The New York Times reported that Inkling, an interactive textbook development company who make textbooks for the iPad, has received funding from two large textbook publishers, Pearson and McGraw Hill. From the article:
“The amount invested by Pearson and McGraw-Hill, among the biggest textbook publishers, was not disclosed. Inkling’s total investment to date, including money invested previously by several venture capital firms, is just under $10 million, according to a source who requested anonymity because of the confidential nature of the deals. Continue reading Pearson and McGraw Hill invest in Inkling
Eric Hellman has a really nice article describing why ProQuest bought ebrary. It’s available on his blog, Go To Hellman, but here is an excerpt:
“Take a look at the New York Times homepage. Then take a look at CNN.com or MSNBC. How do you tell which website belongs to a newspaper and which ones belong to a television network? All of them have video. All of them have text. All of them have blogs and forums. As media moves onto the internet, the boundaries between old media genres begin to blur, and new forms emerge, optimized for the purposes they’re being used for.
Just as delivery of news is being transformed by the Internet, the needs of students, researchers, and scholars are driving a similar boundary-blurring transformation in libraries. It’s also driving a transformation in the companies that serve the library industry.
Marty Kahn, President of ProQuest, used the Times-CNN analogy to explain to me why his company had acquired ebrary, a leader in providing ebooks to academic, corporate, and other libraries. It no longer makes sense for a company to specialize in only journal articles, databases, or eBooks if it wants to be able to provide coherent and evolving solutions.”
According to a study of 2000 children by Scholastic, as reported in the New York Times, ” About 25 percent of the children surveyed said they had already read a book on a digital device, including computers and e-readers. Fifty-seven percent between ages 9 and 17 said they were interested in doing so.” The full report is available online.
Reprinted with permission from Epublishers weekly.
A colorful advertisement at the top of the New York Times (online) today asks us to click to read “The First Shoppable Children’s Storybook.” [graphic omitted, sp]
I hope it is also the last.
In an ebook, the marriage of videos and commerce creates a monstrous mutation, not a genuine reading experience that should bring delight and wisdom. Books are one of the last refuges in our world from the constant cry by advertisers to spend money and fill our lives with unnecessary things. Continue reading A Protest Against the Commercialization of eBooks
Barnes and Noble for Sale. There’s a ton of articles on this already. Here are a few:
(Reuters) – Shares of bookseller Barnes & Noble (BKS.N) jumped 28.3 percent to $16.48 in pre-market trading on Wednesday after the company said it was putting itself up for sale.
What will become of the nook? I think this right here is a perfect example of why libraries are still skeptical of ebooks. They fear that companies will go out of business and that books purchased will either not be available (if web based) or the device they’ve invested in disappears.
Interesting article in the Scholarly Kitchen blog today, Blogging Software as A disruptive publishing tool, is there anything it can’t do? The author, Kent Anderson, discusses the popularity and success of blogs as a replacement for traditional news sources (ie Huffington Post and NYT) and possibly for books. He discusses LeanPub as an option for blogs to be published as books, specifically:
Another new venture, LeanPub, purports to use WordPress so that blog owners can publish their blogs as books, or write books using WordPress at LeanPub and then publish them. I’ve tried LeanPub. I uploaded the Scholarly Kitchen’s posts through mid-May 2010 into it. The resulting book . . . well, it doesn’t exist. I tried uploading the blog twice, and no dice. Nothing ever came out of their conversion engine. Nevertheless, the site seems to be about 80% right, and there’s no reason to think it won’t work at some point. (Remember, part of disruption is that things like this get dismissed too easily, and then incumbents forget they’re coming.)Kent Anderson under, The Scholarly Kitchen, May 2010
The entire article is worth a read.
Interesting debate on the NYT Room For Debate blog about the need for books in school libraries. This adds more fuel to the discussion on e-book economics, which has been in the news recently as well.
Article in the NYTimes today about Amazon purchasing the start up company, Touchco, based in NY. Touchco’s touch screen technology is cheaper than the iPad/iPhone technology and is said to recognize an unlimited number of simultaneous touch points. Looks like Amazon is drawing the big guns. Rumor has it they have finally open up the Kindle to development for applications – about time. I’m thrilled with all of these new devices and technologies. First generation readers just didn’t do anything for my taste, so I’m very excited to see how the device of the future unfolds.
Interesting article in the NYT today about Barnes & Noble’s textbook rental program. According to the article, textbooks can be rented from college bookstores for about 42% of the retail price. B & N piloted the program last year in a few schools, it has now been expanded to 25 campuses. Renting textbooks isn’t a new phenomenon, but it’s picked up in popularity due to federal grants for bookstores to start rental programs (to combat the high cost of textbooks). Cengage and Chegg.com are also options. Are you allowed to highlight and write in the rented books I wonder? If this takes off, how might this impact the regularity of new editions? Unfortunately, it only offers an option to students, renting. It doesn’t get to the heart of the matter, which is the high cost of the book.
Here in Ohio we experimented with leasing e-textbooks from CourseSmart. It didn’t work out so well because the program has been canceled. Students just aren’t ready to embrace the e-textbook, they want “a real book.”
Interesting article in today’s NYT about public libraries, eBooks, and digital lending. Neat and nifty tools for users to easily download and read books without visiting the library, fears of publishers losing money and therefore not selling their ebooks to libraries, and eBook readers and the lack of content to download to certain ones are the main topics. Good read.
Just in case you didn’t have the change to read Sergey Brin’s op-ed piece in the NYT, supporting the Google Book settlement, here’s a link. The best part of the piece though, is the ever growing collection of comments. Those are priceless, “Mr. Google.”
Rumor has it the B & N eBook reader will launch on October 20th and come with wi-fi access and the ability to lend books. See the NYT article from Oct. 9th.