In my previous post, I offered a few ideas on how to make ebooks feel unique by taking advantage of some visual design cues.
But I neglected to mention one crucial step: test, test, test your EPUB and MOBI files on multiple devices and apps.
A simple example: try using a very light blue for a chapter title. How does it look on ian Pad and on a Kindle Fire? Probably nice. Now how about in night mode? Or how about on an e-ink device, like a Kindle Voyage? Is it legible, or is it too light?
You can use a media query to target e-ink Kindle devices and use black instead. But I would recommend just starting out with a color that works everywhere. Simpler is better when dealing with the large universe of reading systems, as you don’t know how many readers are still using Nooks or legacy Kindles. You don’t want their books to break, which a media query might well do (especially on older Nooks).
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Publishing House Structures, Processes and Budgets Need to Change (Mike Shatzkin)
A thought kept recurring while I was learning new stuff at Digital Book World last week. The structure of publishing houses and of the publishing process as it has developed over the past century make some of the challenges and opportunities of publishing in the emerging digital era very hard to address for publishers operating at any degree of scale.
After Latest Filings, Google Case Now in Supreme Court’s Hands (PW)
The Authors Guild this week filed with the Supreme Court its final reply brief in Authors Guild vs. Google, meaning the high court could soon decide whether to review long-running case over Google’s library scanning program. In a 13-page brief filed March 15, attorneys for the guild, urged the court to hear its appeal, claiming that the “balance” of copyright is at stake.
Audible Clips Lets Users Share Audiobook Snippets (DBW)
Audible has launched Audible Clips, a new feature that allows listeners to share samples from audiobooks over social media and email. The company intends to make listening more social, and the new feature functions similarly to memes and images of book quotes that are regularly shared online.
After DBW: ‘Perhaps We Don’t Know Anything’ (Pub Perspectives)
Transformation is not a slogan: it requires cultural change. An Englishman in New York, Nosy Crow’s Tom Bonnick recalls John Ingram’s line after DBW 2016.
Startup Snapshot: The Owl Field (BookMachine)
Michel Lafrance is the founder and managing director for The Owl Field, an audio entertainment company specializing in 3D audio storytelling. In addition to managing the startup, he is the content producer and sound designer.
10 BookBub Myths Busted (BookBub)
There are a lot of myths and misconceptions out there about how BookBub works — from how we select books to feature to what kind of behavior will get authors on a “blacklist” (this one baffles us!) We wanted to put some of the rumors we hear about most often to rest. Below are ten myths about BookBub, and the honest truth!
Quarto Achieves ‘Most Profitable Year’ (Bookseller)
The Quarto Group has seen its “most profitable year ever,” the company said, while announcing its chairman Tim Chadwick has decided to step down from the board Quarto released its annual results for the year ending December 31, 2015 to March 17, 2016, revealing that revenue was up 6 percent to $182.2m (£127.4m), while pre-tax profit was up 8 percent to $12.9m (£9.02m).
Amazon Eyes Office Depot Deal (NY Post)
A prominent activist investor has taken a stake in Office Depot, believing the workplace supply chain could be near a deal that will clear all regulatory barriers to its merger with Staples, The Post has learned. The deal would involve Amazon, which is believed to be eyeing the corporate business unit of Office Depot, according to a person familiar with the investor’s thinking.
Inside German Publishers’ Legal Beef with Google (Digiday)
There’s a long history of legal battles between German publishers and Google, and on Feb. 19, the ruling in the latest skirmish came down in favor of the tech giant. Axel Springer, along with 40 other publishers, had sued Google, claiming that the tech company was unfairly using its market dominance to punish publishers who were demanding payment from Google for displaying snippets of text, such as the 250 characters that you would see in Google Search.
Ebook Central Improves Ebook Usage in Scholarly Research (DBW)
ProQuest has launched Ebook Central, a new digital platform with 790,000 scholarly titles and 1,350 imprints from more than 650 publishers, with the goal of simplifying the workflow of librarians and researchers who use ebooks. The system was designed to improve ebook discovery, selection and acquisition. Titles can be read online and downloaded offline. Furthermore, users can digitally take notes, highlight passages, and instantly cite works.
Library-Institution Misalignment: One Real-World Example (Scholarly Kitchen)
The Department of Education is proposing a new rule that would “require all copyrightable intellectual property created with Department grant funds to have an open license.” What does “open license” mean? In this case, it means the functional equivalent of a Creative Commons Attribution license.