DBW Weekly Roundup: 6/25/10

DBW News RoundupDigital Book World presents a weekly round-up of some of the most interesting news, commentary and tweets related to publishing that you may have missed, from all over the digital book world:

Do e-Readers Have a Chance Against the iPad?

  • Although an overwhelming majority of respondents (64%) said they have no plans to buy an e-Reader, we were surprised to see almost 20% say they were planning to buy an e-Reader, and that doesn’t include iPads. Although, it appears consumers still want Kindles and other e-Readers, it looks like the iPad could grab a substantial share of the market. The study revealed almost one-third (8% of 28%) of the people who are in the market for an e-Reader, plan to buy an iPad instead.

As E-Reader Prices Drop, Are They Headed to Zero?

  • In other words, it’s increasingly clear how the single-function e-reader is a big, money-making trojan horse for Amazon, B&N, and eventually Google (GOOG). The real cash will come through e-book sales, available on every device, anytime you want, albeit with a major caveat: the pesky digital rights management issue that frustrates consumers to no end and. And if e-reader prices drop lower and lower, to the point where it might be more practical to give them away with the purchase of e-books or unrelated items, those e-book prices will stand out, and not necessarily in a good way.

It’s Not The Device Or The File, It’s The Internet, Stupid!

  • You lot are going to ignore a potential device population in the billions  for what — maybe three or four million worldwide eInk devices?  (As I was typing this, Apple announced it has just sold three million iPads. Stop! The iPad is not an eBook device — it is an Internet Device. Do you think Steve Jobs understands something you do not? That is why there will never be an iWork that creates digital books.) You want people to have to buy another device, in addition to their phone, and also remember to carry it around? Another device that is a thing and comes loaded with all those unspoken questions that every thing brings with it (see above)? And then you want to further burden those people with all the complexities of managing the electronic book things they must download and store? Stop being silly.

Jim Lee Addresses DC’s Digital Move

  • Once readers download an issue, they will be able to read it on all DC Comics-branded Comics by comiXology-supported platforms,” said David Steinberger, CEO of comiXology. “DC’s taking a bold approach to platform convergence, and we’re thrilled to be their solution of choice.”

Cory Doctorow’s Venture “Too Cheap to Fail”

  • But if you think Doctorow’s achievement is in getting his book published or in making money, the joke is on you. Abandon your establishment thinking, he urges, and look at how Silicon Valley IT engineers regard experimentation. Whereas publishing a traditional book is fraught with such expense that editors quake at the prospect of making a mistake, book publication the Silicon Valley way is dirt cheap.

Patron Driven eBook Acquisition: Crab Legs vs. Spinach

  • Libraries dealing with ebooks have to reconcile their mission of providing access with their limited and declining budgets. One model for doing this is known as “Patron-Driven” (PDA) or “Demand-Driven” (DDA) Acquisition. In this model, the library offers access to a huge menu of content, but only pays for material actually used by patrons. Since 50% of print material acquired by academic libraries never gets used, this results in a 50% cost savings (or 100% increase in bang for the buck, assuming you have bucks).

Tweet of the Week

Lauren Dane on eBook Pricing

That’s just a taste of what you may have missed this week. To stay on top of the most interesting news, commentary and tweets related to publishing, keep in touch via our RSS feed, follow us on Twitter, and join your publishing colleagues in our LinkedIn group, or connect with the broader DBW Network.

Apple’s Censorship: Bad for Customers, Worse for Bottom Line

In the past week, Apple tried the same gambit with Ulysses Seen, a webcomic version of James Joyce’s classic novel Ulysses featuring too much nudity for the company’s taste, and an app edition of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, which pixillated a series of panels featuring two men kissing. Both bans were reversed after considerable media outcry. (As if Joyce and Wilde haven’t had to deal with enough censorship issues, already!)

Apple is, naturally, welcome to restrict the type of content that is available on its devices. And yet, as TechCrunch reported Tuesday morning, Apple can’t even keep its guidelines straight. Otherwise how would English tabloid The Sun’s iPad app, featuring Page Three Girls in all their topless glory, get through without incident? As InfoWorld’s Galen Grunman said, “quality control over apps, such as to prevent crashes and to ensure the software does what it promises, is one thing. Control over content and thought is quite another.”


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