Friday Midday Links: Spike Jonze’s Stop Motion Love Story
You can now trade in your older Kindles for Amazon credit. A quick test shows a $46-47 trade in value for the Kindle 3G with keyboard and $36 for the wi fi only version. If you wanted to get the Kindle Touch, that would reduce the cost to about $50+ Not bad.
In other big Kindle news, Amazon has announced it will be moving away from Mobi to HTML5 based ebooks. ePub3 is based on HTML5 as well. I see that as a sign that we may be moving toward a base standard of formatting with different DRM wrappers. This might reduce the costs of producing ebooks to only a couple of formats. Another interesting tidbit is that Kindle Gen 2 (not yet released) will be able to convert ePub to HTML5. If this is accurate, then I would expect Amazon to accept ePub personal documents that it will then convert to Kindle 8 format (HTML5 Kindle).
It also signals the death knell of Mobi. It is likely that Mobi, like MS Lit, will cease to be supported by any etailers in the future.
Imagine an industry where seventy percent of your products lose money. You knit ten different types of wool socks. Seven don’t sell enough to cover the cost of the wool, while the other three are so popular they’re capable of keeping the whole enterprise afloat. This is the basic math of book publishing, a business model that’s evolved over the course of the last couple centuries and has alternately baffled, unnerved, and outraged the long list of hugely intelligent people who have given their lives to it. The “worst business in the world,” Doubleday’s cofounder Walter Hines Page called it, and even in flush times, the refrain is usually the same.
This is the lede from Ben Tarnoff at Lapham’s Quarterly who suggests that the publishing changes forced on by the rise of digital can actually be a boon and that while traditional publishing responds slowly, it does respond and adapt and survive.
Spike Jonze has created a stop motion film about a “skeleton from the cover of Macbeth, voiced by Jonze himself, who falls in love with Mina Harker on the cover of Dracula.” It’s really a delightful piece and incorporates elements from all kinds of classics. More about the creation here.