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Old 03-08-2010, 07:54 AM   #1
Argel
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Ben Bova foresaw it all...

...at least according to this article by the man himself:

Ben Bova: I saw e-books (and related problems) coming
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Old 03-08-2010, 08:11 AM   #2
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i was with him till amazon's desire to control prices on their own website - just like many stores control the price they sell merchandise for - was basically evil, and that his poor little publisher was going to go broke. he seemed to assume that what his publisher claimed must be true.
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Old 03-08-2010, 08:12 AM   #3
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Good read, thanks for posting!
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Old 03-08-2010, 08:30 AM   #4
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A major component that Mr. Bova overlooks is the cost of marketing and promoting titles nowadays so they don't get lost in the shuffle especially for newer authors. There is still typesetting/proofreading for all the different reader formats too.

Last edited by Tamara; 03-08-2010 at 08:55 AM.
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Old 03-08-2010, 08:52 AM   #5
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Given that amazon would still have to pay the publisher a certain price regardless of how much amazon decided to charge, his overly emotive claim about amazon building a monopoly on the bodies of starving writers appears idiotic.
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Old 03-08-2010, 09:37 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Argel View Post
...at least according to this article by the man himself:

Ben Bova: I saw e-books (and related problems) coming
Why is it that the science-fiction authors, who you'd think would be more clued in on technology, are always the ones who write these stupid, clueless articles? Then again I'm coming to the realisation of late that science-fiction is the most conservative and staid of all the marketed genres, so it should be no surprise.
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Old 03-08-2010, 11:27 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tamara View Post
There is still typesetting/proofreading for all the different reader formats too.
Why would they need proof readers for each different format? Given the number of mistakes in all the commercial ebooks I have bought so far, I'm not really convinced they employ them at all.
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Old 03-08-2010, 11:48 AM   #8
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Ninety percent of a book publisher’s expenses are the cost of hauling paper across the countryside: from paper mill to printing plant, from printing plant to book distributors’ warehouses, from warehouses to book stores.

Ah, he obviously didn't get this year's memo.
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Old 03-08-2010, 12:34 PM   #9
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Mr. Bova was the Editor at Analog SF+SF for years.
Weight is expensive to handle: Fact
Union printing shops do not work cheaply: Fact

Someone is bending the percentages of expenses or deliberately being inefficient.
A single advertising program could cover all formats. Are the publishers double/triple dipping the advertising pot?
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Old 03-11-2010, 01:33 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tamara View Post
A major component that Mr. Bova overlooks is the cost of marketing and promoting titles nowadays so they don't get lost in the shuffle especially for newer authors. There is still typesetting/proofreading for all the different reader formats too.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mr ploppy View Post
Why would they need proof readers for each different format? Given the number of mistakes in all the commercial ebooks I have bought so far, I'm not really convinced they employ them at all.
I think there is a need for two different types of proofreaders:

- A text checker

- A format checker

The job of the text checker is to ensure that the text of the ebook is correct. He/She is not concerned with the formatting the text will take (and would likely work with a plain text editor), just the text itself. One text checker team is all that is needed for a particular ebook since that plain text file can act as a source for many different formats. Concerning graphics, they would be provided separately in a common format at high resolution, and markers would provided in the text file.

The job of the format checker is to ensure that an ebook is correctly formatted (both the way it is displayed and the file format) for a particular ereader. Since the text should already be accurate to the original source, all the format checker team should have to do is ensure that the text displays properly on an ereader and put the graphics in the proper places. In this case, you would like need several format checker teams to accomodate the many different types of ebooks.

The above would likely improve the quality of ebooks.
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