The weekly news magazine has launched its latest ebook, Chris Hadfield: #Good Morning, Earth, by reporter Kate Lunau. The book combines Lunau’s original reporting from NASA’s Johnson Space Center with Hadfield’s Twitter diary, photos, and space experiments.
Rumours are circulating that Hadfield has also signed a book deal, but there’s no word as to which publisher landed the deal.
Since February 2012, Maclean’s has published more than 20 digital titles, including most recently Maclean’s on Justin Trudeau and Maclean’s Portraits.
Simon & Schuster, the last of the Big Six multinational publishers to venture into ebook library distribution, will make its entire ebook catalogue available to libraries in New York City. A one-year trial will begin at the end of April at New York and Brooklyn public libraries and by mid-May in Queens. There’s no word on Canadian distribution yet.
S&S did not disclose details about ebook rates, though it stipulated fairly generous conditions compared to other publishers. Unlike HarperCollins, S&S won’t limit the number of times a book may be checked out. However, S&S has stipulated that titles may be checked out only one user at a time.
Unlike Penguin, which instituted a six-month lending delay after titles go on sale in stores and online, new titles will become available for purchase upon publication.
Ebook titles will be available to libraries for a one-year term. Following the lead of Penguin, the one-year expiration date is designed to mimic the shelf life of print books. Titles will also be available for purchase through libraries, presumably to patrons who don’t want to wait on the hold list until the book becomes available.
Barnes & Noble has launched Nook Press, a self-publishing service positioned to compete against Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing.
Based on technology from e-publishing company FastPencil, Nook Press features live-chat support, online composition and ePub formatting tools, commenting, and sales reporting. The program will replace B&N’s current self-publishing service, PubIt, which launched in 2010.
Nook Press is free to use and platform non-exclusive, with authors receiving 40 t0 65 per cent of the list price for all ebooks sold.
Amazon has announced it is acquiring the book-recommendation social network Goodreads.
Boasting more than 16 million members and 30,000 book clubs, Goodreads users can purchase books directly from the website, via a number of online retailers, including Amazon, Indigo, and Kobo. In a blog post, Goodreads CEO and co-founder Otis Chandler promises that an integration between the website and Amazon’s Kindle e-reader is “one of our top priorities.”
Chandler also writes: “Amazon supports us continuing to grow our vision as an independent entity, under the Goodreads brand and with our unique culture…. It’s important to be clear that Goodreads and the awesome team behind it are not going away.”
Financial details of the deal, expected to close in the second quarter of 2013, were not disclosed. Technology website TechCrunch reports that Goodreads has raised $2.75 million in funding since it launched in 2007.
According to the Washington Post, the patent was filed in 2009 and awarded on Jan. 29.
In 2012, a U.S. company called ReDigi, billing itself as “the world’s first pre-owned digital marketplace,” became embroiled in a copyright infringement lawsuit with Capital Records over its sale of used digital music. ReDigi has made clear its plans to expand into the ebook market once the lawsuit has been settled, responding to the Amazon news with its own statement: “the Amazon patent is further proof that the secondary market is the future of the digital space and that there is no turning back.”
Three of the world’s biggest publishers have formed an Avengers-style partnership with today’s launch of Bookish, a new consumer e-commerce website.
Hachette Book Group, Simon & Schuster, and Penguin Group are behind the site, which is described in a statement as a “one-stop, comprehensive online destination designed to connect readers with books and authors.”
Run by a separate editorial team led by CEO Ardy Khazaei, Bookish offers 2 million titles (print and digital) from 19 publishers, promoted through a recommendations engine, author profiles, stories, interviews, and first-chapter previews. The site launched with original material from Elizabeth Gilbert, Michael Connolly, and the parody website The Onion. Upcoming contributors include Jamaica Kincaid, Oliver Stone, Susan Orlean, and Rachael Ray. Like its competitor GoodReads, reader reviews will be encouraged.
Consumers can purchase directly from the website, or through links to third-party affiliates, including Kobo, Amazon, and Apple’s iBookstore. According to Publishers Weekly, which provides review content for Bookish, North Carolina distribution company Baker & Taylor is handling order fulfillment and setting prices.
Bookish was announced in 2011 but faced several technical and legal delays. In 2012, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a suit against Apple and five publishers (including the Bookish partners) for allegedly conspiring to increase ebook prices.
Hachette CEO David Young told the Associated Press: “We received clearance for Bookish, but every time any of us talk about something we have to conform to the DOJ rules. We aren’t behaving any differently than we were before, we just have to make sure that formal procedures are followed, like writing up a log after any meeting.”
While Amazon yesterday reported lower-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings and a decrease in sales for physical books, the company also announced that sales for ebooks have been steadily climbing.
In a press release, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos says, “We’re now seeing the transition we’ve been expecting. After five years, ebooks is a multi-billion-dollar category for us and growing fast – up approximately 70 per cent last year. In contrast, our physical book sales experienced the lowest December growth rate in our 17 years as a bookseller, up just 5 per cent.”
Canadians wanting to get their hands on a Kindle can now look closer to home. Amazon announced today that the latest generation of the popular e-reader is now available for sale on the company’s Canadian website, as well as in more than 1,000 retail stores countrywide, including Staples, the Source, and Shoppers Drug Mart.
“Customers can [now] buy from Amazon.ca, of course in Canadian dollars, with faster shipping,” says Peter Larsen, a vice-president at Amazon.
Until now, Canadian customers have had to rely on Amazon’s U.S. website to purchase e-readers. Larsen describes adding the devices to the Canadian website as completing the e-reading experience for customers north of the border.
“We’ve been surprised at how many customers have bought Kindles off [Amazon.com] in Canada,” Larsen says. “We actually have a good customer base here, but we expect it to grow significantly now that we’ve launched our devices.”
The latest generation Kindle will retail at $89, with the Kindle Paperwhite being sold for $139 for the WiFi-enabled version and $199 for the 3G option.
Kindle joins Kobo and Sony in selling its e-readers directly to Canadian consumers, with the latter devices already available in Canadian stores including Best Buy, Future Shop, Toys R Us, and Walmart. Kobo e-readers are also sold by Indigo.
A consortium of Nova Scotian universities is testing a pilot inter-library ebook lending service that is being touted as a “breakthrough for academic libraries in North America,”according to the Halifax website unews.ca.
Novanet – a diverse group of 10 universities that includes Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia Community College, and Université Sainte-Anne – paid a $100,000 deposit to ebook vendor EBL, which in turn allows all library patrons to access a centralized pool of 16,000 ebooks.
In an interview with unews.ca, Novanet manager Bill Slauenwhite says, “Publishers, especially academic publishers … they’re not happy about losing any of their market share. So this was a hard slog and a hard negotiation.”
The program, which will be evaluated for its success after a year, does have limitations: only 28 publishers are participating with a limited number of new titles.
Proving that social media is useful for more than stalking celebrities, the world’s first Twitter Fiction Festival kicks off today.
Until Dec. 2, a dedicated Twitter page will showcase 140-character experimental fiction, including a story from Toronto author Andrew Pyper.
Pyper’s “White House,” a retelling of Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw set in the present-day White House, will be featured from Nov. 29 to Dec. 2., 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Look for Pyper’s story under the name Hannah Bly (@whnanny).