Will an Open Web Liberate Reading Data?

Will an Open Web Liberate Reading Data?At last week’s BEA, it was announced that the IDPF, the standards body for ebooks and responsible for the current EPUB specification, is considering merging with the W3C, the standards body for the web at large. This would mean that instead of having its own standards body for digital books, the publishing industry would be a smaller part of the much wider online publishing world, including magazines, newspapers, blogs, websites and more.

Some, like Peter Brantley, organizer of the annual “Books in Browser” conference, greeted the news with enthusiasm, while others, such as ebook wizard Baldur Bjarnason, were more skeptical. Dave Cramer’s (Hachette) response is also worth reading.

One of the reasons for the merger, according to Sir Tim Berners-Lee, father of the web, was the prospect of making ebooks trackable.

“We should live in a world of linked data,” Berners-Lee said.

It is this issue that I would like to address in today’s post.

Much more.


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Company Snapshots: Klopotek (DBW)
In “Company Snapshots,” we pose a series of questions to leading providers of digital products and services and let them speak for themselves about what their company does, how they benefit publishers, and what they believe the biggest trends in the industry are. In today’s entry, we have Klopotek.

Crown Reboots Book Discovery Site Read It Forward (PW)
Crown Publishing Group has relaunched Read It Forward, a website hosting a digital community of more than 385,000 readers. Described as a “publisher-agnostic book vertical,” the site is dedicated to helping readers discover new and classic books.

Mark Coker: Kindle Unlimited Could Imperil Greater Ebook Market (Teleread)
I wasn’t quite able to attend Mark Coker’s BEA presentation on the ten trends transforming the future of publishing. But Coker sent me the extremely detailed slide deck he used, and there’s plenty in the slide deck that bears consideration.

“I’m a Huge Fan of Self-Publishing” – David Fugate (Reedsy)
David Fugate is the founder of LaunchBooks Literary Agency. He had worked as a literary agent for 20 years before setting it up, and now represents renowned authors such as Andy Weir (author of The Martian), Scott Berkun, or Chris Guillebeau. He has successfully represented a wide range of fiction and nonfiction projects to more than 40 different publishers that have generated in excess of $20 million for their authors.

Bezos Confirms Plans for More Amazon Stores (PW)
At Amazon’s annual meeting on Tuesday, company founder and chairman Jeff Bezos confirmed that the online retailer plans to open more physical stores, though he did not put a figure on how many new outlets are to come.

Does Craig Mod’s Singular Narrative Map of the World Really Have to Close? (PP)
Hi.co, a unique experiment in international “narrative-mapping,” will close on September 1, according to its creator Craig Mod’s plan for responsibly archiving the project.

Awareness of Library Ebook Availability at All-Time High (Overdrive)
Pew’s survey concludes that awareness of ebook availability at libraries increased more than 20 percent among the general population in just the last year alone. As of April 2016, three out of every five adults now say they know their local libraries have ebook lending programs. This correlates with the strong upswing in digital circulation libraries are experiencing at their OverDrive-powered websites.

A Fourth StoryDrive Rolls into Beijing (Pub Perspectives)
“Online literature is an important topic for this year’s conference,” says Frankfurt Book Fair’s Juergen Boos, as his team prepares to participate in the fourth annual doing of StoryDrive China.

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