I missed this article when it was published a couple of days ago, but it points to the possibility that Sony will soon be introducing a pliable, 13.3-inch reading device. There have been hints at these types of newspaper-friendly units for several years now – this one could be available in late 2013.
A few short articles about 2012 sales figures:
Ebooks now 1/5 of US book sales: Mashable
Ebooks account for nearly 1 billion in trade growth: Digital Book World
Ebooks account for 20% of US books sales in 2012: Good E-Reader
An interesting point about the above three articles is each respective author (or website editor) has his or her own way to spell “e-book.” I have struggled with this myself, mainly because there appears to be a kind of view emerging that the “camel-case” (or CamelCase) spelling – “eBook” – is “classier.” I think this is happening because people have become too influenced by brand spelling (iPhone, PowerPoint, AstroTurf, et cetera). However, it is incorrect. Forcing a lower-case “e” also looks horrible at the beginning of a sentence. If it is not a proper noun, one must be able to capitalize it at the beginning of a sentence. “EBook?” No.
Most dictionaries agree that the hyphenated “e-book” is the correct spelling. This is OK, but just as “e-mail” is now usually spelled “email,” I think “ebooks” will emerge as the standard. “E-reader” and “e-ink” will likely follow the same path. Note that the term “E Ink” with no hyphen is a
brand company name, and I think the camel-case spelling “eReader” belongs to Kobo.
At SXSW 2013 Google revealed a bit more about Project Glass, their potentially revolutionary wearable tech to be built onto a pair of eyeglasses. Aside from my own interest in the hardware’s compatibility with prescription glasses, the most interesting new development from a publishing perspective that nobody seems to be talking about is the incorporation of Read Aloud technology.
Although the $1,500 pre-orders of the Explorer Edition will not be compatible with prescription lenses, some speculate the price will be anywhere from $200 (roughly the cost of the parts to make the device) to a higher-end $500. Read Robert Scoble’s piece about this here.
Looks like we could see colour e-ink Kindles at some point in the next year or two – mobile reading expert Nate Hoffelder has been following this story for a while and has today confirmed Amazon has purchased electrowetting screen tech subsidiary Liquavista from Samsung.
Adobe’s decision to abandon the traditional software publishing model with Creative Suite in favour of the Creative Cloud subscription model should not really shock anyone, but is a major event in the history of computer software. Photoshop has long been the industry standard for bitmap-based editing tools. Vector-based editing tool Illustrator has been around for a long time but really only defeated its main rival Macromedia Freehand when Adobe acquired Macromedia. And InDesign was able to bump QuarkXpress as the industry standard page-layout tool years ago simply because it offered compatibility with all of the other existing tools in the digital designer’s toolkit – and it didn’t hurt that the Creative Suite bundles offered several of these tools all at once at a significantly reduced price.
Lost in the excitement is the decision to cull Fireworks. Web design and development veterans will remember using Macromedia Fireworks in the late ’90s to slice up and export graphical website designs from Photoshop files into table-based HTML layouts. It is also interesting to note that Fireworks used the PNG format with metadata as a native file format. (UPDATE: Also forgot to mention – it was the first software program to provide truly advanced editing tools for the horrible animated GIF, which is currently “all the rage.”)
In any case, any smart book publishing industry analyst will pay attention to this move, and will likely already have spent many hours considering whether it might work with book-length content…
Fancy rebuilding your entire Goodreads profile in another application? Riffle launched this morning, and while there are definitely bugs, it appears to be significantly simpler than Goodreads. Obviously, we won’t know how good the discoverability algorithms and features are for a while.
I do not like the fact that Riffle forces you to follow 15 strangers based on your selection of a few books. This can be changed once you’ve created your profile.
Check it out – you can sign in with your Facebook or Twitter account, but unfortunately it doesn’t appear to be able to import Goodreads picks and reviews. Not yet, anyway.
Some interesting answers to this Quora question, a couple of which touch on the importance of technological flexibility.