First of all, in spite of the fact they use the horrible phrase “the Pintrest of book discovery” even though many people have already created pinboards specifically for books, this PW article is a nice overview of Riffle, another stab at a discoverability app. (Full disclosure: the Riffle link is my referral link, and if you click on it, you’ll help me get an invitation sooner.)
Hopefully the above application can help people discover digital literary fiction. As this PW article points out, most if not all of the ebook success stories we hear about are in genre fiction, and sales of literary fiction are not growing along with the rest.
Add the print book’s cover to the long list of things from traditional publishing that have been declared “dead.” Actually, this essay by Craig Mod is a very useful exploration of how book design is changing overall, with a specific focus on how the role of the cover is being transformed by designers. This is terrific reading for anyone with an interest in book design.
According to an article in the Korea Herald, LG will introduce a smartphone with a 5-inch screen boasting a full 1080 HD display. This means that the vertical measure of the display will be 1080 pixels deep, which is equivalent to large-screen HDTV sets. To scrunch all those pixels into such a tiny screen a pixel density of 440 ppi is required, which is technically higher than even high-quality art books. This will mean very crisp text – albeit still on a backlit screen, if that matters to you.
As a comparison, the iPhone 4S offers a 3.5-inch 960 x 640 display and a pixel density of 326 ppi.
This somewhat longish article explains in some detail why publishers are moving away from device-specific apps and towards HTML5 to deliver content on mobile devices. There are a lot of reasons for this, but basically, it’s cheaper, easier and arguably just better to deliver content via a website instead of an app.
Gluejar is a fascinating new publishing model that will enable fundraising to encourage rights holders to re-release existing content under a Creative Commons license. So, a one-time fee to make your content free. Not sure how this will go over as I think many creators prefer the idea of a lifetime of royalties, even small amounts, over a one-time payment that may prevent them from re-monetizing content at a later date. Having said that, this could work in conjunction with other models for sure – give the short version or previous edition away for free, and charge for a premium or illustrated version, perhaps?
Today, Techcrunch has a short feature on Hyperink, a service enabling bloggers to turn their posts into ebooks. My first impulse is to question the need for a paid service getting in between the blog-to-book process, especially as Techcrunch pegged costs at “under $1,000 on average,” which I found a bit high until I discovered Hyperink actually provides copyediting and fact-checking services, which every self-published author should pay for.
I’m not sure that I agree with Jani Patokallio’s conclusions in this angry blog post, but I can appreciate his frustration. Note that he is biased in favour of Lonely Planet’s PDF guides, because he works for them. I consider PDFs ebooks as well. Still, a terrific post.