» opinion
  • Posted:
  • May 12, 2013
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In early April 2012 there was a spate of posts from readers/bloggers which protested some of the more egregious and pushy methods that some authors use to promote themselves (“The Care and Feeding of Authors”, for example). I wrote one such post, and I largely focused on how the pushiness can fail in its purpose…

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  • May 9, 2013
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The online learning startup Coursera and a handful of textbook publishers announced today that they’re teaming up to make certain digital course materials available to students enrolled in Coursera’s classes. Cengage Learning, Macmillan Higher Education, Oxford University Press, SAGE, and Wiley will offer versions of their textbooks via an e-reader provided by Chegg. For certain courses,…

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  • May 4, 2013
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Did you catch the news earlier today? B&N surprised the blogosphere with the news that the Nook HD and Nook HD+ could now be updated with Google Play. These media devices now had access to over 700,000 apps as well as ebooks, movies, music, and more. At first glance this is great news, and it’s…

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  • May 3, 2013
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 It’s that time of year again. Today is the International Day Against DRM, the unofficial holiday dedicated to making more people aware of DRM and how to remove it. I have long argued that one should always remove DRM in order to make sure you don’t lose your purchases, whether it’s due to switching computers,…

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  • April 29, 2013
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James Patterson has caused some ripples in the ebook world (see here or even here) by calling for government aid for the traditional publishing model. I’d like to examine his principal delusion: that publishers are the guardians of literary culture. The first duty of any business is to make a profit and reward its shareholders…

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  • April 29, 2013
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James Patterson is a well-known and well-respected author, but lately that hasn’t been enough for him. It looks like he recently decided to also take on the role of the publishing industry’s curmudgeon emeritus, a job that Scott Turow has more than adequately filled of late. Last weekend Patterson bought full page ads (at right)…

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  • April 25, 2013
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A handy dandy new site is getting a lot of attention this week, but I think it focuses on the wrong problem. Churnalism is a term for the practice of journalists copy-pasting press releases rather than writing original copy. This is more prevalent than you might think, especially in tech blogging, though the practice is…

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  • April 14, 2013
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Jason Merkoski has been getting a lot of attention this week. His new book Burning the Page has just been published, and according to the press coverage it gives  the reading public a rare inside look into the rise of the Kindle, and Jason’s time as a tech evangelist and senior Kindle program manager at Amazon….

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  • April 12, 2013
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This is BS As a long time reader I have been more than little dismayed at some of the recent changes to the culture of books. There seems to be a growing sentiment among some authors and writers that readers “owe” authors something. I don’t just mean the time we spend reading a work, the…

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  • April 4, 2013
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Amazon, it appears, is the Death Star, the evil empire, that is devouring the publishing universe.  At least according to a lot of people who are publicly proclaiming it.  That makes Jeff Bezos the Emperor and, hmm, let’s pick Jon Fine, as Darth Vader, because he’s always out there at writers’ events representing Amazon.  Behind…