Friday News & Deals: Apple Tries to Take Over Educational Publishing & Grand Central Launches a Romance Imprint
Apple made it’s education announcement yesterday introducing iBooks 2 which allows you to view books made with iBooks Author. iBooks Author has been described as “Garage Band” for books. Essentially it is a purportedly easy to use tool to create interactive books rich with multimedia such as audio, video, and animations that will be well suited for interactive learning. AND! iBooks Author is FREE. Amazing, right? Only if you read the EULA, Apple says that you can only sell your iBooks Author created book in the iBookstore or through the App Store. You can give it away for free anywhere but if you SELL it, it can only be through Apple. That’s a) kind of crazy and b) the kind of activity that alerts the DOJ, particularly when you are talking about educational texts.
Plus, even though iBooks product is ePub 3 based, it is not compatible with existing ePub 3 readers. You can get the text, but none of the markup (the stuff that makes it look nice). In sum, Apple has created another proprietary format and if you decide to use its authoring tool, you can sell it ONLY at Apple. Forever.
Was the PIPA/SOPA blackout protest worth it? Heck yes. On Wednesday, Congress reported high volumes of calls. Many congresspersons withdrew their support, including hardliners like Orrin Hatch and Chuck Grassley who helped author the Senate version (PIPA).
Today, it is reported that Harry Reid will not bring PIPA to the floor to vote. Yay for democracy.
Apparently the mere mention of a woman’s name, just the name, can turn a smart man dumb.
First, psychologist Johan Karremans, lead study author Sanne Nauts, and their team gave a group of 71 men and women a common cognitive test (the Stroop test, if you’re curious). Then the subjects had to do another task with help — via instant message only — from a “monitor” with either a male or a female name. Then they took the Stroop test again. The dudes did way worse after an e-encounter with a lady monitor, but dude monitors didn’t affect their performance. And women weren’t affected either way. In a second experiment, participants were told that a man or a woman would IM them, but they never actually got any IMs — even this was enough to make guys screw up on the Stroop.
PandoDaily is a new tech website, funded by a bunch of tech giants, supposedly to give us the scoop on tech news so you may want to take this with a grain of salt, but a new post includes an anonymous email from a publishing insider.
We can’t pay $1 million for books anymore. Amazon could probably afford to lose $20 million/year in their publishing arm just to put the other publishers out of business. I think that’s what they’re trying to do–throw money around in an industry that doesn’t have any, until Amazon becomes not only the only place where you buy books, but the only place that publishes books, too.
To be honest, publishing is a quaint little industry based on romance and low profit margins. But now we’re in Amazon’s sights, and they’re going to kill us.
Publishers are pulling back from digital lending, but the patrons aren’t listening. According to newly released statistics from Overdrive, the increased interest in digital lending is staggering.
- 1.6 billion book and title catalog pages viewed, up 130% from 2010
- 99.5 million visitor sessions, up 107%
- Mobile device use increased to 22% of all checkouts
- 35 million digital titles checked out in 2011, with 17 million holds
- The OverDrive catalog for libraries now includes 700,000 copyrighted eBook, audiobook, music, and video titles in 52 languages, including 300,000 titles added in 2011
Here is a little message for pirates. Borrow, don’t pirate. If you borrow and then you buy, you can be a datapoint that your library uses to get publishers to lend books. By removing yourself from the data stream, you don’t help institutions like libraries to provide you with legitimate free access to books. By using the library, you are being part of the solution to help yourself and other readers get broader access to free literature.
Grand Central announced its digital first romance imprint to be headed by Amy Pierpont. From the press release:
Grand Central Publishing, a division of Hachette Book Group, announced today that it will launch Forever Yours, a new digital imprint, in February 2012. The imprint will publish two to four e-book titles a month, featuring both new, original works and classic romance titles from Forever’s rich backlist. Jamie Raab, Executive Vice President and Publisher, and Beth de Guzman, Vice President and Paperback Editor-in-Chief, made the announcement.
The first two e-books on the list are EMBER by Kristen Callihan, a gothic historical romance prequel to the author’s debut novel,Firelight; and ONCE UPON A WICKED NIGHT by Jennifer Haymore, a historical romance novella set in the world of the author’s bestselling Donovan series.
Amy Pierpont, Editorial Director, Forever, will oversee and direct the imprint. “With the growth of the e-book market, and the success of romance e-books, which always top the e-book bestseller charts, this is a tremendous opportunity for authors and readers,” said Pierpont. “We are excited to discover new voices in romance, and introduce readers to an exciting array of stories across all genres—contemporary, historical, and paranormal.”
Forever Yours will be accepting submissions from agented and unagented authors alike, and publishing short-form novellas (10,000 to 50,000 words) as well as longer length novels (up to 100,000 words). Submissions can be sent firstname.lastname@example.org.