Hey, Comic Book Nerds: Google Wants You to Peruse its Play Store
November 13, 2015 at 2:25 pm

An uncontroversial claim: People who like comic books really like comic books. So Google, a company obsessed with organizing information and bent of late on building a comprehensive media offering through its app store, would like these fans to spend their time with Google. Ergo, today’s news: A new part of Google Play Books tailored…

What the Rise of "Shadow" Publishing Means for Traditional Book Publishers
November 12, 2015 at 12:45 pm

Recently there were a pair of revealing eruptions in the world of ebooks and the volatile book publishing industry more generally. The first was the announced demise of Oyster, an ebook subscription startup based in New York and backed by $17 million in VC funding. While the announcement of Oyster’s shutdown is remarkable for its…

Another Big Win for Google Books (and for Researchers)
October 22, 2015 at 12:21 pm

Google’s legal winning streak continues with last week’s decision by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, which rejected the Authors Guild’s appeal of the dismissal of its lawsuit against Google over the latter’s massive book-scanning project. I won’t take up space here recapping the timeline of this now-ten-year-old legal saga – there’s a pretty good…

Google Hires Oyster Execs as Ebook Service Announces Shutdown
September 22, 2015 at 2:10 pm

Oyster, the so-called Netflix for ebooks, is shutting down. Its CEO and founders announced their plans to close Oyster in a blog post this afternoon, writing that the service would be sunset over the next several months. They give no reason for why Oyster is closing, saying only that their vision for ebooks will be…

What Ever Happened to Google Books?
September 15, 2015 at 2:45 pm

It was the most ambitious library project of our time—a plan to scan all of the world’s books and make them available to the public online. “We think that we can do it all inside of ten years,” Marissa Mayer, who was then a vice-president at Google, said to this magazine in 2007, when Google…

Google Play Books’ New Reading Mode Lets You Browse and Skim Nonfiction Ebooks Faster
November 4, 2014

The digital format works a lot better for some kinds of books than others. For straight-text fiction, it's perfect - as evidenced by 2013 sales figures showing that ebooks now account for nearly 40 percent of adult fiction sales. When it comes to nonfiction, though - cookbooks, atlases, travel guides and so on - ebooks haven't done as well.

Now Google is taking a small step to change that: On Thursday the company announced a new nonfiction reading mode for its Google Play Books app. The new feature, which is only available on Android for now,

Lessons Learned While Publishing Guide to Digital Publishing Platforms as an eBook
September 25, 2014

The chance to publish the second edition of our Guide to Digital Publishing Platformswas a great opportunity to rethink many of the basic concepts of book publishing such as the role of the cover, and the need for using as many digital bookstores as possible. It is common wisdom that when publishing a book, the cover design is one of the most important elements that will influence a book's sales success. Much money is spent employing book design experts to make sure a book cover is attractive and lures the reader in.

Ask The Chefs: Are Publishers Customer Focused?
September 25, 2014

This month we're asking the Chefs about customer focus. The question was inspired by a comment that Rick Anderson posted in August in which he wondered if the enhancements and features publishers implement are truly focused on customer needs. Seeing all of the Chefs' responses, and having opinions of my own, I find it very interesting that almost everyone, in one manner or another, took a step back and pondered: Who are the customers? 

The Future Of The Future Of Books
September 18, 2014

It's been over 15 years since the first dedicated e-readers were released, and over seven since the first Kindle. Today, about 15% of consumer spending on books is electronic and about 30% of books sold are e-books. The majority of book readers still only read in print, and only 6% of readers read e-books exclusively. It's clear that e-books are here to stay, but it's less clear that the complete dismantling of the publishing industry is around the corner.

Kindle Voyage Leaks on Amazon with a New Way to Turn Pages
September 17, 2014

Amazon appears to be preparing to launch new Kindles. Several listings spotted on the German version of Amazon show a new "Kindle Voyage" e-reader with a 6-inch high-resolution display (300 ppi) and a release date of November 4th. An image of the Kindle Voyage has been unearthed from a user manual by allesebook, and the specifications suggest it will have a new page press sensor to turn pages by pressing lightly on the bezel, alongside "intelligent front lighting."