Round up #140: The Book Boys of Mumbai, Collections on the Kindle Fire HD
The ILMK Round ups are short pieces which may or may not be expanded later.
9% fewer p-books sold in 2012 per Nielsen BookScan
gives us some interesting figures on the state of p-book (paperbook, or print book) sales.
It’s important to note that they are talking about “units”…the number of copies sold, not the amount of sales dollars. It’s possible that the sale dollar amount could rise while the units went down, if the price of the books went up.
9% is not far off how it has been running for a couple of years. That might seem like in about 11 years none would be sold, but even if the rate of decline continues steadily, it doesn’t work that way. Let’s say we start at 100 sold. If it dropped 9% the first year, that would be 91 sold. A drop of 9% the next year would mean that about 82 would be sold, because 9% of 91 is less than 9% of 100. The next year, about 76 would be sold, and so on.
The article astutely points out that the units in 2011 may have been artificially high because of the closing of Borders. When they closed, they sold a lot of books cheaply, which would have increased the units (while decreasing the dollars per sale).
I recommend the article to you if you are interested in what segments are doing well and not well. Mass market paperbacks, by the way, were down more than twice the total average…more than a twenty percent drop. That’s in line with what I’ve been suggesting, that e-books replace mass market paperbacks in the market.
Collections app for the Kindle Fire
I’ve written before about one app that brought something like Amazon’s Collections to the Kindle Fire.
Now, I’ve purchased a different app to do the same thing, and I’d say I like the feel of it better.
It’s similar to the other one, and priced at $2.99, but it does feel more…elegant.
The biggest negative to this one, and this seems to be inherent in these kind of apps, is that it can’t access your “last page read” from your device. You need to manually enter it after each reading session.
Outside of that, I found it to be effective, and I think you more visually oriented folks will like the way it looks.
When you open it up, it scans your device for books and for newsstand items. As far as I can tell, it does that every time you open it, so if you did have thousands of books on your device, that might affect your opinion of it (if it slowed the opening). For example, it finds my New Oxford American Dictionary every time. I could (and probably should) put that in a Collection, but haven’t.
When books are added, they go into a nicely graphically rendered bookshelf called Uncategorized. The number of books actually show…four books show as four books on the shelf. In this view, they show you the unlabeled spines of the book, not the covers. When you tap the shelf, then you see the titles, author, and your location (it will start out as one) on the spine. You don’t see the cover image, but I think that’s okay.
Tap a book, and you can
- Move to Category
- Edit Book Data
Opening it lets you read it, of course.
Moving to category lets you put it on another shelf, which you can create on the fly if you want.
Editing book data lets you change the title, the author, the current page/location, the number of pages, add a note…and choose a color for the spine (which could help you get back to it later…maybe make “to be read” books green, already read books blue).
These changes will only affect the book in this app, not outside it on the device).
As you add a book, it disappears from the Uncategorized shelf. You can have a book in more than one Collection, although the Collections don’t nest inside each other (you can have a book in “To Be Read” and in “Science Fiction”, but you’d have to create a “To Be Read Science Fiction” as one shelf…shelves don’t include other shelves).
Although I find I tend to open the books from the Carousel, or from my Favorites, I can many people liking this.
Oh, and although this one says it’s for the 7″ (there are several versions of the app), I’m using it on my 8.9″ 4G with no problem.
A great discussion
I know not all of you read the comments on posts (those don’t go out with the blog post generally), and you may not go back and read them later. However, I do want to recommend you read the passionate, well-written, and well-reasoned comments on this recent post of mine:
I expected the post to be somewhat controversial, but I don’t think I’ve had such a good set of comments (and including both veteran commenters and newbies) before. This kind of discussion of the future of public libraries is, I think, very healthy for them. The sentiment has been overwhelmingly against the future I saw, and I’m always more than willing to say that other people may be right. I’m delighted to see the passion around the public library system, and getting people thinking about them and talking about them is one of the best things I can do for it.
Thank you for participating!
A limitation to the Xfinity app
I recently wrote about the
which Comcast subscribers watch movies and TV shows on their Kindle Fires (and other devices). I mentioned that I like it, and I do, but I did find something interesting.
I went to watch
(which I enjoyed, by the way…it’s sort of a Shaun of the Dead feel with an alien invasion in public housing in England) by connecting to my Fire to my TV with my HDMI cable. It wouldn’t let me watch it while it was plugged into the TV. I presume that’s to limit illegal copying, but that was a tad frustrating.
I thought, well, I’ll just have it on the other TV through On Demand…but it didn’t appear to be available there.
That suggests to me that there are different sets of content available for what is basically individual watching on a mobile device and what could be group watching on a TV. That’s fine, but interesting.
Mini-review: Wicked Business: A Lizzy and Diesel Novel
Wicked Business: A Lizzy and Diesel Novel
by Janet Evanovich
Well, I just finished this latest not-a-Stephanie-Plum novel by Janet Evanovich. My Significant Other introduced Evanovich to me, and I do like the Stephanie Plum books.
I feel like I should like these. I tend to like supernatural stuff, and I’m a sucker for animals (and there are two regular animal characters here…a monkey named Carl and a cat named Cat 7143).
However, I just haven’t been able to get into these characters, unlike those in the Stephanie Plum books. If I saw something out of context, I could identify a line as being said by Lula, or Ranger (although he doesn’t say much), or Stephanie herself, or Grandma Mazur. I can’t see being able to do that with Lizzie or Diesel or Glo.
They did take advantage of the digital nature of e-books to include pictures of the actual locations mentioned in the book, and that was sort of fun. Mostly, though, I did feel like I was working my way through it, rather than enjoying the journey.
New York Times: The Book Boys of Mumbai
I found this
by Sonia Faleiro fascinating. It’s about poor kids on the streets of Mumbai who make a living selling counterfeit books. It brings up the irony of them selling them without being able to read them, and also shows to me the value that people place on books (even if they don’t always recognize the value of the author as granted under copyright laws). It makes it clear that piracy is not just about e-books, but about p-books as well.
What do you think? Will the decline in p-book sales continue at a steady rate, or will it level off? Will e-books and p-books peacefully co-exist? Do you like the Lizzie and Diesel books? How about Stephanie Plum? I know many people think the latter have declined, but I still like them. Should I finish every book I start (which is how I do it), or am I wasting my time once I find I’m not in love with it? If you’ve tried the Collections app, feel free to let me and my readers know what you think by commenting on this post.
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.