not mind having both sizes for different circumstances, if the price is right.

did yall hear how nicki tried to slip in bitch between the hook and her stanza?

Stanza on Twitter - 1 hour 17 min ago
did yall hear how nicki tried to slip in bitch between the hook and her stanza?

@AgentSmith91 @sbJEEBISS um nevermind about the message. the stanza i need help with is the third one. it starts "with If you can make one"

Stanza on Twitter - 1 hour 17 min ago
@AgentSmith91 @sbJEEBISS um nevermind about the message. the stanza i need help with is the third one. it starts "with If you can make one"

HarperCollins mulling interactive ads in factual e-books

TeleRead - 1 hour 18 min ago

HarperCollins is considering selling interactive ad space in factual e-books, New Media Age reports. The ads would be limited to books that convey factual information, rather than fiction titles. HarperCollins group digital director and publisher David Roth-Ey explains:

“Certain kinds of books create immersive reading experiences whereby ads would be too interruptive for readers, and publishers and even advertisers aren’t likely to put a premium on that. But information books, for example a Collins birds guide, could provide very valuable real estate for contextual advertising – in this case potentially a binoculars manufacturer.”

Other HarperCollins efforts mentioned at the company’s DigiFest conference include ways of increasing the discoverability of e-books to make up for the inability to discover e-book titles by bookstore cover browsing.

I have little doubt that most TeleRead readers will greet the news of ads in e-books with a loud chorus of boos and hisses. But on the other hand, it does seem to work for magazines, doesn’t it? And publishers are in dire enough straits lately that it’s hard to blame them too much for looking for income where they can find it. I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see whether this leads to a slippery slope or not.

@HalilBorucu a vicar doing vicar-ly things in a church with a very offensive stanza from a poem being read in the background... hmmmmm

Stanza on Twitter - 1 hour 18 min ago
@HalilBorucu a vicar doing vicar-ly things in a church with a very offensive stanza from a poem being read in the background... hmmmmm

@sbJEEBISS its called "if" by rudyard kipling. ill message you the stanza i need help with. thanks bro

Stanza on Twitter - 1 hour 20 min ago
@sbJEEBISS its called "if" by rudyard kipling. ill message you the stanza i need help with. thanks bro

Anyone use Stanza reader? The new update has killed it!! Ugh.

Stanza on Twitter - 1 hour 51 min ago
Anyone use Stanza reader? The new update has killed it!! Ugh.

There you go. 3 stanza poem.

Stanza on Twitter - 2 hours 21 min ago
There you go. 3 stanza poem.

My new band's name: Tony Stanza Ballet ExravaDanza.

Stanza on Twitter - 2 hours 24 min ago
My new band's name: Tony Stanza Ballet ExravaDanza.

So Stanza is now iOS5 compatible, but crashes on iOS 4.3.x - good enough for me.

Stanza on Twitter - 2 hours 41 min ago
So Stanza is now iOS5 compatible, but crashes on iOS 4.3.x - good enough for me.

RT @CremePff: @NAYpalm_Strike whats up? Hold on, let me finish this stanza

Stanza on Twitter - 2 hours 41 min ago
RT @CremePff: @NAYpalm_Strike whats up? Hold on, let me finish this stanza

@NAYpalm_Strike whats up? Hold on, let me finish this stanza

Stanza on Twitter - 2 hours 42 min ago
@NAYpalm_Strike whats up? Hold on, let me finish this stanza
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