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Old 08-25-2010, 10:43 AM   #1
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Ereading all over today's Wall Street Journal

Get 'em while they're still free!

Amazon loses e-book deal (Random House puts the kibosh on the "Wylie exclusive" deal concerning 20th century classics)

The ABC's of e-reading (news flash! e-readers appear to encourage more reading)

Barnes & Noble sales fall amid costly move to digital

And not specifically about books, a tangentially-related article: I'll have a latte and an outlet (about finding a place to plug in while in public)
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Old 08-25-2010, 12:33 PM   #2
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What got my attention was a quote in the first article, "Mr. Lynch, the retailer's former digital chief who was appointed CEO (added note: CEO of B&N) in March, said in the conference call that the company sees "only three to four big players in the e-book market over time" because of the cost and difficulty of converting books to a digital format..."

He's probably correct about "only three to four big players ... over time," but it irritates me that he pushes the notion that e-books are difficult and expensive to produce. I think it's just an attempt by the industry to brainwash people into believeing it's so to justify high e-book prices.

Typesetting is done by compter so there is no added cost for producing an electronic file. Scanning an existing book and OCR'ing it and editing it can be done cheaply. There are member here that say they can do it in 3-4 hours with less than $1k worth of equipment. Once the file exists, it is ridiculously easy to produce an ebook in any format you desire. Ask any of many people here at MR that produce the e-books in the download forum.

Last edited by gastan; 08-25-2010 at 12:37 PM.
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Old 08-25-2010, 01:57 PM   #3
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Typesetting is done by compter so there is no added cost for producing an electronic file.
And once the manuscript is typeset for printing (postscript?), it is trivial to convert that file to any desired format.
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Old 08-25-2010, 02:14 PM   #4
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The most checked-out adult fiction e-book at libraries is Stieg Larsson's bestseller, "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," according to Overdrive, a company that provides e-book loans for more than 11,000 libraries. The same is true at Amazon, the largest e-bookstore online, where Mr. Larsson also tops e-book bestseller lists.
What? How can that be? I thought book lending was cutting into sales, so the most lent book can't also possibly be the biggest seller!!!
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Old 08-25-2010, 04:40 PM   #5
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What caught my eye is the quote that is next to the Barnes & Nobles sales fall article. It says

" Please don't sell B&N stock short! It has become my library, with the best magazine selection ever. I flip through at least two dozen magazines and read at least one book there with my Starbucks coffee. My average stay is two hours. ”

Is this person asking the stock holders to subsidize his favorite past time at B&N? Well, to be fair, he does buy coffee.

No wonder the B&N brick and mortar store is going out of business since people are treating it like a non-profit library, instead of a bookstore. Borders and B&N located in my neighborhood are always jam packed, especially the cafe area; however, the foot traffic to the cashier line is rather lacking comparatively. I believe a lot of people like to take advantage of the product try out and other amenities offered by the brick and mortar retail stores even though they'll eventually buy from the internet vendors. With this trend, this guy won’t be seeing his neighborhood B&N library around for much longer; in fact, he won't be seeing any brick and mortar stores around for much longer except probably Walmart or Costco or of course, Louis Vitton.
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Old 08-25-2010, 06:51 PM   #6
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I just finished reading the ABCs of e-reading in the print version of the WSJ. The stats are what caught my eye. In the General forum here, we have a lot of polls, but these polls are biased because only forum members will see them, and we are enthusiasts. Here are some of the stats:
  • 51% of e-reader owners increased their purchases of ebooks in the past year.
  • 9% of consumers increased their purchases of hardcover books in the past year.
  • Average # of books read by e-reader owners in a month: 2.6
  • Average # of books read by print book readers in a month: 1.9 (we read 37% more!)
  • 176% increase in U.S. electronic book sales in 2009
  • 1.8% decrease in U.S. book sales from 2008 to 2009. (I assume they meant print books)
  • 51% of e-reader owners read on their device on a daily basis
  • 86% of e-reader owners read on their device more than once a week.

From these stats, it seems like there are a lot of e-reader owners who don't participate here, because our numbers are more drastic. (for example, I think a vast majority of us here read on our devices every day)
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Old 08-25-2010, 07:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rebo View Post
What caught my eye is the quote that is next to the Barnes & Nobles sales fall article. It says

" Please don't sell B&N stock short! It has become my library, with the best magazine selection ever. I flip through at least two dozen magazines and read at least one book there with my Starbucks coffee. My average stay is two hours. ”

Is this person asking the stock holders to subsidize his favorite past time at B&N? Well, to be fair, he does buy coffee.

No wonder the B&N brick and mortar store is going out of business since people are treating it like a non-profit library, instead of a bookstore. Borders and B&N located in my neighborhood are always jam packed, especially the cafe area; however, the foot traffic to the cashier line is rather lacking comparatively. I believe a lot of people like to take advantage of the product try out and other amenities offered by the brick and mortar retail stores even though they'll eventually buy from the internet vendors. With this trend, this guy won’t be seeing his neighborhood B&N library around for much longer; in fact, he won't be seeing any brick and mortar stores around for much longer except probably Walmart or Costco or of course, Louis Vitton.
It doesn't have to be this way. We've discussed methods for B&M bookstores to thrive in an eBook world but it would take some effort by the book stores and the cooperation of the publishers. My favorite idea that gets discussed at least once a year is to sell eBooks in the bookstore. You take your selection to the cash register, pay the clerk and the clerk puts an SD card in the cash register and downloads the book to it. That book is encrypted using a seed based on the store number, cash register number and exact date and time of the sale, and encrypted to that SD card.

You would read these books with the card in your reader. It decrypts and renders anything that's put in it, and ideally can read whatever format it finds (they are essentially all DRM free after being decrypted as described). Owners could then loan the SD carded books, give them away or sell them just like a paper book.

eBook downloads would continue as they are now but they would be rented, not sold, with the agreement clearly stated before purchase. This method is more convenient but you don't own the book.

In every other way the B&M experience would be just like it is now, with coffee shop, racks, helpful staff, bright lights, SD Chip Library containers, everything the same. Except maybe they'd also have a rack full of different brands of book readers, covers, slip cases, etc. for sale.
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Old 08-25-2010, 07:18 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by JeremyZ View Post
From these stats, it seems like there are a lot of e-reader owners who don't participate here, because our numbers are more drastic. (for example, I think a vast majority of us here read on our devices every day)
I don't think Mobileread members are in anyway indicative of the general public, or readers in general....very specialized subgroup
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Old 08-25-2010, 08:14 PM   #9
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I don't think Mobileread members are in anyway indicative of the general public, or readers in general....very specialized subgroup
No kidding! Who here ONLY reads 2-3 books per month?!
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Old 08-25-2010, 10:15 PM   #10
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The ending of the second article is... egregious:

Quote:
But paper pages do have one benefit that electronic devices don't have: They don't need to be put away during takeoff and landing on airplanes. On a recent trip to Seattle, 64-year-old Jamie McKenzie, a Bellingham, Wash.-based writer, said he felt a sense of superiority when his seatmate was asked to turn off his Kindle to prepare for takeoff.

"That guy may have had access to 10,000 books, but I was the one who was able to keep reading," he says.
This is probably the most psychopatic feeling and reasoning I've ever seen.
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Old 08-26-2010, 02:19 PM   #11
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The ending of the second article is... egregious:

This is probably the most psychopatic feeling and reasoning I've ever seen.
Yeah. I use that time to read the SkyMall catalog.
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Old 08-26-2010, 04:07 PM   #12
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Hey, when you're stuck on a losing path you have to take your sense of superiority where you find it. At least she didn't try to buy a sense of superiority at an Apple store.
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Old 08-27-2010, 01:25 AM   #13
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No kidding! Who here ONLY reads 2-3 books per month?!
I only read 2-3 books per month.

But they are large books... 600+ pages usually.

The other month I read a lot more books because I was getting caught up in my 'light' classics like Alice in Wonderland, A Christmas Carol, Peter Pan and Wendy, etc., which are all around 100-150 pages. I probably read eight of those. But the same number of pages per month.

I'd guess I probably read 1200-1500 paperback-sized pages per month.
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Old 08-27-2010, 06:21 AM   #14
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[QUOTE=gastan;1074605]" because of the cost and difficulty of converting books to a digital format..."

Yes, cost me $22 and about 4 hours.
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Old 08-27-2010, 08:28 AM   #15
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" because of the cost and difficulty of converting books to a digital format..."

Yes, cost me $22 and about 4 hours.
Per book?
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