Progress and New Directions With Ebooks

shutterstock_212099548Ebooks are entering their adolescence.

Excitement over the mass conversion of text files gave way to exuberance in making enhanced ebooks and elaborate book apps. After commercial realities for overwrought titles that couldn’t find an audience set in for publishers, there was a retrenching and investment for the projects dried up.

A new generation of smart ebook technologies are on the horizon, innovations that readers want and the publishers can produce.

Here are some of the most exciting ones to look out for in the coming year. More.

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Apple Needling Amazon? (DBW)
George Orwell is the No. 1 featured author on Apple’s iBooks store, a subtle dig at rival Apple, which is in hot water with the author’s estate after using a quote of his to defend itself in its ongoing dispute with Hachette. A deeper dive reveals that there’s more.

Kobo’s Waterproof E-Reader to Launch in Sept? (Geeky Gadgets)
More rumors that a waterproof Kobo e-reader is set to launch in early September. The company isn’t giving any official word yet.

Amazon Gets Physical in Brazil (Times Standard)
Two years after launching an ebook business in Brazil, Amazon will sell physical books in one of the world’s fastest-growing large economies. The company will start out with 150,000 titles in Portuguese.

Betting on E-Ink in Brazil (Pub Perspectives)
Brazil book chain Saraiva launched its own e-ink reader, a bet that seems counter-intuitive in the era of the tablet.

Ex-Penguin Random House VP Lands at Simon & Schuster (PW)
Rick Horgan, who had been vice president and executive editor at Penguin Random House division Crown, will have the same title at Simon & Schuster division Scribner. He left PRH in May and starts at Simon & Schuster August 25.

Speakaboos Adds Content (PW)
Mobile educational platform Speakaboos, a subscription platform for interactive ebooks and songs, is adding content from Scholastic and others.

Paper Products Prez Says Print Isn’t Dead (Biz Journals)
Predictably, the president of a small printing company says print isn’t dead, at least for his 20-person concern.

Renting Ebooks (Book Business)
Book technology start-up iFlipd lets users try books for low feeds and rewards readers willing to take a chance on books others rejected.


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