Round up #161: Mamet goes indie, Kobo’s new premium EBR

Round up #161: Mamet goes indie, Kobo’s new premium EBR

The ILMK Round ups are short pieces which may or may not be expanded later.

Um…they do know migraine sufferers get auras, right? 😉

I had a relative who got migraine auras, and it wasn’t a fun thing…that relative literally couldn’t identify the face of a person who was helping them when what amounted to temporary functional blindness set in. That’s probably just my association with the word, though. 🙂

Kobo has introduced a new EBR (E-Book Reader), the

Kobo Aura HD

In my predictions for this year, I said I thought we probably wouldn’t see anything “groundbreaking” in hardware for EBRs and tablets in 2013. “…This year [2012], we had the frontlit reflective screens, and that’s truly significant. I’m just not picturing something like that.”

While this new Kobo reader does seem to be a nice device, I’d say it doesn’t invalidate what I thought.

They compare the device to other EBRs (it’s frontlit, like the Paperwhite and NOOK GlowLight, and is wi-fi only). They cite some numbers on how it’s better in some things (20% better screen, 2.4 times better on a three foot drop test).

It has a 1GHZ processor, which probably means faster “page turns” (although Amazon doesn’t tell us that for the Paperwhite).

It has a physical on and off switch for the light. 🙂

One evolution (not revolution) is that you can change the sharpness and weight of each of the fonts. You can also set the margins.

It comes with 4GB onboard memory (that’s a lot nowadays for a reflective device), with a micro-SD card slot that can hold up to 32GB.

They are pushing something that tracks your “reading life”, and lets you post it to your Facebook timeline.

They also have double-tap to zoom in on PDFs.

Here are the file formats:

  • eBooks: EPUB, PDF, and MOBI
  • Images: JPEG, GIF, PNG, and TIFF
  • Text: TXT, HTML, XHTML, and RTF
  • Comic Books: CBZ and CBR

Bottom line here, I do think this is probably a superior device in some ways, but I don’t see a lot of people switching to it as their main reading device and leaving their Kindle libraries behind. For people who are already Kobo users (for one thing, that might be a lot of my Canadian readers), they’ll welcome the changes the next time they upgrade or buy another device. For somebody who’s never gotten an EBR…well, in the USA, it’s hard to fight the Amazon and Barnes & Noble names for booklovers. Even though this comes with chess and Sudoku, it’s a book reader.

The retail price in the USA and Canada is $169.99. That’s about $30 more than the non-ad-supported Paperwhite.

From NYT Bestseller to Indie: David Mamet

New York Times:

New Publisher Authors Trust: Themselves

When you say “David Mamet” to me (you say “David Mamet” to people, right?) ;), my first thought is playwright. However, when you look at

Davd Mamet’s Amazon Author page

you’ll see quite a range of works, including this recent NYT bestseller:

The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Culture

So, it shows the evolving marketplace that Mamet is going to independently publish some upcoming works.

What’s really fascinating for me in the article by Leslie Kaufman, is that the “deal” was set up by ICM (International Creative Management), one of the best-known homes of literary and talent agents.

The idea of literary agents repping authors who are independently publishing seems a bit odd…it sounds like they would help the authors negotiate with themselves. 😉  However, many of the big agencies are offering the service, and it is part of the wave of the future.

If you are David Mamet, you don’t want to have to figure out the whole independent publishing yourself. You probably are just as happy going to the agent who has worked with you and tradpubs (traditional publishers) in the past, and just saying, “Set up that indie thing for me.” 😉

In this short excerpt from the article (which I recommend you read), Mamet is quoted as saying,

“Basically I am doing this because I am a curmudgeon,” Mr. Mamet said in a telephone interview, “and because publishing is like Hollywood — nobody ever does the marketing they promise.”

Agents have always been creative…tradpubs are going to have to keep up with the changing world (and I do think some of them will).

Publisher’s Weekly: “Despite Copyright Concerns, 1DollarScan Grows, Marks Second Year”

In this

PW article

Calvin Reid writes about the company that will take your p-book (paperbook) and digitize it for you.

wrote about them in July 2012, and it’s interesting to see their success. I still have trouble (emotionally) with any destructive scanning technique. Heck, I practically have to avert my eyes if we are somewhere and someone has made “art objects” by destroying old books and combining them somehow.

There are two things I want along these lines. First, I want the Copyright Office (or case law, which is more likely) to say that digitizing books for your own use is okay. Second, I want a “magic box” where I can put a p-book into it, have it digitize the book for me, and the book emerges in the same shape as it was before. Maybe while it is in there, it could even spruce it up a bit, straightening out any wrinkles and removing stains. That’s just pie in the sky (or on the page) thinking, though. 😉

39 Steps…beyond!

A novel from 1915 has been turned into a next gen reading app by

The Story Mechanics

It’s not available yet in the Amazon Appstore, but honestly, I’m anxious to see it.

It’s based on The 39 Steps, and a search for

The 39 Steps at Amazon

got me 8,664 results!

I’ve read the book, and many of you may have seen the the Hitchcock version with Robert Donat.

It sounds to me like they may have done some really interesting things with the app…respecting it as a book, but adding new dimensions to it. It has built-in music, animations for backstory (not for the main story), and some innovative text placement techniques.

Is it a book?

Well, that’s always arguable. Once you get into “special effects” like bolds and italics, I feel like you are starting to cross the line. 😉 This is sold as an app, but it appears as though it may have all of the original text. There is some sort of scoring system, though, or at least awards.

I don’t think something like this will replace text-only books, but just like a movie or TV adaptation can bring something more to a work of literature, I think there may be a place for it. I think we’ll see it in the Amazon Appstore the few months, although I’m just guessing on that.

What do you think? Does Mamet going indie pave the way for other bestselling tradpubbed authors? Are you interested in the Kobo device? Are you just looking to it as a sign of what comes next from Amazon? What do you think the next revolutionary hardware changes will be? Feel free to let me and my readers know by commenting on this post.

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

3 Responses to “Round up #161: Mamet goes indie, Kobo’s new premium EBR”

  1. David Mamet joins DIY trend as self-published ebooks top charts | UK's Publishing Today Says:

    […] Round up #161: Mamet goes indie, Kobo’s new premium EBR (ilmk.wordpress.com) […]

  2. Tom Semple Says:

    I am tempted to get the Aura to add to my collection of reading devices. I’m not quite ready to switch to a tablet as my primary reading device, yet I find 6″ screens a little cramped (often I read in landscape to get longer, more ‘book-like’ text layout). While 7″ is not that much larger, it would help, and being able to play around more with fonts and margins and line spacing would keep me amused for awhile. I do have several dozen technical/computer books that would benefit from the larger screen (source code, like poetry, gets harder to read when lines wrap where they would not normally), and I’m just generally curious about what ‘the competition’ is up to.

    I understand the mobi support is not very good, and that there are some features not available for side-loaded content (it may even be using a different rendering engine). Not sure if the browser works well with Dropbox/Google Drive etc. (I like the convenience of wireless download of 3rd party content). If Kobo ever gets around to adding a version of ‘personal documents’ service, it would make it more attractive to me.

    But at $170, it does give pause. The next generation of tablets will be coming out in a few months and one of them might finally be attractive to me as a primary reading device. So I’ll probably wait a few weeks until the Aura has been in more hands before making a decision.

  3. Round up #174: BAM vs. Kobo, Kindle accessories discount, Fire update | I Love My Kindle Says:

    […] the $169 Kobo Aura HD is now “up to” 27% of the Kobo devices sold at retail…and it’s what half […]

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