What’s an enhanced ebook?
The question stirs up debate in publishing circles on where the line is between ebook and “enhanced” ebook, how to classify an app and what the future dominant formats might be.
In non-publishing circles (that is, readers), it’s an earnest question. According to a new video published by HarperCollins, most consumers don’t know what they are. But if only they did!
That last line is the point of a new website from the publisher extoling the virtues of enhanced ebooks and promoting a line of its own enhanced titles. The website – and the video – serve both to help consumers learn about the products and to explain what publishers actually do in creating them.
This effort speaks to a number of trends in today’s publishing world – slow adoption for illustrated ebooks, plummeting prices for straight-text ebooks and publishers explaining to authors, agents and readers what they do.
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The rest of the day’s top news:
Self-Publishing Is for Control Freaks (Forbes)
One of the main reasons authors choose to self-publish is to have creative control over their work. The latest self-publishing sensation to hit No. 1 on the DBW Ebook Best-Seller list is Holly Ward, a self-styled control freak. She controlled her way to 150,000 ebooks sold in three weeks. So, are traditional publishers who want to attract these kinds of successful authors doomed? Not so long as they corner the market on distribution, according to DBW’s What Authors Want study.
Kindle Singles: Lots of Noise, Little Result (NYT)
David Blum, editor of Kindle Singles, has published 345 titles and sold close to five million copies of the digital shorts over the past sixteen months. Some authors have done well with the program but for Amazon it doesn’t make much money. It does however bring the much-maligned e-tail giant some literary cache and appeals to authors of all stripes who are eager to publish works in the new format.
Amazon to Pay Sales Tax Nationwide Soon? (PW)
The Marketplace Fairness Act is now up for debate in the U.S. Senate. Should the legislation pass, online retailers with sales over $1 million would be required to collect sales tax. It seems inevitable but it may not happen soon or on a national scale. In the meantime, states are individually dealing with online taxation issues: Amazon is already collecting tax on sales in a number of states, to include Massachusetts later this year.
Profits Down, Ebooks up at Quercus (Quercus)
London-based published Quercus saw its profits decrease to £1.5 million ($2.29 million) in 2012, down from £5.9 million in 2011. On the bright side, revenues from ebooks were up 137% to £6.4 million.
New Digital Textbooks Function Like Playlist (InfoDOCKET)
Harvard’s Initiative for Learning and Teaching has launched a free, adaptable digital textbook project that it hopes to scale beyond the law school where this platform began and into classrooms around the world.
Is This Plagiarism? (paidContent)
A new Web extension will help users determine if what they’re reading is original and unique or taken from another source. In the book world, services like Attributor hunt the digital world for illegal copies and help to see them removed.
What’s to Like About the DPLA (The Scholarly Kitchen)
The answer: Everything, except the URL, according to publishing industry observer Joe Esposito. The most impressive aspect of the project, he writes, is that it’s not really even a library at all.
Adventures in Academic Publishing (Duke University Libraries)
One professor unknowingly signed away the rights to some of his work and, before he knew what was happening, it was published. He didn’t walk away empty-handed; he learned some important lessons.
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Image Credit: screenshot via HarperCollins site