Originally posted on appazoogle:

Have you seen Google Chrome’s video about children’s book author Dallas Clayton? I happened to catch it during X Factor commercials last week. (Don’t judge. I was curious.)

The ad describes Clayton’s goal to write and illustrate a story for his son about “dreaming big.” After shopping An Awesome Book to publishers with no success, however, he made the decision to post it on the web for free. As a result of some major grassroots success (and a lot of downloads), the book was eventually acquired and published by HarperCollins Children’s. See Google’s full ad below:

In the video, Clayton states, “To me, it was never about writing a physical book; it’s about sharing an idea with as many people as possible.” And this is an interesting capture of the world in which we now operate.

Though producing a physical book may not have been his primary goal, thanks…

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Originally posted on David Gaughran:

Amazon’s KDP Select introduced a new tranche of self-publishers to the upper reaches of the charts for the first time. For the first couple of months of this year, a new seam had been discovered in this self-publishing “gold-rush.”

It didn’t last too long, however. By the end of March, even those newly minted authors were openly considering leaving KDP Select, despite how successful it had been for them. Self-publishers were noticing that even when they had a stellar free run, garnering thousands and thousands of downloads, it was no longer catapulting them up the charts on their return to the paid side.

Science fiction and fantasy author Ed Robertson penned an excellent hypothesis and gave me permission to re-post. If you don’t understand exactly why successful free runs used to almost always translate into a run at the charts, then read my post on Popularity Lists first for background…

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Originally posted on appazoogle:

While the Department of Justice lawsuit against the agency model rages on, the question I keep hearing, with a note of desperation, is: “What exactly are they suing about?”

I guess that’s kind of crucial to understanding the lawsuit. And while Appazoogle has written about the agency model in the past, we’ve yet to give you a play-by-play breakdown of the mechanics of this DOJ-angering monster. So here it is: the agency model, to the best of my understanding. With charts.

Book retail

chart outlining the retail model

The retail model involves retailers purchasing stock at wholesale prices and reselling to consumers at the consumer price. (Chart by Leah Thompson)

Here’s how book retail normally works. The publisher makes a book. They give the book a list price—say $25. That $25 price tag is the publisher saying, “This is what the book should be worth to a final consumer.” This is important because author royalties are calculated from list price, so in order to balance a profit/loss statement (the financial end of a book proposal)…

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Originally posted on Russell Phillips' Blog:


This blog post was featured in Carnival of the Indies, issue 17.

Fahrenheit 451 e-book on the Kindle

Fahrenheit 451 e-book on the Kindle by unten44, on Flickr

E-books have come in for some criticism lately. Jonathan Franzen, apparently one of America’s greatest novelists, thinks they have no permanence, and worries that they are “not compatible with a system of justice or responsible self-government“. Antonia Senior, writing in the Guardian, sneers at “genre fiction” such as horror, romance and science fiction.

I don’t understand the snobbery around books. I’ve read before that e-books give people more freedom to read what they want to read, and that freedom has led to more sales of genres like erotica, because when you read on an electronic device, no-one can tell what you’re reading. My wife tells me that she once saw the Children’s Laureate giving advice to a parent who was worried that their child didn’t read. He told her to let the child read…

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Originally posted on David Gaughran:

As reported yesterday, the Department of Justice has filed its antitrust lawsuit against Apple and five of the largest publishers (Macmillan, Penguin, HarperCollins, Hachette, and Simon & Schuster).

A settlement has been agreed with HarperCollins, Hachette, and Simon & Schuster; Macmillan claimed the terms were too onerous, and Penguin appears to have refused to contemplate settling.

The agreed settlement must still be approved by the court, but among the conditions are the end of Agency (despite the attempted spin by PW in the above-linked article) and the return of pricing control to the retailers (such as Amazon). In addition, the settling parties will be monitored by the DoJ, who must be copied on any communications surrounding this or any related matters.

While the DoJ’s case is getting all the attention, it should not be forgotten that all the above parties are also being sued by sixteen State Attorneys-General who are…

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Here’s a pretty novel use of Twitter: follow the Titanic on its voyage towards impending doom – by following @TitanicRealTime. This account seems to be owned by The History Press, a UK-based history publisher.

Some samples:

#officer Clocks keeping bridge time now set back to 11.3p.m. This has extended the third watch by 29 minutes.

#passenger Standing at the front of the ship all I can see ahead is a horizon of water. I look forward to seeing New York.

#crew Clocks have once again been set back on the bridge, now to 3.30a.m. My watch has been extended by 30 minutes.
So yeah, I’m following @TitanicRealTime - at least until 15 April… =)

Originally posted on appazoogle:

Elsevier, the world’s largest publisher of scientific journals, doesn’t have many friends of late. Earlier this year, a group of academics led by British mathematician Timothy Gowers started a petition to boycott the publisher—a petition which, as of April 10, included the names of over 9,200 researchers.

The stated impetus of the petition is Elsevier’s high prices and restricted distribution models. In order to understand the issue, we need to go back to 1996 and an initiative called “the big deal.” In a nutshell, the big deal uses economics of scale to bundle electronic access to a group (sometimes hundreds) of journals and sells this access to libraries and library consortia for a fixed fee over a certain period (say, three years). The benefits of this model are that instead of paying full price for each expensive journal subscription, libraries can pay one fee for…

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Originally posted on appazoogle:

Source: Amazon.com

The mushrooming public interest in ebooks and their corresponding technology is heralding the dramatic return of the serial novel, or so I’ve heard. There’s been talk of a literary throwback with a modern kick. In proper steampunk fashion, the buzz surrounding this revival has been awash with a bizarre mixture of techy excitement and Old World nostalgia.

It should not be surprising that Charles Dickens, whose works helped to popularize the genre during the Victorian period, was resurrected as the poster child for the neo-serial novel.

In a December 2011 Forbes article, “From Dickens To iPads To Harry Potter: Why Backlit Is Bullish On Teen Reading” Michael Humphrey explores new publishing developments geared toward the YA market. He introduces Backlit Fiction, a California-based digital media publishing company that publishes digital novels in serial installments designated as “episodes.”

“Episodes!” I thought, cringing. “Isn’t that for…you know…television?”

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Thanks, Wikipedia, for helping me fix information.

I like fixing things. Wikipedia allowed me to fix information.

I’ve used Wikipedia since the project was launched and have been a registered member since 2007. At that time, Wikipedia represented the epitome of what (to me) Web 2.0. was about: an easy way for everyone to partake, publicly, in the creation of information, both in terms of content and metadata. In other words, I could at last fix people’s mistakes.

I haven’t made many edits to Wikipedia itself, but I have edited many in other wikis connected to my hobbies and interests – usually in small chunks. I like fixing mistakes offline as well. If I could fix billboards, posters, pamphlets and all manner of broken information out there, I would.

The freedom to correct things – even though these corrections may be disputed, reversed or even disappear as the article continues to improve - makes fixing information easy.

Thanks, Wikipedia!

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