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July 19, 2012

Book ‘pirate’ goes underground after being named by Terry Goodkind

Indecent exposure … Fantasy author Terry Goodkind has publicly castigated a pirate of his ebook

The actions of the fantasy author, who published the photo and details of The First Confessor pirate, have divided digital opinion.

By Alison Flood

Wizard hero Richard Rahl smites wrongdoers with his Sword of Truth. His creator, the bestselling fantasy author Terry Goodkind, turned to Facebook to name and shame a fan who pirated a digital version of his latest novel, The First Confessor.

Goodkind, whose epic Sword of Truth fantasy series has sold 25m copies around the world, according to its publisher Tor, took the unusual move of deciding to self-publish The First Confessor: The Legend of Magda Searus as an ebook exclusive. The book was released earlier this month and quickly shot up Amazon’s bestseller list, but despite it being made available in a multitude of formats, for $9.99, pirated editions soon started to appear.

Goodkind was outraged, and decided to name one of the pirates on his Facebook page, posting the perpetrator’s details – including a photo – and prompting an onslaught of online fury against him. “So Josh, how about it — no respect for a hard-working author and fellow racing enthusiast? Not even for someone that is emphatically trying to reach out to people that might consider pirating our hard work? Can’t be bothered to read and consider our note on piracy in the front of the book?” wrote Goodkind. “How ironic you claim to be a fan of books that uphold truth and honour above all else. We hope the price of fame is worth the cost of your infamy.”

The named pirate’s Twitter and personal webpages have subsequently been removed, and Goodkind said that immediately after his post, almost all of his piracy links were deleted as well.

Click here to read the rest of this story

August 19, 2011

Why you can’t even judge a holiday ebook by its hi-tech cover

Filed under: Books — Tags: , , , — Bookblurb @ 6:19 am

By Sheena Hastings

ED Miliband might have wished in hindsight that he had kept his choices under wraps. The toppling armful of hardbacks with titles such as Leadership on the Line and The Last Campaign he took on holiday were construed as possibly signs of insecurity, chosen by someone who still saw himself as an apprentice. If only he had loaded up a Kindle as he and the family headed off to the beach; he’d have reduced the weight on the car axles and escaped the unwelcome scrutiny.

If Miliband lightens up with a bestseller occasionally that was not the impression he wanted to give. Surveys have shown that as many as a third of us worry about how we might be judged by what we are seen reading on holiday, to the extent that we will pack a Barack Obama or Proust when really we’d rather be reading Stephen King or Sophie Kinsella.

However, while it is good fun to walk up and down the beach and see what everyone is reading, whether there are one or two dominant books and measure how gripping certain reads must be by how little the people reading them go for a swim or bother to apply the sun cream, judging a reader by their book can be a futile business.

Some of the brightest people I know take to the beach every summer with a huge sigh of relief and a pile of popular fiction that may include the likes of Maeve Binchy, John Grisham, Sidney Sheldon, Lee Child and possibly Katie Price. They don’t give a fig what anyone thinks, and certainly not a bunch of strangers. They wouldn’t dream of resisting a bodice-ripper or thriller and pretending interest in a philosophy or political history book for the sake of ‘beach cred’. The truth is that, amusing though it may be to try and judge a person by their choice of books, it’s actually not that easy.

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August 4, 2011

Facebook buys Push Pop Press e-publishing firm

Filed under: Media — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , — Bookblurb @ 5:12 am

By Chris Meadows

Today Push Pop Press, the e-publishing firm who produced an interactive version of an Al Gore climatology book, announced today that it has been acquired by Facebook. Facebook has no interest in publishing interactive e-books, and Push Pop has announced it will no longer be publishing anything. Instead, Facebook will be incorporating Push Pop’s technology into its own platform.

As Tim Carmody put it on Wired:

So instead of an independent born-digital press, publishing next-generation multimedia novels (or magazines or textbooks or children’s books or cookbooks), Facebook will probably get marginally better iOS apps.

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August 2, 2011

Literary agents plumb alternative revenue streams

By Chris Meadows

The lines between authors, agents, and publishers used to be very clear and bright. Each one had certain things it did best, and the idea of authors or agents jumping into publishing themselves was all but unheard of.

But with the rise of e-books and e-publishing, many authors have gone into publishing for themselves—and now a number of literary agents are doing so as well, for backlist titles traditional publishers have been less willing to touch.

The Bookseller has a feature looking at some of these agents. For example, Ed Victor has branched his literary agency out into offering public speakers and publishing backlist titles. Victor believes that the time when “agents can just be agents” is over.

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August 1, 2011

Vook proposes ten rules of e-book and app pricing

Filed under: e-tailers — Tags: , , , , , , , — Bookblurb @ 8:03 pm

By Chris Meadows

Yesterday I mentioned the importance of pricing to e-book sales, using the example of a 1992 novel that shot to the top of e-bestseller listsafter going on sale for 99 cents. However, 99 cents is not always the right answer.

Publishers Weekly has a post looking at ten pricing rules that Vook has come up with after studying what elements make e-books and apps successful. Vook determined that it was not simply a matter of price, but also category.

Proper categorization helps books get discovered and in turn contributes to what Vook calls “lift effects.” Lift effects are things that raise them to prominent shelf positions and keep titles there with high purchase rates. According to [Vook head of operations and finance Greg] Bateman, to help titles gain traction, publishers should keep the launch price as low as possible for a period ranging from three days to two weeks before raising the price to a more appropriate level.

Vook experimented with variable pricing on 40 e-books and 20 apps over a three month period to determine the right price points, and came up with the following rules:

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July 12, 2011

Can bookstores welcome the ebook customer?

By Chris Walters

I’m writing this today from the coffee shop at a Borders, one of the superstore locations in the middle of the U.S. to survive the company’s recent bankruptcy and ensuing real estate culling. I was the first person in the store this morning, and in the past half hour nobody else has come in, which seems too bad: here are thousands upon thousands of books, comics, and magazines, and nobody to browse them.

John C. Malone, who wants to buy 70% of Barnes & Noble, told the New York Times earlier this week why he thinks bookstores still matter (emphasis mine):

“We believe that publishers like the existing physical bookstores, they like having a partner in distribution who lives and dies in the book business as opposed to just commoditizing it, which these other players do,” he said. “So I think you go into it with an edge in your relationship with the publishers.”

The thing that strikes me today about Borders, especially when compared to my recent visits to Barnes & Noble, is how little the company has warmly embraced ebooks. And I do mean “warmly,” not just setting up a little display and otherwise ignoring it, or worse, treating it as the enemy–both conditions apply to this Borders. If ebooks are a valid component of the book business, why do they barely register in a store that lives and dies by it? more

March 3, 2011

Self-publishing author sells 100,000+ e-books per month

Filed under: e-tailers — Tags: , , , , , , , , — Bookblurb @ 5:23 pm

By Chris Meadows

amanda-hocking-kindle-authorBusiness Insider has a story about a 26-year-old writer who self-publishes on Amazon’s store and makes “millions”. Amanda Hocking is reportedly the best-selling independent author on Amazon (we mentioned her briefly in January and a commenter brought her up earlier this month). She reportedly sells 100,000 e-books per month at prices of $.99 to $2.99, and keeps 70% of the take.

                                                                                                                                        …read more

December 22, 2010

E-Book Invasion to Eliminate Brick and Mortar Bookstores ?

Filed under: Bookshops — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , — Bookblurb @ 1:23 pm

A story about Barnes & Noble and similar large book store chains feeling the heat due to lagging sales and the increased popularity of online competitors such as and e-book sales caught my attention a few days ago.

Six years ago while I was attending a writer’s conference luncheon, an industry expert announced to us that smaller chains and independent bookstores were in danger of extinction, being replaced by the mega-bookstores. “If you can’t imagine your book finding a place on the shelf in Barnes & Noble, you haven’t got a chance for success in this business,” she announced to a room full of hundreds of aspiring and published authors.

For more than a decade the publishing industry has been changing dramatically, printing fewer titles, tightening markets, taking fewer chances on new concepts or unknown authors. We expected all those changes with the merging of many of the largest publishers into even larger media groups. I couldn’t imagine e-books replacing printed books then, or ever people preferring to browse websites for books over browsing through a bookstore.

Barnes & Noble and similar large bookstore chains that I once disdained for their influence in publishing industry are now sort of a guilty pleasure of mine….read more

December 20, 2010

December 18, 2010

Why we should get ready for a plunge in print book sales, by Peter Ginna

Filed under: Publishers — Tags: , , , , , , , — Bookblurb @ 11:19 am

I wrote earlier this week that publishers need to prepare for a decline in print-book sales that’s much steeper than what we have seen thus far, and that is likely to accelerate the reshaping of the industry. The reasons why this seems inevitable derive not from any intrinsic superiority of e-books, nor any growing technophilia or screen-tropism of readers, but rather from the structure of the market.

Cliff_jumping.jpgFor one thing, e-book sales don’t replace p-book sales on a one to one basis, as my colleague Evan Schnittman points out in his post “E-Books Don’t Cannibalize Print, People Do.” Evan argues that once you have adopted an e-reader–whether it’s Kindle, Nook, or your iPhone–you soon give up buying print books. You become so happy with the convenience of instant purchase and the bookshelf-in-your-briefcase that you virtually give up purchasing hardcovers–in fact, he argues, you’ll simply forgo a title that’s not available in e-format.

I don’t think this holds true 100% for all readers…read more

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