Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

Wednesday News: Google+ wants your Gmail address; Barnes & Noble is...

“If you are added to someone’s Google+ “circle” of contacts on the social network, that person will be able to send you a Gmail message by simply entering your name — regardless of whether you follow them on the service. Your email address is hidden until you respond to the message. Google says the change should make it easier for people to reach those they already know.” Wall Street Journal

“No, I think the reason the so-called creative class is learning to depend on food stamps is because more and more, art and writing are among those livelihoods that don’t benefit from any supposed trickle-down effect of the wealth that circulates at the top, among art dealers and media corporations. Creative skills are in high demand and the work is steady, but the income is not.” The Guardian

“What this data point implies is that the vast majority of ebook retail activity in the U.S. is happening in so-called “walled gardens” — digital content ecosystems run by companies like Amazon and Apple that keep consumers searching, discovering, buying and consuming all or most of their ebooks, songs and movies in one place. If a reader has an Amazon account and has bought Kindle ebooks, they are very likely to continue doing just that. “ Digital Book World

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!

9 Comments

  1. SAO
    Jan 22, 2014 @ 08:56:33

    I never understood why the publishers didn’t mandate a given digital format. It would have done away with walled gardens and prevented Amazon from having a monopoly on all the millions of kindle users.

    I got a kindle because my options, at the time, were a walled garden or a lot of hassle and possibly owning books in formats that would rapidly become obsolete. Amazon’s walled garden was the best.

  2. Isobel Carr
    Jan 22, 2014 @ 09:31:37

    Since when are journalists “artists”?

    The vast majority of my friends have art degrees, are “working artists” in one medium or another, and also pay their own way via day jobs (some of us with fulltime jobs and some of us with part-time jobs according to our needs and art-based income [barista and bartender are popular options]). In a country that can’t even agree that NEA grants are a public good, I don’t see any chance for public stipends and support for artists (I can hear the “welfare artist” tirades already), actual or otherwise.

  3. Sunita
    Jan 22, 2014 @ 10:59:11

    @Isobel Carr: Longform/feature journalists, maybe? Some of them seem to have an opinion of the value and sanctity of their work that suggests they are producing art, not mere information, or (God forbid) commerce.

    ETA: Some of the comments on the linked article are terrible, but some are hilarious.

  4. Susan eggleton
    Jan 22, 2014 @ 15:48:35

    I think the retailer loyalty will disappear. It’s an artifact of the Boomers adopting the technology. My mother is a complete technophobe but I can set her up with a kindle and show her how to read on it and she’s happy to do that, but is completely unwilling to learn anything else about ebooks or that computer business. There’s no way she’ll ever even try to learn a new device, so it’ll be the kindle for her until the grave. Evidence: she still plays tetris on her original edition gameboy!

    My kids, OTOH, will check out prices in different stores before they buy and then read in whatever app on their ipads. Sometimes we get offered the Australian price in one store and the American price in an other, which means a 50% saving for them, which is a big deal if you’re on an allowance of $10 a week.

  5. Jamie Beck
    Jan 22, 2014 @ 15:57:50

    Looks like I do not follow the trend when it comes to loyalty and ebook purchases.

    When I first bought my iPad, I loved reading on it and bought books exclusively from the Apple store. I liked the format for browsing titles, etc., so it worked. Then I downloaded the Kindle app for the iPad (because sometimes books were cheaper through Amazon, and some books were only available on Amazon). Now I buy through both Amazon and Apple stores. I’ll admit, if it is the same price, I prefer the Apple reader app to the Kindle app, but that may be simply because it was what I used first.

  6. Ros
    Jan 22, 2014 @ 18:40:15

    I think the retailer loyalty thing is very different for people using ereaders and people using tablets/phones etc. If I want to buy a book anywhere other than Amazon, I have to sideload it to my kindle. If it’s not in mobi format, I have to run it through Calibre first. That’s a LOT of hassle, compared to one-click buying on device. I’ll do it for a book I really want that isn’t on Amazon (e.g. a Mills and Boon available on their website a month before Amazon release), but mostly no.

    But if you’re reading on a device that has multiple apps supporting multiple formats, then it’s a lot easier to shop around and buy where it suits you.

  7. Nadia Lee
    Jan 22, 2014 @ 18:41:15

    @SAO:

    I never understood why the publishers didn’t mandate a given digital format. It would have done away with walled gardens and prevented Amazon from having a monopoly on all the millions of kindle users.

    Because they never took the leadership in the ebook market. They let Sony, MS, Amazon, etc. all fight it out. At the end, .lit and a slew of other formats died and we’re left with epub and mobi (or az3). Now it’s too late for them to tell retailers what to do.

  8. Ros
    Jan 23, 2014 @ 07:18:36

    @SAO: They didn’t even need to mandate a set format. They just needed not to be so obsessed with DRM, which is what made it difficult to convert kindle files for nooks and vice versa.

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