The e-book is not going away - and that's not a bad thing for books.
Ever since the advent of the Kindle, a doomsday cloud has hovered over the world of book publishing, a portent that the rise of the e-book will mean the fall of the print book, and eventually the end of any good literature at all.
Even with recent optimistic forecasts for the future of books, the underlying assumption driving the conversation is still that technology and traditional literary reading are somehow incompatible, different ways of life.
Thanks to the internet, it has never been easier to steal other people's work. There's also a high risk you'll be found out. So why do it? Rhodri Marsden goes in search of a little originality.
It's not that hard to think of something totally original. If you don't worry about it being any good, it's easy. "Colorless green ideas sleep furiously," was Noam Chomsky's spirited attempt in his ground-breaking 1957 book on linguistics, Syntactic Structures.
For you, I, and probably many others, LinkedIn is a bit of an odd beast. We all no doubt have a profile on the 'social network for professionals', but how often we actually log in and check what's going on is another matter altogether.
Founded in 2003, LinkedIn garnered somewhere in the region of $1.5 billion in revenue last year. Today, it claims 277 million members, 3.5 million active company profiles, 24,000 schools, and 300,000 jobs. Its core mission is to "...connect the world's professionals to make them more productive and successful".
Digital publishing is rapidly becoming a haven for struggling writers—but it turns out the format might hold similar potential for struggling readers too.
A new survey by UK charity Quick Reads indicates that adult readers tend to read more and stick with books longer if they’re using an e-reader. According to the survey, 48 percent of UK adults who use e-readers say the technology gets them to read more.
The questions over what the industry can do, or not do about Amazon's dominance, were raised yet again last week. It was first sparked first by Barnes and Noble's declining interest and funding of its Nook venture, then we had Sony shutting up it US store and handing the keys to Kobo as it battles with many greater corporate issues, then came Kobo itself filing objections to a Competition Bureau agreement impelling four of the biggest publishers operating in Canada to renegotiate their contracts with ebook retailers
Remember print books, those antiquated relics of a bygone age that pundits and prognosticators had forsaken and buried a long time ago? Apparently, they're back in vogue and not going away anytime soon, which should make digital publishers and authors sit up and take notice."The Evolution of the Book Industry: Implications for U.S. Book Manufacturers and Printers," a study of about 800 respondents, found that nearly 70% of consumers feel it is unlikely that they will abandon print books by 2016
Many new eBooks services are setting themselves up with claims to be the next Netflix or Spotify. They aim to be the subscription service for eBooks. But are they just dreaming and hoping that there is a market? Are they truly aligned, or are they adrift of consumer demand? The pundits and soothsayers all have their opinions, but does anyone really know, or are they merely playing to their respective audiences? The truth today is that no one knows and a gut feel is just that - a gut feel.
The sale of audiobooks has skyrocketed in recent years. In 2012, total industry sales in the book business fell just under 1 percent over all, but those of downloadable audiobooks rose by more than 20 percent. That year, 13,255 titles came out as audiobooks, compared with 4,602 in 2009. Publishers seem to be paying more attention to their production. When Simon and Schuster published Colm Toibin’s “Testament of Mary” last autumn, the narrator was Meryl Streep.
For a bunch of rapacious capitalists, the people who start technology companies are strikingly ambivalent about the concept of owning stuff. Silicon Valley would like to replace the practice of owning copies of, say, a song or a movie, with a world where everything's kept on servers that people pay to access. Next up: books. As startups have started offering services inevitably referred to as literary Netflixes (NFLX) or Spotifys, the idea has been gaining momentum. Still, it's getting a mixed reaction at Digital Book World, a publishing industry conference about e-reading.
All across the planet, particularly in more computerized nations, bookstores are facing increasing challenges, from the dual competition of e-books and Amazon, or both simultaneously.
Amazon beats local bookstores on price, and beats them on digital sales completely. Most people think local bookstores don't stand a chance. Plenty have done well enough, but there's a way out of this mess anyway. We can fix bookstores so they survive for decades to come.