Some interesting things here in the mix today, instead of just the usual reader announcements and dire predictions of gloom and doom.
- On texting—”You may not like seeing the phrase “LOL — U R gr8” on the page, but it is common enough that you are likely to understand it. Why have such inadvertent “reforms” succeeded where generations of dedicated intellectual attempts have not? And will they last?”
- Preparing for the Apple tablet to save publishing—”There are electronic reading devices in existence already, such as Sony’s e-Reader and Amazon’s Kindle. But, publishers hope the unquestioned design talents of Apple will ensure that its latest product is the vehicle that enables them to transform their business models.”
- Kindle “bestsellers” are actually “bestfreebies”—”Most of the giveaways are of older titles by an author, with the idea that reading them will convert new fans who will go on to buy more recently released books. Even if only a small percentage of those who download a free book end up buying another one, “that’s all found money,” said Steve Oates, vice president for marketing at Bethany House Publishers, a unit of Baker Publishing Group, whose authors Beverly Lewis and Tracie Peterson had free titles on the Kindle best-seller list this week.”
- Ian McEwan is first mainstream author to sign e-deal with DevilAmazon—”Ian McEwan, the Booker prize winner, has become “the first mainstream British author” to sign an exclusive deal through Amazon to double the royalties he receives on his back catalogue, reports the Times.”
- The Millions interviews a book pirate, sad-yarrr—”He lives in the Midwest, he’s in his mid-30s and is a computer programmer by trade. By some measures, he’s the publishing industry’s ideal customer, an avid reader who buys dozens of books a year and enthusiastically recommends his favorites to friends. But he’s also uploaded hundreds of books to file sharing sites and he’s downloaded thousands. We discussed his file sharing activity over the course of a weekend, via email, and in his answers lie a critical challenge facing the publishing industry: how to quash the emerging piracy threat without alienating their most enthusiastic customers.”