“We’re talking about censorship: deliberately making a book hard or impossible to get, ‘disappearing’ an author,” Ms. Le Guin wrote in an email. “Governments use censorship for moral and political ends, justifiable or not. Amazon is using censorship to gain total market control so they can dictate to publishers what they can publish, to authors what they can write, to readers what they can buy. This is more than unjustifiable, it is intolerable.”
“It’s very clear to me, and to those I represent, that what Amazon is doing is very detrimental to the publishing industry and the interests of authors,” the agent said. “If Amazon is not stopped, we are facing the end of literary culture in America.”
“It turns out younger adults read just as much as the older generation. However, 88 percent of Americans under 30 had read a book in the past year compared to 79 percent of people age 30 and older. And if you think the Millennial idea of “doing research” only entails reading a couple of Wikipedia pages, guess again. Pew found that young people are more likely to think that important information isn’t available online, to the tune of 62 percent of younger people compared with 53 percent of older Americans. This means that when your mom asks a question on Yahoo! Answers, she might actually believe the answer. So does that mean Millennials are hitting up the library when it’s time to write that term paper? Maybe, but they might not actually know what to do when they get there. While they’re just as likely as older adults to have used a library card in the past 12 months and more likely to have used a library website, Millennials are less likely to think that the closing of their local public library would affect them. Along with that, 36 percent of young people say they know little to nothing about their local library’s services, compared with 29 percent of older adults.”
“In 1943, in the middle of the Second World War, America’s book publishers took an audacious gamble. They decided to sell the armed forces cheap paperbacks, shipped to units scattered around the globe. Instead of printing only the books soldiers and sailors actually wanted to read, though, publishers decided to send them the best they had to offer. Over the next four years, publishers gave away 122,951,031 copies of their most valuable titles. “Some of the publishers think that their business is going to be ruined,” the prominent broadcaster H. V. Kaltenborn told his audience in 1944. “But I make this prediction. America’s publishers have cooperated in an experiment that will for the first time make us a nation of book readers.” He was absolutely right. From small Pacific islands to sprawling European depots, soldiers discovered the addictive delights of good books. By giving away the best it had to offer, the publishing industry created a vastly larger market for its wares. More importantly, it also democratized the pleasures of reading, making literature, poetry, and history available to all.”
“In an interesting post, writer Claude Nougat estimated the total number of books on Amazon – about 3.4 million at last count (a number that could include apps as well) and then figured out how many books were added in a day. Nougat noticed that the number rose by 12 books in an hour, which suggests that one new book is added every five minutes. And, most likely, it’s probably an indie book.”
“The haptic and tactile feedback of a Kindle does not provide the same support for mental reconstruction of a story as a print pocket book does.”
Researchers at Norway’s Stavanger University say that you’re less likely to remember stuff reading it from a Kindle than you are a book, and the fact that you don’t have to turn the page may be part of the reason. (via shortformblog)
“The program at Purdue resembles the one at UC Davis that debuted at the beginning of the year, but with a twist: Amazon is also actually going to be staffing on-campus ‘store’ type locations, reserved for pick-up and drop-off of orders made through the Amazon Purdue store. Purdue students will also get more benefits as the year progresses, as they’ll get free one-day shipping on Purdue textbooks shipped to the campus area as of early next year, and also on items beyond textbooks when they’re shipped to the staffed pickup locations directly. Overall, the goal from Purdue’s perspective is to save students up to 30 percent on their current textbook costs. The university found that students were spending over $1,200 a year on books alone, which amounts to 12 percent of Purdue’s tuition for in-state students. Amazon also offers rental options, digital formats, used book sales and what the University anticipates will be a higher buyback rate for old textbooks.”
“Jeff Bezos used books as the cutting edge to help sell everything from computer cables to lawn mowers, and what a good idea that was,” he said. “Now Amazon has turned its back on us. Don’t they value us more than that? Don’t they feel any loyalty? That’s why authors are mad.”
“Starting on Thursday, book buyers in Manhattan, West Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area will be able to get same-day deliveries from local Barnes & Noble stores through Google Shopping Express, Google’s fledgling online shopping and delivery service. Google Shopping, which began operations about a year ago, allows online shoppers to order products from stores like Costco, Walgreens, Staples and Target, and have them delivered to their doors within hours. The partnership could help Barnes & Noble make inroads into online sales when its brick-and-mortar business remains stagnant. The company has closed 63 stores in the last five years, including some in bustling areas of Manhattan and Washington, leaving it with a base of about 660 retail stores and 700 college campus stores. Its Nook business fell 22 percent in the fourth quarter compared with the period a year earlier, according its most recent earnings report.”
Chegg said that it has teamed with the Ingram Content Group, a big book distributor, to handle the business of physically storing and shipping those textbooks. The deal is meant to free the company to continue building out its digital operations.
It is the biggest effort for Chegg to prove that it can transform itself into a higher-margin digital services provider, with offerings like e-textbooks, test preparation materials and career counseling. At the same time, it reduces the expenses needed to maintain an inventory of physical books.
“What this does is that it liberates, just in the first part of the deal, about $25 million of our own capital that we have historically used to buy textbooks and take risk,” Dan Rosensweig, Chegg’s chief executive, said in a telephone interview. “That’s something we don’t have to do. That’s an enormous change.”