E Mags
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Author:  Roy [ Sun Mar 01, 2009 9:04 pm ]
Post subject:  E Mags

Hearst to launch a wireless e-reader

This looks interesting as they will want colour as ads are imporyant to them. Maybe this will save us in a few years as postal rates go through the roof.

The publisher plans to introduce a large-format device this year based on electronic-ink technology.

NEW YORK (Fortune) -- Against a backdrop of plummeting ad revenue for newspapers and magazines, and rising costs for paper and delivery, Hearst Corp., is getting set to launch an electronic reader that it hopes can do for periodicals what Amazon's Kindle is doing for books.

Author:  Roy [ Thu Mar 05, 2009 6:15 pm ]
Post subject: 


Barnes & Noble Acquires Fictionwise

New York, New York – March 5, 2009 – Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS), the world’s largest bookseller, announced today that it has acquired Fictionwise, a leader in the e-book marketplace, for $15.7 million in cash. Barnes & Noble said it plans to use Fictionwise as part of its overall digital strategy, which includes the launch of an e-Bookstore later this year. In addition to the closing purchase price, Fictionwise may receive earn out payments for achieving certain performance targets over the next two years.

Headquartered in New Jersey, Fictionwise was founded in 2000 by Steve and Scott Pendergrast. Barnes & Noble intends to keep Fictionwise as a separate business unit and the founders will continue to operate the business.

Author:  Leif Grahamson [ Mon Apr 06, 2009 3:29 pm ]
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Wow, how big will this be? Personally I think it's maybe going to propel Ebooks to the kind of itunes level...

The main drawback for Ebooks for me is the relative lack or descent, affordable technology to read them on. It's cheaper to buy a 22" Monitor than an Ebook reader.

Author:  Roy [ Mon Apr 06, 2009 4:37 pm ]
Post subject: 

You are right about the equipment Leif but I expect prices will drop.
iPhones are being used now so as mobiles develop we may get more downloads to phones than straight e books.
The Fictionwise website has changed recently presumably as a result of the takeover.

One advantage of F'wise is if you do change your E book you don't 'lose' access to all your previously purchased e books and magazines.

It cost over £4 to post Islington Crocodiles to the US last year and our magazines cost £2 to £3 to post and prices have just risen again. E readers have a future as these prices continue to rise.

Author:  Leif Grahamson [ Mon Apr 06, 2009 11:10 pm ]
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Hi Roy,

I agree about it being the future, just not quite yet: the cost of readers and visibility of them (marketed in bookstores maybe) will be key in my opinion.

Fully agree with you, again: it's a much better form of distribution, the software market's change from physical media is probably the model coupled with mainstream mp3 sales. Personally the only reason I don't own a Kindle (or similar) is the price. I've used a PSP to read ebooks, but it's not quite the right shape or size...

Hopefully Barnes & Noble have already got a strategy for maybe some kind of lower priced reader - or at least marketing them to non-tech people to allow everyone to know about them - something I don't think many literary, internet-shy fans know about yet.

Author:  pdrummond [ Tue Apr 07, 2009 6:04 pm ]
Post subject:  TTA Press site on mobile devices

TTA is already dabbling in the e-book area in that the new website is designed to work with mobile devices such as the iPhone and iPod Touch. I don't think I'd want to read a novel on my iPod but short stories are reasonable.


Author:  Roy [ Wed Apr 15, 2009 10:05 am ]
Post subject: 

I'm linking you to a thread in the F&SF forum

One per continent in a mail order bookshop might be enough as it costs £4 to mail Islington Crocodiles to the USA from here.

If the machine could cope with a range of sizes we'd be able to solve the intercontinental postage pricing problem for magazines as well.

Author:  Roy [ Fri Apr 17, 2009 9:43 am ]
Post subject: 

and it comes to the UK

Blackwell Unveils UK's First Print On Demand Book Machine

Posted at 8:06AM Friday 17 Apr 2009
Today the UK's leading academic bookseller, Blackwell, announces its unveiling of the Espresso Book Machine® (the "EBM") at its flagship store, 100 Charing Cross London. It will be the first bookshop installation of its kind within the UK, allowing a book to be selected from a huge library of titles, and printed on demand in under 5 minutes from a digital file onsite, online at, or uploaded in person from CDs or flash drives.

thanks Andy Porter

Author:  Foxie [ Fri Apr 17, 2009 11:56 am ]
Post subject: 

See, I'd really like to see this take off. If Sony and EMI can pay an artist for an mp3, surely Penguin and Bloomsbury can pay an author for a book printed on demand.

The way I see it, you find the title you want and either order it online, wait for it to be printed and sent to you, or you download the file yourself, take it to your local bookstore and have cappuccino while they print it for you.

It would elimate so many over-heads, make it easier to find the book you want and make it more viable for publishers to take a punt on a new author.

It would also elimate a lot of jobs--all those people between the author and the auidance being cut away. Still, other jobs will come. They always do.

If I could download a file, and either read it electronically with a futurised version of the Kindle, or take it to WH Smiths and get it printed out, that would be amazing.

Knowing the way I think, if I see a new book I think I'll like but I'm not sure, I'd pay (say) £4 for a electronic copy rather tha £7 for an actual paper copy. I'd tell myself that I can read the first couple of chapter on my laptop and, if I like it, pay another £4 at Smiths to get it printed and bound. I end up paying another £1, but it seems like less because I pay it in two parts, and I have the illusion of control.

The idea is already out there: people taking their SD cards down to Boots to print out their holiday snaps. It's the same sort of mentality, in my opinion.

Anyway, that's what I think.

Author:  Roy [ Fri Apr 17, 2009 12:30 pm ]
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You could take your own MSS or thesis and print a couple of books off if you had the formatting details.

Taking your own downloaded file might be frought with copyright problems even if you paid for the download.

Author:  Mike A [ Fri Apr 17, 2009 12:50 pm ]
Post subject: 

I suppose one obvious question is how eco-friendly is the POD-machine scenario? I presume these things are basically digital presses, which is essentially the same technology as a photocopier or laser printer. My guess is this is a far less efficient way to make a book than to litho-print it in bulk; though I suppose one also has to trade this off against the transport element.

Author:  Roy [ Fri Apr 17, 2009 1:58 pm ]
Post subject: 

Often publishers have to print 20k to sell 10k or whatever, hence half are pulped or go to remainder shops. There are no easy answers.

Author:  Ray [ Fri Apr 17, 2009 3:29 pm ]
Post subject: 

Call me old fashioned, but I really like the bit where you pick the book up and flick through a few pages, check out the opening, the author's picture, etc (though I never read the blurb - so many these days should have spoiler alerts in my opinion). Sounds odd, but there's the smell, too, and the weight of it in your hands. I'm all for saving costs and the environment (especially if it means publishers take 'risks' with more new writers!) but the whir and ca-chunk of a printed-in-store book, or a view-on-screen version, won't really do it for me.

There, that's my tuppence worth. I'm off now to smash up some farming equipment.

Author:  Leif Grahamson [ Fri Apr 17, 2009 4:00 pm ]
Post subject: 

I too have a love of the smell, feel and sheer reality of the Printed page, my favorite thing is feeling the letters' shapes pressed through the page in old books.

We are going to have to move to Digital/Ebooks though, and I think it isn't the same as the music industry, simply because Music has always been given to us by speakers or sound channeling tubes/funnels and still is - laying in bed with the pages of a book is somehow more primal in it's feel than having a small flat light-box - it's a bigger change for Literature.

I have literally hundreds of books and magazines everywhere in my house, but I have even more on my PC... I read the "real" books and Mags. more at the moment.

Author:  Foxie [ Sun Apr 19, 2009 9:59 am ]
Post subject: 

Leif Grahamson wrote:
and I think it isn't the same as the music industry, simply because Music has always been given to us by speakers or sound channeling tubes/funnels and still is - laying in bed with the pages of a book is somehow more primal in it's feel than having a small flat light-box - it's a bigger change for Literature.

There's a man who's never listened to an LP through a high-quality system!

But I agree about physical books vs. e-books. Reading something on a screen is far too abstract for me, and in a few years that's probably going to make me old-fashioned. This is why I like the idea of being able to take a .pdf down to Smiths and have it properly printed and bound. Paying eight or nine quid for a book I may not like is a big ask. I can pay a couple of quid for a .pdf, and if I want that primal experience, that book smell lying on my bed, I can get that for a few pounds extra.

Anyway, here's a video of the Espresso Machine:
I'm going to London in June, and am going to see if I can find time to pay the machine a visit.

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