Round up #50: HTML 5, everybody’s an author, B&N doubles down on NOOK

Round up #50: HTML 5, everybody’s an author, B&N doubles down on NOOK

The ILMK round-ups are groups of shorter pieces on topics of interest…these topics may or may not get extended coverage later.

B&N Bulks Up Nook Boutiques for Holidays
Jeffrey Trachtenberg
Wall Street Journal
October 29, 2011

One of my regular readers sent me a heads-up on this story in a private e-mail…thanks!

WSJ article

As is usually case, you may or may not be able to read the whole article if you go directly to that link. If you search for the name I gave to this piece

B&N Bulks Up Nook Boutiques for Holidays

in Google, you should be able to read the whole thing.

As regular readers know, I think Trachtenberg is the best mainstream writer out there on e-book issues.

This isn’t a big megatrends insightful article, but it’s simply about B&N (Barnes & Noble) doubling the amount of space dedicated in their busiest brick-and-mortar stores for the holiday season.

A typical B&N store might be 25,000 square feet, with the NOOK section being about a 1,000…so doubling the size isn’t going to seem that big. However, that doesn’t mean that 23,000 square feet are bookshelves. There’s a lot of empty space…your aisles have to be wide enough for wheelchairs, for one thing. Barnes &  Noble store also have toys and games, T-shirts…and a café with table space (although that may not count in the 25,000 feet).

Space is important in a retail store (I’m a former bookstore manager)…you always figure that you are fighting rent right after fighting salaries (and “shrinkage”…employee theft, shoplifting, and damage is important).

Barnes & Noble will likely have something to feature, though…the strongly rumored NOOKColor 2.

I think we’ll continue to see Barnes & Noble stores shift away from most paperbooks. I’ll go back to my scenario that says that new hardback novels go to $50 pretty quickly (in a few years), and become much better quality. So, I think they’ll see lower volume with higher average per sale.

The 6 Shifts of a Kindle Dominated Marketplace

Julien Smith
In Over Your Head

“So, this is about the time everyone starts to write books.”

A different reader told me about this one in a private e-mail…thanks to you, too!

This is more of a thoughtful piece. It speculates on how e-publishing may be changing the market.

I’d say the most interesting concept is that we’ll begin to think of writing a book as something anybody can do (and many people will).

That may seem impossible.

However, go back to the early days of spreadsheets. Back in the day, there would have been one person in your office who did Excel…and that would have been that person’s entire job.

It was amazing that got to be that everybody was expected to know Excel, and it was just one of the things you did.

I saw the same thing with Microsoft Project. When I started teaching that, just about everybody in the class would have a degree or a certification in Project Management, and that’s what they did…they would all have the job title of Project Manager.

Then, as time went on, it got to be that almost no one in the class had that job title…they were just expect to do Project Management as part of the job they already had.

Being an author, though, may seem like it’s an artistic pursuit…not something just anybody can do. I have to say, though, I’ve read some books where artistry wasn’t a prime component. :) Sometimes that’s fiction, sometimes it’s not.

As software gets smarter, people will not have their works spell-checked, but continuity checked, style checked, and so on. Some of that is already available.

That doesn’t mean that there won’t be people that we know are great authors…it just means that the author title in and of itself may not mean much.

I do recommend you read the article:

In Over Your Head post

How Deep is Amazon’s Love for HTML5 in Kindle Format 8?
Scott M. Fulton
ReadWrite Web
October 27, 2011

ReadWrite Web

This one gets a bit deeper into the woods, but goes a good job of what Amazon’s new format for Kindle books “supporting” HTML 5 means. It had some good information about what that means…how big it is, and what it’s not going to do. It talks about how HTML 5 impacts EPUB 3. This one brings you great technical insight into something that is going to change how you read what you read.

One last comment…on the two articles besides the Trachtenberg one, I wouldn’t have read them before tonight if it wasn’t for

http://sendtoreader.com/

and text-to-speech. I listened to both of them on the way home in the car.

I also benefited from the recent Kindle Keyboard 3G, Free 3G + Wi-Fi upgrade that lets me start and stop VoiceGuide (the Kindle’s audible menu feature) with the keyboard shortcut Shift+Spacebar. I do carefully watch the road when driving…I keep shifting where I look on a regular pattern…straight ahead, left side view, straight ahead, rear view, straight ahead, right side view, straight ahead, rear view, straight ahead, left side view, and so on. Oh, I don’t stick to that all the time, but pretty close.

With the short cut (which I can feel easily), I can turn on VoiceGuide, pick what I want to listen to next, then turn off VoiceGuide. If I don’t turn off VoiceGuide, the two voices (text-to-speech and VoiceGuide) overlap each other, which is weird…particularly since it’s the same person speaking. While it was reading  and I put it to sleep (to save battery, since it doesn’t need to “redraw the pages”), it said “screensaver” quietly while a book was being read to me.

Being able to toggle the Voice Guide on and off easily makes that more pleasant.

So, what do you think? Will Barnes & Noble further reduce the number of books in the stores? Are you going to e-publish a book? Is HTML 5 the future of e-books?

Feel free to let me know…

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

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