America’s first bookless public library will look ‘like an Apple Store’ – Library services are changing quite a bit with the advent of digital books. Bexar County, Texas, will be opening its first 100 percent digital public library system. This digital library system is designed to supplement and not replace existing libraries within the county. If you read the comments, it is apparent that even the technologically connected commenters at the Verge are unaware of the impositions that publishers have placed on libraries. Currently some publishers won’t allow libraries to purchase digital books or require them to pay three to four times as much per copy and have time limits when the license will expire. The Verge
Kids Are Adopting eBooks Faster Than Their Parents, Scholastic Reports – One thing that you may have learned during the election cycle is that the polls conducted by Pew and Gallup aren’t very accurate. Whether the statistical problems can be extended into non election polls hasn’t been proven but the disparity between the Scholastic reports and the PEW reports about digital book reading is alarming (if anyone is relying on PEW, that is). I actually did not report on the PEW polls on ebook reading because my confidence in their data and data interpretation isn’t very strong post the election. Scholastic reports that 46% of children in the US have read an ebook and 41% of the parents have read an ebook. Look for more bookless libraries in the future.The Digital Reader
What It’s Like to Experience New Technology After 25 Years in Jail – Michael Santos, a convicted cocaine distribution dealer from Florida, has recently been released from prison and he is finding it difficult to adjust despite having all the tools (new iPhone, Macbook Pro and iMac purchased with funds he earned from writing books while in prison). Santos was well read and even well educated, obtaining at least a Bachelor’s while imprisoned but his discomfort with the Internet and computers and even the “language of technology” shows how troubling the technological divide can be. I suspect that there are children in the US who are in far worse conditions technology wise than Santos was in while in prison. Gizmodo
Self Published Authors Get Ready, You’re Being Dumped – Self published author Derek Haines rants that Amazon is trying to kill off self published authors. He has no actual proof of this, but instead strings together things like Amazon deleting reviews and a rejiggering of the algorithms that control when books appear on the bestseller lists and the “customers also bought” features as anectdotal evidence that Amazon is in cahoots with big publishing to drive out the indie producers. The Vandal
This post gins up hysteria to a Defcon level based on nothing. This is hostile to actual facts such as 4 out of the top 10 Kindle books are self published or that Amazon’s ability to push exclusive content without having to deal with major publishers is a major boon to them. Amazon has no incentive to drive out the indies in favor of the mainstream publishers. It is actively trying to weaken mainstream publishing bargaining positions. The move toward policing reviews is designed to ensure customer trustworthiness in the review system. All Amazon ever does is to try to sell more product, hook more people on its service. May Amazon, at some point, reduce royalty rates paid to those who use KDP or tie higher royalty rates with longer exclusive terms? Sure, but that doesn’t mean Amazon is trying to drive away indies and individuals who believe that because their sales are somehow not as robust are making baseless accusations not grounded in fact.
Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty.
You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com