There really isn’t a lot of news to post about but I had to share this story I found over at slashdot. One of Italy’s 100 most wanted criminals is Mafia boss Pasquale Manfredi. Manfredi had a facebook addiction which led to his capture and arrest. Apparently his frequent updates allowed the Italian police to triangulate his location.
AAP has released the data for January sales and its grim for hardcovers which see an 8% drop compared to January 2009.
- Hardcover: $55.6 million
- Paperback: $103.2 million
- Mass Market: $56 million
- Hardcover: $31.7 million (down by 41.6%)
- Paperback: $30.7 million (down by 18.1%)
- Audio Book: $10.6 million (increase of 5%)
- E-books: $31.9 million (261.2 from December and 261.2% increase from Jan 09)
The HP Slate is set for a June release and a $540 price tag. I think that is too expensive and I’m quite worried about the Atom processor. The whole idea behind the tablets is to meet the basic consumer home computing need and that would include video watching. Atom processors are often too slow to properly buffer video on the internet. Anyone who has watched (or tried to watch) Hulu on their netbook can appreciate how slow the Atom processor is.
Colin Robinson of OR Books says that they have had enough of Amazon’s bullying and is willing to forego its books being available through Amazon. (Of course, they will still be available, but only through secondary markets). Will other small publishers follow OR’s path?
Amazon unveiled screenshots of its tablet app which will be available for the iPad as well as other multitouch devices. The preview shots do not show what I view to be the most important feature of ebook reading software and that is organization. Further, can it be used to read my existing library? If not, it’s not very useable for me.
Here are two articles about writers and royalties. Cory Doctorow writes about all the things he doesn’t want to do as a writer and his publisher does for him, arguing that the publisher is earning the 90% profit share. Authors Guild might be suggesting that authors are due up to 50% of the ebook royalty. One of the things that AG suggests is a royalty floor. I’ve talked about a per unit royalty for ebooks as well which can serve to protect authors while publishers are “experimenting” with price. A floor makes even better sense. AG also suggests that if you can’t get the right terms, hold back your digital rights. Good luck on that. No major trade publisher that I know of will even buy a book without the digital rights.
The battle over royalties makes me think about the value of books and all the different kinds of valuation taking place. When you think of what price publishers place on content, you realize that the publishers are really pricing an artifact, the bundling of content, not the content itself.