Archive for the 'Publishing' Category

New from Amazon: Kindle for iPhone and iPod Touch

Posted in E-Books, Publishing on March 4th, 2009

Amazon has released the Kindle for iPhone and iPod Touch.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) today introduced "Kindle for iPhone and iPod touch," a new application available for free from Apple's App Store that lets customers enjoy over 240,000 books, including 104 of 112 New York Times Bestsellers, on the iPhone and iPod touch using Apple's Multi-Touch user interface. Amazon's new Whispersync technology saves and synchronizes a customer's bookmark across their original Kindle, Kindle 2, iPhone and iPod touch, so customers always have their reading with them and never lose their place. Kindle customers can read a few pages on their iPhone or iPod touch and pick up right where they left off on their Kindle or Kindle 2. . . .

The Kindle application for iPhone and iPod touch lets customers bring their Kindle books with them wherever they go and takes full advantage of Apple's Multi-Touch user interface. With the new Kindle for iPhone and iPod touch application, customers can:

  • Shop for hundreds of thousands of books on their Kindle or online at http://www.amazon.com/kindlestore, and wirelessly transfer the books to their iPhone or iPod touch
  • Access their entire library of previously purchased Kindle books stored on Amazon’s servers
  • Adjust the text size of books
  • Add bookmarks and view notes and highlights

Kindle for iPhone and iPod touch is available for free from Apple’s App Store on iPhone and iPod touch or at www.itunes.com/appstore/.

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    Thomson Reuters Scientific's 2008 Revenues Were $604 Million

    Posted in Publishing, Scholarly Journals on March 3rd, 2009

    Thomson Reuters Scientific had revenues of $604 million, which represented a 8% increase "before currency," partially fueled by the ISI Web of Knowledge/Web of Science's double-digit growth.

    Here's an excerpt from the press release:

    Full-year operating profit grew 4% to $171 million with the related margin decreasing 70 basis points to 28.3%, primarily due to incremental investments in Asia.

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      Following the Money Trail: MAPLight.org Report on Campaign Contributions and the Fair Copyright in Research Works Act

      Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Journals, Self-Archiving on March 3rd, 2009

      MAPLight.org has released "Report on HR 801, Fair Copyright in Research Works Act: Report Shows Campaign Contributions Given to Sponsors of Fair Copyright in Research Works Act." (Thanks to the Huffington Post and Open Access News.)

      Here's an excerpt:

      MAPLight.org's research team released data today showing campaign contributions given to members of the House Committee on the Judiciary from publishing interests during the 2008 election cycle (Jan. 2007 through Dec. 2008). MAPLight.org analyzed campaign contribution data provided by the Center for Responsive Politics and determined that the publishing industry gave an average of $5,150 to each of the bill's five bill sponsors and an average of $2,506 to each of the other 34 non-sponsor members of the Committee. Total publishing industry contributions given to the House Committee on the Judiciary were $110,950.

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        Faber Publishing Experiment: Let Readers Decide What to Pay for Book Download

        Posted in Publishing on March 2nd, 2009

        Although it will have a recommended price of £14.99, Faber will let readers decide what to pay, including nothing, in order to download a digital copy of Ben Wilson's What Price Liberty?.

        Read more about it at "Faber Launches 'Pay-What-You-Want' Ebook'" and "'Pay What You Want' Ebook from Faber."

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          "Toward the Design of an Open Monograph Press"

          Posted in E-Books, Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Books on March 1st, 2009

          As part of a thematic issue on open access, The Journal of Electronic Publishing has published a paper by John Willinsky titled "Toward the Design of an Open Monograph Press."

          Here's the abstract:

          This paper reviews and addresses the critical issues currently confronting monograph publishing as a matter of reduced opportunities for scholars to pursue book-length projects. In response, it proposes an alternative approach to monograph publishing based on a modular design for an online system that would foster, manage, and publish monographs in digital and print forms using open source software developments, drawn from journal publishing, and social networking technologies that might contribute to not only to the sustainability of monograph publishing but to the quality of the resulting books.

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            ACLS Humanities E-Book XML Conversion Experiment: Report on Workflow, Costs, and User Preferences

            Posted in Digitization, E-Books, Publishing on March 1st, 2009

            The American Council of Learned Societies has released ACLS Humanities E-Book XML Conversion Experiment: Report on Workflow, Costs, and User Preferences.

            Here's an excerpt:

            In 2008, ACLS Humanities E-Book (HEB)—a subscription-based online collection of over 2,200 digital titles in the humanities—undertook an experiment to investigate the possibility of a future mass conversion of e-books preexisting in a scanned, page-image format into XML-encoded files. . . .

            HEB had 20 sample page-image titles from its backlist converted to XML, using OCR-derived text files that had been created during the initial scanning process to enable searching. The books were tagged using a simplified version of HEB's standard specifications, to reduce the need for editorial intervention. . . . The cost of creating the XML titles was considerably greater than that associated with scanning (about $400 versus $170 per title).

            The XML books were presented in the HEB collection side by side with their page-image counterparts. Despite any conversion-related flaws, our subsequent user survey indicated that readers preferred the XML format by a margin of about two to one, the most relevant factors cited in this regard being readability, accessible text, and additional features and functions not available in the page-image version.

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              Former Congressman Thomas H. Allen Named President and CEO of the Association of American Publishers

              Posted in People in the News, Publishing on March 1st, 2009

              Thomas H. Allen, former Democratic six-term House of Representatives member from Maine, has been named President and CEO of the Association of American Publishers.

              Here's an excerpt from the press release:

              "In this age of rapidly changing technology, we must not lose sight of the abiding importance of the written word to our culture, society and our democratic institutions," Mr. Allen said. "AAP advocates on issues of paramount importance ranging from free speech and education to the protection of intellectual property rights and international freedom to publish. I am excited about tackling the challenges of this new position and its responsibilities to the publishing industry and the reading public."

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                Wolters Kluwer's Subscription and Other Non-Cyclical Revenues 2,441 Million Euros in 2008, Up 3%

                Posted in Publishing, Scholarly Journals on March 1st, 2009

                Wolters Kluwer's subscription and other non-cyclical revenues were 2,441 million euros in 2008, up 3% from 2007.

                Here's an excerpt from the press release:

                While market contractions were felt in all geographies, the company benefited from a resilient portfolio with a majority of revenue streams derived from subscription and other non-cyclical products, driven by legislative change, medical discoveries, and the increasing productivity needs of the professionals the company serves. Two thirds of revenues are subscription based with improving retention rates. The balance of the portfolio is comprised of transactional products including books, mortgage and corporate lending-based products, advertising and promotional services, and training. It is in these transactional areas that Wolters Kluwer experienced the pressure of the economic slow down.

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                  Amazon Lets Publishers Decide on Whether Their Books Can Be Read Aloud by Kindle on Title-by-Title Basis

                  Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, E-Books, Publishing on March 1st, 2009

                  Amazon will let publishers determine whether their e-books can be read aloud by the Kindle on a title-by-title basis.

                  Here's an excerpt from the press release:

                  Kindle 2's experimental text-to-speech feature is legal: no copy is made, no derivative work is created, and no performance is being given. Furthermore, we ourselves are a major participant in the professionally narrated audiobooks business through our subsidiaries Audible and Brilliance. We believe text-to-speech will introduce new customers to the convenience of listening to books and thereby grow the professionally narrated audiobooks business.

                  Nevertheless, we strongly believe many rightsholders will be more comfortable with the text-to-speech feature if they are in the driver's seat.

                  Therefore, we are modifying our systems so that rightsholders can decide on a title by title basis whether they want text-to-speech enabled or disabled for any particular title. We have already begun to work on the technical changes required to give authors and publishers that choice. With this new level of control, publishers and authors will be able to decide for themselves whether it is in their commercial interests to leave text-to-speech enabled. We believe many will decide that it is.

                  As reported previously, the Authors Guild was opposed to an unbridled read aloud Kindle capability. Here's an excerpt from "The Engadget Interview: Paul Aiken, Executive Director of the Authors Guild."

                  [Aiken] Well, the legal objections fall in a couple categories. One is the basic copyright objection which I know has been bandied about a lot online, and that objection comes in two parts. There's the unauthorized reproduction of the work which is one claim under copyright law—for that there has to be fixation of the copy and there's a legal question as to whether or not there's adequate fixation in the Kindle. The second claim is that text-to-speech creates a derivative work, and under most theories of copyright law, there doesn't have to be fixation for there to be a derivative work created.

                  Amazon's decision has been controversial. For example,here's an excerpt from Lawrence Lessig's "Caving into Bullies (Aka, Here We Go Again)":

                  We had this battle before. In 2001, Adobe released e-book technology that gave rights holders (including publishers of public domain books) the ability to control whether the Adobe e-book reader read the book aloud. The story got famous when it was shown that one of its public domain works—Alice's Adventures in Wonderland—was marked to forbid the book to be read aloud. . . .

                  But the bigger trend here is much more troubling: Innovative technology company (Amazon (Kindle 2), Google (Google Books)) releases new innovative way to access or use content; so-called "representatives" of rights owners, Corleone-like, baselessly insist on a cut; innovative technology company settles with baseless demanders, and we're all arguably worse off.

                  We're worse off with the Kindle because if the right get set by the industry that publishers get to control a right which Congress hasn't given them—the right to control whether I can read my book to my kid, or my Kindle can read a book to me—users and innovators have less freedom. And we may be worse off with Google Books, because (in ways not clear when the settlement was first reported) the consequence of the class action mechanism may well disable users and innovators from doing what fair use plainly entitled Google to do.

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                    ACRL, ALA, and ARL Will File Google Book Search Settlement Amicus Brief

                    Posted in ALA, ARL Libraries, Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, Google and Other Search Engines, Mass Digitizaton, Publishing on February 27th, 2009

                    The American Library Association, the Association of College and Research Libraries, and the Association of Research Libraries will file an amicus brief authored by Jonathan Band about the Google Book Search Settlement.

                    Read more about it at "Library Organizations to File Amicus Brief in Google Book Search Settlement."

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                      Frankfurt Book Fair Survey on Digitization Impacts on the Future of Publishing

                      Posted in E-Books, Publishing on February 27th, 2009

                      The Frankfurt Book Fair has released a press release that describes the results of a survey of over 1,000 industry professionals from over 30 countries about the impact of digitization on the future of publishing. (Thanks to HangingTogether.)

                      Here's an excerpt:

                      The survey also reveals that current opinion is divided on the future of the e-books and digital content versus the printed word. 40 per cent of respondents expect e-content to overtake traditional book sales as early as 2018—whereas a third predict that this will never happen.

                      Perhaps more surprisingly still, almost 60 per cent of respondents do not currently use e-books and e-readers at all, and 66 per cent of industry professionals still expect traditional books to dominate the market in five years time, with very few expecting e-books (seven per cent) or e-readers (two per cent) to be the main sources of revenue by 2013.

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                        "Publishing an E-Journal on a Shoe String: Is It a Sustainable Project?"

                        Posted in Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Journals on February 26th, 2009

                        Pietro Cavaleri, Michael Keren, and Giovanni B. Ramello have made "Publishing an E-Journal on a Shoe String: Is It a Sustainable Project?" available in EconPapers. (Thanks to Open Access News.)

                        Here's the abstract:

                        The aim of this article is to report on an experiment in publishing an open access journal and learn from it about the larger field of open access publishing. The experiment is the launch of the European Journal of Comparative Economics (EJCE), an on-line refereed and open access journal, founded in 2004 by the European Association for Comparative Economic Studies and LIUC University in Italy. They embarked upon this project in part to respond to the rising concentration in the market for scientific publishing and the resulting use of market power to raise subscription prices and restrict access to scientific output. We had hoped that open access journals could provide some countervailing power and increase competition in the field. Our experience running a poorly endowed journal has shown that entry to the field may be easy, yet that making it a sustainable enterprise is not straightforward.

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