Readersforum's Blog

January 10, 2011

WikiLeaks demands Google and Facebook unseal US subpoenas

  Call comes after revelation that US has tried to force Twitter to release WikiLeaks members’ private details.
 
WikiLeaks has demanded that Google and Facebook reveal the contents of any US subpoenas they may have received after it emerged that a court in Virginia had ordered Twitter to secretly hand over details of accounts on the micro-blogging site by five figures associated with the group, including Julian Assange.

'Free Julian Assange' protestors demonstrate in central London before the WikiLeaks founder's court hearing in December. Photograph: Andy Rain/EPA

Amid strong evidence that a US grand jury has begun a wide-ranging trawl for details of what networks and accounts WikiLeaks used to communicate with Bradley Manning, the US serviceman accused of stealing hundreds of thousands of sensitive government cables, some of those named in the subpoena said they would fight disclosure….read more

  

Penguin launches the ‘first UK book app for babies’

Penguin has released one of the first book apps designed for babies as young as three months old, which will help enhance children’s hearing, visual and motor skills.

Penguin thinks the app experience is complementary to reading physical books. Photo: Alamy

The ‘Baby Touch Peekaboo App’ goes live in the Apple app store today and brings to life the popular Ladybird series of books on the touch screen.

The app has been specifically designed for and tested on babies as young as three months so they are able to easily interact with the story on a touch screen device.

Simple taps of the screen make different characters appear, in lots of bold colours with sound effects….read more

iPad apps – still more dash than cash

Apple’s ‘Jesus tablet’ seemed to be the news industry’s best hope of salvation but few publishers are finding apps to be the moneyspinners they so desperately want.

Publishers are still searching for ways to make money from iPad apps. The Guardian's Eyewitness app, above, is free to download, thanks to sponsorship from Canon. Photograph: Alicia Canter for the Guardian

The news industry embraced the launch of Apple‘s iPad in April 2010 with something that felt like true love: feverish anticipation at that first meeting, lengthy sentimental eulogies and whispers of hope that this must finally be The One.

In an industry largely uninterested in gadgets, the iPad offered optimised reading and viewing, portability – and a built-in payment system wired to the credit cards of 280 million iTunes customers. Editorials began asking if the iPad might be the saviour of an industry in a seemingly terminal decline.

But less than a year on there are already signs that the romance is fading, along with those first flushes of novelty. The latest figures from the Audit Bureau of Circulations in the US show average monthly downloads slumping by the end of 2010. Only two publishers were brave enough to share their figures….read more

Worst-Case Scenarios: Contemplating Life After Borders

Filed under: Bookshops — Tags: , , , — Bookblurb @ 3:44 pm

Although Borders has been struggling financially for years, for the first time the book industry is openly, and in many cases actively, planning for what business will be like without the nation’s second largest bookstore chain. At last week’s meetings with publishers, some of which included Bennett LeBow, Borders chairman and largest shareholder, it was clear that while publishers want Borders to survive, there are limits on how much support the major houses are able to provide….read more

Pubs See Big Jump in Holiday E-book Sales

Based on figures provided to PW by publishers, a number of familiar names topped e-book bestseller lists over the holidays as consumers hit the Web downloading current bestsellers for their new e-readers. While frontlist titles by expected names—Jodi Picoult, Janet Evanovich, Stieg Larsson—dominated, some readers also opted for weightier material like Siddhartha Mukherjee’s “biography” of cancer, The Emperor of All Maladies. Some backlist books, by such authors as Garth Stein and Tim O’Brien, also found their way onto new devices. The rush on e-books also caused heavy jumps from 2009’s sales figures. Simon & Schuster reported a 150% jump in e-book sales for this holiday over the same period last year. Random House reported an impressive 300% leap, and Kensington said its e-book sales for this holiday season climbed a whopping 400% over 2009. Here is a compilation of publishers’ top five bestselling e-books (in descending order) for December 25 and 26….read more 
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Bestsellers ’10: The Year in Bestsellers

If we had to name the author of the year, it would be Stieg Larsson. With a combined weekly total of 202 weeks on the 2010 bestseller charts and an impressive 59 of those in the #1 spot, his Millennium trilogy—The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest—outpaced all other bestsellers. Larsson’s posthumously published trilogy (he died suddenly in 2004 at 50 shortly after he delivered the manuscripts to his Swedish publisher) was the main factor in Random House Inc.’s 3.2% gain in its bestseller share of paperback slots in 2010….read more
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10 tips for your new ebook reader

Filed under: Media — Tags: , , , — Bookblurb @ 1:54 pm

Dear Author has a good article about how to get started with a new ereader. Here is an outline of their tips. Full details at the site. Each tip has links to further information….read more

Katniss Everdeen Role Still Unfilled in The Hunger Games Adaptation

Director Gary Ross said there are no lead contenders for the main role of Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games movie.

Ross explained the process in an Entertainment Weekly interview…read more

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Predictions for 2011 from Smashwords Founder

Filed under: Media — Tags: , , , — Bookblurb @ 1:06 pm

If 2010 was the year eBooks went mainstream, 2011 will be the year indie eBook authors go mainstream.

According to Smashwords founder Mark Coker, indie eBook authors are becoming more professional and sophisticated, and they’re starting to climb the best-seller charts without the assistance of a publisher. 2011 will be the first year traditional publishers feel the need to compete against the indie ebook alternative. Here are Coker’s predictions for the new year:…read more

WikiLeaks founder memoir set for April release

Filed under: Publishers — Tags: , , , , , , — Bookblurb @ 12:56 pm

Canongate has confirmed it will publish the memoir of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange in April.

The publisher bought world rights, excluding North America, to the title from Caroline Michel at PFD. The deal is believed to be for $1.5m. Assange previously said he wrote the book to keep Wikileaks afloat…read more

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