Does a cover die for every e-book born?

I love the look, feel and smell of a book. This physicality, however, is still not entirely transferable in today’s digital offerings. Author and cover designer Chip Kidd said it best in his most recent TED talk:

Much is to be gained by eBooks: ease, convenience, portability. But something is definitely lost: tradition, a sensual experience, the comfort of thingy-ness — a little bit of humanity… I am all for the iPad but trust me, smelling it will get you nowhere.

Making your e-book reader have that nostalgic smell is now possible with this – as long as you’re not bothered by the possible side-affects of dizziness, hallucinations, or an itching and runny nose.

Maybe scent hasn’t been successfully integrated into e-books yet, but the look truly has and is going beyond what a traditional book can offer. Continue reading

24-Hour Book printed in minutes

What might you expect would help make the 24-Hour Book? Writing utensils and a computer are the obvious first choices. Some would say a cup of coffee or a glass of wine would be next.

However, one piece of technology vital to producing the 24-Hour Book will be Espresso Book Machine. The first copy will be freshly bound at the Brooklyn Public Library and available on the EspressNet digital catalogue soon after the final word is typed. This promises a worldwide readership for the 24-Hour Book.

The Xerox machine takes a computer file and adds paper and glue to churn out a book within minutes, offering readers a wide selection of books almost instantaneously. Libraries and bricks-and-mortar bookstores worldwide are taking advantage of the technology and keeping hard-copy books alive.

Harper Collins, Hachette and Macmillan are some of the top publishers who have released their books on EspressNet, but the technology also presents another option for new authors to self-publish.

The machine can be found humming away in the Harvard Book Store, New York University’s Library in Abu Dhabi and even The University of Melbourne’s Custom Book Centre.

The Espresso Book Machine makes a tasty book and we’re pleased for the 24-Hour Book to be the beans.

The View from the Sidelines

And the battle begins. It’s Apple and their posse of publishers in one corner and the ‘feds’ in the other. Amazon claims the winnings.

Last week the US Department of Justice sued Apple and five major publishers for price-fixing ebooks. Simon and Schuster, Hachette and HarperCollins agreed to settle, which meant terminating their contracts with Apple and allowing retailers to sell titles for a discounted price – a return to more of a wholesale pricing strategy. Penguin and Macmillan will fight the case with Apple. Continue reading

Pending settlement will change e-book pricing

Claims from sources wisely choosing to remain anonymous are pointing towards a settlement with Apple, five major publishers and the US Department of Justice following allegations of price-fixing.

This means the publishers selling e-books with Apple would have their pricing policy changed from the current agency model to one benefiting the e-book retailer competition – e.g. Amazon. Initially reported by The Wall Street Journal, Apple’s current pricing model with publishers is explained:

As Apple prepared to introduce its first iPad, the late Steve Jobs, then its chief executive, suggested moving to an “agency model,” under which the publishers would set the price of the book and Apple would take a 30% cut. Apple also stipulated that publishers couldn’t let rival retailers sell the same book at a lower price. Continue reading

Relasing early and iterating often

E-books changing the face of literature, the developments transferable from print to digital seem limitless.

In The Telegraph, Jo-Jo Moyes reports the sales trends of e-books and how the platform’s mass yet edgy appeal is making reading sexy again. The outrageously clear resolution, ergonomic casing and generically trendy look of the latest tablets now have an influence on the author’s work.

E-books may be changing the way we read – and even write. I’m not the only women’s commercial fiction author experiencing an upsurge in the number of male readers. Freed from the trauma of publicly reading a book with a “girlie” cover, men are widening their choices. And one told me that his wife now feels free to read thriller writer Lee Child on her e-reader.

A wider audience is not the only aspect to take into consideration when publishing an e-book, Jo-Jo Moyes also gives evidence of Amazon’s free 10% sample changing the narrative arc of a book. Authors are reportedly inserting a cliffhanger right before the reader is prompted to buy now. Continue reading