Saturday, May 4, 2013

After One Full Year, TOR Books Reflects on Abandoning DRM


Science Fiction and Fantasy imprint TOR celebrated one year of abandoning DRM and the company has stated that it has seen no noticeable increase in piracy.

DRM or Digital Rights Management is a form of encryption that retailers and publishing companies employ to protect their works. This often causes confusion for the customers and warrant using bulky programs to copy the eBooks on more then one device.

TOR, a subsidiary of Macmillan, reflect on the last year of going DRM-Free.
“The move has been a hugely positive one for us, it's helped establish Tor and Tor UK as an imprint that listens to its readers and authors when they approach us with a mutual concern—and for that we've gained an amazing amount of support and loyalty from the community. And a year on we're still pleased that we took this step with the imprint and continue to publish all of Tor UK's titles DRM-free.”

Readers are the main people who win from the abandoning of DRM. Charles Stross, author of the Merchant Princes series, recently said "I’m happy to see that Tor have gone DRM-free with their eBook editions. DRM doesn't impede pirates, but it subjects honest customers to a monopoly tightly controlled by the owners of the DRM software, reducing readers' freedom and hampering competition."

TOR and Pottermore continue to buckle the trend of curbing piracy, while still not using Digital Rights Management. Hopefully these two companies will act as case study for other digital publishing imprints.

After One Full Year, TOR Books Reflects on Abandoning DRM is a post from: E-Reader News

Customers Gaining Confidence in the Nook Tablet Brand


Barnes and Noble has seen a decreased interest in their Nook line of e-Readers and Tablets during the last calender year. The company verified that holiday sales were down 12.6% over the previous year and their entire digital division lost $262 million dollars in 2012. B&N also expanded out of the United States for the first time, setting up shop in the UK. There was a time when the Nook Color and Nook Tablet were very popular, but then Google, Amazon, Apple and Samsung all have captured a huge market share. Now that Barnes and Noble has launched Google Play on their tablets, can they woo customers back?

When Barnes and Noble first launched the Nook tablet in 2010, tablets have yet to hit the mainstream, other then the iPad. There was over three million Nook Colors sold right away and sales were good. Towards the end of 2011, Barnes and Noble announced a new tablet, and generated almost $220 million in sales during the holiday quarter. The Nook HD and HD+ were released in 2012 and had the dubious distinction of being the least successful.

Barnes and Noble has been running a ton of promotions lately, giving away the Simple Touch e-Reader for free, with the purchase of the Nook HD. They also slashed their prices in the United Kingdom significantly to compete better. B&N announced last week that were integrating Google Play to run into conjunction with their app curated app store. I can’t remember a time when the Nook brand had this much attention on it. Most of the major eBook and e-Reading communities have been discussing Google Play non-stop and many users have now pulled the trigger and bought one.

Jersyman from Mobileread said “I was going to run down to B&N and get the HD+, but now I will wait to see what this announcement is on Monday. This is a very good move. Now I can get a large tablet for a very good price and it has full access to Google Play. What a deal” Meanwhile Greenmonkey said “B&N needed to do this, instead of trying to grab the whole closed marketplace scheme ala Apple or Amazon. I’ve owned a Nook color (Which I put CM7 on about 6 months into ownership). We had two more with CM7 for a while before I upgraded my daughter to a Galaxy Tab 2. Overall they’ve been great hardware and very durable. Being able to use the native Nook books that read to you AND the Google store is a big win. Our last Nook Color is due up for replacement – when my daughter turns 6 I’ll likely get her a Nook HD for her birthday.”

By the looks of it, most former Nook owners are switching back to the brand and even prompting new customers to switch over. Google Play is a big draw, with almost 700,000 apps, magazines, movies and TV. In the past, if you wanted Google apps, you had to root your device or buy a special SD card that had Android loaded on it. This was more confusing for your average user and most just decided to gravitate towards tablets like the iPad Mini, Kindle Fire or Nexus.

Is it too little too late for Barnes and Noble to regain its market share due to the fact that it has Google Play? My gut feeling feeling is that in the short term, its going to see a small spike in sales, but long term, it will give people confidence in the Nook brand. I remember when the Kobo Vox came out, it did not have Google Play, instead they tapped into the Getjar market, as a source to get apps. It was not until almost a full year later that they got a license for Play, by then it was too late. It was already an outdated tablet, but when the Kobo Arc launched, it was the total package. Barnes and Noble is in a similar situation, I don’t think their sales will dramatically spike until they release a new tablet and hype the fact it runs Google. Right now only internet readers are aware of this change, your average buyer has NO IDEA.

Customers Gaining Confidence in the Nook Tablet Brand is a post from: E-Reader News

The Atlantic’s New eBook Platform Features Long-Form Pieces


The popularity of long-form journalism and essays is continuing to grow. Companies like The Atavist, Vook, Now & Then Reader, and the Kindle Singles division of Amazon are bringing high-quality longer essay pieces to avid readers, thanks to digital publishing and online retailing of e-shorts. Now, one of the nation’s oldest and best known monthly magazines has emerged with an ebook platform that will focus on the long-form journalism that has become so popular among e-reading fans.

The Atlantic is launching The Atlantic Books and has come out the virtual gate with its first title, Denial: My Twenty-Five Years Without a Soul by Jonathan Rauch. This first title is priced at $1.99 and is currently only available through the Kindle Singles platform, but the company’s titles will soon be available through other ebook distributors.

“The launch of The Atlantic Books reflects our commitment to innovation in publishing in the service of great journalism and storytelling,” said M. Scott Havens, president of The Atlantic in a news article about the launch on the company’s website. “I can’t think of a better inaugural book for our new imprint than Denial, a work that, I’m hopeful, will have an impact far beyond this digital medium.”

Rauch, an award-winning contributing editor for The Atlantic, has written a memoir of unexpected but hilarious twists throughout his early adult life, all leading to the discovery of his own sexual identity.

“Over the two decades that Jonathan has been writing for The Atlantic, he’s produced revelatory articles on everything from politics to foreign policy to, in our current issue, end-of-life care.  But this book is his most powerful work,” added James Bennet, editor in chief of The Atlantic. “We are honored to make it the debut title of The Atlantic Books.”

Like other organizations’ attempts at producing quality non-fiction e-shorts, The Atlantic Books will feature works between 10,000 and 30,000 words, as well as compilations of its archived material collected over its 155-year history. The Atlantic‘s article about the launch also made mention of several other paid initiatives that the magazine will unveil at different points throughout this year.

The Atlantic’s New eBook Platform Features Long-Form Pieces is a post from: E-Reader News