Wednesday News: New children’s lit subscription service, new women’s lifestyle site, trans-Atlantic book cover comparisons, and HarperCollins makes piracy claims against its own content
Epic! Debuts Kids’ Subscription E-book Venture – Created by game developers and focused on children’s literature, Epic! is starting a $9.99 per month digital book subscription service. At this point, the company is not creating original content, but will be working with a variety of publishers to furnish content for their service.
“Epic! joins a number of recent launches of subscription e-book services but in this case one focused on children’s books for readers 5-12 years old. The service launches with about 2,000 kids’ e-books from major publishers, among them Open Road Integrated Media, Lerner Publishing, and Simon & Schuster. E-books are streamed and Epic! offers instant access along with recommendations, badges and gaming-like rewards, offline reading and time-spent reading data for parents. The Epic! interface also emphasizes reading and does not include the audio, animation and interactive effects usually added to children’s e-books.” Publishers Weekly
Women’s lifestyle website from Pan Macmillan – UK publisher Pan Macmillan is starting a “women’s lifestyle website” this week, including a fiction book club in partnership with Hearst Publishing’s allaboutyou.com. Expect “exclusive content” from authors and book bloggers, as well as “creative writing advice” from authors and editors, and articles on various topics from non-fiction authors. On one level, I appreciate that publishers are trying to reach out more directly to readers, but the cynical part of me still wonders if they are really trying to understand and serve reader interests.
“The Window Seat, which will launch on Thursday (30th January), is a “Pan Macmillan branded audience-focused vertical bringing together the best in women’s fiction, as well as non-fiction and lifestyle content targeted at this core group of readers”.” The Bookseller
Judging Books by Their Covers 2014: U.S. Vs. U.K. – Side-by-side comparisons between book covers for US published books and their UK counterparts. Anyone have any insights into the differences? “From my days as a bookseller, when import titles would sometimes find their way into our store, I’ve always found it especially interesting that the U.K. and U.S. covers often differ from one another. This would seem to suggest that certain layouts and imagery will better appeal to readers on one side of the Atlantic rather than the other.” The Millions
Mystery as HarperCollins Hits Apple With Agatha Christie Piracy Claims – If I were a tad less cynical, this would probably really surprise me, HarperCollins acquired global rights to distribute 80 Agatha Christie titles in a 2010 seven figure deal. In an attempt to stop piracy of some of these titles, HarperCollins is pursuing various sites, including some of its own books listed at iTunes:
“Of course, as with any product online there are people out there prepared to exploit the same content digitally, through more unofficial channels. To that end HarperCollins has been hiring anti-piracy companies to remove files and links from the Internet in the hope that unauthorized content will be harder to find. However, there have been unintended consequences.” TorrentFreak
The HarperCollins thing is a perfect example of why computers can’t replace a human. They asked Google to take down Apple iTunes listings for the HarperCollins editions. Obviously, the listings had hit some combination of search words and no one had looked at the list.
I get using computer searches, but I don’t get not running the list past a pair of human eyes.
Why pay when you can see free animated children’s books through the libraries on tumble books.