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Tuesday News: People want bigger phones, independent booksellers capitalize on Hachette...

Survey Says: People Want Bigger Phones – Dear Apple, what is that they say — change or die? Remember the olden days when you were the underdogs, the upstarts, the revolutionaries? What happened, Apple? Please don’t make me buy a Galaxy Note. Please. XOXO, Me

Of the 23,000 people polled in almost two dozen countries, 57 percent plan to buy a new smartphone in the next year. And almost half, 48 percent, of intended buyers want a model with a 5- to 7-inch screen, Accenture said.
. . .
In India, 67 percent of consumers are leaning toward a larger screen model, in addition to 66 percent in China, 61 percent in Indonesia, and 64 percent in Turkey. By contrast, In the United States, only 40 percent were seeking a larger screen and just 30 percent in Germany and 19 percent in Japan. –Yahoo Tech

Booksellers Score Some Points in Amazon’s Spat With Hachette – My brain keeps wanting to read this as “bestsellers score some points,” because for all the talk of independent booksellers taking advantage of a potential vacuum in the retail market, what’s happening with mid-level authors and books? From what I can tell (and this article seems to add anecdotal evidence to the case), it’s still the big books that seem poised to benefit. And that doesn’t seem like so much good change to me.

What bothered Mr. Sindelar wasn’t that Amazon’s tactics were so hard-boiled. Rather, “our goal as retailers is to connect people to books,” he said. “The notion that a retailer would obstruct readers from getting to certain books they want completely violates our ethics as retailers. I wondered how we could get that message across to customers.”

So Mr. Sindelar went to Hachette’s publishing list, looking for the next potential blockbuster. At the Hachette subsidiary Little, Brown and Company, he found “The Silkworm” by Robert Galbraith — a.k.a. J. K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series — the follow-up to her best-seller “The Cuckoo’s Calling.” “That seemed obvious,” he said. “Ordinarily, we wouldn’t get any pre-orders for a book like that. Zero. But Amazon had deleted its pre-order button, so I thought we could capitalize on that.” –New York Times

Open Road Fires Back at HarperCollins in Copyright Case – Boy, this is getting interesting. Open Road is, among other things, claiming they’ve only made $19K in sales on the digital edition of Julie of the Wolves (about 10.45K books). Harper Collins wants something in the neighborhood of $1.1M, inclusive of attorneys’ fees and damages for alleged “willfulness” on Open Road’s part. Although the origins of this case were contractual (was there a granting of digital rights to Harper Collins in the 1971 contract), it may have more to do with royalties, which Jean Craighead George found to be insufficient with Harper Collins (only 25% to Open Road’s 50%). Considering the Hachette-Amazon battle, that makes the situation even more relevant and interesting.

Claiming that the Harper proposal is based on “a misleading portrayal” of the facts, Open Road attorneys argued that not only has Harper not suffered the kind of irreparable harm necessary to justify its proposed remedy, in fact it has not suffered any harm at all. “Harper cannot prove any present harm, let alone irreparable harm,” Open Road attorneys argued, noting that despite its win in court, Harper does not have the right to sell Julie of the Wolves e-books without the author’s consent, “which it has never obtained” owing to “a fundamental disagreement as to a fair e-book royalty.” –Publishers Weekly

The Secret Lives of Authors: The stories behind the stories. – Speaking of Open Road, they’ve got a pretty rich Pinterest board — a sort of ‘behind the scenes’ author board. Normally I’d shy away from posting something like this, because I think the focus on authors over their books has gotten a wee bit out of control. However, there’s some pretty cool stuff here, and some of the authors are no longer around. For example, there’s a list of ’16 things you didn’t know about Octavia Butler’ and some great old photos of the likes of a young Dorothy Sayers and Erica Jong, as well as a listing of ‘literary drinks — 10 famous fiction writers and their cocktails.’ –Pinterest

isn't sure if she's an average Romance reader, or even an average reader, but a reader she is, enjoying everything from literary fiction to philosophy to history to poetry. Historical Romance was her first love within the genre, but she's fickle and easily seduced by the promise of a good read. She approaches every book with the same hope: that she will be filled from the inside out with something awesome that she didnʼt know, didnʼt think about, or didnʼt feel until that moment. And she's always looking for the next mind-blowing read, so feel free to share any suggestions!

12 Comments

  1. library addict
    Jun 24, 2014 @ 04:29:50

    I am debating getting a Galaxy Note. I currently have a Sony Ion and enjoy the big screen, but the Note is a tad bigger. I do miss having a phone that fits comfortably in my pocket when I walk the dog. Otherwise I’m content to carry it in my purse. Decisions, decisions…

    I will bookmark the Pinterest board to look at later.

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  2. Kaetrin
    Jun 24, 2014 @ 04:39:01

    I have an HTC One X and I’m very happy with it. I wouldn’t go anywhere near an iPhone. I’m an Android girl through and through.

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  3. Isobel Carr
    Jun 24, 2014 @ 09:02:56

    The notion that a retailer would obstruct readers from getting to certain books they want completely violates our ethics as retailers

    Those words coming out of an indie bookstore owner’s mouth are hilarious to me as a genre reader. That is SO not the attitude I’ve run into in the vast majority of (non-genre) indies when asking about the hot new book I was looking for.

    @Kaetrin: I’ve been really happy with my Motorola Razr. I plan on hanging onto it for a few more months until the Galaxy Note 4 hits the market.

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  4. Lucy Woodhull
    Jun 24, 2014 @ 11:32:05

    How about we increase the size of ladies’ pants pockets to a reasonable level? I can’t fit the friggin’ phone I have in half of them already.

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  5. K.L.
    Jun 24, 2014 @ 11:37:42

    I’m in the funny situation of owning a Galaxy Note and helping my mom (in her 70s) maintain/use her iPhone 4. Like all my beloved gadgets I’m not invested in the manufacturer – I’ve always been about ease of use, updates and price (I used Apple in the 80s,-90s, PC now). But all mom’s friends love their iphones, so that’s what she wanted. (Does this sound like a mom-teen reversal? It feels so sitcomy!) But the odd thing is that Apple is being so slow in realizing that there are a lot of people that need the larger screen – either for reading (which is what I use my phone for most) or because of age/dexterity and vision issues. If you take the iphone with the size it is now and try to bump up the font for readability – well, it would be so much easier if they’d just give us a few more inches of screen space. If my mom continues to have issues hitting the links and buttons on the screen I’m really going to have to encourage her to get something other than Apple because there’s just not enough screen space to make adjustments – not in a way that still look nice. She’s very much into the neatness of design.

    It seems weird that Apple was once so into innovation and now doesn’t realize that an increasing amount of their past purchasers have different needs for their phones – it’s odd that they’re not adapting. Maybe they think Samsung will pounce on them (er in a lawsuit) if they suddenly produce a larger screen?

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  6. hapax
    Jun 24, 2014 @ 13:41:06

    @Lucy Woodhull:

    How about we increase the size of ladies’ pants pockets to a reasonable level?

    If there were a LIKE button, I would have punched it a million times.

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  7. Susan Proctor
    Jun 24, 2014 @ 17:44:00

    When I first saw the first iPad, I thought they should have made it a phone too. People thought I was nuts. I would have run right out and bought one then. I’ve been waiting for that type of device to be available. I think Apple missed the boat on that one big time. Guess they are stuck in the status quo. So sad!

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  8. Diana
    Jun 24, 2014 @ 19:56:01

    I went from an iPhone 5 to a Galaxy Note 3 earlier this year. Best purchase ever. Not only is the Note 3′s screen size amazing, but it’s so much more feature rich then the iPhone. I had to jailbreak my iPhone to get it do half of what the Note 3 can do, straight out of the box.

    Apple really does need to evolve, imo.

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  9. nasanta
    Jun 24, 2014 @ 20:32:49

    I had an Android. I went with the iPhone this year so that I could use my favorite planner app that I’d purchased years ago and to be able to stop carrying around my iPod Touch. I regret it. I miss the back button, the shortcut button, the customization, etc. I’m going to have to retire my favorite purchased planner app and stick with the nice big widget of Google Calendar that worked far better for me than the tiny calendar of my planner app.

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  10. Karen D
    Jun 24, 2014 @ 21:57:14

    I am apparently in the very small minority of people who like small phones. Small smart phones. Mine is 2.5 years old (egads!) but I won’t part with it until it dies because it is nice and small and fits in my hand (and my pockets–ha!). You will all probably laugh when I tell you it’s a Windows Phone, but I actually love the platform, even though I harbor suspicions that it won’t be around too much longer, like most of Microsoft’s behind-the-times gadgets.

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  11. Justine
    Jun 25, 2014 @ 12:04:11

    This is tangentially off-topic, but this talk of pockets has reminded me of the blog ladypockets.com.

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  12. Lada
    Jun 25, 2014 @ 13:45:51

    @Kaetrin: Me, too. I’ve always liked having choices and could never understand why Apple only ever offered one basic phone model.

    ReplyReply

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