Friday, January 29, 2010

News of the day

Book Marketing DeMystified
Bruce Batchelor has some thoughts on the implications of the iPad for authors and publishers. He notes that the appearance of Apple has added competition to the eBook scene, and already forced Amazon to lower their "cut" from 65% to 30%. That's a good thing for publishers, though Apple (apparent) agreement to higher prices is more troubling.

He also talks about PDF support, and wonders if the store will support PDF files. He notes that ePub is really HTML, and works fine for novels,  but not so much for technical guidebooks. Clearly the iPad will display PDFs just fine, but it would be interesting if the store sells them (and even cooler if they added a "snazzier" interface to reading/navigating PDFs (like the page turn effect.)

Battery Life and Book Pricing
Engadget notes that Steve Jobs accepts that you will have to plug the thing in much sooner than you do with the Kindle (ahhh...surprise?!)
It also notes about Apple's agreeing to higher prices, and a suggestion that Amazon will be forced to follow.

- Having books selling at $19 hardback (on Amazon) and $9.99 pushes me to consider the electronic version, but if the electronic version is $14.99 I'm not so sure!
[UPDATE 2:51PM] - Jobs told Mossberg that Apple and Amazon's prices would be "the same"

Top Ten Reasons The Apple iPad will Put Amazon's Kindle Out of Business
TechCrunch has a guest editorial from Ben Elowitz, co-founder of Wetpaint, where he lists the reasons why Kindle will die. Here's just some:
  • Multi-functional capability
  • The screen
  • Compatibility
  • The economics
It would be easy to counter each and every one of these reasons, but that might be missing the point. Just as people who never thought the iPod would be a huge success missed the point. Sometimes it's a lot of little things done a little better that adds up to something great.

iWorry: Does the iPad Signal the End of the Era of Open Computing
James Casico at Fast Company fears that the iPad heralds a movement towards a locked-up world (you can only install approved software from the approved store.) He also dislikes Apple's use of ePub (though I think because they are using DRM, not because of the ePub format itself) and he wonders:
...all signs seemed to point to an Apple-controlled ebook standard. It's still unknown how difficult it will be to use non-iBook ePub documents, but in principle, the system should be open to any publisher.
NOTE: the ePub format actually provides for DRM in the specification. So Apple is still using a "standard"; they haven't gone an added something illegal to an open format.

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