The Philippines has become rather serious at combating book piracy in schools and on the consumer level. They are doing this to attract major publishers from Europe and the United States.
US based publishers have been unable to market their textbooks and print books to the Philippines because of sanctions imposed by the United States Trade Representatives 301 Report. This report basically establishes trade barriers due to flagrant abuses of intellectual property laws, such as copyright, patents and trademarks.
For the first time in twenty years due to anti-piracy measures being employed by the Intellectual Property Office and the National Book Development Board the Philippines has been removed from the 301 list.
The Philippines’ removal in the watch list does not mean it has eradicated book piracy. IP Philippines and its partners in government and in the private sector must continue to set-up effective mechanisms to protect IPRs including combating book piracy.
There are some big challenges in removing piracy altogether because there is a general acceptance. Organized crime are photocopying and scanning whole textbooks and selling them directly to schools, colleges and universities. These intuitions are aware that not all the textbooks they buy are genuine, but it is hard to tell the difference.
Digital magazine consumption has risen 50% in the last twelve months in Canada according to new figures from The Print Measurement Bureau’s Fall report.
The Print Measurement Bureau is not exactly a household name, but they have been chronicling the rise of digital reading habits since 2013. One of the most interesting figures is the fact that only 2.9 million Canadians are reading digital magazines, which is an increase of over 57% from last year.
In a world of heavily customized apps geared towards tablets and smartphones the vast majority of Canadians are continuing to read exclusively on their computers, but mobile is on the rise jumping by 115%.
I think the most interesting statistic is how digital reading is firmly embraced by urban dwellers with higher education rather than rural. Digital magazine reading was 55% higher in Toronto than the rest of Canada.
One of the big reasons why digital magazines are on the rise is partly due to the blitz media campaigns by Next Issue. This is a pure digital service marketed by Rogers Media across all of their platforms, such as television, radio and print.
Android users in China (now numbering in the ten of millions) will be happy to know that many of them will have access to Google’s app store (hopefully, at least). Though a specific launch date has yet to be discussed, Google is working with a legal team to get plans together (many of the core Google Play services, like Gmail and Maps, are currently being blocked in China).
Earlier this week, Google also announced that policies were changing for Chinese app developers –allowing them to make money from their paid apps being downloaded from 130 countries worldwide (China isn’t included in that list yet, but would be with a local-to-them app store).
Not everybody will be thrilled to hear this news, with several alternative Chinese platforms already in place to distribute Android apps; Google stands to make a lot of money (in their stead) considering the potential revenue stream from so many new users… but it will not be without considerable investments. Beyond legal considerations, Google has no infrastructure in China (think servers and bandwidth to begin) –all of which will be subject to the seemingly arbitrary Chinese regulations.
Apple has just received the green light from a court in New York that will finally begin offering iBooks customers refunds from a pool of prospective pool of $400 million dollars. This specific amount is dependent on the court upholding a 2013 verdict where an appeal brought the figure down to a paltry $50 million.
The final number that Apple will have to pay consumers will be established on December 15th 2014. The Justice Department, lawyers, Apple and everyone involved in the court drama are basically tired and want to get this situation resolved ASAP.
Customers can expect refunds from Apple starting early next year for eBooks purchased from the iBookstore from April 1, 2010, and May 21, 2012. The exact figure is yet unknown but settlements from Amazon and Barnes and Noble had customers given a $3.00 credit for any New York Times bestseller and all other books from major publishers $1.00.
In 2013 the traditional book selling industry in the US produced 304,912 print titles that were distributed to bookstores such as Barnes and Noble or Books-a-Million. Fiction and Juvenile genres continued to dominate the market, accounting for over 27% of new titles.
Self-publishing on the other hand saw 458,564 titles that were produced that actually had ISBN numbers. Companies such as Amazon do not require ISBN numbers for authors to submit their eBooks into Kindle Direct Publishing. Amazon currently has 2.5 million eBooks for sale and 400,000 of them are courtesy of indie authors who opted into the program. In addition, over 300,000 titles were submitted by Smashwords.
Barnes and Noble on the other hand has 2.5 million paid eBooks available and another 2 million free public domain editions for download. Self-published titles continue to grow on the Nook Platform and the company said they represent about 25% of all eBook sales on Nook devices and sales are growing roughly 20% each quarter.
You can look at the traditional book selling industry as employing Artificial Scarcity where they selectively choose books that will sell in the current market climate and investing in authors who have an extensive track history of generating perennial bestsellers. Few books slip through the cracks that would be considered elevated literary fiction, the type that wins the National Novel Award or the Man Booker Prize. Self-publishing on the other hand employs Organic Abundance with indie titles being generated at almost a 3:1 ratio vs print.
Print books have a fairly low shelf life, the average title is sitting inside of a bookstore for about three months before its cycled away for the next batch. Major publishers have embraced digital the last four years and they reap the lions share of revenue from all book sales on Amazon, B&N or Kobo. Self-publishers are seeing success on those platforms, as they are regularly in the top 100 bestselling books every week.
There are more eBooks being produced on a yearly basis from publishers and indie authors then at any point in human history. There simply is too much content in the digital world for any sane person to browse and hopefully find the next great read. Books in the digital realm are stacked right next to each other, you can’t filter out self-published titles from traditionally published ones. In the next few years millions of additional books will be published and submitted to Amazon, they will generate a ton of money at the further expense of book discovery and the quality of product.
I am hereby abandoning reading eBooks from this point forward. Something is fundamentally flawed with the entire online book discovery experience. There simply is too much content being generated for search engine algorithms to cope or to browse by subject matter. Instead, I am exclusively going to be visiting my local Chapters on a weekly basis and picking up a few good reads. At least the traditional book selling industry understands product placement, the psychology of colors and makes finding a new book a social experience, rather than a solitary one.
Onyx Boox is not content to just sit idly in the marketplace while the competition rushes out new e-readers for the holiday season. On the heels of the Afterglow 2, Onyx has just released a bare bones Basic reader to do battle against the Kindle.
The new Onyx Boox Classic features a six inch e-Ink Pearl HD display screen with a resolution of 1024 X 758. This device does not have a touchscreen, instead you will have to rely on the D-Pad to browse and navigate the device. This concept seems to be a bit retro, since most modern e-readers now have a touchscreen display, but the price is only 69 €.
One of the main selling points on the entire modern Onyx portfolio is the fact they all run an open version of Android. This allows users to tap into Google Play to download and install any app they want. Sadly, this reader only has Android 2.3 and does not have the ability to install any 3rd party content.
The Onyx Basic is really designed to compete against the Kindle 5 . On the companies sales page, it basically pits both of the devices head to head and the Onyx comes out on top. This e-reader is available now, and apparently quite the hit in Poland! If you are looking for something cheap and cheerful, this e-reader fits the bill.
There tends to be some confusion among new e-reader owners on what formats their new device reads. Numerous Kindle owners try to buy eBooks at a good price online, only to get disgruntled when they aren’t compatible. In order to solve many of the top customer concerns Kobo now lists the format their eBooks are in and whether or not they have Digital Rights Managment (DRM).
When you are browsing the online Kobo catalog their is a new section at the bottom of the description. It is called Download Options and lists the eBooks are EPUB 2, EPUB 2 (Adobe DRM), PDF, PDF (Adobe DRM).
When you buy an eBook with DRM on it, the title is only compatible with Kobo e-readers and tend not to play nice with any other device. Things get easier if you manage to find something that does not have any encryption, this means you can basically load in on your smartphone, tablet, e-reader or loan it out to a friend and not need Adobe Digital Editions to facilitate the transfer.
The new download system is live in most countries. We have confirmed reports that Canada, US, Australia, UK all have it, but sadly not New Zealand.
Advertising sucks in general, but we recognize it as a necessary evil in a lot of situations –not the least of which being a means to raise the funds required to keep the Internet going (or at least the content contained ‘within it’). Now, what if you could visit your favourite sites, and instead of seeing an advertisement block on the screen and being encouraged to click on it… you could just donate a little money to the site and not go through that dance? Google is betting you might just take them up on that offer, creating a new service that does that exact thing: Google Contributor.
Contributor is being labeled as ‘alternative monetization’, allowing us to designate a monthly fee we are willing to sacrifice in the name of Internet content with the promise of not having to see Google ads (though you will still see a pixelated box in the space where the ad would have been displayed).
Contributor is currently in beta, with participants getting involved by invitation only. During this phase, there are 10 publishing partners (like Mashable, Imgur, and WikiHow) with an opt-in dollar amount of $1, $2, or $3.
I’m not sure I see Contributor as a viable alternative to advertising… at least not in it’s current form. I would wager that most seasoned web surfers are already quite familiar with tuning out advertisements. Now, if I could see an ad-free version of the site (where the entire screen real estate was given to the content I’m actually interested in seeing), I’d be much more likely to toss in a few dollars.
When it comes to buying an e-reader for the first time or upgrading to the largest and greatest, there are lots of factors to consider. Do you want a very large screen to fit a copious amount of text or are you looking for something with a great ecosystem to buy eBooks? Over the course of the last month we asked the question, what do you look for in an e-reader? 694 people weighed in and today we look at the results.
Arguably the most important factor people look for in an e-reader is a large screen. 25.43% of the voting popular made it apparent that when it comes to reading digital books, a very large screen makes a world of difference. High resolution came in second with 16.62%, which makes it quite evident that high PPI and overall screen clarity matters.
Things were more competitive with the next tier down. 9.68% of the vote said that portability was important while 7.66% mentioned that an e-reader with open Android is important. 7.66% of the population stated that price is most important while 7.23% of the said that a particular e-reader brand, such as Kindle, Kobo or Nook weighed in on their decision.
What was most surprising about this vote is that serious readers aren’t engaged with gimmicks such as GoodReads, X-Ray, Badges, social media or achievements. A paltry 1.01% of the vote said things were totally unimpressive.
Oyster is hoping to appeal to literary buffs that aren’t currently paying for their eBook subscription service. The company has launched a new online book blog that will feature original essays, book reviews and interviews with prestigious authors.
Oyster’s editorial director, Kevin Nguyen described the publication as the company’s “latest discovery project,” explaining that “some readers want algorithmic recommendations, and others want editorial recommendations, or reviews.” He went on to say “We really want to be a part of the publishing community. We want to use the Oyster Review to bring Oyster to a new audience.”
It remains to be seen on what type of traction this book new initiative will get in the greater book community. Many readers are wary of reading this type of content from a company that peddles eBooks. This is the chief reason why many people don’t pay attention to the Amazon book blogs and prefer 3rd parties that are unbiased.
When Jeff Bezos purchased the Washington Post last year for $250 million, many people were wondering what role it would play on the Amazon ecosystem. There is a new Post app exclusively available on the Kindle Fire line of tablets. Users will get access to two editions per day which the editorial team for The Washington Post will release at 5 am ET and 5 pm ET.
The new app, with pre-loaded stories, pictures and even advertisements, was designed in close collaboration with Mr. Bezos, said Shailesh Prakash, The Post’s chief technology officer. “We talked to him constantly,” Mr. Prakash said, describing feedback Mr. Bezos gave to developers. “He’s our most active beta tester.”
The Washington Post app has been developed to replicate the experience of reading the paper as if it was in print, the “pinch view” feature in this app attempts to replicate that experience.
The app will be free for Kindle Fire owners for six months, and will then cost a dollar for the next six months. A version of the app will be available for Android and iOS operating systems next year, at $3.99 a month.
Simon & Schuster first got involved in distributing their vast collection of eBooks to libraries earlier this year. In order for libraries to carry their titles the publisher was basically forcing 3M, Baker & Taylor and Overdrive to implement a buy it now button as part of the arrangement. Many libraries and consortium’s did not want to sell eBooks on their websites and resisted carrying any titles by S&S. Today, the publisher relaxed their restrictions.
“From the beginning, the ALA has advocated for the broadest and most affordable library access to e-titles, as well as licensing terms that give libraries flexibility to best meet their community needs,” said ALA President Courtney Young. “We appreciate that Simon & Schuster is modifying its library ebook program to provide libraries a choice in whether or not to participate in Buy It Now. Providing options like these allow libraries to enable digital access while also respecting local norms or policies.”
“This change also speaks to the importance of sustaining conversations among librarians, publishers, distributors and authors to continue advancing our shared goals of connecting writers and readers,” Young added. “We are still in the early days of this digital publishing revolution, and we hope we can co-create solutions that expand access, increase readership and improve exposure for diverse and emerging voices,” said DCWG Co-Chairs Carolyn Anthony and Erika Linke. “Many challenges remain including high prices, privacy concerns, and other terms under which ebooks are offered to libraries. We are continuing our discussions with publishers.”
I think S&S have relaxed their policies because libraries simply don’t want to be getting themselves involved with retail. Libraries exist because of public funds and forcing them to become a bookstore in order to carry specific titles is tantamount to extortion.
A year after their first smartphone was introduced, Finnish technology company Jolla has successfully funded their IndieGogo project aimed to create a tablet. Looking to raise $380K, supporters have already pledged over $865K (and the campaign doesn’t end until December 9, 2014).
Jolla’s tablet should take specific aim at Apple’s iPad Mini and the recently announced Nokia N1 (though it will not be as thin or have an aluminum-bodied shell), featuring a 7.9-inch display with 2,048 x 1,536 resolution, a quad-core Intel processor, 2GB of RAM, and 32GB of internal storage… only it will not run iOS or Android –this device will take advantage of the startup’s Sailfish 2.0 operating system (which is able to boast 9 updates, 350 new features, and over 13,000 bugs fixed since their initial release; not to mention compatibility for Android apps).
Several incentives for supporters are being offered, though several have sold out, including among the first to receive a Jolla tablet (for a contribution of $204 USD as long as you live in one of the supported regions: EU, Norway, Switzerland, USA, India, China, Hong Kong, or Russia). For those with less to spend, $10 USD will get your name on the Jolla First Ones webpage.
Until the second quarter of 2015 when these little beauties are expected to ship, we will have to satiate ourselves with the product video created by Jolla.