Tag Archives: teleread

Ebook sales continue to rise – latest IDPF info

Ebook sales continue to rise – latest IDPF info

By Paul Biba  teleread.orgTrade Stats_09_03.jpgWell, it looks as if the rationale for TeleRead’s existence is still extant. Ebook sales are just continuing to increase. Here’s the info I got by email from Michael Smith of the IDPF this afternoon: Continue reading Ebook sales continue to rise – latest IDPF info

Is it possible to donate an eBook to the library?

Roger Sperberg wrote an interesting piece, “How to give away an ebook after you’ve read it” in the Teleread blog.  He discusses the idea of patrons purchasing an ebook to read for themselves and donating it to the library when they are finished.  Roger states, “If I buy an ebook of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, then it’s glued to me. Love it or hate it, I can’t give it to the library for others to read. So why doesn’t the library set up a program for donors: “Buy it in our name and we’ll lend it to you first.” Continue reading Is it possible to donate an eBook to the library?

University of Pittsburgh Press makes 500 Titles Available

from Teleread.org
University of Pittsburgh Press makes 500 titles avaialable
By Paul Biba

The following is a press release I thought you would find of interest:

Picture 1.pngPITTSBURGHThe University of Pittsburgh Press, in collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh Library System and the Chicago Digital Distribution Center (CDDC), is making nearly 500 out-of-print Press titles available again for scholars and students around the world. Representing the full range of scholarly series and subject areas published by the Press, these titles are now part of the University of Pittsburgh Press Digital Editions collection, fully searchable and freely accessible to anyone with an internet connection through the University of Pittsburgh Library Systemʼs D-Scribe Digital Publishing Program. Continue reading University of Pittsburgh Press makes 500 Titles Available

ePub vs. DRM: The Great Debate

A great debate between ePub and DRM is going on between Paul Biba and David Rothman at Teleread.  They both have posts supporting their arguments.  NSR will interview Paul Biba next week, so stayed tuned for more on this exciting discussion. Continue reading ePub vs. DRM: The Great Debate

Will Print-on-Demand Stifle eBooks?

There is a really interesting article (with comments) on the TeleRead blog about the Espresso Book Machine.  If you remember, UM purchased the Espresso back in October.   This new article, written by Court Merrigan, focuses on the machine’s use in bookstores – store front or in one’s closet.  It’s big in the UK, with plans to expand the 500,000 title Espresso offering even further if Blackwell can negotiate the rights to in-copyright books.

Merrigan ponders the future of bookstores, amazon, and the impact of POD to the eBook industry.  Comments from publishers offer even more ideas and perspectives.   One comment, from Michael Pastore, states “This machine could also be deployed in libraries, and help make some money for libraries, which are much in need right now. And independent bookstores might be looking at this machine reverently, as a mechanical messiah.”

E-books continue to grow significantly, sales reached $113 million in 2008, up 68.4%

Forwarding a post from teleread.org

By Paul Biba

That is according to the Association of American Publishers. Here is their press release (emphasis added by the Editor):

The Association of American Publishers (AAP) today released its annual estimate of total book sales in the United States. The report, which uses data from the Bureau of the Census as well as sales data from eighty-one publishers inclusive of all major book publishing media market holders, estimates that U.S. publishers had net sales of $24.3 billion in 2008, down from $25.0 billion in 2007, representing a 2.8% decrease. In the last six years the industry had a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 1.6%.

Trade sales of adult and juvenile books fell 5.2 percent from 2007 to $8.1 billion, CAGR fell to 2.1 percent. Growth was found in paperbound books for children and adults, with growth rates of 6.4% and 3.6% respectively. Sales in the hardcover fell 12.4% in children’s hardcover and 13% in adult hardcover.

Over the period covered by the estimated data, the CAGR for hardbound books was 0.4% for adult books and 1.5% for juvenile. Paperbound books grew 3.9% and 2.8% over the 6 years.

Educational titles had a mixed year. Sales in the Elementary (El-Hi) category, those books produced for K-12 education, fell 4.4% to $6.1 billion in 2008, CAGR for this category was 0.8%. The Higher Education category, which includes sales of college textbooks, fared better. Total sales reached $3.8 billion this year up 2.7% on 2007. This brought the CAGR for college textbooks to 3.8%

Mass Market paperbacks decreased 3.0% and brought the category CAGR to -1.9%. Total sales were $1.1 billion in 2008. Book clubs and mail-order fell for the sixth year to $600 million, a fall of 3.4%.

Audio book sales for 2008 totaled $172 million, down 21% on the prior year, CAGR for this category is still healthy at 3.1%. E-books continue to grow significantly, sales reached $113 million in 2008, up 68.4%.

Religious book sales dropped 7.6% to $724m in 2008. However over the period of the estimate it has still performed well with CAGR of 4.5%.

A complete list of the preliminary estimated book publishing industry net sales for 2008 prepared by Management Practice, Inc. is available here.

FTC Digital Rights Management town hall meeting: summing up

From Teleread, author not listed:

FTC Digital Rights Management town hall meeting: summing up

Posted: 26 Mar 2009 09:39 AM PDT

I have had a day to think about what I saw at the FTC’s town hall meeting on Digital Rights Management yesterday, and what it might mean for the future of DRM. The conference fell into the classic “good news, bad news” scenario.

Unrealistic Expectations

The good news is that the FTC is now more aware than ever of the difficulties to consumers implicit in Digital Rights Management (especially since they received over 800 public comments, which they admitted during the meeting they had not managed to work all the way through yet). The bad news is that it is not the FTC’s brief to adjudicate matters relating to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and fair use, or even anti-trust concerns relating to non-interoperable DRM.

The FTC is chiefly concerned with unfair and deceptive business practices. (For example, in the other big FTC story of the day, the FTC announced yesterday it was suing Dish Network for making telemarketing calls to people listed on the national Do Not Call Registry.)

If companies make deceptive statements in advertising about the limitations of their DRM, the FTC will look into it. If companies release DRM that harms the consumer (as in the infamous Sony rootkit debacle), they will investigate and possibly sanction. But they can’t do anything to let you copy DVDs to your video iPod when the DMCA forbids it. Talk to Congress about that.

That being said, the meeting was of great interest just for the open discussion of DRM among big guns from both consumer-advocacy and commercial trade groups. Anyone who did not realize DRM was a contentious issue before would certainly have gotten an earful.

Potential Remedies

Though some speakers were not terribly exciting (one read a ten-minute prepared statement in a sleep-inducing monotone; another rambled on at length about a “thought experiment” involving taking a bus full of developing-country representatives to a shopping mall that made no sense either during or after the speech), most of them had good points to make, pro or con.

Several potential DRM remedies were discussed, including

  • a logo-based disclosure system like ESRB or MPAA ratings so consumers would be able to see at a glance what DRM was on a product
  • making DRM systems more interoperable, or adding “exception handling” so DRM would permit more fair uses
  • DRM-using companies depositing keys and source code in escrow so that if they went bankrupt consumers would be able to crack the DRM and have access to the media they paid for afterward.

These took on a character of “pie in the sky,” however, given that imposing such solutions is generally outside the FTC’s brief. For example, making DRM more interoperable would be difficult given that companies generally have a vested interest in making sure their DRM works for them alone. (Apple’s stranglehold on the digital music industry due to its Fairplay DRM was brought up more than once.)

The FTC Takes Questions

One of the more interesting panels to me was the very last, in which representatives of the FTC got in the hot seat to field questions and comments as to what they might actually do about DRM. The answer: as stated above, not a whole lot.

Nonetheless, the first question fielded was one that I emailed, and I was even mentioned by both real name and moniker. (I had asked that TeleRead be mentioned as the source, but they forgot.) I pointed out that Amazon owned the Mobipocket e-book format, currently used by many of its e-book competitors, and asked what the FTC would be willing to do if they decided to stop licensing that format.

The FTC panel replied that they could not address specific what-if scenarios, but they could talk about similar investigations they had done in the past. They talked about their investigation into Microsoft when Microsoft wanted to get out of the music business and shut down its DRM serversmeaning that consumers would no longer be able to play the music they had bought from Microsoft. They closed the investigation after Microsoft agreed to keep its servers turned on.

All in all, the FTC town hall meeting was an interesting event, and worthwhile in that it fostered public discussion and debate about DRM that might end up educating more people about its disadvantages. But those who expected any solid commitments will be left disappointed.

Other Coverage

Here is a roundup of other articles I have found covering the town hall meeting.

Oren’s Weblog has excellent panel-by-panel summaries of the event (though Oren did not chronicle the sixth panel, in which the FTC answered questions about what measures it might take):

Content Agenda looks at the meeting here; the Copyright and Technology blog has coverage here. Brad’s Reader looks at some implications for e-books here. Here is a PDF article laying out a system of logo-based disclosure of DRM on download products of the sort that was proposed at the meeting.

Ars Technica also has an article summing up the first few panels that came before the lunch break.

Tim O’Reilly: Kindle needs open ePub-style standard to survive, from Teleread.org

Tim O’Reilly: Kindle needs open ePub-style standard to survive
www.teleread.org – Posted: 23 Feb 2009 08:40 AM CST
“Unless Amazon embraces open e-book standards like ‘epub,’ which allow readers to read books on a variety of devices, the Kindle will be gone within two or three years.” – Tim O’Reily in Why Kindle should be an open book, in Forbes.

The TeleRead take: It’s hard to tell how things will shake out, but Tim persuasively summons up a little historyMicrosoft’s failed attempt with the Microsoft Network publishing platform. By contrast, O’Reilly got on the Web early with the Global Net Navigator and in time was well rewarded for the experience it gained with an open approach.

The point is, closed standards are a pain in the rear for e-book-lovers and other users who inevitably will want hardware or content that isn’t compatible with MegaCorp’s system. This disillusionment is a little akin to decaying Web links. At first, people buy into Mega’s plans and think that its  proprietary product line will endure forever. Only later do the hassles emerge.

E-book lessons from Oprah’s past
Remember how Oprah touted Gemstar e-book readers some years ago? But then consumers rebelled against a limited choice of books. Even now, following her backing of the Kindle, Oprah fans are finding that many O-blessed books are missing. Last I knew, she wasn’t doing a K version of her O magazine. Her fans may also have been put off by the complexities of the technology, to which proprietary formats can add.

While Jeff Bezos can talk of offering every book in E, he’s jeopardizing his own version by aiming for exclusives. What happens when other giants step in and start bidding warsnot just for temporary exclusivity but in time for the permanent variety?

The score that really counts in book-selling

More importantly, Jeff should also remember that the most meaningful score in the book-selling isn’t market share but healthy growth of earnings. Closed standards like the Kindle’s will slow down the rate of e-book adoption, as people find that his supposedly universal solution isn’t one at all.

What’s more, with Kindle-type DRM, all kinds of nasty issues emerge, such as the inability of readers to own their books for real. Jeff was smart enough to set up a music store without DRM. He should consider the the same for e-books, using social DRM, if need be, in place of “real” DRM. Publishers could still have the option of using DRM, but I suspect that market pressures would encourage back off from this consumer nightmare. DRM is especially nasty in that it turns nonproprietary e-formats into proprietary ones.
Technorati Tags: Tom O’Reilly,O’Reilly Media

Sony Teams with NetLibrary to offer digital editions and Readers

From www.teleread.org

Sony teams with NetLibrary to offer digital editions and Readers
By Paul Biba

Sony is continuing to market its reader to more and more outlets. That’s only good for e-books as a whole.

In addition to the deal with Harlequin, Sony just announced a collaboration with NetLibrary:

images.jpgThe program includes a Reader model PRS-505, a collection of titles from leading publishers and all required licenses. Using the library’s PC, librarians can download a mobile collection title or titles from the NetLibrary site to the Reader as necessary.

Libraries that purchase Mobile Collections will be able to offer their patrons the ability to check out Readers for onsite or offsite use, depending on the policy established by each library. Collections, selected by NetLibrary’s collections librarian, include Career Development and Business Self Help (30 titles), Management and Leadership (22 titles), Popular Fiction (29 titles), Romance (19 titles) and Young Adult Fiction (24 titles).

Circulating Reader units through OCLC’s newly established program is just one way libraries are able to offer eBooks to their communities and expose people to electronic reading. Thousands of public libraries in the United States already offer online collections that patrons can borrow, typically for two to three weeks. eBooks are offered in the Adobe PDF format and it is expected that the recently established EPUB format will become common.

Overdrive Promises more Content, Less DRM

From the TeleRead blog:
OverDrive: ‘Much more content without DRM’ promised for libraries in ‘09
By David Rothman

image Again and again I’ve asked the IDPF to please consider a logo for DRMless ePub books. OverDrive founder Steve Potash is also president of the IDPF, and recently he told Library Journal:

“OverDrive is the leader in bringing downloadable MP3 audiobooks to libraries. [It] is leading the library market in bringing all formats of digital media to readersincluding much more content without DRM during 2009.”

I hope that includes copyrighted e-books, too, not just MP3. Like Steve, I’m keen on writers and publishers getting paid, and there are ways for this to happen without DRM. For now, I’ll regard the above statement as indicating at least some flexibility.

Meanwhile check out other comments in the LJ piece, headlined Apple’s DRM News said to have little effect on libraries for now.

(Thanks to Ed Klopek.)

Kindle Sales Through the Roof?? Sure, with Oprah’s Endorsement

Well, this might give ebooks the jump they need.  Anyone attending Oprah’s “Favorite Things” show?  There might just be a Kindle under the seat!  If not, you can at least get a discount.  Buy it through the Teleread blog.

From my friends at Teleread.

Kindle’s $50 Oprah Discount:  Price $309 in Effect

By a TeleBlog Contributor

image Oprah not only endorsed the Kindle, as expected, but also announced a discount offer allowing for $50 off the usual price of $359. The magic promo code, good until November 1, is OPRAHWINFREY. There’ll also be a discount on the novel The Story of Edgar Sawtelle.

Suggestion, if your heart is set on a K machine and you want to help us: Try ordering through TeleRead (current link). One of the last ordering screens, associated with Order Summary, will ask: “Have any gift cards, gift certificates or promotional claim codes?” Key in OPRAHWINFREY.

Reminder: We continue to hope that Amazon will use a more open approach and, for example, let current or future Kindles read ePub natively.

A Wireless, Color E Reader

From the TeleRead blog – via Gizmodo

There is not a ton of information about the KDDI R&D Laboratories Inc. “Portable Viewer System” but what has been revealed is exciting. It’s A4 and can wirelessly receive images from devices like a mobile phone. The screen can display up to 4,096 colors and refresh in 12 seconds. I’m not sure whether e-paper means it’s a derivative of eink or some other screen technology.

Strangely the device is nearly completely controlled by the handset. It doesn’t seem a very practical interface, but it is a prototype.

by Jane Litte