Round up #265: Signs of the tomes, WorldReader.org
The ILMK Round ups are short pieces which may or may not be expanded later.
CNN writes about WorldReader.org
I’ve been writing about
for years, and I was happy to see them recently get a nice story on CNN:
WorldReader is a non-profit (you can donate at the above link) which gets Kindles and e-books to children in difficult circumstances (this article focuses on Africa). They also can help them with electricity and satellite internet.
There are great pictures heading the article, and a good perspective on why this is so important.
First, let me say: reading matters. It helps to read about people who are like you (they do make a real effort in that direction) and people who aren’t. It broadens your horizons, and gives you mental tools which can help you succeed.
So, why not give kids in remote villages paperbooks?
The biggest thing is getting them there. We have friends who say they will never help us move again, because of all the p-books (paperbooks) I own. My books would hardly be enough to keep a school going very long, even though I have something like ten thousand. Most of my books are mass market paperbacks, which are relatively small and easy to transport. It would be a very different story with ten thousand hardbacks.
Another thing is that p-books simply don’t last that long, especially in very humid climates. Most people really degrade p-books when they read them: it’s typically a snap to be able to tell if a copy of a p-book has been read before: the spine will show it, and the pages may have wrinkles and folds.
An e-book isn’t decayed when read.
I found the article heartwarming, and strongly recommend it.
Author backs Amazon: claims it is the best hope for publishing
There have been so many takes on what I call the “Hachazon War”, the dispute between Amazon (a bookseller) and Hachette (a publisher). It’s much more than that, of course…this is really a battle over the future of publishing.
Oh, the future won’t be decided just here…these things go back and forth.
I think it’s important to realize that this isn’t just a price negotiation…there are some basic questions at stake.
It comes down to this: is the current model of traditional publishing the way things will go in the future?
argues that it isn’t…and that the current model is unsustainable.
Cohen says, “I think Amazon is far more likely to come up with innovations that may save book publishing, which is in desperate need of being saved.”
I think we’ve seen a pretty clear split: authors who have been succeeding in the status quo want to maintain it. Authors who have not are interested in change.
In both cases, that might be short-sighted. An indie might eventually get picked up by a tradpub (traditional publisher) and benefit from the current model. The current model could fail, leaving authors who depended on it stranded.
Ideally, author would know how to make it both systems, and there are those “hybrids” who currently both indie publish and are tradpubbed.
The article has some interesting stats, and is worth reading.
“Help me, Jeff-Bezos Kenobi…you’re my only hope.” 😉
Buzzfeed: 13 Clever Signs that Will Make You Want to Buy a Book
reproduces bookstore “signage”…and those can be quite clever.
You should go to see the pictures…I love the one that explains why every book is actually…well, let’s just say science fiction technology, and let you discover why. 😉
The Book-Lovers’ Anthology from 1911
The always reliable EBOOK FRIENDLY
about a book which is in the public domain from 1911 about the love of books. They link to sources there.
Sex sells…but not always enough
There is mythology out there that the one absolutely sure business is selling sex, but it just doesn’t work that way.
I’ve listed freebies in the past in this blog from the publisher Ellora’s Cave, which specializes in…um…let’s go with erotic romance.
Well, they’ve recently had to lay some people off (and I am not going to comment on that phrase in this context) ;), due to a big drop in sales…that is only happening at Amazon.
They don’t know why.
It’s interesting to speculate. Amazon does get pressure to not carry erotica, or to make it not appear in search results.
Is it possible the e-tailer has done something which reduces the visibility and discoverablity of Ellora’s Cave, therefore reducing the sales?
Perhaps…but that’s pure speculation.
It could also be that there is increased competition from indies (independent publishers). I took a look, and the books do not appear to be in Kindle Unlimited or the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.
That’s an interesting question (even though KU has only been around a month and isn’t likely to have had this sort of impact on this company yet).
Could it be that small tradpubs are going to be most hurt by new models?
The larger tradpubs are often part of media conglomerates, and simply have more reserves (including the brand name authors). They may be able to batten down the hatches and get through some changes.
Indies clearly benefit from new models, like KU. Many publisher will make more money when there are books are borrowed than they would if they were sold.
The smaller tradpubs, which at first benefited from the more open distribution of e-books, may find that if they are not super discoverable, people who are willing to with a non-tradpub will simply take the ones they find, rather than digging around.
That would be an important turn of events, and perhaps an unfortunate one.
Authors might end up with two choices: go with a huge tradpub, or go it on your own.
Going it “on your own” doesn’t mean that you don’t have an editor and other resources…it does mean you might have to pay for them yourself.
We’ll have to see what happens going forward.
What do you think? Is Amazon the best hope for authors…let’s say ten years from now? Are smaller tradpubs especially at risk? What’s the best bookstore sign you ever saw? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.
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* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. Shop ’til you help!
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.