Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

Tag Archives: E-books

Libraries Win Again; And, So Do Writers . . .


E-Readers

Click this image to compare e-readers…

This makes the 42nd post about Libraries on this blog and the 35th post about Smashwords—and taking those last two links will show this post at the top of both lists of posts…

But, this is the first post I’ve done about Bibliotheca’s cloudLibrary

Bibliotheca’s site says:

“The world’s leading eBook and audiobook solution, cloudLibrary is designed to be accessible to library users wherever they want to read or listen.”

So, the big news was on Smashwords’ blog:

Smashwords to Supply Nearly 300,000 Titles to Bibliotheca cloudLibrary.

In case you were unaware, Smashwords “…is the world’s largest distributor of indie ebooks.  [They] make it fast, free and easy for any author or publisher, anywhere in the world, to publish and distribute ebooks…”

And, here are just a few excerpts from that Smashwords’ blog post (those who are or want to be self-published writers really should read the whole post…):

“…bibliotheca, operator of the cloudLibrary™ digital lending platform…serves over 3,000 public libraries in the US, Canada, U.K. and Australia.”

“Smashwords offers indie authors and small independent presses unparalleled distribution to approximately 30,000 public and academic libraries around the world.  With the addition of bibliotheca, the Smashwords distribution network reaches most major library ebook platforms including OverDrive, Baker & Taylor Axis 360, Gardners UK (Askews & Holts and VLeBooks) and Odilo.”

“The cloudLibrary service is made available to library patrons as an app.  The app supports desktop and mobile devices including PCs, Macs, iOS devices, Android, Chrome and some Kindle devices.

“Patrons download the app at yourcloudlibrary.com then select their country, state and local library, after which the patron enters their library PIN code into the app.”

“Libraries will also have the option to expose the complete Smashwords catalog to patrons so patrons browse the full catalog and suggest titles their library should add to their collection.”

Any librarians reading this can check for further information here <—

As recently as last October, one of the most savvy folks on the book-beat said  that libraries are “…one of the last remaining channels that remains fairly difficult for an indie author to access.”

It certainly seems Smashwords is changing that situation
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Should an E-Book Merely Copy a Print Book in Style and Function?


It seems certain folks in this day-and-age love innovation for the sake of innovation.

That kind of motivation usually indicates that deep and effective change is beyond the efforts of those who are “innovating”…

It could also mean that the “innovators” are bored silly…

Take e-books.

I do a lot of scanning of news and other sites looking for material I can report on here; and, one of the trendy fads for the last few years is to encourage changes in how e-books function and how they’re constructed (there have also been actual “new and improved” versions of ebooks produced).

Most of the articles didn’t make the cut for what I consider “worthwhile”; yet, the senior editor at Digital Book World, Daniel Berkowitz, gave me a reason to introduce the idea of e-book “innovation” in his article, Do We Really Need to Innovate the Reading Experience?

As usual, I’ll excerpt enough of the article to give a hint of what you’ll experience if you take the link :-)

Daniel introduces the topic:

“I hear a lot of talk about how ebooks didn’t innovate enough, or how ebooks are unsatisfactory—that they’re stuck in this ‘print-under-glass’ model that offers nothing new to the reading experience.”

Daniel challenges that:

“…for those of us who grew up on print books and for whom ebooks and audiobooks are viable alternatives, what is it in our reading experiences that we are so sorely lacking?”

He elaborates:

“…what is so wrong with the print-under-glass model of ebooks? What else were we expecting? To my eyes, an ebook on my Kindle looks a lot like a print book in my hands. And that’s exactly how I want it to be.”

Are you pretty much like Daniel?

Are you, rather, a person who wants all the innovation possible?

I encourage you to not only take the link to Daniel’s article and read the complete version; I encourage you to read the fascinating comments folks have left after that article………
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#E-Books Inside The Digital Book World


So much business these days is built on lies and broken promises.

But they package it as Branding and Influence.

We’re led to believe (if we’re unthinking folk) that dealing with a top brand that has market influence is the best thing we can do.

The fact that our world is splitting some seams and losing its stuffing through climate change and economic peril (to mention only two of the major crises underway) is primarily due to “top brands” that have major “market influence”.

I scan a ton of news to find material for this blog and, some days, finding information of solid worth is severely hampered by a flood of nearly meaningless drivel

There’s an organization called Digital Book World that says some strange things about itself:

“…Digital Book World has evolved into a year-round platform offering educational and networking resources for consumer publishing professionals and their partners — including agents, booksellers and technology vendors — online and in person.”

That seems straightforward and yet, why do they call themselves a “platform” rather than an organization or company?

And, rather than addressing the needs of “book publishers” which one might think would follow from their name (Digital Book World), they say they’re helping “consumer publishing professionals”, which lets them focus less on authors who write books and deal more proactively with “content producers” who create maybe not books perhaps “content containers”?

So, these folks just had their 7th Digital Book World Conference + Expo.

And, Publishing Perspectives just published an article entitledAfter DBW: ‘Perhaps We Don’t Know Anything’. (“DBW” being the Digital Book World Conference + Expo…)

A few excerpts:

“…one of the recurring ideas of this year’s event was a series of cautious admissions that perhaps we don’t know anything.”

Publishers Marketplace’s Michael Cader said:

“Our industry is full of anomalies…”

New York University Prof. Scott Galloway said:

“These four companies (Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Google) have effectively seceded from the US.”

Annenberg Innovation Lab Director Jonathan Taplin said:

“The result of this industrial hegemony is that platform, and not content, is becoming king.”

So have we come from “books” to “content” to “platform”—from “objects of value” to “aggregations of data” to “an empty stage”?

I’m sure there were a few presenters at the conference who made sense; but then, that’s just a bit of sense in a stew of nonsense

If you’re wondering how folks who think this way make money, it’s pretty much the same way astronomers hold on to their jobs of “studying” proposed fantasies instead of the actual universe—they’re capitalizing on a financial climate that is no-holds-barred: do-whatever-you-can-get-away-with. And, wrap it in addictive packaging with elusive promises

So, where are e-books in the digital book world?

It depends on which kind of e-book you’re after

The content producers standing on compelling platforms will sell you run-of-the-mill genre stories.

Independent authors will sell you books that may be of lasting worth.

But then, my last two statements are generalizations

The scary thing to me is that those generalizations seem to be rapidly transforming into accurate perceptions………
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Literacy, NGOs, and Business . . .


Let’s start with the Business in the title of this post—Fast CompanyWorldreader and Fast Company

“Fast Company is the world’s leading progressive business media brand, with a unique editorial focus on innovation in technology, ethonomics (ethical economics), leadership, and design. Written for, by, and about the most progressive business leaders, Fast Company and FastCompany.com inspire readers and users to think beyond traditional boundaries, lead conversations, and create the future of business.”

Now, NGOs — Non-Governmental Organizations:

“Usually set up by ordinary citizens, NGOs may be funded by governments, foundations, businesses, or private persons. Some avoid formal funding altogether and are run primarily by volunteers. NGOs are highly diverse groups of organizations engaged in a wide range of activities, and take different forms in different parts of the world. Some may have charitable status, while others may be registered for tax exemption based on recognition of social purposes.”

And, Literacy; specifically, Worldreader:

“Worldreader is about e-books, reading and literacy…a US, Europe and Africa-based nonprofit organization transforming the lives of people in the developing world. Our mission is to unlock the potential of millions of people through the use of digital books in places where access to reading materials is very limited.”

Worldreader Is One Of Fast Company’s Most Innovative NGOs Of 2016

From their site:

“This year’s Top 10 Not-For-Profit companies include the likes of Black Lives Matter, UNICEF and Humans of New York, among others. Each of these organizations is playing their part in designing our future. We believe that our world should be a literate one. ‘We are grateful to play a part in creating a more literate world, and are deeply humbled to have our work acknowledged by Fast Company’ says our CEO and Co-Founder David Risher.”

And, here are 6 other posts about Worldreader
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Do We Have to Worry about Amazon Being Heavy-Handed Again?


The topic for today’s post came from the wonderful blog called The Passive Voice—usually showing snippets with links to other blogs but sometimes holding forth at length, eloquently—this time with the snippet/link about “Kindle e-Books will have a warning message if they have spelling mistakes or bad formatting.”

The passive guy (who’s actually a lawyer) led me to a somewhat detailed article at goodEreader.

Excerpts:

“Amazon has two stages of the warning system that will go live within a few short weeks.

If an e-book only contains a few spelling mistakes, but is still readable, a simple warning message will appear on the details page of that specific title.

“It will make the average book buyer aware that there are some issues.

“If the book has bad formatting issues, and basically renders it unreadable Amazon will suppress it and the book listing will be removed.”

Apparently, folks send notes from their e-readers to Amazon—like these:

spelling errors

I find this quite interesting because they seem to be saying Amazon will take action whether the book is uploaded by the author or comes from a publisher

I have two books on Amazon—one of each kind just mentioned…

I wrote about the typos of one of them back in June of 2012—A Book Review That Teaches The Author Something About Typos . . .—then, wrote about it again the other day—What Happens to a Book After It’s Published?

I’ve never told Amazon about typos I’ve seen in their e-books—have you?

Last time I looked the article had 71 comments and folks were either doubting Amazon will actually do this, or afraid they’ll do it but dump books that have purposeful misspellings, or drop books because some readers misreport for unfounded reasons

Excerpt:

“Currently, the only way users can report content issues is if you have an e-ink based reader, such as the Kindle Paperwhite or the Voyage. There is no reporting option for content errors on the Amazon Fire tablets or the Kindle e-reading apps for Android and iOS.”

Oh, also, the last time I checked, The Passive Voice snippet/link post had 67 comments; again, a mixed bag of disbelief, joy, query, and exasperation

There is one link in the goodEreader article to Amazon that says “a warning message“; however, I went to that page (found a bunch of sound advice about avoiding errors)  but only found one indication of action Amazon would take:

“Some errors cause a book to be incomplete or unusable. We refer to these as Critical Issues. Because Critical Issues significantly impact the reading experience, any Critical Issue will result in the book being removed from sale until the correction is made.”

I found no definition of “Critical Issues” though they may be what the goodEreader article called “bad formatting issues”

It appears goodEreader is conflating spelling mistakes and minor typos with major formatting issues by saying, “Amazon has two stages of the warning system that will go live within a few short weeks”.

Also, what they say really only deals with one warning (for typos) and one, seeming, unwarned removal

I did some searching for more on this story but have yet to find anyone else writing about it.

I suppose I’m sharing it because I trust that passive guy’s heads-up services; and, also, I’m curious if my book will start carrying a Warning

If you see anything, please, do share a link in the comments :-)
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