Ebook developer Joshua Tallent has been using his Digital Book World column recently to discuss some best practices, ideas and opinions about ebook front matter. And in his latest installment, he concludes his deep dive into the table of contents.
For many years, publishers and readers have complained that there are no page numbers in ebooks. However, the lack of page numbers is not due to technical limitations or to appropriate markup not being present in the EPUB specification; the Page List feature has been part of the EPUB standard since EPUB 2.
The lack of page numbers in ebooks is only due to 1) retailers and other reading system creators dragging their feet in supporting page lists (the notable exception being Apple iBooks), and 2) publishers largely ignoring the feature because it is “too hard to create” or does not get automatically exported from standard workflow tools like InDesign.
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Barnes & Noble Disappoints Low Expectations (Pub Lunch)
Barnes & Noble reported fiscal second quarter earnings on Thursday afternoon after the close of the market, with sales through October 31st falling $42 million or 4.5 percent compared to a year ago, to $895 million. Though the charge due to the B&N College spinoff was lower than expected—a $10.5 million executive severance payment, and investment banking fees of $7 million—EBITDA was negative, at a loss of $20.5 million. Worse, the net loss from continuing operations was $27.2 million or 36 cents per share, compared to a loss of $5.1 million, or 16 cents a share a year ago. The stock was down 4.5 percent in regular trading Thursday before the announcement, and shares declined more than 13 percent in after-hours trading on yet another disappointing set of results. (Now at $10.40 a share, it’s the lowest since the B&N College spinoff in early August.)
In Amicus Brief, Authors Guild, ABA, B&N Back Apple (PW)
In an amicus brief filed on December 2nd, a coalition of authors groups and booksellers urged the Supreme Court to overturn a lower court decision finding Apple liable for its role in a 2010 conspiracy to fix ebook prices. In the 37-page filing, the Authors Guild, Authors United (the group organized by Douglas Preston in 2014), the American Booksellers Association, and Barnes & Noble, argue that Apple’s entry into the market in fact benefited consumers.
Penguin Random House Consolidates Library Ebook Terms (Pub Lunch)
With Penguin Random House unifying its adult library marketing teams under the leadership of Vice President, Library Sales Skip Dye, the company will also simplify its terms of sale for ebooks into school and public libraries in the US and Canada as of January 1st, 2016. The Random House model will prevail companywide over the Penguin practice, and going forward all titles will be sold to libraries in perpetuity—at premium library prices—rather than sold for a term of one year, as has been the Penguin policy.
BookTech Award Showcase: Write-Track (Futurebook)
Write-Track locks its users into productive habits through four core elements of behavioral change design: goal setting, tracking, community support and reward. First, the website asks users to chunk their long-term dream project into smaller goals and set flexible targets, such as writing for a particular amount of time or writing a certain number of words. Then, they add stars to a calendar to easily and graphically track their progress, logging time spent, word counts and feelings. Email reminders are on hand if they need a nudge, and support and cheerleading is provided through an on-site social network.
Seven Reasons Schools Use Digital Audiobooks with Students (DBW)
These days, technology and classroom are two words that go hand in hand. More schools and educators have an increased focus on engaging students by leveraging ebook and audiobook technology to support instruction in the classroom.
One Technology That Will Change the Academic Library Experience (Library Journal)
New construction of academic library buildings or major renovation projects is infrequent but there are several each year. Eventually, to maintain the viability of the library as an educational facility, the need for a major renovation or new facility comes to the attention of the trustees. As each new library project is planned, how and where to store print collections will be a major consideration for each institution.
Publishing Serialized Stories for Seated Readers Anywhere (Pub Perspectives)
Anna Jean Hughes is the public face of The Pigeonhole, a website and app that has been deservedly drawing attention to itself thanks to quality serialized fiction and non-fiction, great design and timely subjects.
Amazon Fire Tablet Now Available in China (DBW)
Amazon announced that Fire, its fastest-selling tablet ever, is now available to customers in China for RMB 499 Yuan.
Global Kids Connect Conference Debuts in New York (PW)
The Global Kids Connect conference, held December 2nd in New York City, offered a wide-ranging look at the impact of digital media, physical books, trends, and the future of reading in a global children’s and young adult book market. The one-day conference offered an expert lineup of publishers, editors and agents, who offered professional perspectives on everything from content creation and licensing to doing business in China. Indeed the focus was on learning and sharing perspectives on serving a global marketplace.
Booktrack Strikes Deal with Canelo (Bookseller)
Booktrack, which provides soundtracks for ebooks, is set to partner with digital publisher Canelo to bring new books to its platform. Booktrack is the creator of e-reader technology which synchronizes multimedia such as music, sound effects and ambient sound to ebooks. The multimedia is automatically paced to the individual’s reading speed and synchronized to complement and enhance the story.