ENTRIES TAGGED "Google"

Book Publishing Unbound

Adventures in Publishing – a new industry report from Brand Perfect

Brand Perfect’s new report looks at how traditional publishers are contending with the challenges being brought about by increasingly fragmentary digital publishing, and highlights some of the most successful commercial projects that are responding to them.

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Publishing News: It’s time to embrace mobile

Reader behavior is becoming more mobile, ereaders may be facing extinction, and Google ends copyright dispute with Belgian newspapers.

Here are a few stories from the publishing space that caught my attention this week.

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Global ebook distribution complexities

Google's Arabic collection is just one example

A publisher at the Sharjah International Book Fair asked me about Google providing access to ebooks in Arabic. How could they do so without asking Arab publishers for permission, he was wondering. This was a simple question requiring a complicated answer.

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Publishing News: Publishing’s worst-case fate, Amazon as US Steel

Possible fates of the publishing industry, Google appeals court ruling, an open source book scanner, and your textbook may be looking at you.

Here are a few stories from the publishing space that caught my attention this week.

Applying an historical perspective to the fate of the publishing industry

NPR’s Adam Davidson looked this week at the Penguin-Random House merger from an industrial historical perspective. In a piece at the New York Times, Davidson looked at the effect of mergers in other industries, such as U.S. Steel — instead of competing by innovating new and cheaper ways to make steel, owner J. P. Morgan opted to merge three companies and buy most of the iron ore range from which most steel companies purchased materials. The consequences were dire all around. Davidson writes:

“As a result, the company hardly worried about competition; it had little need to innovate or compete on price, which made everything from cars to soda cans more expensive. Worse, it left a massive industry unprepared for the growth of innovative Asian companies during the 1970s and 1980s. By then, U.S. Steel all but collapsed, and a chunk of the U.S. economy went down with it.”

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Creating reader community with open APIs

The connections between readers and potential readers matter most

I spoke at the “Frankfurt Digital Night” at this year’s Frankfurt Book fair, making essentially three points (see slides embedded below): first, publishing requires – and has always required – a commitment to creating and courting communities of readers. Second, there are new digital tools emerging for creating and courting these communities. Third, in this context, openness in terms of APIs is becoming a feature.

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TOC’s Global Ebook Market report

The only resource you need for current conditions & future projections

One year ago we published the first edition of our Global Ebook Market report. We focused on the major English language territories but also featured coverage of several other popular languages as well.

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B&N sorely needs to make a mark

The Nook price reduction may not be too late, but it's most certainly too little.

Ahead of its 7-inch Nook HD and 9-inch HD+ release this week, B&N has reduced the price of its Nook Color and Nook tablets. The Nook Color dropped $10 to $139, and the tablets dropped $20 to $179 for the 16GB model and $159 for the 8GB model. The price reduction might make a tiny wave for advertising purposes for a few days, and it brings the Nook pricing more in line with Kindle pricing Amazon already had, but $10-$20 is hardly going to leave a mark on the tablet market — and B&N sorely needs to make a mark at this point.

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Publishing News: Amazon gets a brick-and-mortar bookstore, sort of

Waterstones and Amazon team up, Google's battle with newspapers continues, and the Big Six to become the Big Five?

Here are a few stories from the publishing space that caught my attention this week.

U.K. bookstore teams up with Amazon

Charlotte Williams and Lisa Campbell report this week at The Bookseller that Waterstones bookstore in the U.K. launched its Amazon Kindle promotion, wherein customers can purchase a Kindle, Kindle Fire, Kindle Fire HD, or (by the end of the month) a Kindle Paperwhite in their brick-and-mortar stores. Williams and Campbell report that the point-of-sale slogan reads in part: “There are two sides to every story. With books and now Kindle you can enjoy both at Waterstones.”

In an interview with Leo Kelion at the BBC, Waterstones’ managing director James Daunt defends the move against critics who declare he’s signed the bookstore’s death warrant, saying he’s not a “moron” and indicating (without specifics) that the store is making money off the deal. Daunt also argues that you have to look at the bigger picture:

“All that we have to do is encourage people to come into our shops and to choose the books. I don’t frankly care how they then consume then, or read them, or indeed buy them. But if you spend time in my shops, and you really enjoy it, and you come back more often and spend longer, you’re going to spend money in my shops.”

Though Kelion calls the move “a twist no one saw coming,” someone did see this coming — a bookseller, in fact. In a Q&A following The Kepler’s 2020: Building the Community Bookstore of the 21st Century session at TOC 2012, Kepler’s 2020 project leader Praveen Madan said:

“[Ebooks are] something we want to provide; we want to be part of the overall experience. But the solution and the technology has to come from somebody else. I’m very serious about looking at [partnering with] Amazon and just giving away Kindles and telling people it’s okay — you have our permission. Walk into the bookstore, browse the books and download the books on your Kindle.”

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Publishing News: Judge rules fair use in Authors Guild v. HathiTrust

Summary judgement in favor of HathiTrust, Arment's magazine experiment, and 10 steps to a publishing reformation.

Here are a few stories from the publishing space that caught my attention this week.

HathiTrust book scanning ruled fair use

Last week, Google reached a settlement agreement with McGraw-Hill, Pearson Education, Penguin, John Wiley & Sons, and Simon & Schuster over its book-scanning project. The Authors Guild was none too happy about the settlement, as it may not bode well for its pending lawsuit against Google. This week, as the Authors Guild called upon the DOJ to review whether or not the terms of the settlement, which were not disclosed, violate Federal antitrust law, the group suffered yet another setback: Judge Harold Baer ruled in favor of the HathiTrust Digital Library in Authors Guild v. HathiTrust, ruling that the libraries that gave books to Google to scan are protected under the principle of fair use.

Mathew Ingram at GigaOm argued this week that the authors are standing on the wrong side of the book-scanning issue. He points out that Judge Baer’s decision was a summary judgement, meaning that the judge felt the arguments for fair use were strong enough to make a trial unnecessary. Ars Technica’s Timothy B. Lee takes a nice look at the factors the court considers in fair use cases and which held the most weight in Judge Baer’s decision.

Law professor James Grimmelmann noted that this ruling together with last week’s settlement might be “a moment for a reevaluation of the Authors Guild’s suit against Google.” Ingram and Lee both point out that Google’s fair use argument might not be as strong as HathiTrust’s, but Lee stresses the nuance of the decision may be a positive sign for Google:

“The libraries’ fair use argument is somewhat stronger than Google’s because they are non-profit organizations with fundamentally educational missions. But significantly, Judge Baer did not rely heavily on this fact in siding with the libraries. Instead, he focused on the transformative nature of the libraries’ use. And since Google is making virtually the same use of its own scanned copies of the books, it’s a safe bet that there are some happy lawyers in Mountain View this evening.”

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