This is an article detailing Apple’s continued and laughable denials that they colluded with publishers to fix prices on eBooks, forcing buyers to choose between overpaying for an eBook, buying a sometimes-cheaper physical book, or simply not buying the book at all. Pricing an eBook too high is likely to result in a loss of income to a greater number of authors, as readers must limit their purchases to their budgets, which may be significantly lower than the time they have available to read lower-priced books. Personally, I’d buy ten eBooks priced at $5 before I spent $18 on one.
This article discusses Apple, Macmillan, and Penguin’s ongoing fight against the US Department of Justice’s accusations of collusion in price-fixing. Three other publishing companies (Simon & Schuster, Hachette, and HarperCollins) have settled, which is rather telling. It is interesting to note, that despite claiming they did not conspire to fix prices, their arguments sound an awful lot like they are trying to justify their scheming, rather than deny it.
Quark XPress 9.3 has an update that supposedly allows direct export to Kindle format. Given the quality of the final file that other similar applications, like InDesign, produce, I will remain skeptical until I see a high-quality product produced by a typical Quark user. However, Quark has, traditionally, been a high-quality print publication tool, so maybe they’ll manage to produce something that works for eBook conversion. We shall see!
OverDrive, an eBook distributor, announced they will produce a browser-based eBook reader later this year. I look forward to checking this technology out, as it should, in theory (if it is truly browser-based and doesn’t rely on Flash or other technologies), allow Kindle Fire owners to read ePub-formatted books without downloading and installing applications that take up valuable storage space.
Sony seems to think that they can recover their eBook market share through the PS3 platform. Perhaps they are right—I can see a market for comic books and interactive story books for children. And perhaps, as the apparently-Photoshopped image in the article indicates, it would be appropriate for their mobile devices. As a parent I would be more inclined to encourage my son to read eBooks if I didn’t have to buy a separate eReader device for him, and it just worked on his portable gaming platform.
This article explains well the issues being dealt with in the case brought against Apple and and multiple publishing companies by the US Department of Justice, which accuses them of price-fixing and collusion.
This American Libraries magazine article discusses the privacy issues that have been raised by Amazon’s collection of library patron information and their unsolicited marketing of books to borrowers.
This article discusses Houston Public Library’s policy of lending eBooks for only 14 days, as compared to 6 weeks for print books. I was less interested in the geo-centric Houston news than I was to learn that a public library lends books for 6 weeks! Wow! At the time this article was published, 235 patrons were waiting to check out one of the seven eBook copies of Fifty Shades of Grey and 74 were waiting to check out one of the sixteen copies of Grisham’s The Litigators.
This article discusses the growth of eBook sales among the older demographic, citing a poll which indicated that individuals over 55 were more likely to own an eReader than people aged 18-24. What really makes this article worth of mention is this winner-of-a-quote on the true benefit of eReaders: “Now, not only can you read filthy books without anyone noticing, you can read filthy books in an 18-point font.”
Independent Publishers Group and Amazon have come to terms after their three-month-long disagreement, and IPG-distributed books are now, once again, available via Kindle.