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Tag: E-Books (1-10 of 57)

On the Books: Authors United warns Amazon, watch your reputation

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The 1,100 member group Authors United posted a letter of direct appeal to Amazon’s board of directors—urging them to end their book-pricing standoff with publisher Hachette, which has hurt some authors’ book sales.

The letter warns the board that their reputation may be at stake: “[I]f this is how Amazon continues to treat the literary community, how long will the company’s fine reputation last?” The appeal continues, noting similar disputes “have a long and ugly history,” and asking, “Do you, personally, want to be associated with this?” For months, Amazon has delayed shipments of books by Hachette authors and removed the preorder option for those titles in an attempt to force Hachette to lower its e-book prices. [NPR] READ FULL STORY

On the Books: Millennials read more than their elders, study finds

A new study from the Pew Research Center has yielded some surprising results on Americans’ reading habits across generations— finding that younger people are actually reading more books than their elders. The data shows that “88% of Americans under 30 read a book in the past year, compared with 79% of those age 30 and older.” The fact that Millennials read more than older Americans contradicts the popular characterization of a generation more interested in social media and the internet than paperbacks and hardcovers.

Another unexpected finding is that Millennials are equally as likely as older adults to have used a library in the past year. Additionally, Pew found that 62 percent of younger people believe there is “a lot of useful, important information that is not available on the Internet,” while only 53 percent of older Americans believe the same. [NPR]

Yesterday, Kindle users were notified by Amazon via email that they were eligible to receive damages from August’s court settlement of the class-action lawsuit filed against Apple for conspiring to fix ebook prices. Users may opt to receive a check or account credit. [Publishers Weekly]

In other Apple news, court papers filed on Sept. 4 disclose that Apple shareholders have sued the company’s executives for their role in “ensnaring Apple in a multi-year anticompetitive scheme to retail price competition… in the electronic book (‘e-book’) market.”

Herbert R. Lottman, the American biographer of influential French figures, died on Aug. 27 at the age of 87 after losing a battle with degenerative diseases, including Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. He wrote landmark accounts of French artists and intellectuals like Albert Camus, and he served as the European correspondent for Publishers Weekly for over three decades. [The New York Times]

On the Books: Mario Lopez memoir arriving this fall

Saved by the Bell‘s Mario Lopez’s upcoming memoir Just Between Us will be released on September 30. In the book, the Extra host opens up about his successes in the entertainment industry and “the heartbreaking mistakes” that still haunt him, including his highly public, and at times tumultuous, love life. In a release from his publisher Celebra, Lopez added, “There are no do-overs in life, so I had to learn to pick myself up and move forward, never forgetting the hard-won lessons. I’m thrilled to share my story in this memoir, to reveal the memories I’ve held close to my heart for the time.” This will be Lopez’s fourth book. [The Hollywood Reporter] READ FULL STORY

On The Books: Publisher accuses Amazon of deliberately delaying shipments of books

The publishing house Hachette Book Group has accused Amazon of deliberately delaying shipments of their books as a negotiation tactic to pressure the publisher into giving Amazon more favorable terms. Amazon has reportedly been marking many books published by Hachette as not available for at least two or three weeks. Titles by Malcolm Gladwell and J.D. Salinger are being delayed. Stephen Colbert’s America Again: Re-becoming the Greatness We Never Weren’t is listed as three weeks away, while James Patterson’s Alex Cross, Run is listed as a five-week wait. The New York Times reports that over the years Amazon has employed a number of ruthless tactics against publishing houses, even removing the “buy” buttons from some books! [New York Times] READ FULL STORY

Check out the interactive cover of Karen Russell's e-novella 'Sleep Donation'. You can poke it! -- EXCLUSIVE

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Whether with her bizarre novel Swamplandia! or her recent short story collection Vampires in the Lemon Grove, Pulitzer finalist Karen Russell has never shied away from literary experimentation. Now she’s tackling another form: the e-novella. The debut title from Atavist Books, Sleep Donation (out Mar. 25) will explore a future America in which an insomnia epidemic is affecting hundreds of thousands of people. Enter the Slumber Corps, an organization that urges healthy dreamers to donate sleep to an insomniac. Under the wealthy and enigmatic Storch brothers the Corps’ reach has grown, with outposts in every major US city. Trish Edgewater, whose sister Dori was one of the first victims of the lethal insomnia, has spent the past seven years recruiting for the Corps. But Trish’s faith in the organization and in her own motives begins to falter when she is confronted by “Baby A,” the first universal sleep donor, and the mysterious “Donor Y.”

For a novella with an inventive plot, legendary book jacket designer Chip Kidd came up with an ingenius cover design. “I’m in awe of Karen Russell as a writer, and the way she articulates her extraordinary ideas,” says Kidd. “It was a thrill to work for her, and to create a book cover that responds to the reader much in the way many of her sleep-afflicted characters in the story might. More precisely: what happens when you poke a virtual book jacket in the eye? This was so much fun to conceive and execute, and the illustrator Kevin Tong and the team at Atavist Books did a fantastic job of realizing my concept and making it actually work. I still love print, and hope to work in it for the rest of my life, but what it really comes down to regardless of the medium is a visual idea that is derived from the text.”

Give the virtual cover an e-poke here.

On the Books: Amazon finds indie booksellers make up a quarter of top Kindle Direct Publishing ebook sales

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Good news for indie booksellers: They’re making a dent in Amazon’s Top 100 ebooks sold on the Amazon Kindle. Meanwhile, Norway is making steps toward digitizing all books in the 20th century. More on those stories and other top headlines below:

Amazon revealed a quarter of the top 100 Kindle ebook sales — through Kindle Direct Publishing — in the U.S. were by self-publishing indie authors and publishers. [The Guardian]

The National Library of Norway has been digitizing every book published in Norwegian since 2006 and will finish doing so in the next two to three decades. Anyone in Norway will eventually have access to all 20th century works, including those under copyright, writes The Atlantic‘s Alexis C. Madrigal. [The Atlantic]

Writer José Esteban Muñoz, known for his studies on queer theory, gender, and sexuality, has died at age 46. [The University of Minnesota Press]

Baltimore has become “The City That Reads,” with about 160,000 children’s books being distributed free to the city’s schoolteachers this week. [Baltimore Sun]

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America named sci-fi author Samuel R. Delany the grandmaster for 2013. Delany will be presented with the award at the Nebula Awards in 2014. [LA Times]

Collections of artful accidents in Google Books scans have cropped up online. Kenneth Goldsmith examines their appearances. [The New Yorker]

This year’s National Book Award winner for fiction James McBride talked how he writes, where he writes, and what he does when he’s rewriting. [The Daily Beast]

Looking for a gift for a young reader? Check out this list of holiday-friendly children’s books. [USA Today]

Amazon announces Kindle Matchbook, service offering cheap digital versions of purchased print books

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For readers looking to expand their digital libraries, but are wary of paying full price for titles they already own, Amazon today unveiled a solution: the Kindle Matchbook. Through the program, Amazon users can buy discounted versions of print books they had purchased new from the site.

Depending on the title, electronic copies on Kindle Matchbook will cost $2.99 or less (some are even free). The option works for all print purchases dating back to 1995–when Amazon first opened its online bookstore — and offers users the option to review their order history.

“If you logged onto your CompuServe account during the Clinton administration and bought a book like Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus from Amazon, Kindle Matchbook now makes it possible for that purchase–18 years later–to be added to your Kindle library at a very low cost,” Russ Grandinetti, vice president of Kindle Content, said in a press release. “In addition to being a great new benefit for customers, this is an easy choice for publishers and authors who will now be able to earn more from each book they publish.” READ FULL STORY

Unaired 'Borgias' series finale to be released as e-book

Showtime announced via Twitter that the recently canceled period drama The Borgias will receive a proper ending in text form with the release of The Borgia Apocalypse to major e-book retailers this week. The e-book is based on show creator Neil Jordan’s original script for the two-hour series finale.

The series, which ended this June in its third season, chronicled the insatiable appetites and devious ambitions of the Borgia family led by Jeremy Irons as Pope Alexander VI. Fans of the departed cable series who were left wondering what happened next for Pope Alexander, lovers/siblings Lucrezia and Cesare, or assassin Micheletto need not look at another Wikipedia entry about the infamous historical dynasty for a sense of closure.

Will you pick up a copy of The Borgia Apocalpyse? Sound off in the comments below!

Interactive 'Breaking Bad' digital book out today

Hank discovered some pretty scintillating reading material in Walt’s bathroom in the last episode of Breaking Bad that aired, and now Breaking Bad wants to provide the same for you.

The show’s studio, Sony, has partnered with the producers of AMC’s beloved drug drama to create Breaking Bad: Alchemy, the official digital multi-touch companion book. The book features more than 100 pages of original content and 350-plus interactive elements, including interviews with series creator Vince Gilligan and other producers, a guide to the chemicals referenced on the series, an interactive timeline of which characters have met their demise over the last five seasons, and blueprints and 3-D models of sets. Check out a sample below:
READ FULL STORY

Sex sells: Online retailers rake in profits with dirty e-books

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Minds might be in the gutter, but the sales of dirty e-books certainly are not. Book-selling powerhouses such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble are raking in major profits from the sleazier online titles and genres that readers can absorb behind the privacy of tablet screens.

In 2012, romance and erotica topped revenue charts with $1.4 billion in sales. However, the profit tactic has left the book retailers in one of those Fifty Shades of Grey areas. Despite the revenue benefits of the taboo genre, Amazon and B&N appear to be on the fence themselves in regards to the promotion of erotic fiction. A 2010 pedophilia guide sold on Amazon finally got pulled by the online retailer after the illicit subject matter sparked controversy. But in lieu of the book’s eventual removal from the site, Amazon released a statement shortly after defending its decision to offer the item:

Amazon believes it is censorship not to sell certain books simply because we or others believe their message is objectionable. Amazon does not support or promote hatred or criminal acts, however, we do support the right of every individual to make their own purchasing decisions.

The economics of erotica have never been a real question: sex sells. And maybe 50 Shades of Grey is to blame—the 2011 novel featuring a naive college graduate’s relationship with a BDSM-obsessed business mogul—as it sparked a more recent wildfire-like spread of naughty fiction fascination. But the levels of provocative seem to go way beyond the bondage/dominatrix realm; Amazon keyword searches reach the furthest ends of the sexual spectrum, including pedophilia, bestiality, and incest.

Although successful sales numbers might help disputable titles avoid a ban, they do not overpower the decision-making ultimately determined by retailer representatives. Both Amazon and B&N have appeared to strip their bestseller lists of several erotica books. As an alternative, erotic novels with warranting sales can appear in the top 100 online, a B&N spokeswoman told the New York Post.

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