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Old 08-22-2010, 07:08 AM   #1
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A radical future for book publishing - Independent

An article in the Independent today, discusses the development of children's books on the iPad. It includes the interesting statistic that Apple are selling 77000 ebooks per day.

As they are selling ~1m iPads per month, which is about 33000 iPads per day, it's not clear whether this is people buying a couple of books for their new device, or a long-term trend. They have also released iBooks to their existing user base for iOS (they ask explicitly if you want it in the app store, rather than waiting for people to discover it), which is another 100m new users in the same time frame.

So, I'm not sure what to make of these stats yet, but it's interesting.
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Old 08-22-2010, 07:10 AM   #2
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I've noticed it says "downloading new books", not buying them. I wonder if there is some statistics-massaging going on here. Does the free Winnie the Pooh get downloaded? That would be 33000 per day from iPad sales, plus download to every iOS device that enables iBooks.
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Old 08-22-2010, 11:56 AM   #3
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I'm not sure what to do with that stat -- 77,000 downloads a day. It doesn't sound like a new piece of info from Apple but rather the author's reformulation of one of Apple's teaser tidbits a while back. He doesn't say "In the first three months of iPad availability, Apple sold 77,000 ebooks per day". I note he claims the "fifth of the market" which is a variant on Apple's claim in May of 20% of the ebook market. So, again, I'm just not sure this is a new fact at all or even reflects recent activity.

Sony's bookstore not long ago talked about the milestone of 10 million books "downloaded" (press release, May 27, 2010).

One of the things I liked about the much discussed Amazon stats is that they specifically called out "purchased" books, leaving free downloads out of the picture. Then there was the 1 million Steig Larsson and nearly 1 million James Patterson ebooks. Perhaps a few of those were free but most would be genuine commercial sales.

The article does raise the fear -- without exactly putting it this way -- that more and more young people will "lose literacy" as encounters with any sort of "long form" text disappear in a onslaught of video and aural bombardment and interaction. Critical thinking is a skill developed learning to take a longer view, and time to consider multiple aspects. Slicing everything into bite sized pieces doesn't lay the ground work for that training. One shudders to think of what would be made of Wind in the Willows as it is iPad-ized.
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Old 08-22-2010, 05:02 PM   #4
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If they are counting comic books in the "books" category, there are lots of free comics when you install either the Marvel or Comixology apps. It's practically impossible to install either of those apps without getting at least one free comic book.

On the other hand, the iPad is very good for reading comics.
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Old 08-23-2010, 02:05 AM   #5
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***more and more young people will "lose literacy" as encounters with any sort of "long form" text disappear in a onslaught of video and aural bombardment and interaction***

Yesterday morning, I'd have readily agreed with that, SensualPoet. Last night changed my mind completely.

My sixteen-year-old granddaughter's over at my place in France for a visit. I reckoned she was pretty much representative of her age group, judging by her FaceBook posts and text messages in some kind of odd jargon I can hardly understand. All phonetic, obscure abbreviations, no capitals and no punctuation.

Last night, she suddenly became dead silent on a lounger on my terrace. I noticed she was reading a YA paperback. After two or three hours, she toddled off to bed and I took a look at the book. It runs to well over 500 pages and a bookmark showed she was more than half way through. She'd been utterly absorbed while three or four handy computers lay idle. I also noticed that she was taking encouraging interest in my reader.

Maybe I misunderstood all along and was too qiuck to judge. Cheers. Neil
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Old 08-23-2010, 03:43 AM   #6
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I have down-loaded about thirty books from Apple; I have only paid for one of them. They have a large number of free books available, probably mostly from Gutenberg.
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Old 08-23-2010, 04:29 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by neilmarr View Post
***more and more young people will "lose literacy" as encounters with any sort of "long form" text disappear in a onslaught of video and aural bombardment and interaction***

Yesterday morning, I'd have readily agreed with that, SensualPoet. Last night changed my mind completely.

My sixteen-year-old granddaughter's over at my place in France for a visit. I reckoned she was pretty much representative of her age group, judging by her FaceBook posts and text messages in some kind of odd jargon I can hardly understand. All phonetic, obscure abbreviations, no capitals and no punctuation.

Last night, she suddenly became dead silent on a lounger on my terrace. I noticed she was reading a YA paperback. After two or three hours, she toddled off to bed and I took a look at the book. It runs to well over 500 pages and a bookmark showed she was more than half way through. She'd been utterly absorbed while three or four handy computers lay idle. I also noticed that she was taking encouraging interest in my reader.

Maybe I misunderstood all along and was too qiuck to judge. Cheers. Neil
This reminded me of seeing David Crystal on the BBC the other day - I've found it on youtube.

Only the BBC would make this program Hurrah!
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Old 08-23-2010, 05:17 AM   #8
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Whilst admiring Project Gutenberg's altruisctic initiative, intentions of the very best and undoubted success and contribution, Tim, many of their books are badly presented. Here at Mobile Read, although choice is undoubtedly more restricted, the care taken in digital conversions and in proof reading by generous and expert members over classics and other Public Domain titlles they freely offer on site shines through. Well worth a try. Cheers. Neil
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Old 08-23-2010, 05:22 AM   #9
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Whilst admiring Project Gutenberg's altruisctic initiative, intentions of the very best and undoubted success and contribution, Tim, many of their books are badly presented. Here at Mobile Read, although choice is undoubtedly more restricted, the care taken in digital conversions and in proof reading by generous and expert members over classics and other Public Domain titlles they freely offer on site shines through. Well worth a try. Cheers. Neil
PG books that are 'badly presented' may be because they seek to emulate the printed book, and that might not be in the best format for readers.
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Old 08-23-2010, 10:43 AM   #10
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Hi Neil

So far as I can tell, the iBooks versions have been cleaned up prior to their being put on the shelves.
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Old 08-23-2010, 10:46 AM   #11
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You could well be right, Geoff. I've read a lot of Gutenberg books, though, and I agree that a great many are anything but pleasing to the eye. But, but, but there's one heck of a lot of work there that would otherwise die a death or at least remain obscure. They and their volunteers do a terrific job. Cheers. Neil
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