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Last post Author Topic: Amazon Signs Up Authors, Writing Publishers Out of Deal  (Read 31614 times)

IainB

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Re: Amazon Signs Up Authors, Writing Publishers Out of Deal
« Reply #25 on: October 21, 2011, 05:21:10 PM »
Interesting research re the differences between reading via e-book v. hardcopy. None, apparently:
http://mashable.com/2011/10/20/reading-ebook-versus-print

40hz

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Re: Amazon Signs Up Authors, Writing Publishers Out of Deal
« Reply #26 on: October 21, 2011, 05:45:57 PM »
^Doesn't address the esthetics of the reading experience. Which is all I really care about.  8)

Carol Haynes

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Re: Amazon Signs Up Authors, Writing Publishers Out of Deal
« Reply #27 on: October 21, 2011, 06:44:55 PM »
And look at the poll at the end - there is also a certain self selection in the poll. If you lashed out your dosh on an expensive toy there is a presumption that you have to like it better than a book.

DOn't get me wrong I have loads of eBooks on my computer but I have almost all of them in print form too and if I need to read for any length of time reading the printed book is far kinder on the eyes.

Renegade

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Re: Amazon Signs Up Authors, Writing Publishers Out of Deal
« Reply #28 on: October 21, 2011, 08:02:34 PM »
Interesting research re the differences between reading via e-book v. hardcopy. None, apparently:
http://mashable.com/2011/10/20/reading-ebook-versus-print


Huh? Probably sponsored by Amazon...


...for any length of time reading the printed book is far kinder on the eyes.


+1


Quote
“There are no disadvantages to reading from electronic reading devices compared with reading printed texts,”


Ahem...

I call "bullshit".

That is such wild nonsense.

Form factor form factor form factor form factor!

+ You can stick your fingers in the previous page to quickly zip back, or several fingers in parts of the book to quickly zip between them. e.g. You look up a reference in the index, then stick your fingers in different sections of the book where that reference occurs, then zip between them. You cannot do that in an ebook.

- Ok, there are tools to help you do that, but they are nowhere near as fast as flipping with your fingers. Has anyone ever tried to flip more than a single page in an ebook reader? It's mind numbingly painful. Flipping 1 page is bad enough. Flipping more than one page is idiotic. You just cannot do it. Frame rates and software speeds are far too slow. It cannot be done *reasonably* right now. (This should change in the future.)

+ You can quickly markup a book with pen, pencil, or highlighter in ways that are faster, easier and more intuitive than with some software tools. e.g. Underline some text, highlight one of the words, write a note in the margin, and draw a quick figure.

- The software tools available right now are slow an unintuitive. Writing with your hand is simply far more versatile than with software. Until there is intelligent software *and hardware* that will let you *write* and *draw* and *underline* and *highlight* with nothing more than your finger, paper books will be superior. (I mean that the hardware needs to allow sophisticated input, and the software needs to understand that, and translate intentions properly so that it can recognize handwriting and type that as text. Graffiti anyone? :) )

+ The resolution of paper is, oh, let's say, round about, a LOT~! Pixel pitch in epaper is good, but it's not paper.

- This is where the claim could be true. If at all. However, it is entirely dependent on the display technology being fine enough as to make *imperceptible* differences truly and completely irrelevant. I say *imperceptible* because whether or not you *notice* something *consciously* doesn't mean that it isn't happening. e.g. The "boil a frog" thing -- it doesn't notice the gradual rise in temperature. Same thing goes for humans. We *are* affected by things that we do not *notice*.

I'm certain that others could come up with other reasons, but I don't think it's necessary to illustrate that the claim:

Quote
“There are no disadvantages to reading from electronic reading devices compared with reading printed texts,”

Is just pure bullshit.

Notice here:

Quote
...according to a study by Research Unit Media Convergence of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with MVB Marketing- und Verlagsservice des Buchhandels GmbH, operator of the ebook platform Libreka!.

Conflict of interest anyone?

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wraith808

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Re: Amazon Signs Up Authors, Writing Publishers Out of Deal
« Reply #29 on: October 21, 2011, 09:01:23 PM »
...for any length of time reading the printed book is far kinder on the eyes.


+1
Subjective both ways.


+ You can stick your fingers in the previous page to quickly zip back, or several fingers in parts of the book to quickly zip between them. e.g. You look up a reference in the index, then stick your fingers in different sections of the book where that reference occurs, then zip between them. You cannot do that in an ebook.

- Ok, there are tools to help you do that, but they are nowhere near as fast as flipping with your fingers. Has anyone ever tried to flip more than a single page in an ebook reader? It's mind numbingly painful. Flipping 1 page is bad enough. Flipping more than one page is idiotic. You just cannot do it. Frame rates and software speeds are far too slow. It cannot be done *reasonably* right now. (This should change in the future.)
Need to find a non-indexed phrase?  Which one wins there?  And then keep searching?

+ You can quickly markup a book with pen, pencil, or highlighter in ways that are faster, easier and more intuitive than with some software tools. e.g. Underline some text, highlight one of the words, write a note in the margin, and draw a quick figure.

- The software tools available right now are slow an unintuitive. Writing with your hand is simply far more versatile than with software. Until there is intelligent software *and hardware* that will let you *write* and *draw* and *underline* and *highlight* with nothing more than your finger, paper books will be superior. (I mean that the hardware needs to allow sophisticated input, and the software needs to understand that, and translate intentions properly so that it can recognize handwriting and type that as text. Graffiti anyone? :) )
Depends on the format.  PDF I mark up just as easily... and I can *erase* if I need to.

My point is that a lot of this is subjective- I don't even see why these comparisons exist, personally.

Carol Haynes

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Re: Amazon Signs Up Authors, Writing Publishers Out of Deal
« Reply #30 on: October 22, 2011, 04:59:30 AM »
I don't even see why these comparisons exist, personally.

Because if the likes of Amazon and Apple get their way they will stop the production of real books in favour of eBooks even though the vast majority of people prefer to buy and read paper books.

It has little to do with user preference and everything to do with the bottom line.

wraith808

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Re: Amazon Signs Up Authors, Writing Publishers Out of Deal
« Reply #31 on: October 22, 2011, 09:31:02 AM »
I don't even see why these comparisons exist, personally.

Because if the likes of Amazon and Apple get their way they will stop the production of real books in favour of eBooks even though the vast majority of people prefer to buy and read paper books.

It has little to do with user preference and everything to do with the bottom line.

Again, there's that unqualified vast majority.  I don't think that *anyone* knows what the vast majority like.  Especially considering that many people don't even *like* to read.  It doesn't matter.  Let the market take care of itself.  If the vast majority like to read dead tree pubs, then the ereaders will die off.  If not, then the books will die off.  If they like both, then make money off both and provide what they like.  And let the faceless majority speak for itself, IMO.

Carol Haynes

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Re: Amazon Signs Up Authors, Writing Publishers Out of Deal
« Reply #32 on: October 22, 2011, 10:27:03 AM »
Are you seriously suggesting that the vast majority of people who read have bought an eReader of some kind or are even likely to?

wraith808

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Re: Amazon Signs Up Authors, Writing Publishers Out of Deal
« Reply #33 on: October 22, 2011, 04:36:27 PM »
Are you seriously suggesting that the vast majority of people who read have bought an eReader of some kind or are even likely to?

Where did you get *that* suggestion from?  Just because people read in one medium, doesn't mean that's their preference.  My point is you can't know without hard data, and that's all I ever said.

Carol Haynes

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Re: Amazon Signs Up Authors, Writing Publishers Out of Deal
« Reply #34 on: October 22, 2011, 04:43:55 PM »
Sorry - I was under the impression that you were arguing that eBooks would replace paper books. If I am wrong I apologise - I just can't see that ever happening. What I can see happening though is that some books will never make it to paper - which is a great pity.

One question that hasn't been addressed is the cost and longevity of reading devices - at the moment I buy a paper book and I just need a pair of eyes to read it. With eBook readers you pay pretty much the same price for the book but have to pay a large sum of money (at a minimum the equivalent of the cost of 20 cheap paperbacks) to actually read them. Those devices don't necessarily have a long life so to maintain access you will need to replace and upgrade regularly. Apple are notorious for building in obsolescence into their devices (perceived or otherwise) - Amazon are just good at producing devices that fail easily (read the reviews on Amazon.com for a fairly high percentage of failures - with, surprisingly for Amazon, very poor customer service - mind you I suppose it isn't surprising as mostly Amazon don't lose money on providing good service for products they can get replaced but the Kindle is an Amazon device which is presumably why they seem to be reluctant to help customers when they fail).

Personally I don't want an effective tax on my ability to read books.

But that is another story and I feel I have said enough in this thread.

IainB

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Re: Amazon Signs Up Authors, Writing Publishers Out of Deal
« Reply #35 on: October 22, 2011, 06:22:43 PM »
Following on from @Carol Haynes' comment above:
Quote
Because if the likes of Amazon and Apple get their way they will stop the production of real books in favour of eBooks even though the vast majority of people prefer to buy and read paper books.

- here is a twist to that, which I came across today:
Quote
Librarian Attacks Amazon's Kindle Lending Program
"A California librarian is urging librarians to complain to Amazon over issues with privacy and advertising in Amazon's new Kindle ebook lending program for libraries. 'In our greedy attempt to get content into our users' hands, we have failed to uphold the highest principle of our profession, which is intellectual freedom,' she argues in a 10-minute video. (Read the transcript here). Amazon keeps your history of reading library ebooks on their corporate servers, 'so it's an instant violation of all of our privacy policies. And we haven't told people that, and we need to tell people that.' And while many libraries have strict policies against endorsing a particular product, the check-out process concludes on Amazon.com with a pitch urging library patrons to purchase more Amazon books — and there's even book-buying plugs in their 'due date' reminders."

What would you do if you operated a library offering a public library-lending service for people to access large collections of the material from the pool of documented human knowledge (delivered via a paper-based medium), and then a corporation comes along and offers you a sweet-looking contract to let you use their proprietary product technology which looks as though it might transform your whole delivery model for the better?

You'd probably jump at it. You'd sign the contract. Nirvana.

But what if you later realise that there's catch or two? Oops. Now it appears that you might have signed up prematurely for this service before you had fully appreciated some of the contractual implications and the downstream implications for your audience of customers.

What do you do? Complain?

Well, you could do, but a fat lot of good that is likely to do you when you have a licenced psychopathic legal person (QED per The Corporation) on the other side of the table - a legal person with even more legal rights than either you or your state-run employer possesses.

You would probably just cave in (appeasement), as so many have done before when initially confronted by implacable, remorseless psychopaths. (e.g., Hitler).
Not a good idea when there are some serious implications regarding freedom/privacy involved.

I think this is a fascinating issue. Whether it is Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Amazon or Government, Big Corporation/Big Brother wants your ID - preferably your Social Security Number, but your real name and some precise demographic data will do. You - or more exactly your ID data - is a product, which can be milked/sold/targetted ad nauseum to make a profit, by the psychopathic marketers who operate without scruple and with the sole objective of increasing profit and shareholder value - which they are legally obliged to do per their charter. Nothing else matters - including any pathetic desires for freedom/privacy.

I predict that this is only likely to serve to increase the bloc of corporate lobbyists that seek to further amend the Constitution and further erode the Bill of Rights wherever it blocks their ability to make further potential profits.
Quote
"All in all  it seems to be, that you don't know what you've got till it's gone"
(Counting Crows - "Big Yellow Taxi")

Ain't democracy grand!?
We establish our freedoms and then create a Frankenstinian monster (an ideology called Capitalism) that robotically creates licenced psychopaths, which we then spend our lives working for and fighting their efforts to destroy our freedoms. Hmm.
Communism would seem to be much better...Oh, but wait...     ;)

Carol Haynes

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Re: Amazon Signs Up Authors, Writing Publishers Out of Deal
« Reply #36 on: October 22, 2011, 07:03:52 PM »
Quote
"All in all  it seems to be, that you don't know what you've got till it's gone"
(Counting Crows - "Big Yellow Taxi")

Bit of an aside - actually it was Joni Mitchell on the album "Ladies of the Canyon" (1970).

Actually another quote springs to mind from the same song:

Quote
They took all the trees and put 'em in a tree museum
And then they charged all the people twenty-five bucks just to see 'em

If eBooks don't become the standard I can see large corporations seeing deforestation as a solution to the marketing problem!

IainB

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Re: Amazon Signs Up Authors, Writing Publishers Out of Deal
« Reply #37 on: October 23, 2011, 04:41:08 AM »
@Carol Haynes:
Quote
Bit of an aside - actually it was Joni Mitchell on the album "Ladies of the Canyon" (1970).
Ah yes, that's right, thanks. In my haste (I was trying to multitask and failing at it) I just grabbed the lyrics from a Counting Crows rendition. I couldn't recall who originally sang that song, but I thought someone would put me right. I thought it might have been Melanie, but no. Am listening to  Joni Mitchell singing that song as I write this.
Superb.
My son Brian (aged 14 months) is listening and likes it too! He's doing a little jig to the song.

Quote
Quote
They took all the trees and put 'em in a tree museum
And then they charged all the people twenty-five bucks just to see 'em
If eBooks don't become the standard I can see large corporations seeing deforestation as a solution to the marketing problem!

LOL. Nicely spotted. Many a true word spoken in jest.  ;D

40hz

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Re: Amazon Signs Up Authors, Writing Publishers Out of Deal
« Reply #38 on: October 23, 2011, 06:43:30 AM »

If eBooks don't become the standard I can see large corporations seeing deforestation as a solution to the marketing problem!

That's a very astute observation.

One of the more alarming trends in the recent jockeying for technical dominance is how most of the participants are pursuing a 'scorched earth' strategy. If they can't utterly dominate and control a new technology, they seem hell bent on destroying or preventing it completely. Much like the antisocial children they are, their song seems to be, "We shall all play the game I want, by my rules, or nobody will be allowed to play at all."

Sorry state of affairs. Especially when you see it made possible by an amoral legal profession, a spineless and generally corrupt government, and a largely indifferent public.

burningbookcircles.jpg

It can only get worse.





wraith808

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Re: Amazon Signs Up Authors, Writing Publishers Out of Deal
« Reply #39 on: October 23, 2011, 09:09:49 AM »
Sorry - I was under the impression that you were arguing that eBooks would replace paper books. If I am wrong I apologise - I just can't see that ever happening. What I can see happening though is that some books will never make it to paper - which is a great pity.

Nah... I just hate *any* side arguing about any sort of statistical mean without the statistics to back it up.  Too many people take it at face value, and while its normally organizations that use this for their advantage maliciously, normal people do it all too often unthinking or assuming.  And in that one statement, some people's right to be asked about their opinion is undermined.

Just a pet peeve  :-[  Sorry if I went attack dog on it.

IainB

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Re: Amazon Signs Up Authors, Writing Publishers Out of Deal
« Reply #40 on: October 23, 2011, 10:06:41 AM »
@wraith808:
Quote
Nah... I just hate *any* side arguing about any sort of statistical mean without the statistics to back it up.

Yes, but it's a statistical fact that on average 98.43% of the population know that 73.2% of all statistics are made up.

IainB

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Re: Amazon Signs Up Authors, Writing Publishers Out of Deal
« Reply #41 on: October 24, 2011, 04:32:22 AM »
I mentioned Elsevier in this discussion thread.
I hadn't realised how profitable their niche was, nor how monopolistic, until I read this: Economics of open-access publishing
Most enlightening.

40hz

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Re: Amazon Signs Up Authors, Writing Publishers Out of Deal
« Reply #42 on: October 24, 2011, 06:55:14 AM »
Elsevier has been a pet peeve of mine for years. As each year goes by I see more and more formerly web accessible academic papers disappearing behind paywalls.

Nice to know that you can create your own multi-billon publishing empire with little more investment than the cost of:

  • An inexpensive scanner (with sheet feeder)
  • Some cheap cloud storage
  • A website with a shopping cart
  • One or two (likely expensive) attorneys specializing in IP
  • A half dozen nicely tailored business suits  (see next item)
  • The occasional dinner at a nice restaurant to schmooze and woo some gullible academic who authored a paper you want. (Not a big expense since most will come to you, hat in hand, once you've signed up your first few dozen and word gets out.)

Hmm... I own a scanner; I know where to buy cloud and web; I am acquainted with a few sharp IP attorneys; I like to meet new people and have intellectual conversations and discuss business over a nice dinner. I already have a couple of good suits, so I'd only be out-of-pocket for a few more...

Heck, I even know a few recently retired professors who could do some introductions and write a few letters for me. (Oh yes, and for a small honorarium of course. I wouldn't dream of imposing or presuming upon our acquaintance. ;) )

Uh, 'scuze me a moment. I've got to run out and put together a quick LLC. Be back in a jiffy!  :P :mrgreen:
« Last Edit: October 24, 2011, 12:40:50 PM by 40hz »

wraith808

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IainB

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Re: Amazon Signs Up Authors, Writing Publishers Out of Deal
« Reply #44 on: October 25, 2011, 09:16:40 AM »
Elsevier has been a pet peeve of mine for years. As each year goes by I see more and more formerly web accessible academic papers disappearing behind paywalls.
I had always been impressed by Elsevier as an experiment. It was an example of a huge worldwide corporation re-creating itself along totally new lines. The corporation was Reed International (mostly manufacturing pulp, paper, newsprint paper and packaging, and some decorating products, with some publishing).
It was a mess of acquisitions, and the bottom was falling out of what had originally been its largest market sector - pulp and paper.
So they took a huge risk and sold off a lot of the basic stuff, becoming a publishing company called Reed-Elsevier, then evolved into the current Elsevier.
A real psychopathic monopoly corporation?

Impressive, but a bit scary.

IainB

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Re: Amazon Signs Up Authors, Writing Publishers Out of Deal
« Reply #45 on: October 25, 2011, 09:32:18 AM »
What an e-reader can't give you.
Is that nostalgia? I wonder.

It does seem to me that each new technological advance - where it makes further cost-efficiencies possible - seems to have the potential or actual capacity to diminish the value of the human experience of what was there before.
Unless that value can be converted into revenue/profit, then it will be threatened by and likely to get washed away by the unrelenting drive for increasing corporate profitability.

The expunging of the real ale brands in the UK in the late '70s was a case in point.
CAMRA - the Campaign for Real Ale - and its effect in restoring the beers and that which had value to the human experience - is a good example of how a suffciently well-organised market force was able to respond to the threat.

mahesh2k

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Re: Amazon Signs Up Authors, Writing Publishers Out of Deal
« Reply #46 on: October 25, 2011, 09:42:20 AM »
I have not seen a single pdf picture book for kids or mobi or epub file that makes childrens book as easy and attractive to read as paperback. There is a huge difference between reading paperback version of Dr. Seussto that of scanned pdf one. VIntage illustration on paperbacks holds more memories of days than electronic format which is already complex for our memory. Ebooks are good for summary and short books, not for replacing paperbacks.

wraith808

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Re: Amazon Signs Up Authors, Writing Publishers Out of Deal
« Reply #47 on: October 25, 2011, 11:27:21 AM »
I have not seen a single pdf picture book for kids or mobi or epub file that makes childrens book as easy and attractive to read as paperback. There is a huge difference between reading paperback version of Dr. Seussto that of scanned pdf one. VIntage illustration on paperbacks holds more memories of days than electronic format which is already complex for our memory. Ebooks are good for summary and short books, not for replacing paperbacks.

You haven't seen the nook color :)  My daughter was very skeptical about this whole e-book thing.  Then I took her into Best Buy to look a the Nook color.  She fell in love with it.  And she's old enough that she doesn't use one of the great features for kids - let the book read to you.

And as far as replacing paperbacks, I'm a voracious reader.  I go to bookstores and book fairs and all sorts of things.  I was introducing my daughter to Barnes and Noble, and I envied her as I watched her sit on the floor and read.  I used to do that.  I'd have magazines and books and browse through all of them, leaving with a choice one or two, and a list of others I wanted.  In barnes and noble that day, I felt no impetus to do that, and it was like I lost something.  I took her to huge book warehouse/book fair, and we came home with a *lot* of books.  I haven't read any of mine, and she's read all of hers.  But I *still* read voraciously- more than even before.  It's just on my phone and iPad.

Maybe I'm not typical, but to say that they can't replace paperbacks is hubris.  They might not be able to replace paperbacks for *you*, but for me, they've already done that.  There's no substitution for having my complete library with me everywhere, and being able to immediately purchase, and not wait for a trip to the bookstore for me.

Carol Haynes

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Re: Amazon Signs Up Authors, Writing Publishers Out of Deal
« Reply #48 on: October 25, 2011, 11:44:57 AM »
You haven't seen the nook color :)  My daughter was very skeptical about this whole e-book thing.  Then I took her into Best Buy to look a the Nook color.  She fell in love with it.  And she's old enough that she doesn't use one of the great features for kids - let the book read to you.

And what happens when she has children and wants to share a childhood memory with her daughter? Does she dig out an ancient 'Nook' and expect it to work or does she have to go and buy the book again?

wraith808

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Re: Amazon Signs Up Authors, Writing Publishers Out of Deal
« Reply #49 on: October 25, 2011, 01:29:27 PM »
You haven't seen the nook color :)  My daughter was very skeptical about this whole e-book thing.  Then I took her into Best Buy to look a the Nook color.  She fell in love with it.  And she's old enough that she doesn't use one of the great features for kids - let the book read to you.

And what happens when she has children and wants to share a childhood memory with her daughter? Does she dig out an ancient 'Nook' and expect it to work or does she have to go and buy the book again?

I guess we'll see.  But that's her (and my) choice.  I'm not trying to deny people theirs, or say that their choice is worse for them.  That's what I don't understand... if your choice happens to agree with the corporate direction (iphone, ipad, e-book, etc), then there seems to be an imperative to say exactly what you're missing.  That's what seems to be the major casualty of the digital age- the ability to see that people have different needs and different opinions, and all of them are valid.  I think civility followed that out the door (not to say in the case, but in many others).

She may like it so much that she wants to start getting only digital books.  She may decide that it's not for her.  Or she may use both.  And she might find out some downsides to either in the future.  But that's her path and her choice.