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Apple lost an anti-trust case on e-book pricing, Nook failed, and Amazon still reigns. Michael Cader, founder of Publishers Marketplace and Publishers Lunch, looks at the future of the book publishing world.
As an author and publisher of my own books, I can tell you that the decline of the ereader is actually a good thing. Thanks to Amazon's voracious appetite and lack of attention to winnowing extinct ebooks from their catalog, along with lack of sales thanks to their decayed ranking system, you won't find my titles there. Sales declined for me steadily in 2012 and I removed them in October of 2012. I now have steady sales from Barnes & Noble and have no plans to go back to Amazon ever again for any reason. In fact, I don't own any reading device, save possibly my laptop, but I prefer a printed book anyway. Too many bookstores are closing at an increasing rate, thanks to Amazon and its predatory competitive and undercutting tactics.
New Jersey has TONS of titles available for eReader downloads at eLibraryNJ.com (formerly known as listennj.com). They also have audiobooks and links to the Project Guttenberg libraries so if your reader/smartphone supports Adobe Digital Editions there is no-cost/low cost content to be had.
The underlying tech is from OverDrive media which supports audio-video and ebooks at various libraries across the country.
Also the Nook Tablet does not work with Windows XP service pack 3 and Barnes and Noble has absolutely no plans to ever fix that problem. I can't download anything from my office computer (I work for a publisher and need to use an eReader on occasion for work). Not good service on B&N's part to not fix the issue.
A caller just mentioned a book that was recalled & reissued. I read about a book whose publisher recalled it (don't remember why) & didn't reissue it. They sent out a signal to all the devices that had the book on them, & the book was deleted. At least if a print book is recalled, people who bought it still have the physical book.
How does this case and the use of ebooks affect public libraries? As Brian talked about the kids' section in B & N he neglected to mention that those sections still exist in public libraries.
Regarding the caller who said that Amazon can and does revoke full account access in certain circumstances, see:
"Kindle user claims Amazon deleted whole library without explanation"
BoingBoing, October 22, 2012
Shop for books at thrift shops, folks. They're cheap and plentiful. For finding specific titles, try the library or, to buy, half.com (which is owned by eBay but is a good place for discounted books).
As i understand it, you don't purchase an e-book, you rent it.
Why don't the ebook publishers rent the books instead of selling? Slightly cheaper and don't have to keep all the books on the device?
B & N carries very few hardcover books these days. They have also taken out many of the chairs at their locations. I don't bother going and as a result am exposed to fewer titles. I now go to the library instead.
Digital delivery reduces the costs to the producer by such a large degree that much more profit is generated on each sale. Books, newspapers, movies and music are all going through the electronic distribution ringer. The same ringer that software distribution has gone through.
30% subscription fee to Apple is ridiculous but Apple has done a good job of establishing its playground and they should get something but a third? Seriously.
I find that ebooks and ereaders still have a ways to go. Indexing, footnotes, table of contents...all are inferior to the old fashion mode. Also, how do I get the author to sign my ebook?
Amazon's top device, the Kindle Fire HD, is $200 not $400
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