Category Archives: Books: Internet

Bookish Dumped By Its Founding Partners

Zola Books Acquires

The site that was supposed to save the asses of the Big 6 (now 5) of publishing against that meanie Jeff Bezos and his ferocious beast Amazon, was dumped in what looks like a fire sale price to a non-publisher.

I never got around to checking out this site in depth. That is, beyond its WTF TOS.

Now I am pleased that I will never have to look at it ever again.

Amazon wins again.


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The Internet Versus Books, Yet Again

The internet is wiping out gardening books so I’m giving up, says author, 85

To write a bestseller now you need to choose something that you can’t look up on Google.


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Google Won. Next!

Google defeats authors in U.S. book-scanning lawsuit

I was against Google. But I’m not going to bother to link to all my posts.

This is bullshit:

He [Judge Chin] also said Google’s digitization was “transformative,” meaning it gave the books a new purpose or character, and could be expected to boost rather than reduce book sales.

If scanning a book is “transformative,” then my posting a short clip from a TV program or movie on YouTube for fair use in a post should be as well. Yet I’ve had two such clips DMCAed away and Google has threatened me with account deletion if I do it again (or am caught doing it again, harumph).

I have been a user of Google Books for longer than I can remember. Proportionally, they place more of a book online than any of my short clips do of any TV program or movie.

Yet they get a fucking free pass — for grabbing all the books.

While I’m under threat by Google for just two alleged violations.

I look forward to Google doing Video Search and grabbing all the TV and all the movies. Because that’s what they do. They need to build shit to slap ads on. It’s how they make their money.

Those CopyNazis of the MPAA don’t realize what just hit them.


Filed under Books: Internet, Google, Rights, Writers

Scribd Offers eBooks By Monthly Fee

Scribd launches first global, multi-platform digital book subscription service

Go here to get a look at all of the available books.

There are over thirty publishers involved.

For many people, this will probably be a good deal, even if they read just two books a month. But that’s not the average American, who reads far fewer than that.

I’m not sure if this is for me yet. I’d really feel the pressure to read, to squeeze every penny out of that monthly fee. Not that that’s a bad thing, but there are some times when I get burned out on reading — yet I’d still have to keep up that fee every month. And then feel even more pressure to squeeze out those lost pennies.

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Publishing Inside Social Media

KakaoTalk Challenges Apple and Google with New Digital Publishing Platform

The Korean-made messaging app KakaoTalk has over 70 million users and a social gaming platform running in a couple of countries. But the app doesn’t stop there. KakaoTalk has launched Kakao Page as a media and content publishing platform for companies to distribute content.

This is interesting, putting publishing inside of “social media.”

Those seventy million users — if you get a direct mail response rate of one percent, that’s seven hundred thousand!

It will be interesting to see what sell-through numbers turn out to be.

And you can expect this to show up next as The Next Big Thing at the endless book conferences…

That is, unless Amazon does a phone and gets the bright idea to include its own messaging app that incorporates this.

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Comment On The gTLD dotBOOK Domain Grab

Who’s After the dotBOOK Top Level Domain

Maybe we can stop this idiocy after all.

ICANN is asking for public comments: “Closed Generic” gTLD Applications

dotBOOK should not belong to any commercial entity.

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We Are This Future

From a 1903 issue of Appleton’s Magazine (reformatted for easier reading):

A Problem of the Future

Carnegie is the great bestower of libraries, and the fact that his money can create many libraries that contain all the books ever written that are worth while, leads one to wonder whether private fortunes of the future will be commensurate to the bestowal of any complete library anywhere, for the mind is appalled by what we may come to in a thousand years in the way of books.

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The Casual Vacancy Already Pirated

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Who’s After the dotBOOK Top Level Domain

Dave Winer’s post caught my attention and my curiosity was incited: Tech press misses Google/Amazon name grab

Then I read this post he linked to: Big Brands Trying To Corner Generic Namespaces?

That got me wondering: Who is going for book-related domains? Specifically, the dotBOOK one.

What follows is not the kind of thorough investigation a full staff of trained pros would turn out (like, for instance, the lax CNN-Money team who apparently just take everything at face value). But it’s damned more than anyone else has so far bothered to do. Which is really shocking — because why are they being paid if they can ignore something as big as this?

For those who want spoilers:

1) Annie Callanan, last known as COO of ProQuest — sister company of R.R. Bowker (which are both owned by Cambridge Information Group) — applies as an entity with partners, separately from Bowker’s application. If she is still a ProQuest employee, this is a conflict of interest and could also be seen as double-dipping since both ProQuest and Bowker are owned by the same parent.

2) Amazon wants the entire dotBOOK domain for itself! Really, no one else can use it except Amazon.

3) Bowker has a plan to make a mint off dotBOOK with auctions of certain URLs — which could actually be an infinite list of URLs

4) Everyone else just wants to make a buck off writers and at least one of them openly hates self-publishers — and probably independent small presses too

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Filed under Books: General, Books: Internet, Digital Book, Digital Overthrow, eBooks: General Could Save Public Libraries Crowdfunds Unlimited Licenses for Beloved E-books

This, for example, is what he means by “unglue,” the concept that lies at the heart of Gluejar: “unglue (v.t.) For an author or publisher to accept a fixed amount of money from the public for its unlimited use of an e-book.”

Hellman wants us to consider, in other words, a world in which those who hold the rights to books agree to license them through a Creative Commons arrangement that protects author/publisher copyrights, enables the rights holders to maintain or pursue additional licensing agreements, and at the same time creates an environment in which public funding helps “unglue” the books for digital distribution.

Crowdfunding — something already in play within organizations as diverse as the Nature Conservancy, NPR, and Kickstarter — provides the fiscal fuel, making sure that both the creators of the book and Gluejar get compensated for their efforts.

1) Print publishing now has a cash-out Exit Strategy if this comes to pass.

2) Writers dumped by their publishers could have a new way to reach new readers. Think of their books so freely available, not locked into any one format, free from all public libraries too.

3) What if all public libraries pooled into one fund each year 1-2% of their budgets for this? They could compile a list of books they’d like to get and have their patrons vote for them. Also, patrons could also add to the fund out of their own pockets. Such active participation in public libraries could save them.

4) Those who hold rights to currently not-in-e and out-of-print books could have a way to bring them back to life by having the market decide their value up-front.

There are many, many more implications to this. Those are off the top of my head. But this has to be the most exciting books-related proposal I’ve seen in a very long time. It’s the first thing that has given me hope for both books and especially for public libraries.

I’d like to see this happen.


Filed under Books: Internet, Digital Overthrow, eBooks: General, Public Libraries, Rights, Writers