Friday News: Wattpad Studios, future of e-readers, a first for the US Army, and a career for insomniacs
Wattpad Wades into Hollywood with Wattpad Studios – We’re seeing more and more of these hybrid enterprises, demonstrating in part the way that stories are diversifying across media platforms, well beyond traditional books. Wattpad has been particularly ambitious in this regard, with initiatives like Wattpad Brands, which has Wattpad writers creating original material for corporate advertising and Wattpad Insights, a subscription data service for “media executives” to see what’s hot on the platform.
Levitz said the goal of initiatives like Wattpad Studios is help the site’s best writers “find opportunities to earn money.” Levitz said “we do take a small percentage, but the writer receives the majority of the earnings.” The majority of Wattpad writers own the rights to works they upload to Wattpad, but Levitz said that “in certain instances Wattpad may license the work directly from the writer.”
Wattpad will “act as connector” between Wattpad writers and partners to “find a right fit for their story,” Levitz explained. Wattpad will also help manage that aspect of the writer’s career. “For many properties developed under Wattpad Studios, we will also play a producer role.” He acknowledged that “this hasn’t really been done before, so a traditional label like ‘agent’ doesn’t exactly capture the role that Wattpad plays.” – Publishers Weekly
Is the e-book reader about to stage a comeback? – The advent of the Kindle Oasis defies conventional wisdom that e-reading devices are on the decline, and it’s not just Amazon who is investing in more expensive e-ink devices. At almost $300, the Kindle Oasis is a dedicated e-reader more than three times what a decent Kindle device costs (you can get an iPad mini for that!) — are they simply deluded in thinking that their customers will buy enough of these things, or do they know something the rest of us don’t?
Amazon’s dilemma is that it needs to service a community of highly engaged incredibly price sensitive digital readers while also making the production of new devices economically viable. The Oasis, rather like the Voyage, is an attempt to make a business case for making money from the device rather than the content. Note that name too: oasis.
Amazon is not the only e-reader company spotting the same trends.
In an interview on CNBC ahead of the London Book Fair Kobo c.e.o. Michael Tamblyn argues that e-readers are a thriving business. Rather like Amazon, its e-ink devices are getting more expensive, not less.
He argues that for “certain types of customer” the book is at the centre of their lives and they like single-use devices. More importantly, he likens e-reading devices to premium headphones. – The Bookseller
Meet the Army’s first female infantry officer – So think about this for a minute: the US Army is older than the country it defends (1775), but in more than 240 years it has never allowed for a female infantry officer. Until now. Capt. Kristen Griest is the first, and she was also among the first women to earn the Ranger tab. Part of a campaign to expand opportunities for women in the military, the Army is employing a “leader first” strategy, which focuses first on bringing female officers into various units and branches before assigning enlisted female soldiers to these units.
More women are expected to follow in [Griest’s] footsteps; the Army earlier this month announced that it had approved requests from 22 female cadets to enter as second lieutenants in the infantry and armor branches. Thirteen of the new officers will enter into the armor branch, the other nine will go infantry. After commissioning, the new officers must successfully complete branch-specific training before they will qualify as infantry and armor officers. . . .
Carter on Dec. 3 announced his decision to lift all gender-based restrictions on military service. The move paved the way for women to serve in the previously all-male infantry, armor and Special Forces fields and opened nearly 220,000 jobs across the military.
“We’re not going to turn our back on 50 percent of the population,” Acting Army Secretary Patrick Murphy has said. “We are opening up every occupation to women. I think that’s pretty historic.” – Army Times
Book for Japanese kids offers one big reason not to be a systems engineer when you grow up – Well,this Japanese children’s book highlighting different careers definitely gets points for illustrating the job of systems engineer with a little girl. But then there’s the little warning about being on call to your company:
This being a children’s book, in the interest of keeping the topic understandable to young minds certain nitty-gritty details are left out of the discussion. That doesn’t mean the book is sugarcoating everything, though. Upon flipping to the page for systems engineer, Lee found this charming anime-style girl cheerfully calling out “Let’s study how to use all sorts of software!” . . .
There’s one more point in the list, though, which is: “Not getting in a bad mood even if you’re woken up in the middle of the night.” – Japan Times