If you are a publisher of books that are not strictly narrative, are your ebooks a mirror image of your print books? Or have you taken advantage of the capabilities that the EPUB3 format provides to offer readers an enhanced reading experience?
If not, Larry Bennett argues in a blog post for Digital Book World, you’re missing out.
“Although the EPUB3 format is more than four years old and is highly recommended by the Book Industry Study Group,” Bennett writes, “many publishers are still publishing in EPUB2 format.”
“Think of the EPUB2 as plain vanilla,” Bennett continues, “devoid of sound capabilities, videos and interactivity, with reflowable text as the only option (no fixed layout).”
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How Amazon’s Long Game Yielded a Retail Juggernaut (NY Times)
To study the graph of Amazon’s stock performance in 2015 is to witness a series of stepwise lurches toward commanding new heights. Over all, the stock market has been flat this year, and technology companies, as a group, haven’t fared much better. Then there’s Amazon, which slipped the atmosphere. Shares of Jeff Bezos’s company have doubled in value so far in 2015, pushing Amazon into the world’s 10 largest companies by stock market value, where it jockeys for position with General Electric and is far ahead of Walmart.
A Manifesto for New Formats (Futurebook)
Tell someone that you recently finished a book and they will probably presume that you mean a traditional printed book, or maybe an ebook. How many people would consider that you might be talking about an advanced ebook, an audiobook or any one of the innovative new ways in which we now consume content? The nostalgia surrounding print books is phenomenal, which could be part of the reason why many people would undoubtedly tell me that audiobooks, for example, are not real books. I think that for more innovative formats to be widely adopted by readers, it is crucial that we encourage everyone to think beyond the traditional notion of reading.
Can ‘Pay What You Want’ Work for Publishers? (Econsultancy)
“Pay what you want,” sometimes called “pay as you feel,” is a principle whereby consumers choose how much money they want to give in return for a product or service. I can already hear you scoffing and clicking the back button, but hear me out: publishers need to be constantly experimenting with different ways to make money, particularly with the rise of ad blocking, so why not consider this approach?
New Google+ Seeks the Middle Ground in Social Publishing (Econsultancy)
Google+ has had a major revamp in another effort to convince all but its most loyal users to log on. It seems that Google is seeking a middle ground between Twitter and Medium. A place that’s definitely not Facebook (in fact, it’s not really about people) but revolves around individual interests and a hunger for micro- (or macro) blogging.
Augmented Reality as the Future of Books (Pub Perspectives)
AR&Co, an augmented reality startup founded in Indonesia, is “bringing the virtual into reality” of books, starting with the Bible.
A Vibrant Shanghai Fair for a Booming Children’s Market (PW)
At the just-concluded Shanghai International Children’s Book Fair, held from November 13th to 15th, first-time exhibitors and seasoned participants were afforded yet another close-up look at the booming Chinese children’s market. Both Chinese and overseas publishers are optimistic about the effects of the new two-child policy, which is set to add three million babies to the country annually. Currently, there are 370 million children below the age of 18 in China.
Selling Feelings (Stratechery)
The fact remains that business is difficult—it was difficult before the Internet, and it’s difficult now—but the nature of the difficulty has changed. Distribution used to be the hardest thing, but now that distribution is free, the time and money saved must instead be invested in getting even closer to customers and more finely attuned to exactly why they are spending their money on you. Any sort of software—or writing, or music, or video, or clothing, or anything else—has never been purchased for its intrinsic value but rather because of what it did for the buyer — how it made them feel (informed, happy, relaxed, etc.).
Virtual Reality and the Scholarly Publisher (Scholarly Kitchen)
Virtual Reality has, to put it bluntly, a pretty poor history. The VR of the nineties most certainly over-promised and massively under-delivered. But Moore’s law, coupled to increasingly higher density LCD screens and the arrival of cheap and accurate inertial sensors has changed the game. VR is possible today precisely because of the revolution wrought by the mobile phone. And (and this bit gets missed all too often), the environment generators of today’s modern games industry. This is a fundamentally new metaphor for interacting with Information.