Monday Midday Links: Google Books Launches
Google Books launches today. The prices for the non agency books are very competitive which is good for us consumers as I doubt that Amazon will want to be undersold (Barnes and Noble tends to price slightly higher). At the bottom of the page, you can see that Romance is a featured category at Google books, along with Fantasy and Thrillers.
For category books, like Susan Napier, the prices were stunning at $2.55 v. $2.88 and up at Amazon. Unfortunately, Google only had four titles whereas, Amazon had eight.
Lara Adrian’s Midnight Rising was priced as follows:
Google will have an app for the Android and iThings. I believe the Android App is available now but the iThing app is not. There is no desktop software.
Google wants you to use the browser BUT Google won’t allow you to read “Offline” using the Web Reader on your desktop so you’ll need to download and use your favorite ADEWe currently do not support offline reading using the Web Reader on your computer. I believe that so long as your browser is open and the Google book page is open, you can continue reading your book even after logging off the internet, but once you close out of your browser, you will not be able to open the browser back up and load the book. Instead, you will need to reconnect to the internet. I’m not sure if it saves last place read. In other words, if you read on your computer, you should download the ePub or PDF file. Also, I could find no bookmarking or annotation option in the web reader. On the iPhone, the web version does not look good:
Google uses ADE for encryption and thus you can follow this guide here for how to use Google Edition books with other devices. Note, with the web browser on the Kindle, you can access your Google Cloud. Reports are that it works great. There are a number of books that are in PDF only.
Any ebook that is scanned in only and doesn’t have reflowable text will be accompanied by a “Better for larger screens” alert. One last detail, you must have a Google checkout account to buy books.
Any ebook that only comes with scanned pages will display an alert message (“Better for larger screens”) before you purchase or get the ebook.
For non US readers, don’t even bother. It’s just a bunch of public domain books and web reading only.
I had the good fortune to participate in a podcast with Michael Weinberg at Public Knowledge about the lost books sale site. Hopefully, as digital books become more popular and the copyright geographical barriers will become easier to navigate.
Deadlines for submission of paper proposals to two romance-focused academic conferences are fast approaching. December 15, 2010 deadline for submission to the Romance Area of the Popular Culture Association’s National Conference in San Antonio, TX (Passover/Easter weekend: April 20-23, 2011); January 1, 2011 deadline for submission to the Third Annual International Conference of the International Association for the Study of Popular Romance in New York City (June 26-28, 2011, the three days before RWA’s NYC conference). For more information, go here: http://teachmetonight.blogspot.com/2010/12/final-calls-pca-dec-15-2010-deadline.html
There is a lot of discussion going on outside the book world about Amazon kicking Wikileaks off its web service space. I have a lot of conflicted feelings about Wikileaks but the idea that hosting services will be deciding what we can and cannot read on the internet is really dangerous.
Given that citizens are increasingly dependent on privately owned spaces for our politics and public discourse, however, the fight over how speech should be governed in a democracy is focused increasingly on questions of how private companies should or shouldn’t control speech conducted on and across their networks and platforms.
While Rowan Somerville was gracious when he accepted the Bad Sex award, he hated receiving it.
It's a hard pill to swallow. It takes years to write a novel and, if you are serious about what you do, quite a lot of sacrifice. Furthermore, despite the excellent reviews, The Shape of Her had not sold well: to be honest it had disappeared. No, the last thing I was going to do was throw myself into a pit of baying toffs – the magazine started by Auberon Waugh is renowned for drawing its staff from the upper classes – and add public humiliation to my disappointment.
In the end, though, Somerville acknowledge that the award brought his book back into the media limelight.
Strangely (at least I find this strange), the largest investor of Borders has indicated that it is interested in purchasing Barnes and Noble.
Ackman said Pershing Square Capital Management, which holds a 15% stake in Borders, is prepared to bid $16 per share in an all-cash or stock-and-cash transaction, representing a 20% premium on Barnes & Noble’s closing price of $13.28 last Friday.
So the investor is prepared to throw more money in hopes of turning the 15% into a profitable stake.