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Booklr: The Popularity Contest
I recently found out about Booklr, which is this new startup that publishes work based on positive feedback and demand. The way it works is that you, the writer, post your work on their site. Then people (your friends, family, other site members) go and read it. If you get enough positive reviews and traffic, Booklr will publish it electronically to companies like Amazon, B&N, Apple, Sony and Kobo (free of charge).
There are definitely some pros to having a system like this. It makes the possibility of getting published feel much less daunting for the unpublished writer. It gives writers the opportunity to get their voices out there and receive feedback. It could possibly provoke more people to start reading for fun.
But there are also the many cons. The quality of those works that end up published might be questionable. So many bestselling books are filled with mediocre writing. They cater to the greatest common denominator, and the greatest common denominator doesn’t care about beautiful language or literary epics — it cares about sex, suspense, and whatever is currently trending (e.g. wizards and vampires). That’s not to say there are no books with sex, suspense, wizards, and vampires that are brilliantly written. There most definitely are. But the overwhelming majority of these types of books unfortunately are not. And what about originality? How many of those submissions will likely be fanfiction for Harry Potter, Twilight, or Hunger Games, but with the characters’ names changed? My guess is a lot.
In Booklr’s proposed publishing model, what makes the cut is what’s popular. What does that mean for the literary masterpieces filled with maybe zero real plot but tons of beautiful language and wonderful characters? It’s unlikely they’ll win over enough of the online reading population to be published by Booklr. But perhaps this system is self-selecting. Perhaps the more literary writers would shy away from something like this, and the issue might never come up?
And what about the implications for novels and stories that are printed for sale in brick and mortar bookstores? If Booklr’s model becomes the new thing, are we at risk of putting the printed world into extinction?
It’ll definitely be interesting to see how this affects the writing and publishing world over the next few years. But in the meantime, maybe this can be a motivational tool for writers: to finish that half-written story so you can put it on Booklr and see what happens.
iUniverse Books in the Media
iUniverse Publishing , the leading provider of high-quality, professional supported self-publishing services is giving booklovers a special 25 % discount on all books—from paperback to hardcover to e-book—available in the online bookstore .
To enjoy this iUniverse promotion , book-buyers only need to enter the promo code “SAVE25” during the checkout process. The offer is valid from February 16 to 29, 2012.
The iUniverse online bookstore has more than 42,000 titles from all genres and includes several titles that have caught the eye of the media, for example Mack Dunstan’s Inferno by Paul Collins and We Also Serve: A Family Goes To War by Nanette Sagastume. Paul recently talked to the Oye!Times.com and gave an exclusive interview at this link http://www.oyetimes.com/lifestyle/35-books/17615-five-minutes-with-paul-collins-author-of-mack-dunstans-inferno-by-joey-pinkney, and the Chico Enterprise Record’s talked to Nanette about her experiences both as a wife of a Vietnam War vet and as a mother of an Iraqi War vet. You read her interview at http://www.chicoer.com/entertainment/ci_19898079.More iuniverse author interviews can be found at this link http://www.iuniverse.com/community/newsevents.aspx.
You can visit iUniverse Publishing’s online bookstore at http://bookstore.iuniverse.com/. For more information about iUniverse’s professional self-publishing services, please visit www.iuniverse.com or call 1-800-AUTHORS .
iUniverse, an Author Solutions, Inc. self-publishing imprint, is the leading book marketing, editorial services, and supported self-publishing provider. iUniverse has a strategic alliance with Chapters Indigo in Canada, and titles accepted into the iUniverse Rising Star program are featured in a special collection on BarnesandNoble.com. iUniverse recognizes excellence in book publishing through the Star, Reader’s Choice and Editor’s Choice designations—self-publishing’s only such awards program. Headquartered in Bloomington, Indiana, iUniverse also operates offices in Indianapolis. For more information or to publish a book, please visit iuniverse.com or call 1-800-AUTHORS. For the latest, follow @iuniverse on Twitter.
Paul Collins, author of Mack Dunstan’s Inferno
To contact him, go to: http://www.facebook.com/authorpaulcollins
Οι εκπληκτικές ικανότητες των νέων e-reader
Οι δυνατότητες του ηλεκτρονικού βιβλίου αυξάνουν και οι καινούργιες συσκευές ανοίγουν για τον αναγνώστη τις πύλες ενός νέου, εντελώς διαφορετικού κόσμου. Παρουσιάζοντας το περασμένο Σάββατο στις 12 το μεσημέρι, στο i-bank store της Εθνικής Τράπεζας, στον χώρο του The Mall Athens, τον e-reader της νεότερης γενιάς, ο Μιχάλης Καλαμαράς, υπεύθυνος του blog «Ηλεκτρονικός αναγνώστης», παρατήρησε […]
Looking Back to Look Ahead: Tips from the Music Industry to Trade Publishers
From Napster to Spotify, the music industry has been trying to navigate digital distribution. Over the past decade, the industry as a pioneer has struggled to deal with copyright and digital rights management (DRM). With the rise of electronic book publishing, trade and commercial publishers are embarking on a similar journey. E-Books and E-Readers become more prevalent, trade and commercial publishers have a blueprint for securing and profiting these services. With each new service and device, there is a need for ethical and supportive relationships so that all stakeholders, such as content providers, creators and users, are satisfied. Yet following in the footstep of the music industry will not solve some uniquely “print and press” problems. Publishers have the benefit of hindsight and time to adjust to their new market.
Music was available years before ebooks hit the consumer market. Overtime the music industry was forced to adapt to the consumer demands and online retailers. With a larger library of trade e-books and the availability of lightweight, affordable e-book readers, the electronic publishing companies are on pare with the hurdles that the music industry once faced with piracy, pricing, and user services.
Piracy is a formidable enemy to all digital media. Instead of understanding how it’s done, it may best to understand why it’s done. Illegally downloading media through peer-to- peer networks has persisted in spite of legal action to deter the behavior, and can’t be deterred completely. When it pertains to piracy, users are more willing engage in this illegal activity because they don’t perceive the action as morally wrong. According to a business ethics study, “Deterrent messages regarding legal fines and legal prosecution, however, have not been found to influence intention to download; however, focusing on the probability of being caught to increase downloaders’ perceptions that the risk is serious may be more effective.” Content makers and providers had to find alternative ways to first deter piracy through other mean legal enforcement, such as instead going after individual file sharers, pursue action with internet service providers overall.
In the beginning, Digital Rights Management seemed like a manageable solution for all stakeholders. DRM is understood as a technology that allows rights holders to place predetermined restrictions on the file itself. This system would give retailers ability to control how media files where used, thus creating loyalty to a device or brand. The best example how DRM worked for a time is ITunes. Having the largest music catalog available, iTunes controls 83% of the United States online music market share as well more than 90% of the device player market. Until 2009, DRM kept music purchased in iTunes on Apple devices; however, ultimately the company bent to the demand for flexibility after various legal proceedings.
iTunes near monopoly on the music distribution shows how DRM could be effective, until the consumer demands the ability to have freedom over their purchased electronic materials. The market for electronic publishing from the beginning is much more diverse. Publishers and consumers alike are struggling with to deal with the restrictions of DRM such as lack on interoperability. Instead of it being a solution to avoid piracy, DRM encourages people to get the product, disregarding quality, rather deal with the frustration.
For trade publishers, the idea of piracy is almost foreign to them as you could always just give a friend a book in printed form. Also before digital replication, photocopying a book could be more expansive than just buying the work itself. Setting the cost of the electronic books differs from publishing house to device. In the music, regardless of length or genre, can be played universally. There is no one-way to publish a book electronic. Digital publishers are dealing with format and function issues on intersecting levels. No way should at electronic book cost the same as a physical book; Once the book as unit is produced, whether it would be reflowing text or fixed formatted comes into question; the solution of how a page looks differs from electronic reading device versus consumer settings and options. In the future, books are working on ways than being more than just text; that type of literature will cost more to produce and have a worth value.
Despite unique challenges that publishers and authors have to face when venturing into electronic publishing, some tactics that the music industry has used could have potential in the realm of literature. For example, free stream seems to be working the music industry. Applications like Spotify gives users a legal option to listen to as much music as they want, capped at 200 hours. Publisher could possibly formulate a service similar to that one. Magazine publishers are already trying to band together with their application “ Next Issue” to offer that type of service, yet there is no precedent for its success or if it can be replicated in other print areas.
Publishers, authors, agents, retailers, and consumers are on a journey together. The music industry had over a decade to figure out what worked best for them. The book and print media world doesn’t have the luxury of time to figure things out as the technology is outpacing the development of retailer and legal structures
Robertson, K., McNeill, L., Green, J., & Roberts, C. (2012). Illegal Downloading, Ethical Concern, and Illegal Behavior. Journal Of Business Ethics, 108(2), 215-227.
Trivedi, Priti Writing the Wrong: What the E-book Industry can Learn from Digtial Music’s Mistakes with DRM, Journal of Law and Policy, Volume 18, Number 2, 2010.
Indvik, Laura. “All-You-Can-Read Magazine Subscription App Launches on IPad.”Mashable. N.p., 10 July 2012. Web. 14 July 2012. <http://mashable.com/2012/07/10/next-issue-ipad/>.