Tuesday News: free Nook ebooks, fake Internet traffic, a book a week, and NYPL’s book train
Free eBooks Have Arrived at Nook Press – Nate Hoffelder reports that Barnes and Noble’s Nook Press has announced to publishers that they can now set the price of their ebooks to free on the B&N site. Does it matter at this point, though? Is anyone still reading on the Nook?
Free eBooks have arrived at NOOK Press! Now, publishers have the opportunity to set the price of any NOOK Press eBook to FREE. We understand the importance of this feature and are excited to provide our publishers with this great promotional tool. . . .
For those of you who currently have FREE eBooks with other vendors, you can migrate these eBooks to NOOK Press without losing your Customer Reviews. As long as the title, author name, and series name is the exact same on your new NOOK Press title, all Customer Reviews will transfer automatically. You can then ask the other vendor to unlist / unpublish their edition of your eBook. – The Digital Reader
Traffic Is Fake, Audience Numbers Are Garbage, And Nobody Knows How Many People See Anything – An entertainingly ranty post on the extent to which viewer numbers – for websites, television shows, YouTube videos, Facebook posts, etc. – are largely inflated and at best a grossly overstated guess. Even print media is not immune from this reality. Because, you know, advertising, and money in general. So does the industry just treat all this like a mass media case of grade inflation, and does it really matter, in the end, if everyone is doing it (not a rhetorical question)?
So who does know how big of an audience they really have? Well, maybe Netflix, Amazon and other digital subscription services. Their paywalls insulate them from the bulk of random bot traffic, and their proprietary ecosystems give them the ability to closely monitor all activity. Netflix, of course, is famously secretive about viewer numbers and insists on the inaccuracy of those who claim to have worked them out. The most common assumption is that they do this to avoid giving content creators too much leverage, and because the data can be seen as a valuable commodity — but I propose another reason: Netflix’s likely-more-accurate statistics, if made public, would have zero context in the topsy-turvy world of nonsense TV ratings. They would probably look exceptionally low, giving the legacy bosses who would like nothing more than to downplay the importance of digital distribution (and there are as many of those as there are record execs who can’t spell mp3) a chance to project whatever narrative they wanted onto the numbers.
So why does any of this matter? Because advertising is a multibillion dollar industry, and whenever an industry is worth that much, you have to ask: is that because there are billions of dollars of worthwhile transactions happening, or because every bloodsucker in a ten-industry radius wanted in on the action? So, so much of the advertising industry is pure waste. How much exactly is as impossible to determine as the audience sizes themselves. This is hardly a new idea (in fact it’s a century-old quote) but it’s probably more true now than ever, despite the fact that in theory technology could have delivered us from uncertainty. – Tech Dirt
How to read a book a week – The value in this piece is not the book a week hook; it’s the recommendations that are at once mundane and easily forgotten (and thus worthy of a reminder). Unless you’re one of those lucky people who are naturally focused and organized (Jane, I’m looking at you). Inspired by a Belle Beth Cooper article on how to change habits toward greater efficacy and efficiency, Chris Plante offers a handful of suggestions, some of which definitely resonated with me, especially this one:
3. Repurpose your time
I love video games, reality television, and classic horror movies. I’m not ashamed of my hobbies, but I do recognize that I sometimes gorge when a modest media meal would suffice. For example, I enjoy The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, but occasionally I watch lesser reality TV shows to chase that high. This is time I could use for books — or anything else, really, that I actually enjoy and find rewarding.
Don’t nix your other hobbies, but when you find yourself bored with a television show, movie, game, or any other entertainment, consider swapping in a book. I didn’t realize how much time I could make in my week, until I asked myself if I really valued how I was spending each hour. – The Verge
VIDEO: Watch the NYPL’s New ‘Book Train’ Motor Around the Library – Part of me found this geekishly cool, and part of me wondered why, with all of our evolving technology, this $3M freight train is the library’s sexy, new solution. It starts running on Monday – anyone going to go see it?
The main branch of the New York Public Library has a new transport system for research materials, and it fulfills all our childhood Christmas fantasies.
The electric “book train” runs on rails between storage below Bryant Park and the first and third floors of the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, according to a statement from the NYPL.
The train’s 24 red cars can move both horizontally and vertically — like the glass elevators in “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” — and seamlessly transition between the two, as seen in the video below. Pivoting gray baskets in the cars keep their contents upright. – DNA Info