In this Critical Margins podcast, Jason and Kevin analyze how services like Kindle Unlimited might change how we read. Or will they? Are Kindle Unlimited, Oyster, and Scribd hyped up too much?
For this Friday reads post: a response to Will Self’s death of the literary novel article and why talking to yourself boosts your thinking.
Over the weekend, I read Will Self’s article in The Guardian (“The novel is dead (this time it’s for real)“). No, there’s no irony in that title. Self is really mad that the literary novel isn’t “central to the culture,” as if it’s been central to culture throughout the 20th century but hasn’t had importance thanks to the Kindle.
Can social media and books go together? Recent writers have said no, but I hold out hope for digital social reading.
For a while now, I have hoped for a time when e-books were fully social: that reading is a participatory social act, not a solitary experience, when we want it to be. With current e-reader and tablet technology, this goal seems possible. Why not incorporate tools that allow readers to hold book clubs, communal reading projects, or classroom discussions right from the book, a sort of digital Junto? In theory, you could read a book and participate in a book club or MOOC-like literature class without leaving your e-reader. Your book, then, would also be your social media platform for participation.
As Amazon cracks down on serial e-book returners, maybe it’s time to re-think the e-book sales model.
Lately, two recent trends are taking place in e-book publishing. First, several articles in the past few months indicate that e-book returns have grown among readers. Some readers are abusing Amazon’s generous Kindle book return policy in order to get their money back after purchasing a book. Continue reading →
Anyone who cares about literature and the act of reading should read the collection of essays, The Edge of the Precipice: Why Read Literature in the Digital Age? The book’s contributions run the gamut from distress to sangfroid about the future of reading, culture and the development of the individual intellect in the age of the Internet. Paul Socken is the editor of this collection, and I asked him some questions about the book’s impact on the future of reading. Continue reading →
[This is part 2 of Andrew Doty’s series on the future states of the publishing industry. This time, Andrew focuses on book promotion.]
“. . . with over 60 thousand titles published each year, it’s a basic fact that if your book doesn’t achieve ‘Gone Girl’ status within a month or so, then it’s simply gone.”
Social Media’s Impact on Book Marketing
Naturally, change occurs in an ever-expanding web of causalities: As technology has recreated the ways books are conceptualized and realized, it has also led to a similarly diverse spectrum of marketing and publicity approaches. Traditional book printing meant traditional book marketing. Now, as more books are being published in more formats than ever, the author, publisher, and marketer can all get involved in the promotion process in new ways.
With so many digital subscription options available, some tech writers are claiming the end of the library. But without libraries, we’re doomed.
This weekend, MG Siegler at Techcrunch claimed we’re seeing the end of libraries. Siegler bases this on reporting from Art Brodsky of Wired, who claims e-book price inflation is affecting library digital subscription services. Library patrons want more e-book choices, but libraries can’t afford to purchase e-books at the inflated prices. Effectively, libraries are leaching money by purchasing fewer e-books at higher prices to keep patrons happy (“The Abomination of Ebooks”).
This week, I chose five articles that deal with publishing, education, technology, and social reading. Check out the articles below (with brief snippets).
Many tools exist to help you clip articles, share notes, and save text as you read. But without a doubt, Evernote is the most feature-rich tool. Here are some quick ways you can make Evernote work for you.
Last week, I covered how to automate and control parts of your online and digital book reading with a tool called IFTTT. Today I want to cover Evernote, a popular note-taking app and highlight some features you can use to get started. While Evernote’s main purpose is to help you organize and take notes, keep to-do lists, and save files, it can do a lot more.