Electronic Book, e-Book, eBook, eJournals, and Electronic Journal Watch 

Bob Jensen at Trinity University

Electronic Books or eBooks are books that can be downloaded from the Internet into special reading devices (or into computers) that cannot be printed, photocopied, printed on paper, or copied in whole or in part to computer files.  Since they are the highest form of copyright protection, publishers are interested in creating public interest in such books. 

This document contains some threaded messages on eBooks that I wrote in various editions of New Bookmarks.


Introduction

Hard Copy versus Electronic Textbooks 

Custom Publishing

The Rotten Apple iBooks

2009-2013 Update on electronic books  (including Inklewriter)

2008 Updates (including college initiatives to publish electronic versions of books for students)

2007 Updates (including updates on Amazon's Kindle and the Sony Reader)

New Technologies for Electronic Reading 

London's famous Old Vic Theatre?  

Failed Ventures 

Electronic Book Trends on College Campuses

The Battle to Define the Future of the Book in the Digital World 
(including "The Next Chapter on Electronic Books" in April 2004)

Searching for Audio and Video Clips, Lectures, Interviews, Speeches and Electronic Books --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/searchh.htm#Audio 

How to Find Electronic Books and Electronic Journals

Problems in Marketing Electronic Books 

Campus Bookstore Options

Electronic Libraries

Top 20 eBooks  

May 19, 2000 netLibrary Electronic Books

January 8, 2000 Barnes & Noble will pay authors a 35% royalty!

July 30, 1999 (A Special Review) 

Historical Timeline of Book Publishing

Microsoft Electronic Book Software

Microsoft ClearType Overview

Barnes & Noble Deal With Microsoft Corporation

Rocket e-Book

Softbook Electronic Tablet

Everybook (now N-Vision Technologies)

Adobe Electronic Books

Palm to Distribute eBooks

Bookstore Operator to Offer Adobe e-Book Guides

Cytale

Online Electronic Textbooks (They differ from eBooks.)

WizeUp Electronic Textbooks 

Rovia Electronic Books

e Ink Emerges

An Article by Teri Folks --- "How to Teach Accounting With E-Books"

Electronic Books Are Not Popular With Every Reader

Why Not Publish Your Own Books (Award Winning Authors) 

My Earlier Succession of Messages About Electronic Books

April 18, 1999

July 30, 1999 (A Special Review)

August 11, 1999

September 21, 1999

September 28, 1999

October 12, 1999

January 11, 2000 (Microsoft)

April 11, 2000 (About Stephen King's eBook Sales of Over a Half Million Copies) 

May 15, 2000 (WizeUp Electronic Textbooks) (with subsequent update messages)

May 15, 2000 (Richard Campbell)

June 8, 2000 The Genesis Modification by Peter Kruger 

September 25, 2000 (Zip Publishing)

January 18, 2001 (PDF document management application tool called DocAble (From Everybook))

January 29, 2001 (New Adobe Electronic Books)

March 1, 2001 Illustration of Adobe's DigitalGoods

January 17, 2002 Message from Barnes & Noble 

April 22, 2002 Message on Audio Books

Time Warner Announces iPublish.com

Bookreporter.com e-Book Reviews

 


Introduction

"E-Textbooks Report Questions Cost Savings," by Tanya Roscorla, Center for Digital Education, July 18, 2013 ---
http://www.centerdigitaled.com/news/E-Textbooks-Report-Questions-Cost-Savings.html 

Digital texbooks are gaining ground in education, as shown by a study released by the Book Industry Study Group earlier this year: Students' preference for print text over digital dropped from 72 percent in November 2011 to 60 percent in late 2012. 

And a recent EDUCAUSE study finds that students and faculty value lower-cost textbooks -- though they aren't sure that the current digital textbook model will drive prices down.

Last fall, more than 5,000 students and faculty at 23 colleges and universities participated in an e-textbook pilot with EDUCAUSE, Internet2, McGraw-Hill Education and Courseload, and the EDUCAUSE Center for Analysis and Research (ECAR) published the findings in Understanding What Higher Education Needs from E-Textbooks: An EDUCAUSE/Internet2 Pilot.

Both students and faculty cited cost as the No. 1 factor they considered when looking at digital textbooks, followed by availability and portability. Some of the biggest barriers to adoption included the funding model and fee structure.

While the students in this pilot didn't have to pay for their e-textbooks, they would pay a mandatory fee per class for e-textbooks outside of the pilot. The mandatory fee guarantees that all the students at a university would purchase a digital textbook and thus give the publisher a larger number of customers. In turn, the publisher would charge the university less for buying in volume.

But in written comments, students said they wanted to be able to opt out of fees and find other ways to get the content. And it's up in the air whether they would take classes with a fee: one-third responding that yes they would, nearly a quarter said no, and 43 percent chose maybe.

Faculty also supported students' desire for less expensive options and choices. And traditional publishing models -- even revised for digital publishing -- may not cut it.

They noted that students look for study materials in many places, which is why it's important to consider other types of course materials besides e-textbooks. And since this is an ever-changing field, education leaders would be wise to consider many business models, as well as the needs of different groups of students and faculty.

One of the keys in making decisions about digital content is "to understand what students and faculty need from these course materials and keep that front and center," said Susan Grajek, vice president of data, research and analytics for EDUCAUSE.

In the ECAR 2012 Study of Undergraduate Students and Technology, 57 percent of students said they wished their instructors used open educational resources more, compared to 47 percent who wanted more e-textbooks. In the previous year, nearly a third of students wanted more e-textbooks, and 19 percent of students wanted open educational resources. 

In this pilot, some students and faculty really liked the e-textbooks, and some hated them so much that they bought a print textbook, Grajek said.

Faculty members can be change agents when it comes to different technology, but they need support. In this pilot, faculty members said one of their biggest barriers was limited access to the e-textbooks.

They only had the e-textbooks during the course, so more than half of them didn't make annotations and other notes because they would disappear once the course was over. Interestingly enough, students in 96 percent of the courses used highlights, sticky notes, annotations or bookmarks in their e-textbook.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
If e-Textbooks were available 50 years ago they would definitely be cheaper because savings in terms of hard copy printing, inventory, and distribution costs.

But the costs of hard copy printing, inventory, and distribution costs have changed dramatically over those 50 years such that e-Textbooks are no longer "definitely" cheaper.

Consider for example the way that Amazon saves on inventory costs of used books. Amazon eliminated itself as a middleman in the buying, warehousing, and redistributing used books. It is now simply provides a guarantee that the buyer of a used book will receive that book directly from households who are willing to ship the book directly to the used book buyers. In the grand scheme of things inventory costs are cheaper in aggregate. The marginal cost of storing one book in each of 100,000 households is virtually zero. But the marginal cost of storing 100,000 books in a single warehouse is huge. Thus, Amazon has a way of saving a lot of inventory cost by having each current owner store the book at home.

And computers have greatly changed the production functions of printing books. Five decades ago, the marginal cost of each book was reduced by having enormous printing press runs due to economies of scale. This unfortunately led to huge inventory costs. Distribution costs were also relatively high since the printing houses were centrally located and had to ship to warehouses around the world.

Today, computerized print runs can be much smaller and even reduced to a point where a hard copy order is received before the book is printed. And the book can be printed at computer sites all over the world.

Shipping costs still exist for hard copy books, but electronic book distribution is not free given the costs of hardware and technician labor that goes into keeping books available in the clouds.

In terms of textbooks, many of the huge costs do not go away with a shift from hard copy to electronic versions. Authors must still be paid and sometimes the authors demand more if they must put in more labor keeping books up to date year-to-year rather than every five years. Frequent updating is probably the major advantage of electronic books in the clouds relative to hard copy.

Textbook publishers must still pay representatives to work each college campus trying to entice professors to adopt particular textbooks. Electronic marketing has not yet taken the place of face-to-face communications between sellers and instructors.

Textbook publishers must still pay to participate in expensive trade shows such as when setting up booths at academic conferences. Sales personnel must now be trained better to answer questions regarding such things as technology supplements that accompany textbooks.

In the final analysis I think cost savings will not be the key competitive advantage of electronic textbooks over hard copy. The key competitive advantages will be such things as the following:

  1. Ease of continuously updating electronic textbooks, especially those that are in the clouds.
     
  2. Multimedia features such as video clips and interactive spreadsheets that can be included in electronic textbooks.
     
  3. Reader conveniences in electronic books such as word search and cut-and-paste quotation conveniences.
     
  4. Possible cost savings by cutting out the publishing companies when authors distribute their electronic books directly to customers or by marketing their books via Amazon rather than McGraw Hill.

Bob Jensen's threads on electronic books ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ebooks.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on education technology are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm

 


Make Your Own eBook with Blurb ---
http://www.blurb.com/

Find comparison facts on most any Website ---
http://reviewandjudge.org/HOME.html
For example, enter "www.trinity.edu/rjensen/" without the http:\\


"Barnes & Noble, the Last Big Bookseller Standing: But for How Long," Knowledge@Wharton, January 16, 2013 ---
http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article.cfm?articleid=3167

How long can onsite bookstore owners hang on?
From the CFO Journal's Morning Ledger on June 24, 2013

We’ve got a few big name companies reporting earnings this week. Barnes & Noble is expected to post another quarterly loss on Tuesday amid declining revenue. Its Nook digital business led the company to post a small loss in the previous quarter and has lagged behind in the tablet wars, writes MoneyBeat’s Paul Vigna.

"How to Rescue Barnes & Noble? Here Are Ideas From Five Experts," by Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg, The Wall Street Journal, June 30, 2013 ---
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323689204578573891816525774.html?mod=djemCFO_h

To cope with the rise of e-books and Amazon.com Inc., AMZN +0.05% Barnes & Noble Inc. BKS +0.75% has started selling toys, games, stationery and all manner of other products. To some observers, books seem less important there.

That strategy has helped the retailer's bottom line but holds long-term risks, potentially driving customers to Amazon. So what is the alternative? Should Barnes & Noble double-down on books, a strategy that could be costly in the near term? As it is, the company signaled last week it expected a tough year in its consumer-stores business in the coming year.

The Wall Street Journal asked a group of leading writers, retailers, and agents on what they would do if they ran Barnes & Noble. Edited excerpts:

Peter Olson, co-chief executive of the Fullbridge Program and former CEO of Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA's Random House, the world's largest consumer book publisher.

Barnes & Noble is in real trouble but they have real, underleveraged strategic assets.

Let's start with people coming in to browse, which you can't do well online yet. They can take this loyal customer base that is willing to travel and leverage it by offering more than just the print books on the shelves. The customer base could be looking for a lot more in terms of rewards, such as a discount for volume shopping, bundling, and help in ordering alternative formats if a book isn't in the store.

Say you're looking for a history book but it's not in stock. You go to the counter and they say that if you buy the e-book now, we'll deliver the hardcover tomorrow, plus we'll offer you a discounted price for the two of them. Make it worth their while to come in. You have dedicated print readers walking into your stores. Don't let Amazon serve them.

Or say a customer is interested in a book by somebody who has written 20 novels. Why shouldn't you work out a really steep discount on future purchases by that loyal customer? Share the discount with the publisher, and say to the shopper, pay us $12.99 on the first title, but the next one will be $10.99. Or, if you want all 20 titles, here's a special price. Or here's a special price for all and we'll throw in the e-book versions, so you can have them while you travel and in your home.

That's how Barnes & Noble could use its one real advantage: the traffic of loyal book browsers. Give them more aggressive bundling and discounting, and get them coming back.

 

James Patterson, best-selling author and a former senior advertising executive at J. Walter Thompson:

They need to make the stores feel like much more exciting places to shop. Compelling, contemporary, clear signage would be helpful.

The way a lot of smaller bookstores survive is through continual events, some even every day. Barnes & Noble could do more of that. They are putting an incredible effort into e-books and e-book devices, but some of the other things aren't front and center. It seems to me that at one time they discounted more across the board, more hardcovers and paperbacks, and not just best sellers. And I think paperbacks should be featured more. A lot of people consider them within their budget. They are more likely to try authors with a paperback. It's harder to pay a hardcover price when you haven't heard of somebody. And it needs to be part of their windows.

For me, maybe less knickknacks. In the short run they sell. But what do they do for the store experience?

 

Gerald Storch, former chief executive of Toys R Us Inc. and vice chairman of Target Corp.:

Barnes & Noble has done a good job enabling its customers to interact with it however they choose. But they need to create a store environment that people who love the brand want to visit. That means more destination activities, such as book groups, author readings.

What doesn't work is trying to change your customer or trying to expand your product offering dramatically beyond the historical offering of the brand. There are very few examples of successfully changing your customer base.

 

Praveen Madan, president of Kepler's Books in Menlo Park, Calif.:

If I were in their shoes, I would deepen the commitment to a broader stock of books, to displaying and promoting books from small presses and university presses. They should also be more involved with local schools and libraries. They may have to run fewer, smaller stores, but that's how to do it. There is absolutely a place for them if they embrace the commitment to books and ideas. But if they are a profit first, general retailer, then I don't think there is a place for them.

 

Simon Lipskar, president of Writers House, a New York literary agency:

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on eBooks are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ebooks.htm

 

 

The Demise of Bookstores ---
http://www.jamiechavez.com/blog/2011/06/the-demise-of-bookstores/

Judge Posner Hails the Demise of Bookstores ---
http://blogs.wsj.com/ideas-market/2011/01/13/judge-posner-hails-the-demise-of-bookstores/

Bob Jensen's threads on ebooks ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ebooks.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on free electronic literature ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm

 

Some things you did not know about the latest technology
Did You Know video --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ILQrUrEWe8

"Make Your Own E-Books with Pandoc, by Lincoln Mullen, Chronicle of Higher Education, March 20, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/make-your-own-e-books-with-pandoc/39067?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

"2 New Platforms Offer Alternative to Apple’s Textbook-Authoring Software," by Nick DeSantis, Chronicle of Higher Education, February 17. 2012 ---
Click Here
http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/2-new-platforms-offer-alternative-to-apples-textbook-authoring-software/35495?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

Bob Jensen's threads on Tools and Tricks of the Trade are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm


"The Object Formerly Known as the Textbook," by Jeffrey R. Young, Chronicle of Higher Education, January 27, 2013 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/Dont-Call-Them-Textbooks/136835/?cid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

Textbook publishers argue that their newest digital products shouldn't even be called "textbooks." They're really software programs built to deliver a mix of text, videos, and homework assignments. But delivering them is just the beginning. No old-school textbook was able to be customized for each student in the classroom. The books never graded the homework. And while they contain sample exam questions, they couldn't administer the test themselves.

One publisher calls its products "personalized learning experiences," another "courseware," and one insists on using its own brand name, "MindTap." For now, this new product could be called "the object formerly known as the textbook."

Continued in article


March 8, 2013 message from Jerry Trites

Blog entry - E-textbooks long overdue
http://trites-e-business.blogspot.ca/2013/03/e-textbooks-in-cloud-long-overdue.html

March 8, 2013 reply from Bob Jensen

Hi Jerry,

Many publisher textbooks, including accounting textbooks and supplements, are now available, as one of the alternatives, in eBook form. The business model for an eBook textbook is often a rental model. Students pay to get access for a term before access is denied.

The biggest advantage that I can see in the above business model is that books can be updated each semester. This, however, is not as easy for authors as it sounds. For example, when the IASB and FASB adopt the forthcoming converged Revenue Recognition Standard, the revision has to be carried through all end-of-chapter questions, problems, and cases in the entire book. The revision also has to be carried through on all supplements.

Richard Campbell's new multimedia solutions "manual" funded by Wiley could be out of date two days after it hits the market.

There are drawbacks eBook textbooks.. Hard copy purchases, unlike eBook rentals, can be shelved with all the marginal notations and referenced for years to come --- at least until passing the CPA examination.

Many readers, like me, still prefer hard copy, which is why I still pay to receive my AAA journals in hard copy as well as electronic form.

To my knowledge there is no used book market for an eBook even if the book can be owned forever by a reader (usually with free future downloads if you have computer crashes).

How do we "book" eBooks into the ledger if they become part of the business firm's reference library? Pat Walters and Tom Selling would probably prefer marking eBooks to market which is $0 for each eBook even though hard copy versions of the same content on the library shelves have higher values when marked-to-used market. In some cases, as with the Paton and Littleton 1940 monograph, the exit value by be 100 times 1940 cost in hard copy.

Bob Jensen's threads on eBooks are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Ebooks.htm

Bob Jensen


On December 6, 2010 Google's eBookstore Went Live with More Than Three Million Titles --- http://books.google.com/ebooks
After more than a year since we first heard the rumors, Google has entered the world of e-books. Today, the company launched its e-book marketplace with more than 3,000,000 titles on the shelves that will be available to nearly anyone with a smartphone, laptop, tablet, netbook or desktop computer.

For example, type in the search word "accounting"
Many accounting textbooks are available, but I have not yet done any price comparisons.
Some of the most popular textbooks that are not available anywhere for electronic downloading are not available for Google eBooks.

Amongst the Alternatives to Buy Books on Googole ebookstore
"A Sample of Free Google eBooks from the Google ebookstore," by Jim Martin, MAAW Blog, December 12, 2010 ---
http://maaw.blogspot.com/2010/12/sample-of-free-google-ebooks-from.html

Online textbooks, cases, and tutorials in accounting, finance, economics, and statistics --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm#Textbooks

Textbooks: Purchased Hardcopy vs. Downloadable eBook Purchases vs. Non-downloadable eBook Leases ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/eBooksDeal.htm

What's lacking in downloaded Kindle eBooks?
Would you believe the chapter exhibits?
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/eBooksDeal.htm

Free online tutorials, videos, and other learning aids in various disciplines --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#Tutorials

Links to other open sharing sites --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

Bob Jensen's history of book authoring, course authoring, and course management technology --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/290wp/290wp.htm

Bob Jensen's helpers for writers are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob3.htm#Dictionaries

Authors Can Bypass Publishing Companies by Transferring Rights Directly to Amazon eBooks
Or there are selected publishers that take reduced portions of book prices on books sold through Amazon
"Top Author Shifts E-Book Rights to Amazon.com," by Brad Stone and Motoko Rich, The New York Times, December 14, 2009 ---
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/15/technology/companies/15amazon.html?em=&adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1260975861-tGlZ1ysPNl+0KPusogoUgg

The Journal of Electronic Publishing --- http://www.journalofelectronicpublishing.org/

Center for the Book (Library of Congress) --- http://www.read.gov/cfb

VYOM eBooks Directory --- http://www.vyomebooks.com/

Search for electronic books --- http://www.searchebooks.com/

Bob Jensen's threads on electronic books are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ebooks.htm



The Rotten Apple iBooks

Apple launches iBooks 2 e-Textbook platform (video) --- http://www.engadget.com/2012/01/19/apple-iBooks-2/

iBooks: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) --- http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4059

What are the requirements to use iBooks?

"5 Reasons Why I Ditched My iPad for a Google Nexus 7," by Taylor Hatmaker, ReadWriteWeb, August 1, 2012 ---
http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/5-reasons-why-i-ditched-my-ipad-for-a-google-nexus-7.php

Apple does not have a corner on the market for innovations in textbook authoring
"2 New Platforms Offer Alternative to Apple’s Textbook-Authoring Software," by Nick DeSantis, Chronicle of Higher Education, February 17. 2012 ---
Click Here
http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/2-new-platforms-offer-alternative-to-apples-textbook-authoring-software/35495?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

January 19 Comment by Alex at the end of the article at
http://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/apple-reinvents-textbooks

There is indeed a lot to like except one major objection: Apple has once again opted not to support open standards and instead chosen to implement interactive iBooks via a proprietary format that could only be consumed on Apple-only devices.

Clearly, Apple is most interested in locking the education market into a closed system where iBooks textbooks can only be produced, sold, distributed and consumed by Apple-only technology.

Also, the iBooks Author app capability to export interactive multimedia-rich books as plain-text or PDF is a lame face-saving gimmic.

Shame on Apple for not fully supporting open standards like HTML5 and ePub3, and for undermining the open Web and Web browsers in favor of a closed proprietary system.

January 20, 2012 reply from Richard Campbell

One concern I have with Apple's iBooks Author program is in respect to the EULA

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/01/20/apple_ibooks/ 

I would prefer that Apple would charge for this authoring program and allow the standard file format (epub) be sold wherever the author wanted. Under the current conditions, Apple gets 30% of anything created with this program.

On a brighter note, it means that individual entrepreneurs who create their own works will be at a competive advantage vis-a-vis the major publishers.

Richard

 

Jensen Comment
These days, many people will still prefer the iPad for a number of reasons, including their favorite apps.

Many of the comments following this article are very favorable.

I still think Apple's decision to be a monopoly manufacturer of the iPad and not live by open standards is a bummer even though there is a work around for the open standard. Apple just did not seem to learn from its massive loss of PC market share to Windows. Now it may eventually lose market share to Android or Suirfac or whatever. Consumers really do tend to hate monopoly dictators.

"3 Reasons You'll Buy Google's Nexus 7 Tablet," by Eliot Weisberg, ReadWriteWeb, June 28, 2012 ---
http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/video-3-reasons-youll-buy-googles-nexus-7-tablet.php

"Google Nexus 7 Makes Amazon Kindle Fire Irrelevant," by Dan Rowinski, ReadWriteWeb, June 28, 2012 ---
http://www.readwriteweb.com/mobile/2012/06/google-nexus-7-makes-amazon-kindle-fire-irrelevant.php

"Will Google’s New Nexus Q Kill Google TV?" by Mark Hachman, ReadWriteWeb, June 28, 2012 ---
http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/will-googles-new-nexus-q-kill-google-tv.php

Bob Jensen's technology bookmarks ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob4.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on Tools and Tricks of the Trade ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm

 

January 20, 2012 reply from Bob Jensen

Hi Richard,

As one of the most diehard ToolBook users are you still writing ToolBooks?

It's amazing how iBooks have apparently borrowed almost all the ideas (such as wizards) from ToolBook with a couple of major exceptions. ToolBook has relatively expensive licensing fees but will play back on most Internet Browsers, including 100 millions of Windows machines.

As far as I can tell, iBooks will only play back on iPads which has to greatly limit the population of users to only those with access to iPad machines. Meanwhile, Amazon is still winning the high volume user and price wars on eBook downloads to its Kindle.

I would hate to have to author a textbook with touchscreen keys and a small screen. I realize there are limited apps for iPad keyboards and screen projections, but life would be so much simpler if IPads just had two or more UBS ports and a VGA port.

Also there are many, many readers and authors who want optional hard copy books. Depending too much upon multimedia for book authoring may be premature until hard copy books themselves have built in video playback screens on the inside back cover --- which is not yet a technology that I've seen developed.

Alternately, hard copy books may one day have UBS-type ports where video player headsets can be plugged into the binding of a hard copy book. This might be a neat way to publish hard copy books with multimedia components. The days of ubiquitous computing are just dawning and this may include a small computer built into the binding of a hard copy book --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ubiquit.htm

Respectfully,
Bob Jensen

PS I disagree with your implication that publishers have lost comparative advantages vis-a-vis custom (Vanity Press) authoring. Since you teach CVP analysis you must appreciate the fact that publishers still can add greatly to the "V" in CVP. You witness this every semester when publisher book reps walk up and down the halls outside your faculty office. The proportion of accounting textbook market share held by major textbook publishers may be declining slightly, but it's certainly not enough of a decline to contend that major textbook publishing houses do not currently have very important comparative advantages to authors of textbooks.

Bob Jensen's threads on free electronic literature are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm


"5 Reasons Why I Ditched My iPad for a Google Nexus 7," by Taylor Hatmaker, ReadWriteWeb, August 1, 2012 ---
http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/5-reasons-why-i-ditched-my-ipad-for-a-google-nexus-7.php

Jensen Comment
These days, many people will still prefer the iPad for a number of reasons, including their favorite apps.

Many of the comments following this article are very favorable.

I still think Apple's decision to be a monopoly manufacturer of the iPad and not live by open standards is a bummer even though there is a work around for the open standard. Apple just did not seem to learn from its massive loss of PC market share to Windows. Now it may eventually lose market share to Android or Suirfac or whatever. Consumers really do tend to hate monopoly dictators.

 


Apple does not have a corner on the market for innovations in textbook authoring
"2 New Platforms Offer Alternative to Apple’s Textbook-Authoring Software," by Nick DeSantis, Chronicle of Higher Education, February 17. 2012 ---
Click Here
http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/2-new-platforms-offer-alternative-to-apples-textbook-authoring-software/35495?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

Apple’s recent release of free software to build e-textbooks has brought attention to custom publishing of academic materials. But Apple’s software, called iBooks Author, lacks easy tools for multiple authors to collaborate on a joint textbook project. Since most books aren’t written in isolation, two new publishing platforms seek to make that group collaboration easier.

The first, Booktype, is free and open-source. Once the platform is installed on a Web server, teams of authors can work together in their browsers to write sections of books and chat with each other in real time about revisions. Entire chapters can be imported and moved around by dragging and dropping. The finished product can be published in minutes on e-readers and tablets, or exported for on-demand printing. Booktype also comes with community features that let authors create profiles, join groups, and track books through editing.

Inkling Habitat, the other new offering, appears to have even greater ambitions. Where iBooks Author is designed mostly for would-be amateur publishers, Inkling Habitat creates a cloud-based platform for the professional market. Matthew MacInnis, Inkling’s chief executive, said the company’s tool is designed to give the global teams who work on professionally published textbooks a single outlet to publish interactive material for the iPad and the Web. Mr. MacInnis said hundreds of users can access the same textbook content at once, and the software will keep track of each step in the editing process.

Inkling Habitat also automates some of the editing process that is unique to e-textbooks, like checking for broken links between special terms and their definitions in a glossary. Those automatic functions, Mr. MacInnis said, will allow e-textbook publishing to get easier without requiring additional staff. “You can’t build the industry up around digital content if you’re going to throw people at every problem,” he said.

 

February 20, 2012 message from Bob Jensen to Richard Campbell

Hi Richard,

Are iBooks superior to ToolBooks that will run on the other 99% of the market?
You don't seem to mention your ToolBooks anymore.
Have you stopped writing ToolBooks?
http://www.sumtotalsystems.com/products/content-creation/toolbook_overview.html


I did not know that iBooks were superior to all eBooks (including ToolBooks) on the market.
Is that what you're trying to tell us?


Does this justify having to pay Apple a huge royalty on every iBook an author sells?



I'm sorry, but I despise eBook vendors that do not support open standards. Apple shot itself in the 1980s with the Mac operating system. Now it's shooting itself in the other foot by trying to be an iBook hardware monopoly. The tech world resists vendors that do not support open standards. Excellent authors trying to make money on iBooks will pay a price!


Windows still has about 92% of the PC Market. Add to this the other alternatives that won't run iBooks like Linux. The last time I looked Kindle still had the overwhelming share of the eBook reader market. Seems like an aspiring author should consider market share.


Personally, at think at this stage of technology, a textbook author should still focus on eBook and hardcopy open standard alternatives and provide multimedia supplements. Eventually, hard copy books will have something like a USB port to a multimedia chip embedded in the binding.


Respectfully,
Bob Jensen

"Justice Dept. Sues Apple and Major Publishers in E-Book Price-Fixing Case," by Nick DeSantis, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 11, 2012 --- Click Here
http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/justice-depart-sues-apple-and-major-publishers-in-e-book-price-fixing-case/36025?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en


"3 Reasons You'll Buy Google's Nexus 7 Tablet," by Eliot Weisberg, ReadWriteWeb, June 28, 2012 ---
http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/video-3-reasons-youll-buy-googles-nexus-7-tablet.php

"Google Nexus 7 Makes Amazon Kindle Fire Irrelevant," by Dan Rowinski, ReadWriteWeb, June 28, 2012 ---
http://www.readwriteweb.com/mobile/2012/06/google-nexus-7-makes-amazon-kindle-fire-irrelevant.php

"Will Google’s New Nexus Q Kill Google TV?" by Mark Hachman, ReadWriteWeb, June 28, 2012 ---
http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/will-googles-new-nexus-q-kill-google-tv.php

Bob Jensen's technology bookmarks ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob4.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on Tools and Tricks of the Trade ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm

 


2009-2013 Updates on Electronic Books (including Inklewriter)


"Choose Your Own Classroom Adventure with Inklewriter," by Anastasia Salter, The Chronicle of Higher Education, February 7, 2013 ---
http://chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/classroom-adventure-with-inklewriter/45873?cid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

Most eBooks are still pretty boring as objects: text, pictures, maybe a video or interactive visualization in a more experimental work. But that landscape may be changing, thanks in part to the number of cool free tools for building interactive books. One of these platforms, inklewriter, has some great potential for use with students in the classroom or for creating interactive stories or texts.

Last week, Inkle Studios released “Future Voices,” a curated collection of stories produced with its interactive story development tool. This slick iPad app features the tech behind Frankenstein, an interactive adaptation of Mary Shelley’s novel by Dave Morris. Play through any of these stories for a while and you’ll see everything from straightforward choices of action to complex moral dilemmas and experiments. You can also check out many experiments on the web, including Emily Short’s Holography–she’s also written some thoughts on inklewriter as a platform.

While Inform 7 (as discussed last week) uses a parser interface based on interpreting a broad range of user actions (get lamp, open door, look at book, etc.), Inklewriter uses an interaction model similar to ’80s Choose Your Own Adventure gamebooks, which recently came back into print and made the transition to eBooks. However, it goes beyond any of the simple page-shuffling models of those past books in part because it can keep track of decisions and variables from the user’s actions.

Inklewriter has a great tutorial “story” to introduce writers to the platform. The interface, shown below, is mostly free of distractions and built around creating story nodes and choices:

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on Tools and Tricks of the Trade ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on electronic books ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Ebooks.htm

 


Microsoft's Surface Tablet --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Surface

Video on Use of the Surface --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pfzjcCzdtCk
Love that USB Port

"Mysteries and Clues from a Microsoft Surface Teardown:  The Surface tablet is not exactly DIY-friendly.," by David Zaz, MIT's Technology Review, October 29, 2012 --- Click Here
http://www.technologyreview.com/view/506516/mysteries-and-clues-from-a-microsoft-surface-teardown/?utm_campaign=newsletters&utm_source=newsletter-daily-all&utm_medium=email&utm_content=20121030

Imagine you’re a surgeon who spends all day cutting up bodies and sewing them back up. Then one day, you open up a patient to find--a kidney up near the shoulder.

That extremely imprecise analogy is a little bit like what iFixit found when they tore up a Microsoft Surface. Among other things, they found a small “speaker-looking thing” next to the display in the Surface’s front case. Since there’s no direct path from the speaker-y thing to the Surface’s surface, iFixit wasn’t sure what the doohickey does exactly. Perhaps it makes the muted faux-clicking noises of the Touch Cover, they speculate.

That was just one of several curious findings in iFixit’s teardown of the Microsoft tablet. The DIY-friendly site calls the device a quirky cat.”

Mainly, though, iFixit wasn’t excavating in search of hidden treasure. The site’s main aim was to figure out how easy the device would be to fix on your own, if you were so inclined. The answer? Not that easy. (Though a tad easier than comparable Apple products.)

iFixit ultimately gives the device a “repairability” rating of a 4 out of 10, where 10 is super-repairable. To begin with, it’s just really difficult to get elements of the Surface apart. “You’ll have to use a heat gun and lots of patience to gain access to the glass and LCD,” iFixit writes at one point. To give you some context, the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire scored 7’s out of 10. iFixit’s score puts Microsoft much closer to Apple’s strategy of tightly locking down their gear: the latest iPad earned a measly 2 for iFixit. In a way, the Surface’s non-DIY-friendliness is another instance of Microsoft nudging it’s way towards a more Apple-like strategy, generally (see Beyond the Surface: Microsoft Goes Apple.”)

The fact that that Surface is not friendly to makers will only affect a small majority of us--but in a sense, that’s the larger problem. We live in a generation that is increasingly happy not to think about how our devices are made or function, a generation that is happy to think of its computing devices as magic black boxes. This is one of the ideas behind the Raspberry Pi computing device: a clear casing exposes its guts, and it compels a level of elementary understanding of how the device works in order to use it. In a sense, it’s not surprising that the Surface should be difficult to open--since by anointing an in-house tablet as a standard-bearer for the next generation of Windows software, Microsoft becomes a competitor with its longstanding hardware partners. This is an era of decreasing openness in hardware, in many senses. 

 


"3 Reasons You'll Buy Google's Nexus 7 Tablet," by Eliot Weisberg, ReadWriteWeb, June 28, 2012 ---
http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/video-3-reasons-youll-buy-googles-nexus-7-tablet.php

"Google Nexus 7 Makes Amazon Kindle Fire Irrelevant," by Dan Rowinski, ReadWriteWeb, June 28, 2012 ---
http://www.readwriteweb.com/mobile/2012/06/google-nexus-7-makes-amazon-kindle-fire-irrelevant.php

"Will Google’s New Nexus Q Kill Google TV?" by Mark Hachman, ReadWriteWeb, June 28, 2012 ---
http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/will-googles-new-nexus-q-kill-google-tv.php

Bob Jensen's technology bookmarks ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob4.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on Tools and Tricks of the Trade ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm


Amazon Finally Gets the Kindle Right with the Paperwhite, Delivering on Price and Technology --- Click Here
http://www.openculture.com/2012/10/amazon_finally_gets_the_kindle_right_with_the_paperwhite_delivering_on_price_and_technology.html

It took five years and five models, but Amazon has finally released a new generation of the Kindle — the Kindle Paperwhite — that delivers the goods. The problem with the previous models boiled down to this. The screens were fairly muddy. The contrast, poor. The words didn’t pop off of the page. If you ever tried reading a Kindle indoors, especially in lower light conditions, you know what I mean.

With the Kindle Paperwhite, Amazon has made a pretty big leap ahead. They’ve made improvements to the font contrast and screen resolution, which definitely enhance the reading experience. They’ve also added a touchscreen to the e-ink model. But the big stride forward is the built-in light that illuminates the screen. The screen is sidelit, not backlit (à la the iPad). The point of the light isn’t to make the screen glow like a computer screen. It’s to make the screen stay white, like the page of a book, under varying light conditions. If you move from brighter to dimmer lighting conditions, you nudge up the brightness so that the page continues to look white. And then you stop there.

It all works quite well, until you start reading with the Paperwhite in pretty dim light conditions. Then you’ll need to dial up the light until the screen actually glows, and that’s when you’ll start to see some imperfections in the design. As David Pogue mentioned in his New York Times review, the Paperwhite has some hotspots (areas of uneven lighting) along the bottom of the screen, which detract minorly from the reading experience.

The last thing Amazon got right is the price. The entry model starts at $119, which means that Amazon is basically selling the e-reader at cost, and then making money on book sales. But that doesn’t mean that you need to spend very much. You can always download texts from our collection of 375 Free eBooks. Or, if you’re an Amazon Prime Member, you can borrow up to 180,000 books for free.

For a complete tour of the new Kindle, watch this 20 minute video.

Related Content:

Download 450 Free Audio Books

Read 160 Free Textbooks Online

Download a Free Audio Book From Audible.com

Bob Jensen's threads on eBooks or e-Books (the preferred spelling according to Grammar Girl ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Ebooks.htm

 

 


"How Compatible Are Rival E-Readers?" by David Pogue, The New York Times, May 10, 2012 ---
http://pogue.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/10/how-compatible-are-rival-e-readers/

The mail is still coming in about my review of Barnes & Noble’s latest e-book reader, the Barnes & Noble Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight.

Very little of the mail is actually about the reader, though. Most of it challenges the statements I made when I characterized the state of the e-book world right now.

Here’s a summary — and a few clarifications.

• What I wrote: “When you buy an e-reader, you’re committing to that one company’s catalog of books forever, because their book formats are mutually incompatible.”

Sample reader pushback: “Why do you write about things you don’t know anything about? Apparently, you haven’t heard of the free app called Calibre. It converts any e-book format into any other format. If I want to switch from a Kindle to a Nook, I just let Calibre convert my current Kindle library. It’s that simple.”

My reply: It’s actually not, for one towering reason: Calibre can’t convert copy-protected books. It doesn’t even try. And that rules out most of the books people want to read these days: best sellers. Current, commercial fiction and nonfiction. Books by people who are still alive.

I mean, if all you want to read is old, expired-copyright books like “Moby Dick” and “Little Women,” then — great! You don’t need Calibre at all, because these books are available free online in any format you like (or in formats that any reader can display, like text files or PDF files).

But when it comes to more recent books, my statement still stands. If you buy a bunch of modern books for the Nook and then one day switch to the Kindle, you’ll have to kiss your entire investment goodbye.

• What I wrote: “You can’t read a Kindle book on a Nook, or a Nook book on a Sony Reader, or a Sony book on an iPad.”

Sample reader pushback: “Your remark about not being able to read various book types on rival readers is disingenuous at best. I can read all of my Kindle books and all of my Nook books on my laptop or my iPad, thanks to reader apps made by those companies.”

My reply: Yes, that’s true. There are Kindle and Nook reading apps for tablets, phones and computers, so that you can read your purchased books without actually owning an e-book reader at all!

To be technically complete, therefore, I could have written this: “You can’t read a Kindle book on a Nook or Sony Reader, or a Nook book on a Sony Reader or Kindle, or a Sony book on an iPad, Kindle or Nook, or an iBooks book on a Nook, Kindle or Sony Reader. With a special app, you can read a Kindle book or Nook book on an iPad, laptop, iPhone, iPod Touch or Android phone.”

But my point was not to create a Wikipedia entry on e-book compatibility. I was just trying to make the point that if you are thinking of buying a dedicated e-book reader — and since this was a review of an e-book reader, I think that’s a reasonable assumption — then you’ll be locked into books from its manufacturer.

• What I wrote: “Once you buy the gadget, you’ve just married its company forever. If you ever want to change brands, you have to give up all the books you’ve ever bought.”

Sample reader pushback: “Your article contains an error. If you buy a Nook, you are not tied to Barnes & Noble’s bookstore. They use the ePub format, and accept the Adobe Digital Editions DRM [copy-protection] scheme, so you can buy books from a number of vendors. I have purchased books from B&N as well as Kobo, the Sony bookstore, and a couple other sites.”

My reply: I’ve always known that the Sony, Nook and Kobo readers all read standard ePub files. But it was my impression that, here again, the only books you can exchange freely among readers are the old, public-domain ones — not the copy-protected modern best sellers that most people are interested in.

It appears that I’m wrong. With some effort, you can, in fact, move copy-protected books among those three e-book readers. When I asked that reader how he does it, he sent along the instructions:

Say I bought “My Man Jeeves” from Kobo. I copy it to my Kobo e-reader. Now, to copy it to my Sony reader, I must manually download the acsm file that controls my license for this book. Kobo allows this, but not through their desktop application — only on their Web site. I simply use my Kobo account credentials to log on to the site. I go to “My library.” Beside each of my purchases is a Download button (it may be called “Adobe DRM ePub/PDF”). I click this button, and the acsm file is downloaded.

Now I “open” the acsm file using the Sony Reader desktop application. (On Windows, I do that by right-clicking the file, then selecting “Open with Sony eReader.”) My book is now copied-downloaded into my Sony Reader desktop app. I can then connect my Sony reader by its cable to my PC to copy that book as usual.

Wow. I’m not entirely convinced that average consumers would be willing, or even able, to wade through all of that for every book in their libraries.

But technically, I was wrong, and you’re right. If you’re technically adept, you can transfer your purchased books among Nook, Sony and Kobo readers — and any others that offer ePub compatibility.

The only big-name reader that doesn’t is the Kindle. Once you buy a Kindle book, you really are stuck with Kindles and Kindle reading apps forever.

Continued in article

"Amazon Lights the Fire With Free BooksL  Today, Amazon unveiled something radical: the Kindle Lending Library," by David Pogue, The New York Times, November 2, 2011 ---
http://pogue.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/11/03/amazon-lights-the-fire-with-free-books/ 

Bob Jensen's threads on electronic books are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Ebooks.htm


"Amazon's Kindle Fire Sales Fizzle in 2012, Market Share Slips to Third," by Joe Brockmeier, ReadWriteWeb, May 4, 2012 ---
http://www.readwriteweb.com/mobile/2012/05/amazons-kindle-fire-sales-fizzle-in-2012-market-share-slips-to-third.php

That Apple remains in first place in the tablet market comes as no surprise. IDC's latest research shows that in the first quarter of 2012, Amazon's once-hot Kindle Fire is struggling. According to IDC, Amazon's share dropped from nearly 17% of the tablet market to 4%, with fewer than 700,000 units sold compared to Apple's 11.8 million.
The inexpensive Kindle Fire took off when it was introduced in late 2011, giving Amazon 16.8% of the tablet market with 4.8 million shipments. Amazon's 7-inch tablet was the right product at the right price at the right time, that being the all-important holiday season. The Fire is an inexpensive tablet that offered many of the features that people want for less than half the price of an iPad. But the Fire didn't knock people's socks off, and many of the reviews were lukewarm, at best.

Amazon Still Trounces B&N

Apparently, the bloom is off the rose. Amazon's Q1 sales put it behind Samsung sales of Android tablets, but still comfortably ahead of Barnes & Noble's Nook tablets. Lenovo took the fourth slot, while B&N grabbed fifth place.

IDC predicts that Amazon will try to win back market share with the introduction of a "new larger-screened device... at a typically aggressive price point." IDC's Tom Mainelli, research director for IDC's Mobile Connected Devices group, also predicts Google will debut a tablet co-branded with ASUS.

Lessons Learned: Price Matters, to a Point

The lesson that Apple's tablet competitors should take from IDC's research is that price does drive sales - up to a point. The drop-off from the last quarter of 2011 to the first quarter of 2012 is far steeper than is easily explained by the end of holiday shopping. IDC had predicted overall tablet sales to be 1.2 million units higher than they were this quarter, with the shortfall mostly attributed to Amazon's slip.

Even though Apple introduced a new iPad this year, it's continuing to sell iPad 2s at a reduced price, fending off the cheap Android tablets and defending its market share while maintaining high margins on the rest of the iPad line. Apple owned 54.7% of the market in Q4 2011, and has bumped that figure back up to 68% in Q1 2012.

Tablet sales have grown 120% from last year, but were still lower than IDC's predictions. Whether tablet sales continue to slow in Q4 will be interesting to see.

Continued in article

 

 


Pew Internet & American Life Project: The Rise of E-Reading ---
http://libraries.pewinternet.org/2012/04/04/the-rise-of-e-reading/

The Museum of Printing History --- http://www.printingmuseum.org/

Richard Benson: The Printed Picture (historical alternatives for printing pictures) ---
http://www.benson.readandnote.com


Fill Your New Kindle, iPad, iPhone with Free eBooks, Movies, Audio Books, Courses & More --- Click Here
http://www.openculture.com/2011/12/fill_your_new_kindle_ipad_iphone_with_free_ebooks_movies_audio_books_courses_more.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+OpenCulture+%28Open+Culture%29

Bob Jensen's threads on free electronic literature ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on free courses, lectures, videos, and course materials from prestigious universities ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

 


"Kindle Fire, a Grown-Up E-Reader With Tablet Spark," by Walter S. Mossberg, The Wall Street Journal, November 16, 2011 ---
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204190504577040110511886588.html

It's often said that there isn't really a tablet market, just an Apple iPad market with a bunch of other contenders fighting over the remnants. But, starting this week, that is likely to change, because Amazon is adding a multifunction color tablet to its popular Kindle line that costs less than half as much as an iPad 2.

This new $199 device is called the Kindle Fire, and after testing it for a week, I think it's a good—though not a great—product and a very good value. It doesn't just add color to the Kindle, it adds a robust ability to store and stream music, TV shows and movies—and a weaker ability to store and display color photos. And it offers about 8,500 apps at launch, including Netflix, Angry Birds and QuickOffice. [PTECH-JUMP] Amazon

Amazon's Kindle Fire, pictured, has a more developed content ecosystem than Barnes & Noble's Nook Tablet. A Guide to Tablets and E-Readers

See specs for some e-readers and tablets on the market.

View Interactive Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

The new Nook Tablet

More photos and interactive graphics

To be clear, the Kindle Fire is much less capable and versatile than the entry-level $499 iPad 2. It has a fraction of the apps, a smaller screen, much weaker battery life, a slower Web browser, half the internal storage and no cameras or microphone. It also has a rigid and somewhat frustrating user interface far less fluid than Apple's.

But the Fire has some big things going for it. First, the $199 price, though the Fire's seven-inch screen is less than half the surface area of the iPad's display. Second, the Amazon and Kindle brands, already known and loved for e-readers and more. Third, Amazon is the only major tablet maker other than Apple with a large, famous, easy-to-use content ecosystem that sells music, video, books and periodicals. The Fire can be thought of as a hardware front end to all that cloud content. More

Digital Solution: How a Basic Kindle Fares Mossberg's Mailbox B&N Nook Takes on Fire (11/8/2011) Amazon Bets Apps Light Up 'Fire' Sales (11/15/2011) B&N Unveils New Nook (5/25/2011) Video: First Look at Nook E-Book Reader

Finally, while the Fire, like many other tablets, is based on Google's Android operating system, Amazon has taken the bold step of hiding Android. It shuns its user interface and nearly all of Google's apps and services, including Google's app store. The Fire's software is all about the content and apps Amazon has sold you and the easy purchase of more.

When compared to the iPad 2, I suspect the Fire will appeal to people on a budget and to those who envision using the iPad mainly to consume content, as opposed to those who see the larger tablet as a partial laptop replacement. For instance, while the Fire has a decent Web browser and a rudimentary email program, it lacks basic built-in apps, such as a calendar, notepad or maps. However, for people primarily interested in reading books and periodicals, the Fire may seem too heavy and costly when compared with a low-end Kindle or Nook. [PTECH-JUMP] Barnes & Noble

Barnes & Noble's Nook Tablet

The Fire isn't only competing with the iPad and other general-purpose tablets. It has to contend with a new, low-price, similar-size color tablet out this week from e-reader rival, Barnes & Noble. This device, the Nook Tablet, is B&N's second-generation color slate and costs $249, still less than an iPad. I've also been trying it out for a few days and found it has some pluses and minuses compared with the Fire.

The Nook Tablet boasts double the internal storage and a slot to expand it. It has better battery life and a more interactive approach to children's books. But beyond books and magazines, it lacks either Amazon's or Apple's large, simple, built-in ecosystem for other kinds of content, such as music, movies and TV shows.

Instead, Barnes & Noble boasts it offers choice, by including video apps like Netflix and music apps like Pandora. However, these same apps also appear on the Fire and the iPad, along with the Amazon and Apple stores.

Continued in article

"A Kindle Swipes Fine, but Still Hooked on a Nook," by Katherine Boehret, The Wall Street Journal, November

Despite the advantages of full-featured touch screen tablets like the iPad, plenty of people opt for e-readers like Amazon's Kindle, finding them more comfortable in the hand and easier on the eyes.

This week, I tested the new Kindle Touch in a head-to-head comparison with Barnes & Noble's Nook Simple Touch. The Kindle Touch includes several features that Kindle fans have been waiting for, particularly better navigation. The Nook Simple Touch, which came out last summer, dropped in price to $99 and received a software update last week.

Navigating these touch screens is a breeze, and you'll be happy reading with either the Kindle Touch or Nook Simple Touch. Both feature E-ink, nonreflective screens without backlights—great for long stretches of reading. These smaller devices are also lighter than a tablet. More

Kindle Fire: A Grown-Up E-Reader Amazon Bets Apps Light Up 'Fire' Sales (11/15/2011) B&N Nook Takes on Fire (11/8/2011) Judging E-Readers by Their Book Readability (6/29/2011) B&N Unveils New Nook (5/25/2011) Video: First Look at Nook E-Book Reader

Overall, I prefer the Nook for its better price and usability.

Each e-reader costs $99, but the Kindle Touch comes pre-loaded with so-called special offers—ads that take over the device's screen when it's in sleep mode and appear whenever you touch its Menu button. A Kindle Touch without on-screen ads is $139, or $40 more than the ad-free Nook. A Kindle Touch with a 3G Internet connection costs $149; Barnes & Noble doesn't offer a 3G Nook Simple Touch.

Amazon has finally released three new models of its popular Kindle e-reader: the $199 Kindle Fire, the $99 Kindle Touch and the $79 basic Kindle. WSJ's Katherine Boehret put the Kindle Touch in a head-to-head comparison with Barnes And Noble's Nook.

Physically, the Kindle Touch is a bit taller, while the Nook is slightly wider with a contoured back that's easier to hold. The Kindle Touch relies solely on tapping or swiping on the left or right of the device's touchscreen to turn pages. Nook users can turn pages using these methods or physical buttons on the left and right sides of the screen.

I prefer the option of physical buttons so I can hold the device and not move my hand each time I want to turn the page. These buttons are also handy at times when touching the screen isn't ideal, like after using suntan lotion at the beach.

Though the Kindle does a lot of the same things the Nook does, Amazon's clever terms make these same actions sound more whimsical. When using the cloud to sync content and page location across devices, Amazon calls this Whispersync. Amazon's community-generated encyclopedia is named Shelfari.

Three notable new features work with Amazon's Kindle Touch.

X-Ray is a feature that displays book-report-like data points when someone taps the screen at any point while reading one of "thousands" (Amazon wouldn't give a more specific number) of titles.

This could be a real boon for non-fiction readers, but since I don't read a lot of non-fiction, X-Ray wasn't too useful in my books. While reading John Grisham's "The Litigators," I used X-Ray to read Wikipedia descriptions of Chicago and Big Pharma. This data can also come from Shelfari.

The Kindle Owners' Lending Library is available to Amazon Prime members—Prime costs $79 a year—and lets users borrow from over 5,000 titles. People who use this can borrow one book each month with no due date. I tried this and found books in the Kindle store listed with "borrow for free" icons where a price would normally display. I tapped this option beside "The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins, and the book was sent to my Kindle. An on-screen message notified me that I couldn't borrow again until Dec. 1.

Finally, Kindle users can borrow books from their public library via easy, wireless downloads, though these are bound by the same lending rules as physical library books. I borrowed a book from my Washington, D.C., public library by browsing available Kindle books on the library's website and virtually checking out a book after entering my library card number. I followed a link from there to Amazon.com, where I selected the "Get Library Book" box, which appeared where "Add to Cart" is normally found. Your Kindle must be using a Wi-Fi connection—not 3G—to get these books.

The Nook can only load library books via a clumsy USB cord transferring process. A Barnes & Noble spokeswoman said the company plans to offer Wi-Fi downloading of library books early next year.

If you'd rather lend books to fellow e-reader users, Kindle and Nook can do this. Books can be lent to friends for 14 days, during which time the book's owner can't read them.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on electronic books ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Ebooks.htm


You get to download one Kindle book a month, with no due dates, free, if you’re an Amazon Prime member and a Kindle owner.

"Amazon Lights the Fire With Free BooksL  Today, Amazon unveiled something radical: the Kindle Lending Library," by David Pogue, The New York Times, November 2, 2011 ---
http://pogue.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/11/03/amazon-lights-the-fire-with-free-books/ 

Today, Amazon unveiled something radical: the Kindle Lending Library.

You get to download one Kindle book a month, with no due dates, free, if you’re an Amazon Prime member and a Kindle owner.

O.K., whoa.

First of all, Amazon Prime used to be a free-shipping service. You pay $80 a year, and you get two-day free shipping on anything you buy from Amazon. It was fine, I guess, for people who bought enough stuff from Amazon to make it worth the fee.

But then something really weird happened. Amazon decided to compete with Netflix’s movie-streaming service. It started licensing more and more movies and TV shows — now 13,000 of them, which is rapidly approaching Netflix’s library size. The price? Free, if you’re an Amazon Prime subscriber.

What does free shipping have to do with streaming movies? Beats me. But it must have been a delightful surprise to people who’d signed up for Prime.

And now this. Free books, including New York Times bestsellers, for the Kindle. If you’re an Amazon Prime member.

Free shipping, free movies, free books, for $80 a year. What, exactly, is Amazon up to?

There has to be some master plan, because Amazon is spending itself silly to pull this off. Because the offer is limited to owners of Kindles — it doesn’t work if you use the Kindle service on an iPad, for instance — it is intended to sell more Kindles.

Obviously, the notoriously e-terrified book publishers wouldn’t sign off on Amazon’s free-book deal without a lot of reassurance — and a lot of payments. And sure enough, Amazon says that these free Kindle books aren’t really free. It’s paying publishers for the right to distribute them.

“Titles in the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library come from a range of publishers under a variety of terms,” Amazon says. “For the vast majority of titles, Amazon has reached agreement with publishers to include titles for a fixed fee. In some cases, Amazon is purchasing a title each time it is borrowed by a reader under standard wholesale terms as a no-risk trial to demonstrate to publishers the incremental growth and revenue opportunity that this new service presents.”

Wow. Amazon is actually buying e-books to give you for free.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
Amazon often sells hard copy old books for a penny plus reasonable shipping charges. UPS just delivered an accounting classic (from 1979) to me for which I paid a penny plus $3.95 shipping.

Bob Jensen's threads on free electronic literature ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm

 


Amazon Flies Through Clouds in Search of Books
"Amazon Sees a Good Read in the Cloud:  Users can now access all of their Amazon Kindle content on anything with a browser," by Erica Naone, MIT's Technology Review, August 10, 2011 ---
http://www.technologyreview.com/web/38298/?nlid=nldly&nld=2011-08-12


"Textbook Rentals Come to the Kindle: Probably Not a Money-Saver," by Audrey Watters, ReadWriteWeb, July 18, 2011 ---
http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/textbook_rentals_come_to_the_kindle_probably_not_a.php

Amazon unveiled a Kindle Textbook Rental, giving students the ability to rent instead of buy digital textbooks. Amazon says that "tens of thousands" of titles from some of the major textbook publishers - including John WIley & Sons, Wlsevier, and Taylor & Francis - will be available for this school year.

It's not just the selection that the company is touting, of course, it's the savings: "now students can save up to 80% off its textbook list prices by renting from the Kindle Store." Amazon's boasted savings for students has put the company at odds with brick-and-mortar college bookstores, and the National Association of College Stores has accused the online retailer of misleading students about the potential for savings when buying textbooks from Amazon.

But renting textbooks has becoming a popular alternative to buying recently, with companies like Chegg offering students the ability to rent books just for the duration of a semester. Amazon's new program is similar, but with the added bonus of being digital rather than physical, letting students read the e-books on Kindles and on Kindle apps.

Buying Used Textbooks, Still Cheaper Than Renting

The Kindle Textbook Rental program also lets students configure the length of the rental, from 30 days to 360 days. Of course, the longer you rent, the more expensive it becomes. A $100 Kindle purchase can be rented for $40 for a month, but that quickly increases the longer you keep the book - and most students will keep it for at least a semester. It's still cheaper to buy used textbooks in most cases, and when you buy a physical book, of course, you can keep the book or sell it back as you deem fit.

To make this option more appealing, Amazon has added a new feature to the Kindle Textbook Rental program, the ability for students to keep any of the notes they make in the textbooks they've rented. Typically, when you borrow an e-book, any marks you make in the text disappear when you return them. But Amazon says you'll be able to keep your highlights and notes "in the Amazon Cloud," and should you buy or rent the book again, the notes will be "just where you left them."

College Students Lukewarm about Kindles

The Kindle itself hasn't gained much traction among college students, and several studies have found that students say that they don't find e-readers to be very useful for their note-taking and studying needs. It's worth noting that on Amazon's page announcing the new program that an actual Kindle isn't depicted. Instead, there's an e-book on a laptop and displayed on a large monitor. You needn't use a Kindle, the message seems to suggest, just a Kindle app.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
It's a little unfair to only compare eBooks with hard copy (including used hard copy) books on the basis of price or rental fees alone. Electronic books are different on other criteria. Word searches are easier in electronic books whereas hard copy books don't crash and burn. All the electronic textbooks for all courses ever taken can be carried in one reader weighing less than two pounds. Try stuffing the hard copy textbooks for more than two courses into a backpack.

Rentals in electronic books or hard copy have some drawbacks. I wish I could have had all the textbooks for every course I ever took in college stored for access today. But I took some of those courses before printing presses were invented.

Bob Jensen's threads on electronic books are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/eBooks.htm


Four More Nails in the Coffins of Printed Textbooks

"Blackboard Announces Collaboration With Major Textbook Publishers," by Jeff Young, Chronicle of Higher Education, July 13, 2011 ---
http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/blackboard-announces-collaboration-with-major-textbook-publishers/32228?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

Four major textbook providers—Cengage, Macmillan, Pearson, and John Wiley & Sons—today announced that they will build tighter links between their advanced e-textbook platforms and Blackboard’s popular course-management system.

Blackboard announced a similar deal with McGraw-Hill last year. So the company now has partnerships with the five dominant textbook publishers.

For students, a major benefit will be the ability to get to the publishers’ e-textbooks and online assignments through the campus network without having to create new logins and passwords. For professors, the new links will make it easier to push students’ grades on online quizzes from the publishers’ e-textbook systems to the gradebook they use on the Blackboard system.

The deals do not turn Blackboard into a bookstore, however. Students must purchase access to the online-textbook systems through traditional retailers such as the college bookstore, said Matthew Small, chief business officer for Blackboard. “This isn’t about a storefront—this is about making these things more interoperable,” he added. “It’s a real challenge for the universities because they have to maintain all of these different passwords” to each textbook provider, he said. “Now 90-plus percent of all of the digital-learning platforms are going to be integrated into Blackboard.”

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on Blackboard (that was recently sold to a private equity outfit) are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Blackboard.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on electronic books ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/eBooks.htm

Bob Jensen's links to free electronic literature (including textbooks) ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm


"QuickWire: Top 10 Trends in Academic Libraries," by Jennifer Howard, Chronicle of Higher Education, June 16, 2011 ---
http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/quickwire-top-10-trends-in-academic-libraries/31796?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en


Looking for Every Nook and Granny
"With the New Nook, Grandma Gets Wired: A pared-down version of the Barnes & Noble e-reader has the grandmother demographic in mind," by David Zax, MIT's Technology Review, June 6, 2011 ---
http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/helloworld/26847/?nlid=4602

. . .

So it's no surprise to hear from Barnes & Noble's CEO this week that one of the target markets for its latest iteration of the Nook is the granny demographic. At an event in New York on Tuesday, reports Reuters, chief executive William Lynch told the group gathered that the inspiration for the latest Nook was a letter that had asked why no e-readers were tailored to the geriatric set (or other dead-tree loyalists, like myself).

"The Kindle 3 has 38 buttons. That's 37 more than the all-new Nook," Lynch said, comparing his offering to Amazon's latest. With just one button, the latest of late-adopting grandparents should be able to take the latest Nook for a whirl.

The new Nook is priced at $139, making it competitive with Amazon's Kindle, and starts shipping on June 10—though you can pre-order it now, if you like. (There's actually a cheaper Kindle, one that costs $114, but it's ad-supported—not true of the latest Nook.) The Nook weighs in at 7.5 ounces and has a 6-inch touchscreen display. It was just a month ago that the B&N introduced a revamped color e-reader, priced at $249, one that could even play videos and let you play popular games like "Angry Birds." But the whole idea behind the $139 Nook is to simplify, simplify, simplify. Its display is plain black and white—a true e-reader. Its screen is specifically designed to be "paper-like."

B&N execs made a claim at the May 24 event—that the new Nook had superior battery life to its competitors, lasting up to two months. This led to a battle of press releases between Amazon and B&N, with the former claiming the latter hadn't played fair with their battery life tests. Amazon has traditionally based its battery life claims on one-hour-per-day usage; B&N's usage tests assumed just a half-hour per day. But the smackdown seems to have reached a sort of détente, reports Wired—Amazon just rejiggered its own analysis based on 30-minutes-per-day usage.

Two months of battery life? One month? Who cares? It's a tremendous amount of time, next to what a charge gets you on your laptop or smartphone. Then again, unless grandma also has those gadgets, her expectations how long a battery ought to run may be different from your

Bob Jensen's threads on the history of electronic books ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/eBooks.htm

 


"TED Starts an E-Books Line (of short books)," by Julie Bosman, The New York Times, January 26, 2011 ---
http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/26/ted-starts-an-e-books-line/?ref=business

Bob Jensen's threads on eBooks are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/eBooks.htm


"Motorola's Xoom Starts Tablet Wars With iPad ," by Walter S. Mossberg, The Wall Street Journal, February 24, 2011 ---
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703775704576162434292664662.html

After months of speculation, the tablet wars begin in earnest this week. Motorola is releasing its Xoom tablet on Feb. 24, and I consider it the first truly comparable competitor to Apple's hit iPad. That is partly because it is the first iPad challenger to run Honeycomb, an elegant new version of Google's Android operating system designed especially for tablets.

Both Motorola's hardware and Google's new software are impressive and, after testing it for about a week, I believe the Xoom beats the first-generation iPad in certain respects, though it lags in others. Like the iPad, the Xoom has a roomy 10-inch screen, and it's about the same thickness and weight as the iPad, albeit narrower and longer. And, like the iPad's operating system, Honeycomb gives software the ability to make good use of that screen real estate, with apps that are more computer-like than those on a smartphone.

The Xoom has a more potent processor than the current iPad; front and rear cameras versus none for the iPad; better speakers; and higher screen resolution. It also can be upgraded free later this year to support Verizon's faster 4G cellular data network (though monthly fees may rise.)

Is the Motorola Xoom tablet the first formidable competitor to the iPad? Its high price is its Achilles heel, says Walt Mossberg, but the Google Android Honeycomb operating system delivers. Plus: a market for cell phone re-sales emerges.

Motorola is taking aim at the iPad just as Apple is expected to announce, next week, a second-generation of its tablet. Little is known about this second iPad, but it's widely expected to take away at least one of the Xoom's advantages over the original iPad—cameras—and is rumored to be thinner and lighter, since weight was one of the most common complaints about the generally praised first iPad.

The iPad has way more tablet-specific apps—around 60,000 versus a handful—and, in my tests, much better battery life. Plus, whatever the specs say, it's a fast device with a beautiful screen that delights people daily. But, overall, the Xoom with Honeycomb is a strong alternative to the original iPad, and one that will only improve over time.

Unfortunately for consumers looking for iPad alternatives, the Xoom has an Achilles' heel: price. While iPads come in a range of models priced all the way up to $829—none of which requires a cellphone contract—Apple's entry price for the iPad is just $499. By contrast, the base price of a Xoom without a cellphone contract is $800—60% more. And even with a Verizon two-year contract at $20 to $80 a month—depending on the data limit you choose—the least you can pay for a Xoom is $600, or 20% more before counting the contract costs.

In fairness, the iPad model with the same memory as the Xoom and a 3G cellular modem like the Xoom's is $729, which is a closer comparison. But it is still less than $800, and consumers still focus on that $499 iPad entry price (for a Wi-Fi-only model.)

As much as I like the Xoom and Honeycomb, I'd advise consumers to wait to see what Apple has up its sleeve next before committing to a higher price for the Motorola product.

Meanwhile, here's what I found in testing the Xoom.

Hardware

Though it works fine in portrait, or vertical, mode, the Xoom is mainly designed as a landscape, or horizontal, device. The screen is long and narrow, proportioned to best fit widescreen video. The HD screen boasts a resolution of 1280 by 800, versus 1024 by 768 for the iPad.

. . .

Software

Perhaps even more impressive than the hardware is the Honeycomb software, which, for now, Google won't offer on cellphones, only tablets, of which the Xoom is the first.

I've always felt that Android had a rough-around-the edges, geeky feel, with too many steps to do things and too much reliance on menus. But Honeycomb eliminates much of that. Actions like composing emails, or changing settings are much more obvious and quicker. The smart but cluttered notification bar has been moved to the lower right and simplified. A tap on it pops up relevant information.

There is still a separate email app for Gmail, as opposed to other email services you may use. But, now, as on the iPad, email is presented in multiple columns and is more attractive and easier to use.

The browser is especially impressive, with PC-like features, such as visible tabs for open pages and the ability to open a private browsing session. Apps like Maps and YouTube have 3-D views. There's a movie-editing app and live widgets for the home screens that show email previews or video frames.

There are some downsides. The ability to play Flash video—a big Android selling point—won't work on the Xoom at launch. It will take some weeks to appear. And I found numerous apps in the Android Market that wouldn't work with the Xoom. I couldn't locate a working video download or rental service, though Google says these will be available soon.

Some apps for phones, like the popular game Angry Birds, filled the screen beautifully and worked fine.

Bottom line: The Xoom and Honeycomb are a promising pair that should give the iPad its stiffest competition. But price will be an obstacle, and Apple isn't standing still.

Jensen Comment
Meanwhile the Kindle market still booms for the specialized electronic book reader that excels in light weight and outdoor daylight reading and most certainly on low price. But the Kindle is not a tablet computer. But if you have a great laptop computer, the Kindle may be all you need until victory is declared in the tablet wars.


"The Present and Future of Digital Publishing," by Joshua Gans, Harvard Business Review Blog, February 24, 2011 --- Click Here
http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2011/02/here_is_what_we_know.html?referral=00563&cm_mmc=email-_-newsletter-_-daily_alert-_-alert_date&utm_source=newsletter_daily_alert&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=alert_date


New Devices for Downloading (offloading plus re-formatting) from the Web Instead of Having to Read Material on the Web

"The Web Is Now the Last Place You Should Read Anything: Reading on the Web has never been a very satisfying experience--new tools mark the beginning of its end," by Christopher Mims, MIT's Technology Review, January 21, 2011 ---
http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/mimssbits/26284/?nlid=4036

If browsing the web on a traditional PC is a satisfying experience, why did Apple just have a record fourth quarter in which it sold 7.33 million iPads? Of course, not everyone's a fan of even the iPad's somewhat bloated form factor, which is why Kindles and iPhones have also posted record sales figures too.

Now, the inevitable is happening: Developers have figured out how to instantaneously migrate the material we would normally read on the web onto these eminently more portable and--dare I say it--more book-like devices. Previously I've covered Instapaper, one service that accomplishes this feat, and while it has its adherents, it has one major weakness on the Amazon Kindle, arguably the most-book like (and least webby) reader out there: getting material onto a Kindle via Instapaper requires waiting for the service to deliver a bundle of stories, something that only happens at user-determined intervals.

Now, however, there's no need to wait: users of the Google Chrome web browser can install an extension that instantly formats a story to the Kindle and sends it to the device for "off-line" reading. It's functionally identical to the "Chrome to iPhone" extension that does the same thing for any iOS device -- i.e. iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad.

Clones for Android devices and tablets will inevitably follow. What does this mean for reading on the web?

It means that soon, there won't be any reason to read anything but the shortest material on a computer screen. The same screen that is the one place that is, in terms of ergonomics, eye strain and even how well we retain the material we're reading, demonstrably the worst possible place to read anything. Tablet devices are an implicit acknowledgement of this shortcoming, but the fact remains that we spend most of our day finding information on our computers. As tools that transmit that information, intact, to other, more paper-like devices proliferate, the act of reading that information will become uncoupled from the act of finding it.

And that's all to the better--who doesn't find the act of reading, rather than simply scanning, material on a computer screen to be antithetical to the act of comprehension? This can only raise the bar for material transmitted on the web: already content creators are noticing that longer and more-in depth pieces do better on the web--exactly the sort best consumed anywhere but a computer screen.


"Can Bookstores Survive? Prospects and Consequences," by Richard Posner, Becker-Posner Blog, January 9, 2011 ---
http://www.becker-posner-blog.com/2011/01/can-bookstores-survive-prospects-and-consequencesposner.html

Two of the largest bookstore chains—Barnes & Noble and Borders—are in danger of being forced into bankruptcy; their plight raises the broader question of whether bookstores will survive in any significant number, and, if not, what the consequences will be.

There are two clear threats, both Internet-related, to the bookstore. The newest is the e-book, in which the contents of a book are transmitted over the Internet to an electronic reader owned by the book’s buyer. No bookstore is involved. Slightly older is the sale, as opposed to the delivery, of a book online; Amazon is the principal seller in this market. No bookstore is involved unless Amazon doesn’t have the book in inventory; in that event the customer is referred by Amazon to a bookstore that has the book and will sell it online and deliver it to the buyer; the purchase is made through Amazon. Most of the books that Amazon and the other online booksellers don’t carry in stock are out of print, and bookstores that stock such books tend to be small (though there are some exceptions), because the market for such books is tiny.

A possible third threat is diminished appetite for books. I haven’t been able to find good statistics on annual sales of books in the United States (and anyway “books” is an extremely heterogeneous product category), but it would seem that the amount of entertainment and instruction available online is so great that online substitution for reading books must have reduced the demand for them. At the same time, however, the demand for books should be stimulated by the fall in cost when books are bought online, cutting out the middleman—the bookstore—a point to which I’ll return shortly.

It seems inevitable that the number of books sold through bookstores will plummet. Books bought through bookstores are more costly not only in price (to cover the costs of the bookstore), but also in customers’ time—the time required to travel to and from the bookstore, find the book one wants to buy, and complete the purchase (which takes more time than an online purchase). The only offsetting advantages of the bookstore are the opportunity it provides for browsing and the fact that the customer can see and handle the book before buying it. But these advantages are offset to a considerable extent (doubtless more than offset, for many customers) by the use by online sellers of artificial-intelligence programs to recommend books to their customers, by the much vaster inventory of an online seller like Amazon, by ease of search, by the reader reviews that the seller presents, and by the seller’s ability to allow customers to look inside the online book before ordering it, much as if he were leafing through a printed book in a bookstore.

It is true that Amazon’s book-recommendation program is primitive, and is no substitute for browsing in a well-stocked bookstore, but it will improve; one can foresee the day when customers will furnish (and Amazon store) comprehensive information about their age, sex, education, occupation, and reading tastes, which Amazon will use to create an initial list of recommended purchases, which it will refine as it receives orders from the customer plus supplementary information from the customer as the customer’s tastes and interests change.

At present fewer than 30 percent of all books are bought online (either in hard copy or as an e-book), but I have seen an estimate that this figure will grow to 75 percent within a few years. Very few bookstores will have enough customers to survive if bookstore sales fall from 70 percent to 25 percent of all book sales, except those bookstores specializing in out of print books—whose customers will largely be online. In time, moreover, with more and more publishing electronic, there will be fewer and fewer “out of print” books.

The substitution of online for bookstore distribution of books will provide a substantial social saving and, as I said, increase the demand for books by reducing their retail price. As for the effect on publishers and authors of books, there is concern that it will be adverse, but that seems unlikely. A seller tries to minimize his cost of distribution, just as he tries to minimize his other costs; the publisher is the ultimate seller, and the bookstore part of the chain of distribution. But there is an important, and potentially relevant, exception, and that is where a distributor provides point-of-sale services that increase the demand for the product. This is the rationale for resale price maintenance: manufacturers of some goods place a floor under the retail price of the goods, thus deliberately increasing the retailers’ margin, but hoping by doing so to induce them to engage in nonprice competition that will increase the demand for the goods. Bookstore staffs, by decisions they make concerning choice and display of books to carry, and by making purchasing suggestions to customers, can, in principle, increase the demand for books. But these services cannot guarantee the survival of many bookstores, because unless the services are valued by a greater margin than seems realistic to expect, there will be too few customers to defray the bookstore’s fixed costs at acceptable prices.

The question then becomes whether the loss of point-of-sale services that bookstores provide will hurt publishers (and therefore authors, whose prosperity is linked to that of publishers) more than it will help them by reducing their distribution costs. That too is doubtful. As technology continues its forward march, online booksellers will find it increasingly feasible to duplicate and indeed improve on the point-of-sale services that bookstores offer. Bookstores will decline, and perhaps vanish when the current older generation, consisting of people habituated to printed books (as to printed newspapers), dies off. Yet this may well represent genuine economic progress, just as department stores and supermarkets represent progress though they cause the demise of countless small retailers.

 

"Traditional Bookstores are Doomed," by Nobel Laureate Gary Becker, Becker-Posner Blog, January 9, 2011 ---
http://www.becker-posner-blog.com/2011/01/can-bookstores-survive-prospects-and-consequencesposner.html

The traditional bookstore is doomed by e-readers and online sales of hard copy books. I use the word “doomed” in the same sense that online digital sales of movies and music have doomed movie rental stores, movie theatres, and stores that sell albums of music. Doomed does not mean that these stores will quickly, or ever fully, disappear, but that they have received deadly blows from Internet competition.

Joseph Schumpeter, an outstanding economist in the first half of the 20th century, originated the term “creative destruction” to describe new technologies and other forms of new competition that wreak havoc on older and established industries. The process is creative because it provides consumers and producers with more effective ways of satisfying their wants. The process is at the same time destructive because it greatly reduces the value of services and products provided by older industries.

Extreme examples of creative destruction from the 20th century include the complete substitution of cars for horses and buggies, movies with speaking for silent movies, and computers for typewriters. Less extreme are the large reduction in clerical and secretarial staffs caused by the development of computers and the Web, and the sizable reduction in demand for milk and eggs induced by better information on the health value of low cholesterol diets.

A similar creative destruction process began for bookstores with Amazon’s development of online book sales that offered huge inventories of books, convenience of purchase, speedy deliveries, online reviews of books, and various other services that made it more efficient and often cheaper to buy books online rather than in bookstores. Sales of books online started slowly, but they have accelerated as consumers became more familiar with the process of buying books (and other goods) online. I first started using Amazon at my summer home since it is not near any bookstore. Discovering the convenience of buying books online, I now buy online all year, although I still enjoy visiting bookstores.

Effective online readers, like Amazon’s Kindle, and Apple’s iPad, are only a few years old, but they have become big hits since they can be used both to purchase books online, and to read books in digital form. Hundreds of books can be stored digitally in a single Reader that weighs less than a couple of pounds. They are especially valuable when traveling, but are useful when reading in bed or eating, and also with traditional reading when seated on a comfortable chair. They are particularly useful for individuals with weak eyesight since print size can be easily adjusted. This is why digital readers will appeal eventually even more to older persons than to others, although mainly younger persons are the ones who so far have bought digital readers because old persons are less familiar with digitalization.

I do not expect bookstores to rapidly disappear the way the production of silent movies virtually ceased once talking movies were created. However, I do expect an accelerating decline in the number of bookstores as many close down due to bankruptcy and excessive losses. Some bookstores will continue to exist to cater to men and women who like to browse among physical copies of books, and because some owners of bookstores get great pleasure out of selling and being surrounded by books. Many bookstores that survive are likely to combine selling hard copy books with that of other products. For example, university bookstores usually also sell clothing that have the university logo, computers, greeting cards, snacks and coffee, and other goods that cater to students and faculty. Other surviving bookstores might combine selling of hard copy books in physical facilities with online sales of hard copy books, and online sales of digital books.

The decline of bookstores, theatres, laundries, and other retail industries with physical facilities illustrates a trend that runs counter to older ideas about the effects of economic development. The process of development has been presumed to cause a substitution of market activities for home production. For example, households in poor rural societies have not only grown their own food, but also made much of their clothing, washed their clothes, baked their bread, and cooked from scratch their other food. As countries underwent economic growth, many of these productive activities left the home and migrated to the marketplace. Factory-made clothing was substituted for clothing made at home, and bakeries and laundries developed to make bread and sweets, and to wash, clean, and dry clothes.

Further technological developments,however, such as small motors used in home washing and drying machines, and small machines that cooked bread easily at home, shifted many activities back into the home, and thereby saved on time and energy spent in the shopping process. The online digital revolution is a further major step in this trend of returning activities to the home. Time and effort are saved, for example, when instead of going to movie theatres, consumers both order and download films online to be viewed at “home”, either on television sets, or increasingly on computers.

From this perspective, what is happening to bookstores is not unusual. “Books” are still read at “home”, but increasingly they are also purchased at home, and not only in hard copy form. Digital books are a true revolution, but their effects on bookstores are only a small part of a broader technological development that has brought important activities into the home.


On December 6, 2010 Google's eBookstore Went Live with More Than Three Million Titles --- http://books.google.com/ebooks
After more than a year since we first heard the rumors, Google has entered the world of e-books. Today, the company launched its e-book marketplace with more than 3,000,000 titles on the shelves that will be available to nearly anyone with a smartphone, laptop, tablet, netbook or desktop computer.


"Improved Reading of Free E-Books, As The Open Library Launches a New E-Reader," Read/Write Web, December 9, 2010 ---
http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/improved_reading_of_free_e-books_as_the_open_libra.php

The Open Library, an initiative of the Internet Archive, has just launched a new version of its online e-book reader, featuring an improved user interface as well as other new tools. You can use it to read the more than 2 million books available via The Open Library and the Internet Archive.

As you search for books to read on the site, you'll now find a link to "read the item online." This will launch the redesigned reader, although you'll still have the options to download the books, read in other formats, or send to your Kindle.

Continued in article

The Open Library --- http://openlibrary.org/

Bob Jensen's threads on free electronic literature ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm

 

 


Citing a Study at the University of Washingon
"E-Book Readers Bomb on College Campuses,"  by Allison Damast, Business Week, June 10, 2010 ---
http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/content/jun2010/bs20100610_200335.htm?link_position=link1

Textbooks: Purchased Hardcopy vs. Downloadable eBook Purchases vs. Non-downloadable eBook Leases ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/eBooksDeal.htm

What's lacking in downloaded Kindle textbooks?
Would you believe that it might be chapter exhibits?
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/eBooksDeal.htm

Only a small percentage of college students are "very interested" in buying and iPad and the competition will soon heat up
"Minor Bumps for iPad," by Steve Kolowich, Inside Higher Ed, April 23, 2010 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2010/04/23/ipad 


"Samsung's Galaxy Tab Is iPad's First Real Rival," Walter S. Mossberg, The Wall Street Journal, November 11, 2010 ---
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703805004575606580224319038.html

After seven months of unchallenged prominence, Apple's hot-selling iPad now has its first credible competitor in the nascent market for multitouch consumer tablet computers: the Samsung Galaxy Tab.

The Tab is being introduced over the next week by three major U.S. wireless phone carriers at $400 with a cellular data contract, or at $600 with cellular capability but no contract. The iPad starts at $499 for a Wi-Fi model with no cellular-data capability or contract, and is $629 for the least expensive model with cellular data capability but no contract.

Like the iPad, the Tab, which uses Google's Android operating system, is a good-looking slate with a vivid color screen that can handle many of the tasks typically performed on a laptop. These include email, social networking, Web browsing, photo viewing, and music and video playback. It also can run a wide variety of third-party apps. But it has major differences, most notably in size.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab has less than half the screen real estate than that of the iPad. .The Tab has a 7-inch screen versus the 9.7-inch display on the iPad. That may seem like a small difference, but the numbers are deceptive, because screen sizes are always described using diagonal measurements. In fact, the actual screen real estate on the Tab is less than half of the iPad's. That's a disadvantage, but it allows the overall unit to be much smaller and lighter, and thus more easily used in one hand, something some users will welcome.

The new tablet will be introduced in coming days by Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon, with a variety of cellular data plans. AT&T also will carry the Tab during the holiday season but hasn't announced its timing or data-plan pricing. Although it is being sold by cellular carriers, the Tab, like the iPad (which offers optional month-to-month cellular data through AT&T) can't make cellular voice calls.

More Mossberg's Mailbox: Macs vs. PCs .
I've been testing the Tab for a couple of weeks and I like it. It's a serious alternative to the iPad and one that will be preferred by some folks. It includes the three most-requested features missing in the iPad: a camera (two in fact); the ability to run Web videos and applications written in Adobe's Flash software; and multitasking, though, to be fair, the latter feature is coming to the iPad imminently via a software update. Another strong point is that like Apple, Samsung has rewritten some of the standard apps, such as the email and calendar programs, to make them look more like PC programs and less like smartphone apps.

. . .

On balance, however, I still prefer the iPad. For one thing, I like getting twice the screen size for a little more money up front—as little as $29 for the no-contract model with cellular capability. For another, the iPad has vastly more apps specifically designed for a tablet versus a smartphone—about 40,000 according to Apple, compared with just a handful for the Tab. And it can run about triple the apps overall, if you count smartphone apps that aren't optimized for tablets.

On an iPad, if you opt for cellular-data service, there is no contract and only two monthly prices—$14.99 for 250 megabytes and $25 for 2 gigabytes. On the Tab, it's much more complicated. Verizon, which is selling only the $600 no-contract model, says its pricing will start at $20 a month for 1 gigabyte of data. Sprint charges $29.99 monthly for 2 gigabytes and $59.99 for 5 gigabytes. T-Mobile has different prices for no-contract and contract models, and different rates for new and existing customers. Just two examples: a new customer under contract on a Tab can pay $30 monthly for 200 megabytes or $50 for 5 gigabytes.

So, I urge Tab buyers to do the math carefully on the overall cost of the device under various carriers and plans.

Bottom Line The Tab is attractive, versatile and competitively priced, though monthly cell fees can add up. It's different enough from the iPad, yet good enough, to give consumers a real choice.

Jensen Comment
The Galaxy Tab only weighs about half of an iPad and fits more neatly into one hand for book reading and holding a drink at the same time. The screen is smaller and does not have the USB and VGA ports we've been waiting for in tablet computers. The cameras and Flash playback are clear advantages over the iPad. Other advantages and disadvantages are discussed above and in the links below.

Other tablet alternatives --- http://www.axleration.com/apple-ipad-vs-samsung-galaxy-tab-vs-viewsonic-g-tablet-vs-dell-streak/

Official Tab Site --- http://www.samsung.com/us/mobile/galaxy-tab

Video 1 --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3trFKYIOALo

Video 2 (longer)  --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TNUhmV6usGA

 


iPad versus Galaxy Tab versus Cius

"Samsung's Galaxy Tab Is iPad's First Real Rival," Walter S. Mossberg, The Wall Street Journal, November 11, 2010 ---
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703805004575606580224319038.html

After seven months of unchallenged prominence, Apple's hot-selling iPad now has its first credible competitor in the nascent market for multitouch consumer tablet computers: the Samsung Galaxy Tab.

The Tab is being introduced over the next week by three major U.S. wireless phone carriers at $400 with a cellular data contract, or at $600 with cellular capability but no contract. The iPad starts at $499 for a Wi-Fi model with no cellular-data capability or contract, and is $629 for the least expensive model with cellular data capability but no contract.

Like the iPad, the Tab, which uses Google's Android operating system, is a good-looking slate with a vivid color screen that can handle many of the tasks typically performed on a laptop. These include email, social networking, Web browsing, photo viewing, and music and video playback. It also can run a wide variety of third-party apps. But it has major differences, most notably in size.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab has less than half the screen real estate than that of the iPad. .The Tab has a 7-inch screen versus the 9.7-inch display on the iPad. That may seem like a small difference, but the numbers are deceptive, because screen sizes are always described using diagonal measurements. In fact, the actual screen real estate on the Tab is less than half of the iPad's. That's a disadvantage, but it allows the overall unit to be much smaller and lighter, and thus more easily used in one hand, something some users will welcome.

The new tablet will be introduced in coming days by Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon, with a variety of cellular data plans. AT&T also will carry the Tab during the holiday season but hasn't announced its timing or data-plan pricing. Although it is being sold by cellular carriers, the Tab, like the iPad (which offers optional month-to-month cellular data through AT&T) can't make cellular voice calls.

More Mossberg's Mailbox: Macs vs. PCs .
I've been testing the Tab for a couple of weeks and I like it. It's a serious alternative to the iPad and one that will be preferred by some folks. It includes the three most-requested features missing in the iPad: a camera (two in fact); the ability to run Web videos and applications written in Adobe's Flash software; and multitasking, though, to be fair, the latter feature is coming to the iPad imminently via a software update. Another strong point is that like Apple, Samsung has rewritten some of the standard apps, such as the email and calendar programs, to make them look more like PC programs and less like smartphone apps.

. . .

On balance, however, I still prefer the iPad. For one thing, I like getting twice the screen size for a little more money up front—as little as $29 for the no-contract model with cellular capability. For another, the iPad has vastly more apps specifically designed for a tablet versus a smartphone—about 40,000 according to Apple, compared with just a handful for the Tab. And it can run about triple the apps overall, if you count smartphone apps that aren't optimized for tablets.

On an iPad, if you opt for cellular-data service, there is no contract and only two monthly prices—$14.99 for 250 megabytes and $25 for 2 gigabytes. On the Tab, it's much more complicated. Verizon, which is selling only the $600 no-contract model, says its pricing will start at $20 a month for 1 gigabyte of data. Sprint charges $29.99 monthly for 2 gigabytes and $59.99 for 5 gigabytes. T-Mobile has different prices for no-contract and contract models, and different rates for new and existing customers. Just two examples: a new customer under contract on a Tab can pay $30 monthly for 200 megabytes or $50 for 5 gigabytes.

So, I urge Tab buyers to do the math carefully on the overall cost of the device under various carriers and plans.

Bottom Line The Tab is attractive, versatile and competitively priced, though monthly cell fees can add up. It's different enough from the iPad, yet good enough, to give consumers a real choice.

Jensen Comment
The Galaxy Tab only weighs about half of an iPad and fits more neatly into one hand for book reading and holding a drink at the same time. The screen is smaller and does not have the USB and VGA ports we've been waiting for in tablet computers. The cameras and Flash playback are clear advantages over the iPad. Other advantages and disadvantages are discussed above and in the links below.

Other tablet alternatives --- http://www.axleration.com/apple-ipad-vs-samsung-galaxy-tab-vs-viewsonic-g-tablet-vs-dell-streak/

Official Tab Site --- http://www.samsung.com/us/mobile/galaxy-tab

Video 1 --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3trFKYIOALo

Video 2 (longer)  --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TNUhmV6usGA


The Cius --- Click Here
Relative to iPad, I like the fact that Cisco's new tablet connects to a docking station.
The iPad has zero USB ports, whereas the Cius has three USB ports
Relative to iPad, I like the fact that Cisco's new tablet has a port for external display such as an LCD Projector
Unlike an iPad, the Cius will play Adobe's Flash Videos served up at millions of sites in the world
Why didn't Steve Jobs think of these for the iPad (I suspect he did but feared that an iPad with these would blast a hole in Mac laptop sales)

Expanded capabilities through:  Click Here

• 3 USB ports
• 3.5-mm headset jack
• 10/100/1000-Gbps switch ports for wired connections and Power over Ethernet (PoE)
• Additional speaker for wideband hands-free communications
• DisplayPort to connect to a larger display for an immersive video experience and for a virtualized desktop experience
• Two handset options: standard and slimline

 

The Cius is also much more friendly toward applications developers than the greedy iPad's Orwellian Big Brother
I’ve been an open-source advocate from get go!

Video --- Click Here

"Cisco Debuts Android-Based Tablet," by Jeffrey Schwartz, T.H.E. Magazine, July 1, 2010 ---
http://thejournal.com/articles/2010/07/01/cisco-enters-tablet-market.aspx

Cisco Systems is the latest vendor to enter the tablet device market and, like other players, the company is looking at its entry as an alternative to traditional Windows-based PCs.

The Cius, announced this week, is a device that to some degree looks like Apple's iPad, though it is based on Google's Android platform. Cisco becomes the second major vendor to launch an Android-based tablet in as many months: Dell in late May launched the Streak. With its 5-inch display, it was described by Dell as a hybrid smartphone and tablet.

But that's where the similarities end. Cisco's Cuis is clearly targeted at professional, not consumer use. It will support an optional docking station, enabling individuals to mount it to the IP-based handset.

When undocked, the Cuis can connect to an enterprise network or the Internet via 802.11 a/b/g/n WiFi or 3G cellular services. Ultimately it will support 4G services as they become more broadly available, Cisco said. Through Bluetooth and USB communications, the device will be able to share data with a PC, Cisco said.

The Cius is not slated to be available until the first quarter of next year, though Cisco said customer trials will begin in the third quarter of this year, which begins July 1. The company has not set pricing though a spokeswoman said it will carry a street price of less than $1,000.

Cisco is pitching the Cius as a virtual desktop that will allow for data collaboration and communication. It will support real-time HD video, messaging, and Web browsing, allowing users to share content in cloud-based services, Cisco said.

Weighing slightly more than 1 pound, it will have a front-mounted 720p camera and a 5 megapixel rear-mounted camera, dual noise-cancelling microphones, and a 7-inch Super VGA display.

The Cius will be designed to cork with Cisco's various lines of collaboration products and services, including WebEx Connect, Cisco Presence, and its high-end TelePresence videoconferencing systems.

Cisco said it will also reach out to developers with an SDK that includes its Collaboration APIs. The Cius will be made available through Cisco's network of Unified Communications and Collaboration partners, according to the spokeswoman.

With all these features, Cius owners may only have to carry the Cius tablet from conference-to-conference or class-to-class. The burdened down iPad and Galaxy Tab users will most likely have to lug their laptops along with their iPads.

But iPad still winds hands downs in terms of tens of thousands of apps.


Greg Smith, chief information officer at George Fox, said the iPad's technological limitations—its inability to multitask and print, and its limited storage space—have kept students dependent on their notebooks. "That's the problem with the iPad: It's not an independent device," he said.
"Classroom iPad Programs Get Mixed Response," by Travis Kaya, Chronicle of Higher Education, September 20, 2010 ---
http://chronicle.com/blogPost/Classroom-iPad-Programs-Get/27046/?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

A few weeks after a handful of colleges gave away iPads to determine the tablet's place in the classroom, students and faculty seem confident that the device has some future in academe.

But they're still not exactly sure where that might be.

At those early-adopter schools, iPads are competing with MacBooks as the students' go-to gadget for note taking and Web surfing. Zach Kramberg, a first-year student at George Fox University, which allowed incoming students to choose between a complimentary iPad or MacBook this fall, said the tablet has become an important tool for recording and organizing lecture notes. He also takes the device with him to the university's dimly lit chapel so he can follow along with an app called iBible. "The iPad's very easy to use once you figure them out," he said.

Still, Mr. Kramberg said the majority of students rely on bound Bibles in chapel and stick to pen and paper or MacBooks in the classroom.

Greg Smith, chief information officer at George Fox, said the iPad's technological limitations—its inability to multitask and print, and its limited storage space—have kept students dependent on their notebooks. "That's the problem with the iPad: It's not an independent device," he said.

Mr. Smith said that the 67 students—10 percent of the freshman class—that opted for iPads over MacBooks are really excited about the technology but have not been "pushing the capabilities" of the device.

Caitlin Corning, a history professor at George Fox, said it's been hard to meld iPads into the curriculum because only a small subset of her students has the device. Ms. Corning used the iPad as a portable teaching tool during a student art trip to Europe this summer, flashing Van Gogh works on the screen when they were in the places he painted them. Translating that portable-classroom experience into her classroom back in Oregon, however, has not been easy. "It's still a work in progress," she said. "It's a little complex because only some of the freshmen have iPads."

Faculty members at Seton Hill University, which gave iPads to all full-time students, are working with the developers of an e-book app called Inkling to come up with new ways to integrate the iPad into classroom instruction. The textbook software—one of many in development—allows students to access interactive graphics and add notes as they read along. Faculty members can access the students' marginalia to see whether they understand the text. They can also remotely receive and answer questions from students in real time.

Catherine Giunta, an associate professor of business at Seton Hill, said the technology has changed the way students interact with their textbooks and how she interacts with her students. While reviewing the margin notes of a student in her marketing class, Ms. Giunta was able to pinpoint and correct a student's apparent misunderstanding of a concept that was going to be covered in class the next day. "The misunderstanding may not have been apparent until [the student] did a written report," Ms. Giunta said. "I could really give her individualized instruction and guidance."

As students and faculty members around the country feel around for new ways to integrate the iPad into academic life, a handful of programs are taking a more formal approach to finding its place in the classroom. Students in the Digital Cultures and Creativity program at the University of Maryland at College Park will turn a critical eye on the iPad as a study tool while integrating it into their curriculum. "I think [students are] taking a sort of wait-and-see approach," said Matthew Kirschenbaum, the program director and an associate professor of English.

Similarly, the faculty at Indiana University has formed a 24-member focus group to evaluate iPad-driven teaching strategies. The groups have started meeting this month to assess how their iPad experiments are going, with a preliminary report due in January. "It's meant to be a supportive, collaborative, formalized conversation," said Stacy Morrone, Indiana's associate dean of learning technologies. "We don't expect that everything will go perfectly."

Although not entirely related to the substance of the iPad educational debate, a pilot program at Long Island University was thrust into the spotlight over the weekend in an animated e-mail exchange between a college journalist and Apple's founder Steve Jobs. As Gawker reports it, complaints about a few unreturned media inquiries from a deadline-stressed reporter led to a curt "leave us alone" response from the Apple chief executive.

In the e-mail chain, Mr. Jobs said, "Our goals do not include helping you get a good grade."

"Finding the Best Way to Read Books on an iPad," by Walter S. Mossberg, The Wall Street Journal, September 15, 2010 ---
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703743504575493883578854158.html 

Though it's just five months old, Apple's iPad is a certifiable hit, having already sold millions of units and spawning tens of thousands of apps tailored for its 10-inch screen. The tablet has prompted many of its owners to use it instead of their laptops for everything from email and social networking to games and Web surfing.

It's also a very good e-reader, in my view.

Unlike dedicated e-reader devices like Amazon's Kindle, the iPad offers a wide selection of e-reading apps, and I have used several of them heavily to devour scores of books. In particular, I have spent the past few weeks testing the best known of these iPad e-reader apps, comparing their strengths and weaknesses.

My verdict is that none of the three apps I focused on—which mimic and often interact with dedicated e-readers like the Kindle device—towers over the others. Each has its good and bad points, and I personally switch among them.

First, let me note that this isn't a comparison of the iPad and the dedicated e-readers. It is about software readers on the iPad itself. Some folks will prefer the focused e-reader hardware, such as Amazon's Kindle, Sony's Reader and Barnes & Noble's Nook. The latter devices cost much less—the base Kindle is now $139 versus the iPad's $499 starting price. They also have longer battery life and are much lighter. But others—including me—prefer the iPad's big, bright, backlit color screen to the smaller, gray screens of the dedicated e-readers, and the fact that they can pause periodically in their reading to do so many other things on the iPad without reaching for a laptop.

For this review, I compared Apple's own fledgling e-reader software and store, called iBooks; Amazon's Kindle iPad app; and the newly revamped Barnes & Noble iPad app, called Nook.

Overall, they are more similar than different. Each is free and operates much like the pioneering Kindle device, offering access to an online library of books you already own and an online store to buy more. Each remembers where you left off in your books, and includes built-in search, dictionaries and the ability to enter notes and to highlight text. All also offer the option to search for more information on terms in your books, using Google or Wikipedia.

Apple's iBooks app visually is the slickest of the three. Its library screen looks like a wooden bookcase, and when you turn a page, it curves like a paper page and even shows the text on the other side bleeding through. When you hold the iPad horizontally, iBooks switches to a two-page view with a rounded rise in the middle, like a paper book's binding. The iBooks app is the only one of the three to offer a built-in bookstore, while the Amazon and Nook apps require you to jump into the Web browser on the iPad to shop. This is because Apple charges third-party app developers 30% to make in-app purchases, a price Amazon and Barnes & Noble prefer not to pay. This may be an unfair advantage for Apple, but it's convenient for users.

The iBooks app also can handle personal PDF files, synced to the app via iTunes on your computer. Neither of the other two apps offer PDFs on the iPad, though Amazon and Barnes & Noble say they're working on it. Also, Apple has harnessed the iPad's accessibility features to allow its e-books to be read aloud, something I couldn't make happen in the other two apps.

But iBooks has some big downsides. The most important is that, being only five months old, it has a smaller catalog than its rivals—just 130,000 titles, versus around 700,000 for the Kindle app and about one million for the Nook app. For instance, the popular Swedish mystery series by Stieg Larsson is absent from the iBooks catalog. And iBooks doesn't offer any periodicals.

More Mossberg's Mailbox: Giving 'Ribbon' a 'Classic' Look Amazon's Kindle app has the biggest catalog of commercial, copyrighted, in-print books—about 655,000 titles. The Nook catalog of a million books is larger overall, but about half consists of out-of-print books. The Kindle app also instantly displays the dictionary definition of any word you highlight. The others require you to press a dictionary icon to look up a word. And, like iBooks, it was fast at opening books.

The Kindle app also lets you see popular highlighted passages selected by other users, and it synchronizes the last page read, your bookmarks and notes with the Kindle hardware reader and Kindle apps on Windows PCs, Macs, and BlackBerry and Android devices. iBooks only syncs these things to the iBooks app on other Apple hand-held devices, the iPhone and iPod Touch. The Kindle app also can be set to turn pages with the same curved effect as iBooks (but without the text-bleeding effect) and it has a two-page view in horizontal mode.

The Kindle app also lacks periodicals, though Amazon says it's working on this. And the Kindle app, like the Kindle hardware, doesn't use real page numbers, relying on confusing "location" numbers. The others use page numbers. Also, some books appeared in the Kindle app in scanned, hard to read typefaces, while the same books on the others appeared in more readable type.

The Nook iPad app, like the Nook hardware device, has a big plus: It lets you lend and borrow some titles to and from other Nook users for two weeks. It's also the only one of the three to offer periodicals, though not all are available. For instance, The Wall Street Journal and the Boston Globe can't be downloaded, though the New York Times can.

The Nook also offers more visual effects than the others, including color themes for background and text colors. Also, like the Kindle app, it syncs with Nook apps on numerous other devices, though, curiously, not yet with the Nook hardware device.

But I found more limitations and flaws in the Nook app's basic book functions. For many words, the app lacked dictionary entries the others had, and books loaded more slowly. Also, one book I downloaded on the Nook app had the first few pages missing and another turned out to be a different book from its title. Also, its horizontal view didn't work for all the titles I tested.

In my tests, book prices seemed roughly similar on all three apps, though some books may cost less on one or another. For instance, Jonathan Franzen's new book "Freedom," is $12.99 on each; David McCullough's classic "1776" costs $13.99 on each; and Laurie King's "The Beekeeper's Apprentice" is $9.99 on all three. Amazon says 574,000 of its 700,000 e-books are $9.99 or less. Barnes & Noble says the "vast majority" of its commercial e-books are $9.99 or less. And Apple says 75% of its paid books are $9.99 or less and 25% of its paid books are less than $4.99.

Overall, each of the three iPad apps makes the device a fine way to read e-books. Multiple apps and stores—including many not covered here—allow choices absent from dedicated reading devices.

 

Bob Jensen's threads on Tricks and Tools of the Trade are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on Tricks and Tools of the Trade are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on electronic books are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ebooks.htm


Amazon Kindle Books Also Available on tablet computers like iPad and Cius

For NewMacOnline, April 5, 2010 --- http://www.newmaconline.com/ipad-keeps-you-reading_2010-04-05/ 

The iPad is getting a lot of press these days for a variety of reasons. One such reason is the notion that the iPad may revolutionize the way that the masses read. Textbook publishers, for instance, are making plans to publish textbooks for the iPad so that students can read schoolbooks from their electronic device. This would eliminate the need for students to lug around a backpack full of books, and also provide students with a host of electronic tools to accompany their reading. Magazines and newspapers are also lining up to make their works available in an electronic format that is compatible with the iPad. And of course, e-books are not a novel concept, and consumers can expect to see a wide variety of best sellers available from the App Store.

Despite this recent wave of attention to online books, however, the concept is by no means new. In fact, e-books have been around for quite some time now, and many consumers have been reading them on their Kindle devices for years. A recent article in Tech News World discussed Amazon’s Kindle device and explained some of what Amazon has decided to do to keep Kindle in competition with Apple. And interestingly, Amazon’s approach is in no way threatening to Apple’s marketing strategy.

Instead of trying to promote Kindle as a superior electronic reading device, Amazon is making electronic books that were once only compatible with Kindles compatible with the iPad. In other words, when consumers purchase e-books from Amazon, they will be able to read them from not only their Kindles, but also from their iPads. Or, if the consumer doesn’t have a Kindle, the iPad will work just fine by itself.

This is not a new decision for Amazon, as the electronic books available for purchase at Amazon.com are already compatible with iPods and iPhones. Consumers need only purchase an app from the App Store and they can read their e-books from Amazon directly from their iPhone or iPod. Upon the release of the iPad, this same technology will be available on the iPad’s larger screen.

By allowing consumers to read e-books purchased on Amazon from any type of device, Amazon is recognizing that digital books are not entirely analogous to print books. The advantage to electronic books is that consumers are not bound to carry them around. By requiring consumers to carry around a Kindle in order to read an electronic book, the digital format loses one of its main benefits. However, allowing readers to access their digital books from anywhere and from any device allows electronic books to retain their convenience.

It is really no wonder that Amazon decided to make its electronic books available to readers who rely on Apple products. Apple users have a fierce sense of loyalty to Apple products, and for good reason. In reality, it is difficult to see how a Kindle could compete with a new iPad, and excluding iPad owners from its electronic book market would be quite detrimental to Amazon. At any rate, however, iPad consumers will be glad to know that the entire selection of books available at Amazon will be compatible with the iPad.

What's lacking in downloaded Kindle textbooks?
Would you believe the chapter exhibits might be missing?
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/eBooksDeal.htm

"Amazon to release free Kindle software for PC," MIT's Technology Review, October 22, 2009 ---
 http://www.technologyreview.com/wire/23794/?nlid=2455&a=f

"Preparing to Sell E-Books, Google Takes on Amazon," by Motoko Rich, The New York Times, May 31, 2009 ---
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/01/technology/internet/01google.html?hpw

Bob Jensen's threads on electronic books are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ebooks.htm


"Kindles and Coursepacks," by Joshua Kim, Chronicle of Higher Education, September 12, 2010 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/technology_and_learning

The $139 Kindle is a game changer. 2011 will be the year that the traditional paper coursepack (finally) disappears, to be replaced by a default digital version with the option to print on demand. And if things go right, the Kindle should be the dominant coursepack delivery platform.

I know, lots of complaints that the Kindle is bad for annotation. True. But highlighting is vastly overrated. Convenience and cost savings will drive Kindle coursepack adoption. For anyone who really needs to annotate they will be free to print. Most will not print - mostly because schools are moving away from subsidizing printing - a sound economic and environmental shift.

What about the iPad? My prediction is that the significantly lower cost of the Kindle will push the digital coursepack market towards this device. The iPad will remain an important platform, along with the iPhone/Touch, but will account for only a portion of all the digital courespacks read on a Kindle. The price differential between the Kindle and the iPad, $139 vs. $499, is large enough to insure that most student sales will be Kindles. iPad prices will drop, but so will Kindle prices - making the Kindle as a digital coursepack platform even more appealing.

The dominance of the Kindle in the digital coursepack market, however, is not assured. While I think the annotation issue is overblown, their are some obstacles that Amazon and the digital coursepack providers will need to overcome:

PDF Issues: The Kindle can natively handle PDF files, but it does so very poorly. Reading a PDF on an iPad is a good experience, reading one on a Kindle is a terrible experience. The workaround is to e-mail the PDF to Amazon and have it convert the file to the proprietary DRM restricted *.azw format. Amazon needs to find some way to either make the PDF reading experience as good as the Kindle e-book experience, or to make its *.azw format a standard filetype. A second PDF issue is that there is no way (that I know of) to convert a locked down PDF file to an *.azw file. Since many coursepack content providers only want to release their articles and case studies in a protected PDF format, and because this is the filetype that some digital coursepack providers want to use, any conversation to the Kindle format for the digital coursepack become problematic.

Rights Issues: I'm not clear exactly how we will be able to get all the digital content that institutions license for the academic library on to a Kindle for a digital coursepack. I'm unclear how the rights and permissions actually work databases licensed by the library in terms of creating formats beyond the traditional web delivery mechanism. I'm not sure who is working on this issue, where the leadership is coming, and where the content aggregators that libraries buy their database licenses stand on digital coursepacks.

Technology and Company Issues: While I firmly believe that the $139 Kindle dramatically pushes us away from paper in the coursepack world, I'm not clear which company or companies will provide the end-to-end solutions that replace the traditional paper coursepack. Who is going to step-up?

The window that we have to figure all this out is starting to close. Students will be coming to campus with Kindles or iPads (or both), and smart phones and who knows what else. They will expect to be able to read their course materials on these devices. They will want choice. Providing this choice may be one differentiator that campuses can offer, a recruitment tool and a new way to signal a student centered and tech forward campus environment.

Jensen Comment
Eventually most electronic book readers will probably have both a Kindle and an iPad. The Kindle comfortably weighs less, costs less, and is easier on the eyes for long-term reading. The iPad has more apps, better multimedia, and more apps. But neither device can replace the ever-popular and much more versatile laptop computers.

Since Amazon's electronic books can be downloaded into laptop computers, students on limited budgets should give first priority to the purchase of laptop computers. Kindles and iPads are added luxuries.

The Journal of Electronic Publishing --- http://www.journalofelectronicpublishing.org/

VYOM eBooks Directory --- http://www.vyomebooks.com/?

Search for electronic books --- http://www.searchebooks.com/ 
There were 293 hits for accounting books.

Bob Jensen's threads electronic books ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ebooks.htm


"A Review of NOOKStudy," by Amy Cavender, Chronicle of Higher Education, September 10, 2010 ---
http://chronicle.com/blogPost/A-Review-of-NOOKStudy/26831/?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en 

About a month ago, I got hold of a Nook. I was interested in an e-reader primarily for reading journal articles as PDFs. In the interest of saving trees (and wear and tear on my back) I much prefer electronic copies of journal articles to dead tree versions. The problem is, at the end of a day of onscreen reading at a computer, eye strain is really bad (sometimes to the point of seeing squiggly little lines of light). An ereader, I thought, would be much better for my eyes. I was right; I now find myself dealing with significantly less eyestrain after a day of reading.

About the same time that I was considering the Nook, Barnes and Noble started advertising an piece of software that became available August 2nd: NOOKStudy. It looked interesting. Unlike the standard B&N eReader application (for Mac, at least), NOOKStudy supports highlighting and notetaking, and will sync those highlights and notes between two computers.

The software is designed primarily for use with textbooks. That's no surprise. It's also no surprise that textbooks can't be viewed on the Nook itself. Really, who'd want to look at all the diagrams you find in textbooks on a 6" grayscale screen, anyway? But though it isn't possible to read textbooks on the Nook,you can read any of your purchased B&N content in NOOKStudy; any e-books you've purchased will automatically show up in your NOOKStudy library.

That sounded good to me, so I thought I'd give the software a try. Sure enough, when I opened the software and plugged in my account information, my entire B&N library magically appeared (which, incidentally, is far better than the standard B&N eReader software does).

The Journal of Electronic Publishing --- http://www.journalofelectronicpublishing.org/

VYOM eBooks Directory --- http://www.vyomebooks.com/? 

Search for electronic books --- http://www.searchebooks.com/ 
There were 293 hits for accounting books.

Bob Jensen's threads electronic books ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ebooks.htm


"Kindle Debuts at Oregon State," Converge Magazine, February 25, 2010 ---
http://www.convergemag.com/edtech/E-Book-Readers-Debut-at-Oregon-State.html

Wander around Oregon State University’s Valley Library and plenty of students are browsing for books, or curled up in cozy chairs with a stack of hardbound novels. But as information technology advances, so does the library’s range of offerings.

While books won’t be disappearing from the library’s shelves anytime soon, students and others are using a variety of new ways to access information, which is why the library has begun offering Amazon Kindles — e-book readers that can store digital books, which are displayed, page-by-page, on a palm-sized screen.

Loretta Rielly, interim head of collections at the library, said the library has long wanted to provide more popular reading titles to patrons but it has been too costly to stack shelves with new fiction and non-fiction titles that may only have a few years shelf-life. While there is plenty of classic fiction in the library, popular fiction hasn’t really had a place.

“We get people who ask us, “Don’t you just have something to read?’” Rielly said. That request fit perfectly with the library’s attempt to explore and incorporate new technology.

“We’re really committed to investigate new technologies,” she said.

Kindles provide a way to make a large array of popular titles, as well as classics, available in a slim, portable reader that can be checked out for two weeks at a time. The library originally purchased six Kindles last summer, and immediately had about 60 requests to use them. Now the library has 12 Kindles, which contain 121 downloaded e-books. The readers and e-books are purchased using library gift funds.

Titles are purchased from Google on request from patrons, to insure that librarians aren’t guessing what readers want. What patrons are looking for varies greatly. For instance, they’ve had more requests for “Pride, Prejudice and Zombies,” than for the Austen original, though there have been plenty of requests for the classic version as well.

Claire Semadeni, who oversees the Kindle project, said they’ve been keeping track of user information, and about 48 percent of those checking out Kindles are undergraduates. The rest is a mix of graduate students, staff and faculty. So far, the only issue they’ve had in loaning out the technology, other than demand far exceeding availability, is that Kindles can get damaged in freezing weather, so they now carry warning labels.

Kindles display in black and white only, which limits their use in terms of offering digital textbooks. Publishers also are hesitant to make their textbooks available on a digital platform, because of digital rights management. So the days of students casting aside a heavy backpack for a slim e-reader are still far away.

“It’s the obvious place for e-books to go, but right now there isn’t a good platform for it,” said Anne-Marie Deitering, Franklin McEdward Professor for Undergraduate Learning Initiatives, who is part of the team looking into the Kindle program.

Deitering and Rielly guess that most of the patrons checking out Kindles are doing so to get used to the technology, and eventually, the library will focus less on providing e-book readers, and more on actually providing e-books for download to user’s home readers. But the legal and logistical details of that project are still being worked out.

For now, patrons hoping to check out a Kindle from the library are in for a wait — up to 20 weeks, that is. There are 120 holds in place for the dozen in circulation. Library staff expects demand to slow, but for now, there are plenty of people clamoring for a look at a new kind of book.

Bob Jensen's threads on eBooks are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ebooks.htm


New Tool for Rewriting E-Textbooks:  It's the "Wikipedia of Textbooks"
Macmillan, a major textbook publisher, is today introducing a new service that will let faculty members to customize digital textbooks, adding and subtracting chapters, and to rewrite individual sentences and paragraphs, The New York Times reported. While coursepacks that allow faculty members to build customized digital or print materials for courses are common, this system may go further in allowing professors to overhaul a single existing work.
Inside Higher Ed, February 22, 2010 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2010/02/22/qt#220816 
"Textbooks That Professors Can Rewrite Digitally," by Motoko Rich, The New York Times, February 21, 2010 ---
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/22/business/media/22textbook.html?ref=education

Readers can modify content on the Web, so why not in books?

In a kind of Wikipedia of textbooks, Macmillan, one of the five largest publishers of trade books and textbooks, is introducing software called DynamicBooks, which will allow college instructors to edit digital editions of textbooks and customize them for their individual classes.

Professors will be able to reorganize or delete chapters; upload course syllabuses, notes, videos, pictures and graphs; and perhaps most notably, rewrite or delete individual paragraphs, equations or illustrations.

While many publishers have offered customized print textbooks for years — allowing instructors to reorder chapters or insert third-party content from other publications or their own writing — DynamicBooks gives instructors the power to alter individual sentences and paragraphs without consulting the original authors or publisher.

“Basically they will go online, log on to the authoring tool, have the content right there and make whatever changes they want,” said Brian Napack, president of Macmillan. “And we don’t even look at it.”

In August, Macmillan plans to start selling 100 titles through DynamicBooks, including “Chemical Principles: The Quest for Insight,” by Peter Atkins and Loretta Jones; “Discovering the Universe,” by Neil F. Comins and William J. Kaufmann; and “Psychology,” by Daniel L. Schacter, Daniel T. Gilbert and Daniel M. Wegner. Mr. Napack said Macmillan was considering talking to other publishers to invite them to sell their books through DynamicBooks.

Students will be able to buy the e-books at dynamicbooks.com, in college bookstores and through CourseSmart, a joint venture among five textbook publishers that sells electronic textbooks. The DynamicBooks editions — which can be reached online or downloaded — can be read on laptops and the iPhone from Apple. Clancy Marshall, general manager of DynamicBooks, said the company planned to negotiate agreements with Apple so the electronic books could be read on the iPad.

The modifiable e-book editions will be much cheaper than traditional print textbooks. “Psychology,” for example, which has a list price of $134.29 (available on Barnes & Noble’s Web site for $122.73), will sell for $48.76 in the DynamicBooks version. Macmillan is also offering print-on-demand versions of the customized books, which will be priced closer to traditional textbooks.

Fritz Foy, senior vice president for digital content at Macmillan, said the company expected e-book sales to replace the sales of used books. Part of the reason publishers charge high prices for traditional textbooks is that students usually resell them in the used market for several years before a new edition is released. DynamicBooks, Mr. Foy said, will be “semester and classroom specific,” and the lower price, he said, should attract students who might otherwise look for used or even pirated editions.

Instructors who have tested the DynamicBooks software say they like the idea of being able to fine-tune a textbook. “There’s almost always some piece here or some piece there that a faculty person would have rather done differently,” said Todd Ruskell, senior lecturer in physics at the Colorado School of Mines, who tested an electronic edition of “Physics for Scientists and Engineers” by Paul A. Tipler and Gene Mosca.

Frank Lyman, executive vice president of CourseSmart, said he expected that some professors would embrace the opportunity to customize e-books but that most would continue to rely on traditional textbooks.

“For many instructors, that’s very helpful to know it’s been through a process and represents a best practice in terms of a particular curriculum,” he said.

Even other publishers that allow instructors some level of customization hesitate about permitting changes at the sentence and paragraph level.

“There is a flow to books, and there’s voice to them,” said Don Kilburn, chief executive of Pearson Learning Solutions, which does allow instructors to change chapter orders and insert material from other sources. Mr. Kilburn said he had not been briefed on Macmillan’s plans.

Mr. Ruskell said he did not change much in the physics textbook he tested with DynamicBooks. “You don’t just want to say, ‘Oh, I don’t like this, I’m going to do this instead,’ ” he said. “You really want to think about it.”

Mr. Comins, an author of “Discovering the Universe,” a popular astronomy textbook, said the new e-book program was a way to speed up the process for incorporating suggestions that he often receives while revising new print editions. “I’ve learned as an author over the years that I am not perfect,” he said. “So if somebody in Iowa sees something in my book that they perceive is wrong, I am absolutely willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.”

On the other hand, if an instructor decided to rewrite paragraphs about the origins of the universe from a religious rather than an evolutionary perspective, he said, “I would absolutely, positively be livid.”

Ms. Clancy of Macmillan said the publisher reserved the right to “remove anything that is considered offensive or plagiarism,” and would rely on students, parents and other instructors to help monitor changes.

February 22, 2010 message from mailto:campbell@rio.edu

Bob:
However, this model could be construed as providing kickbacks to those professors providing modifications.

This was mentioned later in the article.

Richard J. Campbell
mailto:campbell@rio.edu

February 22, 2010 reply from Bob Jensen

I’m not certain “kickback” is the correct term if professors are being paid above the board for their innovative creations and their hard work. Payments, however, should be rewarded such as payments for providing high quality videos for commercial books.

The publishers might also take for-profit advantage of some of the open sharing stuff. For example, a “customized” textbook might provide links to Susan Crossan’s outstanding free videos, thereby taking advantage somewhat of her open sharing spirit to add to the profitability of the commercial textbook --- http://dept.sfcollege.edu/business/susan.crosson/

It might also be construed as doing the following two things.

Bad
Once Kindle and the other eTextbook providers get their acts together regarding eBooks (e.g., providing chapter exhibits), this move by publishing companies might put the competition out of business if you can only get the eTextbook revision capabilities if you buy/rent the textbook directly from the publisher. Welcome to the world or true monopoly pricing of our textbooks!

Good (and bad)
This move might further destroy the hard copy book market, especially the used textbook market. This is bad for hard copy book lovers like me, but it will be more cost efficient for students and will put the sleazy book buyers that roam our halls out of business.

Bob Jensen

February 20, 2010 message from Richard Campbell [campbell@RIO.EDU]

The future of publishing:

http://vook.com/vook.php 

Richard J. Campbell
mailto:campbell@rio.edu

Vook --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vook

A Vook is a digital book type that combines video, links to the internet and text into one application that's available both on the Web and as a mobile application.

Vook officially launched October 1, 2009 with four debut titles, published in partnership with Atria, an imprint of Simon and Schuster: Promises, a romance by Jude Deveraux; The 90 Second Fitness Solution, a fitness book by Pete Cerqua; Embassy, a thriller by Richard Doetsch; and Return to Beauty, a health book by Narine Nikogosian. Vook followed up these titles with a Vook version of Gary Vaynerchuk's Crush It!, released in late 2009. The company has since released a CookVook for Woman's Day, as well as numerous public domain titles, as well as moving into production on a Vook with author Seth Godin. On February 10th, 2010, the company announced a forthcoming Vook with Anne Rice.

Vook was founded by serial Internet entrepreneur Bradley Inman and came to public attention after being featured in an article in the New York Times in April, 2009.

From the Trites E-business Blog (in Canada) --- http://www.zorba.ca/2010/02/pricing-struggle-over-e-books-in-recent.html
 February 3, 2010

An Open Standard for E-Readers?

E-Readers, such as the kindle are selling like hot cakes, yet the very existence of a proprietary standard for such devices is unsustainable. People don't want to have to buy 5 different e-readers just to read the books they purchase from different suppliers.

In a move that is definitely in the right direction, the top magazine publishers have entered into a deal to support a common open standard platform for their magazines. Clearly, this is to the benefit of the consumers - the magazine readers.

While this new open standard appears to be restricted to magazines, hopefully a similar open standard will emerge for book e-readers as well. Then watch e-reading take off!

For an article on the magazine publishers' initiative ---

http://www.informationweek.com/news/internet/ebusiness/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=222001131 ee this article.

Bob Jensen's threads on eBooks are at 
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ebooks.htm

Here's a really informative link:
Comparison of eBook formats
--- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_e-book_formats

 

"BookBoon.com works to alleviate students of textbook bills," by Christine Montemurro, Loyola University of Maryland Student Newspaper, February 23, 2010 --- Click Here
http://media.www.loyolagreyhound.com/media/storage/paper665/news/2010/02/23/News/Bookboon.com.Works.To.Alleviate.Students.Of.Textbook.Bills-3876887.shtml
Thank you for the heads up Barry!

In an age where the Internet is flooded with websites for discount and rented textbooks, students now have the option of downloading their textbooks for free online with BookBoon.com.

BookBoon.com is a website that easily provides students with thousands of electronic textbooks free of charge. Customers are not required to enter any personal information in order to browse the website or download books. Books on the website are targeted at engineering students, IT students, and students of economy and finance.

The books contain relevant advertisements on every third page that help fund the project. Textbooks are available in five different languages for students all around the world. All books featured on BookBoon.com are developed and written for the website, so the textbooks students receive are only available from Bookboon.

Thomas Buus Madsen, founder of BookBoon.com, explains why he and his brother began the business back in 2004:

"Every time we started a new class at university, one of our fellow students went to the library, borrowed the textbook, made 50 Xerox copies of the book, and sold these to the other students for maybe 10 dollars. We decided to come up with a concept that would allow the students to download textbooks free of charge. The ambition was that the students should always be able to find and download the book in less than a minute," says Madsen.

The movement to free textbooks in the United States began when The Digital Textbooks Initiative for California demanded that the state of California stop wasting money on expensive, out dated, hardbound textbooks. BoonBoon.com publishes a range of textbooks that are written exclusively for the website by leading authors in their fields. Each textbook is made available to download free of charge in a PDF e-book format with no registration fee.

According to its website, BookBoon.com is "the only provider of its kind that never charges its users or requires registration. In fact, it is impossible to register or make any payment at BookBoon.com."

Continued in article

Here's a really informative link:
Comparison of eBook formats
--- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_e-book_formats

Bob Jensen's threads on other free textbooks and course videos ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/electronicliterature.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on open sharing videos and course materials ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI


Textbooks: Purchased Hardcopy vs. Downloadable eBook Purchases vs. Non-downloadable eBook Leases ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/eBooksDeal.htm

What's lacking in downloaded Kindle eBooks?
Would you believe the chapter exhibits?
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/eBooksDeal.htm

New Tool for Rewriting E-Textbooks:  It's the "Wikipedia of Textbooks"
Macmillan, a major textbook publisher, is today introducing a new service that will let faculty members to customize digital textbooks, adding and subtracting chapters, and to rewrite individual sentences and paragraphs, The New York Times reported. While coursepacks that allow faculty members to build customized digital or print materials for courses are common, this system may go further in allowing professors to overhaul a single existing work.
Inside Higher Ed, February 22, 2010 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2010/02/22/qt#220816 
"Textbooks That Professors Can Rewrite Digitally," by Motoko Rich, The New York Times, February 21, 2010 ---
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/22/business/media/22textbook.html?ref=education

Readers can modify content on the Web, so why not in books?

In a kind of Wikipedia of textbooks, Macmillan, one of the five largest publishers of trade books and textbooks, is introducing software called DynamicBooks, which will allow college instructors to edit digital editions of textbooks and customize them for their individual classes.

Professors will be able to reorganize or delete chapters; upload course syllabuses, notes, videos, pictures and graphs; and perhaps most notably, rewrite or delete individual paragraphs, equations or illustrations.

While many publishers have offered customized print textbooks for years — allowing instructors to reorder chapters or insert third-party content from other publications or their own writing — DynamicBooks gives instructors the power to alter individual sentences and paragraphs without consulting the original authors or publisher.

“Basically they will go online, log on to the authoring tool, have the content right there and make whatever changes they want,” said Brian Napack, president of Macmillan. “And we don’t even look at it.”

In August, Macmillan plans to start selling 100 titles through DynamicBooks, including “Chemical Principles: The Quest for Insight,” by Peter Atkins and Loretta Jones; “Discovering the Universe,” by Neil F. Comins and William J. Kaufmann; and “Psychology,” by Daniel L. Schacter, Daniel T. Gilbert and Daniel M. Wegner. Mr. Napack said Macmillan was considering talking to other publishers to invite them to sell their books through DynamicBooks.

Students will be able to buy the e-books at dynamicbooks.com, in college bookstores and through CourseSmart, a joint venture among five textbook publishers that sells electronic textbooks. The DynamicBooks editions — which can be reached online or downloaded — can be read on laptops and the iPhone from Apple. Clancy Marshall, general manager of DynamicBooks, said the company planned to negotiate agreements with Apple so the electronic books could be read on the iPad.

The modifiable e-book editions will be much cheaper than traditional print textbooks. “Psychology,” for example, which has a list price of $134.29 (available on Barnes & Noble’s Web site for $122.73), will sell for $48.76 in the DynamicBooks version. Macmillan is also offering print-on-demand versions of the customized books, which will be priced closer to traditional textbooks.

Fritz Foy, senior vice president for digital content at Macmillan, said the company expected e-book sales to replace the sales of used books. Part of the reason publishers charge high prices for traditional textbooks is that students usually resell them in the used market for several years before a new edition is released. DynamicBooks, Mr. Foy said, will be “semester and classroom specific,” and the lower price, he said, should attract students who might otherwise look for used or even pirated editions.

Instructors who have tested the DynamicBooks software say they like the idea of being able to fine-tune a textbook. “There’s almost always some piece here or some piece there that a faculty person would have rather done differently,” said Todd Ruskell, senior lecturer in physics at the Colorado School of Mines, who tested an electronic edition of “Physics for Scientists and Engineers” by Paul A. Tipler and Gene Mosca.

Frank Lyman, executive vice president of CourseSmart, said he expected that some professors would embrace the opportunity to customize e-books but that most would continue to rely on traditional textbooks.

“For many instructors, that’s very helpful to know it’s been through a process and represents a best practice in terms of a particular curriculum,” he said.

Even other publishers that allow instructors some level of customization hesitate about permitting changes at the sentence and paragraph level.

“There is a flow to books, and there’s voice to them,” said Don Kilburn, chief executive of Pearson Learning Solutions, which does allow instructors to change chapter orders and insert material from other sources. Mr. Kilburn said he had not been briefed on Macmillan’s plans.

Mr. Ruskell said he did not change much in the physics textbook he tested with DynamicBooks. “You don’t just want to say, ‘Oh, I don’t like this, I’m going to do this instead,’ ” he said. “You really want to think about it.”

Mr. Comins, an author of “Discovering the Universe,” a popular astronomy textbook, said the new e-book program was a way to speed up the process for incorporating suggestions that he often receives while revising new print editions. “I’ve learned as an author over the years that I am not perfect,” he said. “So if somebody in Iowa sees something in my book that they perceive is wrong, I am absolutely willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.”

On the other hand, if an instructor decided to rewrite paragraphs about the origins of the universe from a religious rather than an evolutionary perspective, he said, “I would absolutely, positively be livid.”

Ms. Clancy of Macmillan said the publisher reserved the right to “remove anything that is considered offensive or plagiarism,” and would rely on students, parents and other instructors to help monitor changes.

February 22, 2010 message from mailto:campbell@rio.edu

Bob:
However, this model could be construed as providing kickbacks to those professors providing modifications.

This was mentioned later in the article.

Richard J. Campbell
mailto:campbell@rio.edu

February 22, 2010 reply from Bob Jensen

I’m not certain “kickback” is the correct term if professors are being paid above the board for their innovative creations and their hard work. Payments, however, should be rewarded such as payments for providing high quality videos for commercial books.

The publishers might also take for-profit advantage of some of the open sharing stuff. For example, a “customized” textbook might provide links to Susan Crossan’s outstanding free videos, thereby taking advantage somewhat of her open sharing spirit to add to the profitability of the commercial textbook --- http://dept.sfcollege.edu/business/susan.crosson/

It might also be construed as doing the following two things.

Bad
Once Kindle and the other eTextbook providers get their acts together regarding eBooks (e.g., providing chapter exhibits), this move by publishing companies might put the competition out of business if you can only get the eTextbook revision capabilities if you buy/rent the textbook directly from the publisher. Welcome to the world or true monopoly pricing of our textbooks!

Good (and bad)
This move might further destroy the hard copy book market, especially the used textbook market. This is bad for hard copy book lovers like me, but it will be more cost efficient for students and will put the sleazy book buyers that roam our halls out of business.

Bob Jensen

February 20, 2010 message from Richard Campbell [campbell@RIO.EDU]

The future of publishing:

http://vook.com/vook.php 

Richard J. Campbell
mailto:campbell@rio.edu

Vook --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vook

A Vook is a digital book type that combines video, links to the internet and text into one application that's available both on the Web and as a mobile application.

Vook officially launched October 1, 2009 with four debut titles, published in partnership with Atria, an imprint of Simon and Schuster: Promises, a romance by Jude Deveraux; The 90 Second Fitness Solution, a fitness book by Pete Cerqua; Embassy, a thriller by Richard Doetsch; and Return to Beauty, a health book by Narine Nikogosian. Vook followed up these titles with a Vook version of Gary Vaynerchuk's Crush It!, released in late 2009. The company has since released a CookVook for Woman's Day, as well as numerous public domain titles, as well as moving into production on a Vook with author Seth Godin. On February 10th, 2010, the company announced a forthcoming Vook with Anne Rice.

Vook was founded by serial Internet entrepreneur Bradley Inman and came to public attention after being featured in an article in the New York Times in April, 2009.

Here's a really informative link:
Comparison of eBook formats
--- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_e-book_formats

"BookBoon.com works to alleviate students of textbook bills," by Christine Montemurro, Loyola University of Maryland Student Newspaper, February 23, 2010 --- Click Here
http://media.www.loyolagreyhound.com/media/storage/paper665/news/2010/02/23/News/Bookboon.com.Works.To.Alleviate.Students.Of.Textbook.Bills-3876887.shtml
Thank you for the heads up Barry!

In an age where the Internet is flooded with websites for discount and rented textbooks, students now have the option of downloading their textbooks for free online with BookBoon.com.

BookBoon.com is a website that easily provides students with thousands of electronic textbooks free of charge. Customers are not required to enter any personal information in order to browse the website or download books. Books on the website are targeted at engineering students, IT students, and students of economy and finance.

The books contain relevant advertisements on every third page that help fund the project. Textbooks are available in five different languages for students all around the world. All books featured on BookBoon.com are developed and written for the website, so the textbooks students receive are only available from Bookboon.

Thomas Buus Madsen, founder of BookBoon.com, explains why he and his brother began the business back in 2004:

"Every time we started a new class at university, one of our fellow students went to the library, borrowed the textbook, made 50 Xerox copies of the book, and sold these to the other students for maybe 10 dollars. We decided to come up with a concept that would allow the students to download textbooks free of charge. The ambition was that the students should always be able to find and download the book in less than a minute," says Madsen.

The movement to free textbooks in the United States began when The Digital Textbooks Initiative for California demanded that the state of California stop wasting money on expensive, out dated, hardbound textbooks. BoonBoon.com publishes a range of textbooks that are written exclusively for the website by leading authors in their fields. Each textbook is made available to download free of charge in a PDF e-book format with no registration fee.

According to its website, BookBoon.com is "the only provider of its kind that never charges its users or requires registration. In fact, it is impossible to register or make any payment at BookBoon.com."

Continued in article

Here's a really informative link:
Comparison of eBook formats
--- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_e-book_formats

Bob Jensen's threads on other free textbooks and course videos ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/electronicliterature.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on open sharing videos and course materials ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

 

 


"E-Readers Everywhere: The Inevitable Shakeout:  Samsung, Plastic Logic, enTourage Systems, Hearst, and Spring Design launched e-readers at CES against Sony, Amazon, and even Apple's rumored tablet," by Douglas MacMillan, Business Week, January 11, 2010 ---
http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/jan2010/tc20100111_277237.htm?link_position=link1

Johnny Makkar is intent on buying a digital book reader. Yet he won't consider any of the more than two dozen new devices introduced in recent months, many of them at the just-completed Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. For Makkar, a resident of Fairlawn, N.J., with a background in marketing, only two manufacturers will do, and one has yet to unveil a reader. "I want the e-book buying process to be as effortless as possible," says Makkar, 26. "Only Apple (AAPL) or Amazon (AMZN) are going to be able to provide that."

Standing out may prove challenging for many new entrants to the market for e-readers, expected by Forrester Research (FORR) to double to 6 million devices this year. "Half the e-readers that have been announced [at CES] won't be around a year from now," says Forrester analyst James McQuivey.

At CES, some e-reader hopefuls played to niche audiences; Plastic Logic pitched its QUE to business users. Others played up tech breakthroughs; Spring Design introduced a dual-screen device called Alex. All are vying against Sony (SNE), which pioneered e-readers with its first device in 2005, and Amazon, which has been selling versions of its Kindle for just over two years. Forrester expects Kindle sales to reach 3 million and Sony to sell from 1.5 million to 2 million e-book readers in 2010.

Even the established vendors could lose buyers this year. Apple is expected to put out a tablet computing device that many analysts expect to include the ability to read digital books. "We are in a market where consumers no longer believe in one device serving one industry or one function," says Forrester's McQuivey. Single-purpose products such as the Kindle might be ignored by customers who prefer a multipurpose device from Apple.

Plastic Logic's QUE: an "unmet need?"

Upstarts may benefit from focusing on specific kinds of customers. For instance, enTourage Systems said school textbook publishers will custom-format several books for its new device, the eDGe, which was demonstrated at CES. With its QUE proReader, Plastic Logic included a large touchscreen reader and the ability to store and view business documents such as those made with Microsoft (MSFT) Excel and Adobe Systems (ADBE) PDF software. "If I'm starting from scratch, I'd probably go after one of the niches," says Citigroup (C) analyst Mark Mahaney.

Plastic Logic CEO Richard Archuleta says the company doesn't intend to compete with the existing e-reader makers. "Amazon proved that you could build a business out of this," Archuleta says. "Our concept was always to meet this unmet need and create this new category that we didn't think anybody was focused on."

Continued in article


"Did McGraw-Hill CEO spill Apple's tablet secret?" by Jesicca Mintz, The Washington Post, January ---
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/26/AR2010012603493.html?wpisrc=nl_tech

SAN FRANCISCO -- The McGraw-Hill Cos. Inc.'s CEO spoke on CNBC Tuesday and appeared to confirm speculation that Apple Inc. will indeed unveil a tablet computer running on iPhone software during a highly anticipated media event Wednesday.

Harold McGraw, the company's chief executive, was discussing his company earnings on the cable business news channel. When asked about the tablet, McGraw said Apple will "make their announcement tomorrow on this one" and that "the tablet is going to be based on the iPhone operating system."

His comments, though brief, sounded authoritative and several Apple-themed blogs reported the incident as if McGraw had accidentally beaten Apple CEO Steve Jobs to the punch.

McGraw-Hill spokesman Steven Weiss would not confirm that the CEO was describing Apple's actual product.

"There has been lots of speculation and we are as eager as anyone to see how the new device can be used to advance education and business information platforms," Weiss said.

McGraw's comments on CNBC appeared to be an abbreviated version of remarks made during a conference call with Wall Street analysts earlier in the day. According to a transcript supplied by Weiss, McGraw sounded confident that the tablet would soon become a reality. But as for technical details, he said only that "many expect that the Apple device will use the iPhone operating system."

McGraw-Hill is a major developer and publisher of educational materials and textbooks, and some of its college texts are already available for reading on Apple's iPhone. If Apple's tablet is based on the iPhone system, the investments McGraw-Hill and other publishers have already made in e-books would still be relevant on the new device.

"Awaiting the Tablet," by Steve Kolowich, Inside Higher Ed, January 27, 2010 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2010/01/27/tablet

It has many names — the iTablet, the iSlate, the iTab, the iGuide — but if there is one thing people seem to agree on regarding Apple’s new computing tablet, expected to be unveiled today in San Francisco, it’s that it will change the way people consume media. And many observers believe the impact will be particularly notable on college campuses.

Media prognosticators have been buzzing for months about how higher education might be affected by the arrival of the Apple tablet, which is reported to have a 10-inch color display — about the same size as the screen on Apple’s smallest laptop and larger than the screens of the three-and-half-inch iPhone and iPod touch, the six-inch Amazon Kindle, or the five- to seven-inch Sony Reader

Ars Technica writer Jeff Smykil recently wrote that the addition of e-textbooks to the iTunes Store could precipitate new ways of supplying students with course materials, possibly based on selling subscriptions and bundling books and other resources by major. Joshua Kim, a senior learning technologist at Dartmouth College and Inside Higher Ed technology blogger, posited that the tablet could combine course materials and collaboration tools, bringing the futuristic vision of a “cloud-based, disaggregated, open educational experience” one step closer to realization. Brand expert Brian Phipps put it more bluntly, writing that the tablet “could replace the conventional classroom.”

Of course, most people won’t know until later today what the tablet can do; and they won’t know what it will do to traditional higher education for a long time after that. “At the moment we’re just sort of reading digital tea leaves,” said Kenneth C. Green, director of the campus computing project.

A Boost for E-Books?

Electronic textbook publishers, for one, are hoping that the release and anticipated popularity of the tablet will be a windfall for e-textbooks — which, though they have been available for several years, so far have failed to catch on with students. E-textbooks accounted for only 2 percent of total textbook sales last fall, according to data from the market research firm Student Monitor.

CourseSmart, a consortium of five major textbook publishers (at least one of which has been talking to Apple), made a video in anticipation of the tablet’s release, in which it superimposes its iPhone application on a tablet-like device and touts the many ways it could make students' lives easier. Frank Lyman, the consortium’s president, has said the tablet offers features far beyond what is offered by the Kindle and the Sony Reader, including color graphics, video, and other media.

In an interview yesterday with Inside Higher Ed, Lyman said he believes the Apple product will give e-textbooks a boost by combining a brand that is widely popular among college students with a platform that is oriented to reading. “At the level of general enthusiasm and interest for e-textbooks, it has sort of captured the imagination of another part of the market,” he said.

Eric Weil, managing director of Student Monitor, agreed that Apple’s brand power could help push e-textbooks into the mainstream. The problem for e-textbooks is not that students don’t know that they exist, it’s that they don’t find them appealing, Weil said. Apple’s involvement could change that, he said, the same way it popularized the MP3 player with the iPod.

Price Points

But the aspect about the Apple tablet that could provide the deepest insight into how much it stands to affect higher education — at least initially — is perhaps the hardest to pin down: the price tag. While some analysts predict that Apple would need to price the tablet at $600 or lower in order to market it successfully, rumors abound that the product could run as high as $1,000 — as much as a regular MacBook.

While CourseSmart claims that its e-textbooks cost half the price of a new, printed textbook, Lyman acknowledged that, depending on the tablet’s price tag, it could take all four years to break even on the initial hardware investment. But he said he hopes the additional value tablet’s many rumored features will persuade students to buy it. After all, given everything the tablet is supposed to do, students might regard cheaper, less cumbersome e-textbooks as a peripheral benefit rather than a main selling point.

Green said the tablet’s penetration on college campuses will turn largely on what current technologies it is capable of replacing. If the features of the Apple tablet are redundant with the functions students use on their iPod touches — or smartphones, or laptops — then they can subtract from the cost of the tablet the money they would have spent on those other technologies, he said. The more gadgets the tablet makes obsolete, the cheaper the investment.

But Weil said he thinks all this accounting is moot. College students don’t generally think in such calculating terms when it comes to technology, he said. “At the end of the day,” he said, “students spend more on their cell phone service than they do on their textbooks.”

The tablet is expected to hit the shelves in March.

"iPad and the Risk of 'Sustaining Innovations'," by Joshua Kim, Inside Higher Ed, January 28, 2010 ---
 http://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/technology_and_learning

iPad and the Risk of 'Sustaining Innovations' By Joshua Kim January 28, 2010 11:30 am The risk of the iPad for higher education is that the device will prove a "sustaining innovation" in learning technology.

Sustaining innovations, as explained by Michael Horn in his amazing talk at the 2009 EDUCAUSE ECAR Symposium, increase the quality of the service or product but also drive up the cost. Higher education has been moving through cycles of sustaining innovation, where improvements in facilities, amenities and technology have increased the fidelity of the campus experience while simultaneously driving costs (and tuition) faster than inflation.

The iPad could drive a new round of sustaining innovation as institutions seek to design specialized campus and educational apps for the new platform. We will want to design these learning and campus apps, and invest in tools that allow our university content to be accessed by the iPad, for the best of reasons. These reasons include the desire to stay relevant to our students' experience, to compete for their scarce attention, and to use the iPad to reach multiple learning styles.

We will see the ability of the iPad to digitize curricular texts and aggregate curricular media as progress. We will be excited that students will be able to easily sync up a syllabus' worth of course content, consuming the materials via the iPad's gorgeous interface. We will be excited by the possibilities of students engaging in formative assessments and collaborative work (wikis/blogs/discussions) through the browser, without the need to sacrifice the fidelity of reading (iBooks) or media viewing.

The possibilities for learning, student interaction and enhanced campus services that the iPad unleashes will all come at a price. Nothing about a tool as wonderful as the iPad will lower the cost of constructing or delivering education. We will need to invest in buying iPads, developing apps for iPads, and experimenting with new pedagogies and training around iPads. Perhaps the iPad will be a disruptive force for lifelong learners, as they will be able to sync up the lecture content from iTunesU, pair it with book content, and than engage in discussions of the material (through the browser) with other autodidacts.

It might be unpopular to say right now (and I'm sympathetic to the Edupunk movement), but an argument can be made that the LMS was a disruptive innovation for higher education. The LMS allowed, for the first time, hybrid and online learning to scale. Prior to the LMS any pedagogical innovation enabled by technology required custom development and a high degree of faculty technical proficiency. Faculty could make course Web pages, but they needed to know HTML. Assessment and collaboration tools could be built, but they were built one-by-one and by hand. The low technical threshold necessary to maintain and utilize and LMS opened the door to pedagogical innovation and a disruption of the status quo higher ed model. We are still struggling to walk through that door. (And yes, we can and should be debating if Web 2.0 tools have supplanted or complemented the LMS as catalysts for disruption -- but that is the topic of another discussion).

How can something as uncool and unsexy as the LMS be disruptive for higher ed, while something as cool, sexy and elegant as the iPad only be sustaining? And what do we do with the recognition that no matter how wonderful a sustaining innovation can be, the end result is to increase costs as quality also rises?

Do we stop adopting sustaining innovations?

Do we only innovate with learning technologies that can increase quality (active learning) while decreasing costs?

I have no idea, but while we figure all this out I'm totally excited to get my hands on a shiny new iPad. How about you?

January 30,  message from Richard Campbell [campbell@RIO.EDU]

A special thanks to the FCC - why? They have not approved the Apple Ipad, and they can not be sold (or ordered) until approved. I might have ordered one without fully considering the pitfalls of owning one.

Here are some of the issues: 1. Both the Iphone and Ipad do not handle flash files. So much of the richness of the web will be lost to Ipad owners. I have been digging around for the answer to the lack of flash, and the major reason is that that ATT network - already straining from the success of the Iphone - will come crashing down if the huge surge of Flash downloads would clog the ATT network. There are other technical reasons, but that is the major one.

2. If I bought the Ipad with the 3G capability, there would be ANOTHER $39 per month access fee paid to ATT. Currently I pay $30 per month for my Iphone, and the ATT assurances about being able to "tether" my Iphone to my laptop have not come into being yet. The ATT System is straining under the weight of its success in selling Iphones.

3. Creation of Ipad content - You really can't - the operating system - Iphone 3.3? is proprietary and if I wanted to create content, I need a separate Mac with the free Software Development Kit. BUT if I do create something, I have to kick over 30% to Steve Jobs.

4. Readabilty - The Kindle is superior to the Ipad here, but the current Kindle does not do color. Incidentally, Amazon just pulled Macmillan books from their store - a HUGE move with potential antitrust implications. It seems that Macmillan is very upset with Amazon about the heavy discounting of their eBooks. I have talked to an author friend who has self-published on Amazon and the "cut" that Amazon takes makes it difficult for anyone else to make money from their site, "unless you are an Oprah author" as he said.

I have more concerns, but later.

Richard J. Campbell
mailto:campbell@rio.edu

Jensen Comment
Note that over the XMAS season Amazon sold more Kindle books than hard copy books. However, many of the most popular textbook publishers are still avoiding electronic versions of any kind except for limited editions of books for special needs students.

 


"Sony's E-Reader Opens New Chapter in Kindle Rivalry," by Walter S. Mossberg, The Wall Street Journal, January 13, 2010 ---
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704362004575001011185612660.html#mod=todays_us_personal_journal

Sony, the Japanese electronics giant, was a pioneer in the current wave of electronic book readers, introducing its first Sony Reader model back in 2006. But, it has been overtaken by Amazon.com, whose Kindle e-book reader, introduced in 2007, has become almost synonymous with the category. Now, Sony is out with a much-improved model that could make it more competitive.

WSJ's Personal Technology columnist Walt Mossberg takes a look at Sony's wireless, touchscreen e-reader, the Reader Daily Edition. Although it comes with a $400 price tag, he says the product puts Sony back in the e-reader game. Unlike the Kindle, Sony's readers weren't wireless and their owners couldn't download books or newspapers directly to the device, instead of via a computer. Now, that problem has finally been solved with Sony's new Reader Daily Edition, a handsome $400 wireless model that I've been testing.

The Daily Edition can be bought at Sony's stores; at its Web site, sonystyle.com; and at Best Buy's site, bestbuy.com. It was sold out for the holidays, but Sony says it expects new stock soon.

The Daily Edition isn't a mere clone of the Kindle. It has a different design philosophy and is stronger in some areas, weaker in others. In general, I enjoyed using it, once I mastered its user interface, which took several days. I especially liked the fact that it packs a larger screen into a comfortably small device, and mostly uses touch navigation instead of all physical controls. For instance, while the Sony does have a small page-turning button, you can more easily turn pages by just swiping your finger across the screen. It's also better at navigating digital newspapers, something I've never found very satisfying on the Kindle.

(Full disclosure: Sony has struck a special deal with Dow Jones, which owns The Wall Street Journal and this Web site. Under the deal, a special late-day edition of the Journal, containing updated news, will be available on the Daily Edition for an extra charge starting later in January.)

On the downside, the Daily Edition has three main flaws when compared with the Kindle. First, it's much more expensive—$400 versus just $259. Second, it has only about half of the commercial, copyrighted digital books that Amazon does—around 200,000 versus the Kindle's roughly 400,000. Sony also throws in a million out-of-copyright, old books, for a total of 1.2 million.

But many of these added million titles are obscure and of little interest to mainstream consumers. The Reader also has just eight newspapers, versus 92 for the Kindle, though Sony says 10 more are coming soon.

Third, the technology that makes the screen touch sensitive also dims it a bit, so the Daily Edition's screen is darker than the Kindle's. (Both are unlit monochrome screens with gray-scale graphics.) I found the Sony screen adequate, but it's tougher to read in lower light.

The Daily Edition is a slender device with a black metal body that contrasts sharply with the wider, white plastic body of the Kindle. While both products use the same basic screen technology, and the same screen width, the Daily Edition's screen is longer; it measures 7 inches versus 6 inches for the Kindle. In my tests, I found this a big advantage, because, when both devices were set for roughly comparable text sizes, the Sony could hold more text on a page, cutting down on the need for page turns, which interrupt reading.

In addition, the Daily Edition is narrower than the Kindle, because the borders around the screen are thinner, since they don't have to accommodate the Kindle's various large buttons or physical keyboard. (You can enter text for notes or searches on the Daily Edition using a stylus for handwriting or a virtual onscreen keyboard.) This longer, narrower shape gives the new Sony a nice feel in the hand.

I also preferred the Sony's method for presenting newspapers, which allowed more headlines to be viewed at once and required fewer steps to navigate through the paper.

Continued in article


Amazon claims sales of e-books surpassed sales of physical books
That's somewhat amazing since many physical books (especially popular textbooks) are not yet available as e-books

"Amazon's Kindle Reader cuts book shipping:  Book sales in the United States surged during the holiday season, but in a dramatic shift for the shipping world, retailer Amazon.com said this week sales of e-books for the first time surpassed sales of physical books," Journal of Commerce, December 2009 ---
http://joc.com/print/415491

Book sales in the United States surged during the holiday season, but in a dramatic shift for the shipping world, retailer Amazon.com said this week sales of e-books for the first time surpassed sales of physical books.

Amazon’s peak in e-book sales occurred on Christmas day as gift recipients used their new Kindle reading devices to make purchases from among the 390,000 books available in Amazon’s Kindle Store.

The Kindle electronic reader, which allows users to download books and other media from a variety of sources, was “the most gifted item ever in our history,” said Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos.

Overall retail spending the first of November through Dec. 24 increased 3.6 percent compared with last year, according to MasterCard’s SpendingPulse survey, which tracks cash as well as credit purchases. The online portion of sales jumped 15.5 percent compared with last year to account for 10 percent of all retail sales, the survey said.

Another retailer industry watcher said online spending in the United States grew 10 percent in November over a year ago. The comScore research firm said online sales reached $12.3 billion in November, and the group said visits to the Web site of Wal-Mart grew 62 percent and visits to the Target site grew 43 percent over last year.


Question
What are the analogies that led to the names "Amazon" and "Kindle?"

Answer
The word "Amazon" depicts an enormous river of books (an now millions of products) flowing into the world.
The word "Kindle" depicts lighting a fire to read or wanting to read.

"Amazon’s New Kindle Is Faster, Smarter, Thinner," by Brad Stone and Motoko Rich, The New York Times, February 9, 2009 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/10/technology/personaltech/10kindle.html?ref=business

Escalating its efforts to dominate the fledgling industry for electronic books, Amazon introduced a new version of its electronic book reader today, dubbed Kindle 2.

Amazon said the upgraded device has seven times the memory as the original version, allows faster page-turns and has a crisper, though still black-and-white, display. The Kindle 2 also features a new design with round keys and a short, joystick-like controller — a departure from the design aspects of the previous version, which some buyers had criticized as awkward. The new device will ship on Feb. 24. Amazon did not change the price for the device, which remains $359.

Though the improvements to the Kindle are only incremental, Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder and chief executive, defined some ambitious goals for the device. “Our vision is every book, ever printed, in any language, all available in less than 60 seconds,” he said at a news conference in New York.

Amazon introduced several new features for the Kindle. A new text-to-speech function allows readers to switch between reading words on the device and having the words read to them by a computerized voice. That technology was provided by Nuance, a speech-recognition company based in Burlington, Mass.

Amazon is also allowing Kindle owners to transfer texts between their Kindle and other mobile devices. Amazon said it is working on making digital texts available for other gadgets (such as mobile phones), though it did not specify which ones.

One competitive threat Amazon is facing in its effort to dominate the world of e-books is from Google, which has scanned in some seven million books, many of them out of print. Google has also struck deals with publishers and authors to split the proceeds from the online sales of those texts.

Google recently said it would soon begin selling these books for reading on mobile devices like Apple’s iPhone and phones running Google’s Android operating system.

Implicitly addressing the threat posed by Google, Mr. Bezos said that Amazon knows better than other companies what book-buyers wants and stressed Amazon’s digital catalog of 230,000 newer books and best-sellers.

“We have tens of millions of customers who buy books from us every day and we know what they want to read,” he said. “And we are making sure to prioritize those items.”

Markus Dohle, chief executive of Random House, the world’s largest publisher of consumer books and a unit of Bertelsmann of Germany, said the company was working with Amazon and other e-book makers to digitize its so-called backlist of older titles. When asked in an interview after the news conference if he was concerned about the effects of Amazon’s dominance in the e-book market, Mr. Dohle paused and laughed.

“It is not up to us to talk about Amazon’s competition,” he said. “I don’t think that any kind of defensive business strategy will succeed. We want to grow our business in all channels and one of the fastest growing customers is Amazon in all areas.”

“We see the Kindle and we see e-books as a real opportunity because we think that it will not cannibalize the physical part of the business and it will also generate and create new readers of books,” Mr. Dohle said.

For features and pictures see http://www.pcworld.com/article/159173/amazon_unveils_kindle_2.html

There will also be a Kindle software download for Mac computers ---
http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-10381272-1.html

$359 at Amazon --- Click Here

Read This Next
The Future of Reading (beyond mere hard copy and electronic books as we know them)

"Amazon's Jeff Bezos already built a better bookstore. Now he believes he can improve upon one of humankind's most divine creations: the book itself.," Newsweek Cover Story, November 26, 2007 --- http://www.newsweek.com/id/70983

"Technology," computer pioneer Alan Kay once said, "is anything that was invented after you were born." So it's not surprising, when making mental lists of the most whiz-bangy technological creations in our lives, that we may overlook an object that is superbly designed, wickedly functional, infinitely useful and beloved more passionately than any gadget in a Best Buy: the book. It is a more reliable storage device than a hard disk drive, and it sports a killer user interface. (No instruction manual or "For Dummies" guide needed.) And, it is instant-on and requires no batteries. Many people think it is so perfect an invention that it can't be improved upon, and react with indignation at any implication to the contrary.

"The book," says Jeff Bezos, 43, the CEO of Internet commerce giant Amazon.com, "just turns out to be an incredible device." Then he uncorks one of his trademark laughs.

Books have been very good to Jeff Bezos. When he sought to make his mark in the nascent days of the Web, he chose to open an online store for books, a decision that led to billionaire status for him, dotcom glory for his company and countless hours wasted by authors checking their Amazon sales ratings. But as much as Bezos loves books professionally and personally—he's a big reader, and his wife is a novelist—he also understands that the surge of technology will engulf all media. "Books are the last bastion of analog," he says, in a conference room overlooking the Seattle skyline. We're in the former VA hospital that is the physical headquarters for the world's largest virtual store. "Music and video have been digital for a long time, and short-form reading has been digitized, beginning with the early Web. But long-form reading really hasn't." Yet. This week Bezos is releasing the Amazon Kindle, an electronic device that he hopes will leapfrog over previous attempts at e-readers and become the turning point in a transformation toward Book 2.0. That's shorthand for a revolution (already in progress) that will change the way readers read, writers write and publishers publish. The Kindle represents a milestone in a time of transition, when a challenged publishing industry is competing with television, Guitar Hero and time burned on the BlackBerry; literary critics are bemoaning a possible demise of print culture, and Norman Mailer's recent death underlined the dearth of novelists who cast giant shadows. On the other hand, there are vibrant pockets of book lovers on the Internet who are waiting for a chance to refurbish the dusty halls of literacy.

As well placed as Amazon was to jump into this scrum and maybe move things forward, it was not something the company took lightly. After all, this is the book we're talking about. "If you're going to do something like this, you have to be as good as the book in a lot of respects," says Bezos. "But we also have to look for things that ordinary books can't do." Bounding to a whiteboard in the conference room, he ticks off a number of attributes that a book-reading device—yet another computer-powered gadget in an ever more crowded backpack full of them—must have. First, it must project an aura of bookishness; it should be less of a whizzy gizmo than an austere vessel of culture. Therefore the Kindle (named to evoke the crackling ignition of knowledge) has the dimensions of a paperback, with a tapering of its width that emulates the bulge toward a book's binding. It weighs but 10.3 ounces, and unlike a laptop computer it does not run hot or make intrusive beeps. A reading device must be sharp and durable, Bezos says, and with the use of E Ink, a breakthrough technology of several years ago that mimes the clarity of a printed book, the Kindle's six-inch screen posts readable pages. The battery has to last for a while, he adds, since there's nothing sadder than a book you can't read because of electile dysfunction. (The Kindle gets as many as 30 hours of reading on a charge, and recharges in two hours.) And, to soothe the anxieties of print-culture stalwarts, in sleep mode the Kindle displays retro images of ancient texts, early printing presses and beloved authors like Emily Dickinson and Jane Austen.

But then comes the features that your mom's copy of "Gone With the Wind" can't match. E-book devices like the Kindle allow you to change the font size: aging baby boomers will appreciate that every book can instantly be a large-type edition. The handheld device can also hold several shelves' worth of books: 200 of them onboard, hundreds more on a memory card and a limitless amount in virtual library stacks maintained by Amazon. Also, the Kindle allows you to search within the book for a phrase or name.

Some of those features have been available on previous e-book devices, notably the Sony Reader. The Kindle's real breakthrough springs from a feature that its predecessors never offered: wireless connectivity, via a system called Whispernet. (It's based on the EVDO broadband service offered by cell-phone carriers, allowing it to work anywhere, not just Wi-Fi hotspots.) As a result, says Bezos, "This isn't a device, it's a service."

Specifically, it's an extension of the familiar Amazon store (where, of course, Kindles will be sold). Amazon has designed the Kindle to operate totally independent of a computer: you can use it to go to the store, browse for books, check out your personalized recommendations, and read reader reviews and post new ones, tapping out the words on a thumb-friendly keyboard. Buying a book with a Kindle is a one-touch process. And once you buy, the Kindle does its neatest trick: it downloads the book and installs it in your library, ready to be devoured. "The vision is that you should be able to get any book—not just any book in print, but any book that's ever been in print—on this device in less than a minute," says Bezos.

Amazon has worked hard to get publishers to step up efforts to release digital versions of new books and backlists, and more than 88,000 will be on sale at the Kindle store on launch. (Though Bezos won't get terribly specific, Amazon itself is also involved in scanning books, many of which it captured as part of its groundbreaking Search Inside the Book program. But most are done by the publishers themselves, at a cost of about $200 for each book converted to digital. New titles routinely go through the process, but many backlist titles are still waiting. "It's a real chokepoint," says Penguin CEO David Shanks.) Amazon prices Kindle editions of New York Times best sellers and new releases in hardback at $9.99. The first chapter of almost any book is available as a free sample.

The Kindle is not just for books. Via the Amazon store, you can subscribe to newspapers (the Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Le Monde) and magazines (The Atlantic). When issues go to press, the virtual publications are automatically beamed into your Kindle. (It's much closer to a virtual newsboy tossing the publication on your doorstep than accessing the contents a piece at a time on the Web.) You can also subscribe to selected blogs, which cost either 99 cents or $1.99 a month per blog.

Continued in article

"Review: Amazon Reader Needs More Juice," by Peter Svensson, PhysOrg, November 21, 2007 --- http://physorg.com/news114878393.html

Business Week's review --- Click Here

Bob Jensen's threads on electronic literature are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm 

November 21, 2007 reply from Amy Dunbar [Amy.Dunbar@BUSINESS.UCONN.EDU]

Here’s a Chronicle of Higher Education link on e-book readers.

http://chronicle.com/wiredcampus/article/2560/between-the-lines-of-a-new-e-book-reader?at 

Amy Dunbar

November 22, 2007 reply from Bob Jensen

Hi Amy,

The first electronic book reader I ever purchased was the Rocket eBook in July 1999 --- http://snipurl.com/rocketeBooklibrary  I plugged it into my desktop computer and downloaded mostly free books, but it was also possible to purchase new books and download them into the reader.

The reader held about thirty books. I found it the most useful on very long flights such as flights to Asia. At home I didn’t use it much, and now I’d have to really hunt just to find the reader and charger. I tend to read downloaded books on my laptop rather than my Rocket eBook. Some of the reasons are mentioned below.

My Rocket eBook weighed well over a pound mostly because the battery weight. But the weight really did not bother me as much as critics are finding fault with Amazon’s new Kindle weighing about ten ounces. My reader would not display color and did a poor job with graphics because of low resolution and screen size.

I do not yet have either of the two new state-of-the-art eBook readers --- the Sony Reader and the Amazon Kindle. You can read more about these and other earlier versions of electronic book readers (many of which are now history) at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/eBooks.htm 

Do critics miss the main point? It’s hard to predict the future of eBook readers. Certainly the Amazon Kindle stands the best chance to date because it will have the largest library to choose from. I think the critics of eBook readers miss the main point. They tend to dwell on such matters as weight and used book markets. The Amazon Kindle weighs not much more and in many cases less than hardcover books. I’d rather pay less for a new electronic book than pay more for traditional book and worry about selling it later on.

Battery life is a problem, but serious users can purchase spare batteries.

The main point overlooked by critics is competition. Customers already have video-playing laptop computers with larger screens, gigabytes of hard drive, and screen capture capabilities from great software like Snag It. Increasingly new releases of books can be downloaded in PDF format. Most textbook publishers now offer electronic versions for laptop and desktop computers.

Google and Microsoft are now putting hundreds of millions of books free online from the major libraries of the world. For example, it astounds me how much is already available for downloading free of charge --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm 

Since so much new and old literature is available (fee and free) for our laptops, selling alternative electronic book readers (eBooks) is a hard sell from get go. Most of us already carry laptops on airplanes. Why burden ourselves with other reading devices (actually I mostly read paper back books and journal article photocopies while in flight)?

Electronic book readers (eBooks) would be almost as common as cell phones if they were the only alternative for downloading new and old electronic literature. But they’re not the only alternative except for very new releases from some publishers who refuse to allow electronic versions in PDF format for laptop downloading. Some, but certainly not all, of those publishers will allow eBook downloading since copying from eBooks is virtually impossible (while hardcopy can be photocopied and transcribed).

I would not invest in companies forging ahead in eBooks. If any company stands a chance, however, it will be Amazon. Amazon stands the best chance of building the largest library of electronic literature that cannot be downloaded into anything other than eBooks. But I’m not crazed by purchasing the newest of the new releases. If necessary I browse in the downtown or university library and check out the latest and greatest new editions.

I am crazed with reading latest news on some Websites like those of selected newspapers and magazines. I scan my favorites every day. Many of these sites allow free reading of today’s news and charge for older editions. So I scan today’s news like crazy and copy excerpts into my computer while the reading is still free. For example, I will scan today’s New York Times and copy what interests me into my computer before downloadings of articles are no longer free (actually the NYT just made archives free but this is not yet common for other newspapers and magazines).

I thus have two choices. I can read today’s newspapers on my laptop or my eBook. For my laptop, hundreds of newspapers are available each morning, and I can cut and paste items of interest into my own files. Only a few newspapers are available for my eBook, and I can’t copy anything from my eBook into my computer files. The choice for me is a no-brainer, and I think the critics of eBooks miss this main point. It’s legal to copy entire articles into my laptop for personal use just like it is legal to copy entire television shows and movies into my VCR. It’s not legal for me to distribute my entire copies to the world, but I can distribute excerpts like I often distribute quotations in my newsletters/blogs. I could not easily do this if I downloaded literature into my eBook rather than my laptop.

Hence critics miss the point about why I prefer downloading into my laptop as opposed to my eBook. I, for one, am not rushing out to “Kindle” my library.

Bob Jensen

November 29, 2007 reply from Richard Campbell [campbell@RIO.EDU]

Walt Mossberg gave a failing grade today on Amazon’s eBook reader (“Kindle”) because of poor design.

I do not like its specs because of one other significant issue – it does not allow books in Acrobat pdf format.

I also do not like the eBook format Amazon has for downloadable format which also is not pdf. This format does allow image resizing, but only to a very limited amount.

I downloaded an eBook from Amazon - “Excel 2007 Pivottables” (Wiley) - and also bought the hard copy of the book. Some of the images in the book are difficult to read. One major advantage of the Adobe Reader over the Amazon reader is the ability to magnify images to very large size.

However, publishers are not using the full capacity of the Adobe Reader, in that it is possible to play multimedia within the Adobe Reader.

I’ll put a demo up on my site later next month on how to import Camtasia movies into an Acrobat file.

Richard

Richard J. Campbell
School of Business
218 N. College Ave.
University of Rio Grande
Rio Grande, OH 45674
Voice:740-245-7288

http://faculty.rio.edu/campbell 

Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos announced the launch of an e-book device called Kindle. It weighs 10.3 ounces, costs $399 and can be used without a computer, offering instead a free, high-speed wireless data network from Sprint. Users can download books in less than 60 seconds, as well as newspapers, magazines and blogs (for a fee). The device uses an eye-friendly screen and lets readers increase the type size as needed. Will it be a hit, even though most other e-book efforts have been unsuccessful? We asked marketing professor Peter Fader, Don Huesman, senior director of information technology, and management professor Dan Raff to give us their reviews.
University of Pennsylvania Wharton School, Knowledge@Wharton, December 2007 ---
http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article.cfm;jsessionid=a830205f4372372944c1?articleid=1851


Amazon Plans to Market Its E-Book Reader to Colleges
Amazon is considering entering the student textbook market with a new version of its Kindle e-book reader, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Most publishers now offer electronic versions of their textbooks, but so far there's not an attractive enough e-book reader, and Amazon aims to fill that void. The college-oriented new model might be larger and include student-friendly features, such as allowing making annotations, according to a technology blog. Amazon officers also said the high Kindle sales estimates calculated by TechCrunch--a popular blog on internet products and companies--are not accurate. But the electronic company refuses to make public how many e-book reader units it has sold since Kindle was launched last November.
Maria José Viñas, Chronicle of Higher Education, August 25, 2008 ---
http://chronicle.com/wiredcampus/index.php?id=3268&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en


"Preparing to Sell E-Books, Google Takes on Amazon," by Motoko Rich, The New York Times, May 31, 2009 ---
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/01/technology/internet/01google.html?hpw


The Kindle Reader ($259) is easier to hold/carry than a PC, and a multimedia version is on the drawing boards.
The more expensive DX version has some features worth noting, including larger capacity and a headphone jack and speakers. Kindle DX holds the most (up to 3,500 books) relative to its competitors.

Most popular textbooks in academic disciplines, especially accountancy, are not yet available for download.

Adobe offers a DRM technology called Adobe Content Server 4. Sony and a number of other online bookstores--most notably Borders--sell commercial titles in ePub/ACS4 format, and some libraries let patrons check out ePub books.

A comparison chart of Kindle DX, Kindle 2, Sony, Barnes & Noble Nook, and Sony PRS 7 is available at  ---
Click Here
http://ereader-comparisons.com/p138939-why-buy-ereader-complete-eBook.cfm?gclid=CMP2_qfulp4CFZho5QodpVcFsA
To date, Nook is the only reader that can download multiple color pages.  It also has the largest screen and a dual screen

PC World compared five brands of eBook readers (not PC versions) and still prefers the Sony Reader. Sony's $300 reader matches the Kindle 2's screen size and quality but adds a touchscreen and support for free e-books and Adobe ePub, an e-book file format that book publishers and resellers have widely embraced --- See below.

Kindle 2 is the most popular seller to date.

Bob Jensen's links to free books. textbooks, and poems available for download into your PC or Mac without special software are provided at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm
These are not, of course, the latest titles emerging in the current market.

Bob Jensen's links to free video lectures and course materials from prestigious universities are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI
Thousands of free tutorials and videos in various academic disciplines are linked at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm

 

 

Questions
After testing five of the most popular e-book readers to date, what did PC World magazine was their top choice to purchase (if you could only have one reader)?

What in the world justifies this unsuspected choice?

"The Best of Today's E-Book Readers:  The number of high-quality e-readers available is mushrooming. We tested seven and gave our highest marks to one that might surprise you," by Yardena Arar, PC World via The Washington Post, November 6, 2009 --- Click Here

If you think the universe of e-book readers begins with the Kindle 2 and ends with the Kindle DX, think again. That universe is expanding rapidly. We recently completed thorough hands-on testing of seven of the top e-readers available today and came to a surprising conclusion: Our number one choice isn't from Amazon at all; it's the Sony Reader Touch Edition.

Sony's $300 reader matches the Kindle 2's screen size and quality but adds a touchscreen and support for free e-books and Adobe ePub, an e-book file format that book publishers and resellers have widely embraced. Whereas Adobe's PDF reproduces a fixed image of a page, ePub permits text to reflow in order to accommodate different fonts and font sizes.Certainly the wireless connectivity in Amazon's Kindle models makes buying new books a breeze, but to this point Amazon's readers support only Amazon's format, locking you into buying exclusively from the online giant.

Of course, no company's lead in the rapidly evolving e-reader market is safe. Barnes & Noble looks to be one of Amazon's chief competitors. The giant bookseller announced its Nook e-reader last month, and most people who got a peek at the device seemed to love it. The Nook isn't yet available for thorough testing, however.

E-books have numerous benefits. Eliminating paper saves resources. E-book readers take up little room in travelers' backpacks and purses, and yet can store the equivalent of a whole bookshelf. You don't have to go anywhere to buy or borrow an e-book title. For the vision-impaired, the ability to adjust font size can mean the difference between being able to read a book and having to hope that the publisher will eventually release an audio version. Some e-book readers double as music players, and some even have a speech capability for reading books aloud.

Unfortunately, the world of e-books is Balkanized, with multiple incompatible file formats and digital rights management (DRM) technologies, and devices with varying support for both. Books in the public domain are widely available in PDF and other standard formats. But copyrighted material is another story. Amazon's current Kindles can obtain commercial e-books in Amazon's AZW file format via wireless download only in the United States (in early October, however, the company announced a Kindle capable of downloading content in most countries).

Adobe offers a DRM technology called Adobe Content Server 4. Sony and a number of other online bookstores--most notably Borders--sell commercial titles in ePub/ACS4 format, and some libraries let patrons check out ePub books. As of early October, 17 e-book readers supported ePub and ACS4, making that combination the closest thing the industry has to a standard for DRM-protected books. Aside from the Amazon Kindles and Foxit's eSlick, all of the e-book readers in this collection of reviews support ePub/ACS4.

We compiled a comparison chart of the five highest-ranking e-readers at the conclusion of our evaluations. For the details, see our Top 5 E-Book Readers chart. And for individual reviews of the seven e-readers we put through their paces --- http://www.pcworld.com/reviews/collection/1985/.html .
Jensen Comment
Today, November 6, 2009,  the comparison buttons would not work for me.

Bob Jensen's links to free books, poems, and textbooks ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm

Bob Jensen's threads to open sharing courses, tutorials, and videos from prestigious universities ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI


New Books Downloaded Directly Into Your Laptop
All along I've claimed that the best electronic book reader will be a laptop computer (or giant screen HDTV) that requires no special reader. Now Amazon is selling software that will do just that so that you have all your computer's multimedia capabilities and only have to lug one machine when on the road. Also can you imagine having a computer projection on the ceiling so that persons confined to bed can read books on the ceiling --- beats a skylight.

An advantage of using your computer for reading books is that you can buy huge monitors for ease of reading books. Also a Kindle reader holds up to 1,500 (non-multimedia) books, but your computer with over 100 Gb of hard drive will hold many more books, including multimedia books and newspapers.

An advantage of Amazon over some other electronic book readers to date lies in having more new books available for downloading (not free of course) than competitors. This may only be a short-term advantage.

Kindle for PC --- No Amazon link on October 23, 2009 but it will soon have a purchase link on Amazon

"Amazon to release free Kindle software for PC," MIT's Technology Review, October 22, 2009 ---
http://www.technologyreview.com/wire/23794/?nlid=2455&a=f

Amazon.com Inc. is trying to get more people to buy the electronic books that are compatible with its Kindle gadget by offering free software for people to read them on a computer.

The Seattle-based online retailer said Thursday that it will release an application called "Kindle for PC" in November. It will let you buy, download and read Kindle books on a Windows-based PC, regardless of whether you own a Kindle.

If you also own a Kindle, you can see any notes or highlights made on the e-reader.

Amazon will also keep track of where you are in a book, so you can stop reading on your PC and pick up at the same place on your Kindle.

If you're running Microsoft Corp.'s new Windows 7 operating system and have a touch screen on your computer, you can zoom in on book pages by pinching your fingers. In the future, Amazon said, you'll be able to turn pages by swiping a finger across the screen.

The company already offers a similar application for Apple Inc.'s iPhone and iPod Touch that lets users read Kindle books whether or not they own the device.

Amazon is facing a rising tide of competition in the e-reader market from companies like Sony Corp. and Barnes & Noble Inc. Sony already offers several e-readers, and both companies plan to release wireless-enabled devices soon that, like the Kindle, will be able to download books straight to them. Making Kindle books available to consumers who don't want to buy a dedicated reading device may provide another stream of revenue.

Also Thursday, Amazon said that it lowered the price of its newest Kindle by $20, to $259, matching the cost of a U.S.-only device that it is discontinuing. The new version has wireless access that works around the world, replacing a model that worked only in the U.S.

Just two weeks ago, when it introduced the international Kindle, Amazon cut prices for the U.S. version by $40, to $259.

The company still sells a larger-screen version of the Kindle called the DX for $489.

You can read more about the competitors (Sony, Barnes and Noble Nook, Google eBooks, Apple Tablet eReader, QVC Cool-er, etc.)  and their histories in the electronic book market in my threads at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/eBooks.htm


"Did McGraw-Hill CEO spill Apple's tablet secret?" by Jesicca Mintz, The Washington Post, January ---
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/26/AR2010012603493.html?wpisrc=nl_tech

SAN FRANCISCO -- The McGraw-Hill Cos. Inc.'s CEO spoke on CNBC Tuesday and appeared to confirm speculation that Apple Inc. will indeed unveil a tablet computer running on iPhone software during a highly anticipated media event Wednesday.

Harold McGraw, the company's chief executive, was discussing his company earnings on the cable business news channel. When asked about the tablet, McGraw said Apple will "make their announcement tomorrow on this one" and that "the tablet is going to be based on the iPhone operating system."

His comments, though brief, sounded authoritative and several Apple-themed blogs reported the incident as if McGraw had accidentally beaten Apple CEO Steve Jobs to the punch.

McGraw-Hill spokesman Steven Weiss would not confirm that the CEO was describing Apple's actual product.

"There has been lots of speculation and we are as eager as anyone to see how the new device can be used to advance education and business information platforms," Weiss said.

McGraw's comments on CNBC appeared to be an abbreviated version of remarks made during a conference call with Wall Street analysts earlier in the day. According to a transcript supplied by Weiss, McGraw sounded confident that the tablet would soon become a reality. But as for technical details, he said only that "many expect that the Apple device will use the iPhone operating system."

McGraw-Hill is a major developer and publisher of educational materials and textbooks, and some of its college texts are already available for reading on Apple's iPhone. If Apple's tablet is based on the iPhone system, the investments McGraw-Hill and other publishers have already made in e-books would still be relevant on the new device.

"Awaiting the Tablet," by Steve Kolowich, Inside Higher Ed, January 27, 2010 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2010/01/27/tablet

It has many names — the iTablet, the iSlate, the iTab, the iGuide — but if there is one thing people seem to agree on regarding Apple’s new computing tablet, expected to be unveiled today in San Francisco, it’s that it will change the way people consume media. And many observers believe the impact will be particularly notable on college campuses.

Media prognosticators have been buzzing for months about how higher education might be affected by the arrival of the Apple tablet, which is reported to have a 10-inch color display — about the same size as the screen on Apple’s smallest laptop and larger than the screens of the three-and-half-inch iPhone and iPod touch, the six-inch Amazon Kindle, or the five- to seven-inch Sony Reader

Ars Technica writer Jeff Smykil recently wrote that the addition of e-textbooks to the iTunes Store could precipitate new ways of supplying students with course materials, possibly based on selling subscriptions and bundling books and other resources by major. Joshua Kim, a senior learning technologist at Dartmouth College and Inside Higher Ed technology blogger, posited that the tablet could combine course materials and collaboration tools, bringing the futuristic vision of a “cloud-based, disaggregated, open educational experience” one step closer to realization. Brand expert Brian Phipps put it more bluntly, writing that the tablet “could replace the conventional classroom.”

Of course, most people won’t know until later today what the tablet can do; and they won’t know what it will do to traditional higher education for a long time after that. “At the moment we’re just sort of reading digital tea leaves,” said Kenneth C. Green, director of the campus computing project.

A Boost for E-Books?

Electronic textbook publishers, for one, are hoping that the release and anticipated popularity of the tablet will be a windfall for e-textbooks — which, though they have been available for several years, so far have failed to catch on with students. E-textbooks accounted for only 2 percent of total textbook sales last fall, according to data from the market research firm Student Monitor.

CourseSmart, a consortium of five major textbook publishers (at least one of which has been talking to Apple), made a video in anticipation of the tablet’s release, in which it superimposes its iPhone application on a tablet-like device and touts the many ways it could make students' lives easier. Frank Lyman, the consortium’s president, has said the tablet offers features far beyond what is offered by the Kindle and the Sony Reader, including color graphics, video, and other media.

In an interview yesterday with Inside Higher Ed, Lyman said he believes the Apple product will give e-textbooks a boost by combining a brand that is widely popular among college students with a platform that is oriented to reading. “At the level of general enthusiasm and interest for e-textbooks, it has sort of captured the imagination of another part of the market,” he said.

Eric Weil, managing director of Student Monitor, agreed that Apple’s brand power could help push e-textbooks into the mainstream. The problem for e-textbooks is not that students don’t know that they exist, it’s that they don’t find them appealing, Weil said. Apple’s involvement could change that, he said, the same way it popularized the MP3 player with the iPod.

Price Points

But the aspect about the Apple tablet that could provide the deepest insight into how much it stands to affect higher education — at least initially — is perhaps the hardest to pin down: the price tag. While some analysts predict that Apple would need to price the tablet at $600 or lower in order to market it successfully, rumors abound that the product could run as high as $1,000 — as much as a regular MacBook.

While CourseSmart claims that its e-textbooks cost half the price of a new, printed textbook, Lyman acknowledged that, depending on the tablet’s price tag, it could take all four years to break even on the initial hardware investment. But he said he hopes the additional value tablet’s many rumored features will persuade students to buy it. After all, given everything the tablet is supposed to do, students might regard cheaper, less cumbersome e-textbooks as a peripheral benefit rather than a main selling point.

Green said the tablet’s penetration on college campuses will turn largely on what current technologies it is capable of replacing. If the features of the Apple tablet are redundant with the functions students use on their iPod touches — or smartphones, or laptops — then they can subtract from the cost of the tablet the money they would have spent on those other technologies, he said. The more gadgets the tablet makes obsolete, the cheaper the investment.

But Weil said he thinks all this accounting is moot. College students don’t generally think in such calculating terms when it comes to technology, he said. “At the end of the day,” he said, “students spend more on their cell phone service than they do on their textbooks.”

The tablet is expected to hit the shelves in March.

Bob Jensen's threads on electronic books are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/eBooks.htm


The Hot, Hot Electronic Book Market

Oh No! My wife buys at least one of everything from QVC.

"Kindle Rival Cool-er to Hit QVC," by Lauren Goode, The Wall Street Journal, October 7, 2009 ---
http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2009/10/07/kindle-rival-cool-er-to-hit-qvc/?mod=rss_WSJBlog?mod=

The e-reader is going home-shopping for the holidays.

Shortly after Amazon cut the price of its Kindle e-reader, Interead, maker of the rival Cool-er device, said it has signed on with home-shopping network QVC to help it launch Cool-er in the U.S.

QVC will offer the e-reader, at an undisclosed price, as part of its “Today’s Special Value” program, commonly referred to as “TSV,” in early December.

The deal “offers more of a mass-market approach,” said Neil Jones, Interead’s chief executive. “We’ve been looking at non-traditional retail channels for our e-readers, as opposed to just doing deals with bookstores.”

Forrester Research said Wednesday that the e-reader market is outpacing expectations, and Mr. Jones said his biggest concern is ensuring that Interead has enough Cool-er supply for the holiday shopping season. The device will still be available for purchase through the company’s Web site.

It currently retails in the U.S. for $250, about what a Kindle costs. The Amazon device’s price cut is its second in three months, though it is still more expensive than its biggest competitor, the Sony E-Reader.

Mr. Jones started Interead in May with the goal of being a “people’s e-reader,” after his novel was rejected by agents and publishers. The Cooler has attracted attention for its colorful looks and lightweight feel but received mixed reviews in terms of functionality.

He said the company is on target to sell 160,000 to 200,000 units by the end of year, more than it initially expected but far less than some Wall Street estimates that Amazon will sell as many as 1.5 million Kindles.

In September, Interead announced a Google partnership that Mr. Jones said boosted sales and Web traffic, though he declined to give specific numbers.

Interead plans to unveil new features, including wireless capabilities and color electronic ink, at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, he said.


"Discovery E-Book Filing Raises Eyebrows:  Md. Firm Mum on Patent Application," Mike Musgrove, The Washington Post, August 29, 2009 --- Click Here

Is Discovery Communications gearing up for a jump into the suddenly hot e-book space? A filing made public this week by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office raises that possibility.

According to the filing, the Silver Spring-based media company applied in February for a patent on a product it describes as an "electronic book having electronic commerce features."

The company did not respond to a call Friday seeking comment on the matter.

Whatever Discovery's plans are, the electronic book market is shaping up to be this year's most sought-after space by consumer electronics makers. In the wake of considerable buzz for Amazon's Kindle, consumer electronics giant Sony has been aggressively courting the market, with a $200 version of its electronic reader announced this month and set for a release any day now. What's more, the tech industry abounds with rumors about a new tablet-shaped computer possibly on the way from Apple, a product that many think will incorporate some e-book features.

Discovery, by comparison, surprised the tech world earlier this year when it filed a lawsuit against Amazon, claiming that the online retailer's popular Kindle product infringes on an electronic book patent held by the media company, which is better known for its cable offerings such as the Discovery Channel and Animal Planet. Amazon has since countersued Discovery, claiming that the cable TV company is infringing on some of its own e-commerce patents.

Discovery had not -- and still has not -- made many public statements about moving into the consumer electronics arena. But according to the company's patent application, the device would be able to play audio and video files. While other e-readers currently on the market can play audio files, they typically don't play video clips.

Discovery's filing describes the device as being shaped like a paperback book and containing "a novel combination of new technology involving the television, cable, telephone and computer industries."

Continued in article


October 9, 2009 message from Amy Dunbar to the AAA Commons

I love my Kindle DX.  I was won over when I discovered you could make the text larger (but not in the pdf files) and, best of all, when you place your cursor in front of a word you see the definition at the bottom of the page. Reading with the detachable light is great at night. 

I was going to wait until Amazon put in a decent file mechanism so that all the books aren't in one folder, but after borrowing a friend's Kindle and seeing how easy it is to read, I had to have one.  Zero regrets!  Of course, there is research to say that buyers generally don't have regret to avoid post-purchase dissonance.  ;-)

And yes, I do store research papers in pdf format on the Kindle so I don't have to lug them around. 


In comparison with Kindle and Apple e-Book readers, Google will sell books over the Internet that can be read on any Internet browser.

"Preparing to Sell E-Books, Google Takes on Amazon," by Motoko Rich, The New York Times, May 31, 2009 ---
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/01/technology/internet/01google.html?hpw

Google appears to be throwing down the gauntlet in the e-book market.

In discussions with publishers at the annual BookExpo convention in New York over the weekend, Google signaled its intent to introduce a program by that would enable publishers to sell digital versions of their newest books direct to consumers through Google. The move would pit Google against Amazon.com, which is seeking to control the e-book market with the versions it sells for its Kindle reading device.

. . .

Google’s e-book retail program would be separate from the company’s settlement with authors and publishers over its book-scanning project, under which Google has scanned more than seven million volumes from several university libraries. A majority of those books are out of print.

. . .

 

Mr. Turvey said Google’s program would allow consumers to read books on any device with Internet access, including mobile phones, rather than being limited to dedicated reading devices like the Amazon Kindle. “We don’t believe that having a silo or a proprietary system is the way that e-books will go,” he said.

He said that Google would allow publishers to set retail prices. Amazon lets publishers set wholesale prices and then sets its own prices for consumers. In selling e-books at $9.99, Amazon takes a loss on each sale because publishers generally charge booksellers about half the list price of a hardcover — typically around $13 or $14.

Jensen Comment
I've always claimed that the best device for e-Book reading is a computer. This allows laptop users to have access to new books without having to lug about another device. It also gives more wide ranging screen sizes, including the largest computer screens available. Eventually, these books will probably be available on HDTV

College Publishers and Electronic Books
Publishers Weekly --- http://www.publishersweekly.com/

"Man Bites Dog," by Scott McLemee, Inside Higher Ed, November 21, 2007 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2007/11/21/mclemee 


Public reviews are also available on Amazon for many current textbooks. However, most of these reviews emphasize the positive and eliminate the negative. Perhaps, as with the classics, the authors must die before members of our academy feel free to write negative as well as positive reviews.

A music composer at Trinity University once had a cartoon on his door that said composers have no chance whatsoever until they've been dead at least 200 years.

"Amazon Reviewers Take On the Classics What if the Internet had existed centuries,"
by Joe Queenan, The Wall Street Journal, August 24, 2009 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204683204574356541209342218.html

One superb innovation of recent times is the readers' review section on Amazon.com. Here ordinary people get to voice their opinions, acting as cultural watchdogs to shield their fellow book lovers from duds. Certain individuals have built quite a reputation for themselves online, their aperçus vying with the phoned-in ruminations of the snooty, burned-out hacks who masquerade as professionals at our top magazines and papers.

Of course, some reviewers can get a bit coarse and personal in the rough-and-tumble world of Internet interfacials, but for the most part these gifted amateurs inject a much-needed breath of fresh air into the reviewing process. Most appealing is their absolute fearlessness when it comes to trashing high-profile authors that mainstream reviewers would hesitate to mix it up with.

Beholden to no man, cloaked in anonymity, they do not hesitate to take even the brightest stars —Joyce Carol Oates, Paul Auster, Dan Brown—to task. This is what makes citizen reviewers such a welcome addition to the body politic: Their courageous sniping from behind the bushes, emulating Ethan Allen and the Swamp Fox back in 1776, reaffirms that democracy functions best when you fire your musket and then run away.

It is always fun to go back in time and speculate on what might have happened had Anne Boleyn been on FaceBook, or had Pharaoh's army included amphibious equipment. This is why I cannot help wondering what a typical Amazon.com review might have looked like had the Internet existed centuries ago:

• "King Lear"—Average reader rating: Two stars. The author tells us: "As like flies to wanton boys are we to the gods; they kill us for their sport." Oh, right, like I didn't know that? Like I didn't know that to be or not to be is the question? Like I didn't know that the fault lies not in us but in the stars? Tell me something I don't know, Mr. Bard of Whatever.

• "The 120 Days of Sodom"—Average Reader's Rating: Five stars. OK, so I like totally pre-ordered this book based on the author's name, which just happens to be the same as my maiden name—Marquis de. Yeah, a sketchy reason to buy a book, but I was pumped. But when it got here I didn't understand it at all. It just didn't go anywhere. It just kept repeating itself. I went through it a few times more, searching for some deeper, awesome meaning, but just ended up totally bummed. Actually, some parts of it were kind of gross.

• "Oedipus Rex"—Average reader rating: Four stars. Sophocles is a satisfying author who writes in clear, snappy prose. Youngsters in particular could learn a lot by imitating Mr. Rex, until he goes a bit off the rails toward the end. Nothing earth-shattering here, but zippy stuff. Have to admit I'm still puzzled by the weird subplot involving Mr. Rex's mother.

• "The Aeneid"—Average reader's rating: Two stars. Whine, whine, whine! Okay, so your hometown burnt to the ground and your family got wiped out, but do you have to keep bellyaching about it? Where's that gonna get you, Mr. Grumpy? Basically, Virgil is a poor man's Tacitus. He goes on and on about Priam and Dido and Zeus, when all the reader wants is to get to the good part when the Trojans defile the Vestal Virgins. And talk about a rip-off: He doesn't even include the story about the one-eyed giant who can turn pigs into Greeks!

• "On the Revolution of the Celestial Spheres"—Average Reader Rating: Three stars. Those who have read my countless reviews elsewhere know that I am a mathematician, astronomer, polyglot and philosopher in my own right, and therefore uniquely qualified to discuss everything from Zeno's Paradox to Gordian's Knot. Mostly, I think my fellow polymath Copernicus has done a pretty solid job here. The thing most laymen don't realize—unlike mathematicians/ philosophers/astronomers/polymaths like me (as those familiar with my numerous other reviews can tell you)—is that people like Copernicus are really good with numbers. Just as I am. Really, really good. (Me, that is.) Readers seeking more of my unique insights can reach me at Igor@mymommysbasement.com.

• "Deuteronomy"—Average Reader's Rating: Three stars. I don't get it. I've read most of the books in this series, and they totally kick butt, but this one leaves me scratching my head. Is there a story here? Am I missing something? Why so much talk about clean and unclean beasts? The author really got on a roll with Genesis and Exodus, and I was on the edge of my seat when I read The Book of Numbers. But this one runs out of gas early. Now I'm glad I skipped Leviticus!

• "Mein Kampf"—Average reader's rating: One star. Lively writing, but just too, too depressing. Why does he keep using big words that normal people can't understand, like lebensraum and oberkommandant? Hey! I own a thesaurus, too! And what's up with the Jewish thing?

Mr. Queenan, a satirist and writer, is the author, most recently, of the memoir "Closing Time" (Viking, 2009).

Jensen Comment
Public reviews are also available on Amazon for many current textbooks. However, most of these reviews emphasize the positive and eliminate the negative. Perhaps, as with the classics, the authors must die before members of our academy feel free to write negative as well as positive reviews.

A music composer at Trinity University once had a cartoon on his door that said composers have no chance whatsoever until they've been dead at least 200 years.

Although Amazon sells many of the classics, most classics can also be downloaded for free ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm
The above link also includes free textbooks and videos that can be downloaded for free.

 


"Google Books to add Creative Commons books," The Washington Post, August 14, 2009 --- Click Here

Google Inc. is now enabling authors and publishers who release their work under Creative Commons licenses to distribute it through Google Books, a free service that allows users to search and read books online.

Creative Commons is a nonprofit group that encourages writers, artists and others to use its licensing tools to let their work to be reused and shared by others in certain ways.

In a blog post Thursday, Google Books associate product manager Xian Ke wrote that rights holders who are already part of Google Books' partner program can update their account settings. Those who aren't can sign up to be a partner and choose one of seven different Creative Commons licenses.

People will be able to download these books from Google Books and share them. If rights holders indicate that people can modify their books, readers will be able to do that, too.

Those who download the books will be agreeing that they will only use them in the ways the license says they may. This could include giving the author credit if they remix the work or distribute it publicly,

Links to millions of free books can be found at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm

 


 

Sixty-nine percent of university research libraries plan to increase spending on e-books over the next two years, according to a recent study published by Primary Research Group Inc. This finding and others were based on a survey of 45 research libraries in countries around the world, including the United States, Canada, Australia, Germany, and Japan.
Andrea L. Foster, Chronicle of Higher Education, May 30, 2008 --- Click Here


Amazon Plans to Market Its E-Book Reader to Colleges
Amazon is considering entering the student textbook market with a new version of its Kindle e-book reader, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Most publishers now offer electronic versions of their textbooks, but so far there's not an attractive enough e-book reader, and Amazon aims to fill that void. The college-oriented new model might be larger and include student-friendly features, such as allowing making annotations, according to a technology blog. Amazon officers also said the high Kindle sales estimates calculated by TechCrunch--a popular blog on internet products and companies--are not accurate. But the electronic company refuses to make public how many e-book reader units it has sold since Kindle was launched last November.
Maria José Viñas, Chronicle of Higher Education, August 25, 2008 ---
http://chronicle.com/wiredcampus/index.php?id=3268&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en


Book Readers versus Hard Copy Textbooks
Especially note the two messages from Cheryl Dunn Below
We're glad she was not further harmed after being carjacked at gun point

The $359 Kindle --- Click Here

The $489 Kindle DX --- Click Here

Much still depends upon the textbook publishers.

The ideal for Kindle is where virtually all textbook publishers have Kindle versions. Then for every semester all the required textbooks in all courses can loaded onto Kindle. Gone are the heavy backpacks. The savings to students across the years will depend upon how much discount is obtained on Kindle versions relative to used hard copy prices.

It’s inevitable that the day will come when hard copy will no longer be an option because of hard copy printing costs, inventory carrying costs, logistical costs of shipping to stores or retail customers, and the costs of buying back unsold copies from the stores. The question is when this day will arrive. My guess is that we are at least ten years or more away from that point in time. Between now and 2020, book readers will improve greatly just like laptop computers improved greatly between 1995 and 2009.

Students gain the immense advantage of Kindle’s word search. Students lose all the comfort and other traditional benefits of curling up in bed or chair with a book.

There is much more risk with a Kindle. If a student loses a book or has a book stolen it’s one book. If a Kindle is stolen it can be the loss of all of a semester’s textbooks. There’s also the risk that Kindle needs to be repaired. I might say Kindle becomes kindle that goes up in smoke, but that’s probably going a bit too far. Eventually there might be local repair/replacement shops for Kindles, but that day is way off into the future.

In ideal circumstances, students should be able to submit police reports to publishers or Amazon for free replacement downloads in a replacement Kindle. Perhaps the Kindle licensed repair shops of the future will be able to download free replacement books. [This is not necessary --- See Cheryl Dunn's reply below]

Can you imagine 12 students coming ten days before the final exam and reporting that their Kindles were stolen? In the past I’ve carried a few extra textbooks for the occasional circumstance where a student needs to borrow a book for a few days. Textbook reps usually supplied me with a few copies for such purposes, but with Kindle the textbook rep will eventually be out of the picture, especially when publishers cease to publish hard copy textbooks.

I personally think the risk of dependency on a Kindle is too high until publishers and/or Amazon take away the worst risks. One possibility would be to sell a backup hard drive that will only work with a given Kindle or replacement Kindle. Then a student who must replace a Kindle could get the secret password to download from the hard drive into the replacement Kindle.

I’ve not yet purchased a Kindle and am waiting for some improvements like multimedia and computing capabilities. But if I were a student today given a choice between hard copy and a Kindle version, I would go for the hard copy every time in spite of putting my spine at risk with a heavy backpack. I guess only nerds/faculty carry brief cases.

Eventually a book reader will not contain downloaded books. It will only access student-rented books from one or two sources. One source might be an on-campus library server. Backup servers might be available from publishers or from distributors like Amazon. That eliminates much of the risk of loss of purchased books stored on a Kindle. A book reader might have computing and note storage drives.

Along fraternity/sorority row back at Iowa State University years ago, the only accepted way to go to class was for fraternity men to carry a book and clipboard on the opposite side from where a slide rule dangled from a belt. Sorority women carried the clip board, book, and slide rule pressed to their chests. Eventually students will be able to carry a Kindle that replaces all this on their hips or chests. They won’t have to rush back to the fraternities and sororities between classes just to change books.

Of course students today use back packs. I’m so old that I don’t recall seeing a single fellow student at Iowa State University wearing a back pack. In the rain, students usually wrapped their book and clipboard in plastic. If you had two classes in a row, it was acceptable to carry two books and a clipboard. More than two books turned you into a nerd.

May 11, 2009 reply from Amy Dunbar [Amy.Dunbar@BUSINESS.UCONN.EDU]

Great analysis of the issues, Bob. As for me, I can hardly wait to hold that lovely Kindle DX in my hands. I look forward to waking up on Sunday morning and reading my downloaded NY Times in bed. I will have no trouble cuddling up with a Kindle.

As for risk, back up your books! I am much more at risk with my laptop that contains my whole life. I have hard drive backups at school and home.

Amy Dunbar
UConn

Cheryl Dun is an accounting professor specializing in Accounting Information Systems
She corrects some misleading comments above by Bob Jensen
May 11, 2009 reply from Cheryl Dunn [justcheryl.dunn@GMAIL.COM]

If you purchase and download the books from Amazon, the book is not only downloaded onto your Kindle but is also stored on your "electronic bookshelf" where you can re-download it any time onto a kindle that is registered to you. My brother gave me a Kindle in November for my birthday. I had purchased and downloaded several books in the six weeks I had it. A few days before Christmas

I was carjacked at gunpoint and my laptop, backup hard drive, kindle, purse, and several other precious personal possessions that were in the backseat of my vehicle were stolen. The police recovered the vehicle, albeit with a blown engine. Insurance paid to fix that. Insurance also replaced my Kindle, and it was very easy to download my previously purchased books onto my replacement Kindle (which was actually the kindle 2 since that had come out in the time I was dealing with all the messy paperwork from the theft). Insurance replaced my laptop and backup hard drive, but of course couldn't replace the lost data. Beware of carrying around your backup hard drive with you -- although you are protecting yourself from a crashed hard drive, an armed robbery will devastate you. Online backup is a much safer way to go.

Cheryl Dunn
Grand Valley State University

May 11, 2009 reply from Bob Jensen

I’m glad it wasn’t worse for you Cheryl --- such as taking you with them.

Thanks for information about the “electronic bookshelf.”

I was an early adopter of Rocket eBook where most downloaded books were free. New books tended not to be available for download. I found myself using the Rocket eBook on long flights such as to Asia, Europe, and Down Under. But it sat unused on my shelf except when I was on a long flight --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/eBooks.htm
I don’t even know where to find it after our move to the mountains.

Pricing will probably be greatly reduced when serious competition emerges. Also there might be special offers such as pre-packaged offers of several books for first-time buyers. Students might also get special offers, perhaps through their college bookstores. I don’t think the cost of a Kindle DX will be the main issue by any means.

Competitors may have more innovative ideas, especially online book rentals. But there are other possibilities such as a Kindle-like device that’s internal or external to a laptop computer where books can be downloaded to suit publisher security requirements for books that can be read on computer screens, thereby avoiding the main cost of a Kindle --- the cost of having its own reader screen.

Bob Jensen

May 11, 2009 reply from Cheryl Dunn [justcheryl.dunn@GMAIL.COM]

Thanks Bob.

Yes, it could have been much worse. I am grateful to be alive after believing for those few terrifying minutes that those would be my last few minutes on earth. Most of the aftermath has subsided and life is back to mostly normal.

I should also point out that if you download books without purchasing them from Amazon, for example, if you download free books from gutenberg.org then you may either keep your own backup copies or you could just re-download them if anything happens. Keeping your own backup copies would prevent you having to re-do any search(es) you did to find the books you wanted.

Another benefit to having the kindle is the free cellular connection to Amazon's whispernet. Although its primary purpose is for you to use it to purchase books with immediate downloads, there is also an experimental feature for basic web browsing. It can't handle very complicated websites, but it still comes in handy especially when I am in locations that don't have a wireless computer network available but do get cellular signals (I have not yet invested in a cellular modem). And you can highlight text passages, look up definitions, make notes, search for a word in a book, and set bookmarks. And if you have vision difficulties you can enlarge the font size several times. The battery life is amazing, especially if you keep the wireless turned off when you are not using it. My only complaint regarding my kindle is that I have to wait until the airline personnel approve the use of electronic devices to use it on an airplane. And I am a bit concerned about the pricing because the last couple of books I purchased had price tags that were higher than the supposed $9.99 standard.

My son who will be starting at Michigan State University as a physics major this fall is very excited about the kindle dx and hopes the textbook publishers hurry to make textbooks available in kindle format. He is willing to spend his own hard-earned money on it. And, yes, he does curl up in bed with his current kindle to read, just as he would with a novel.

Sincerely,
Cheryl


"Amazon’s New Kindle Is Faster, Smarter, Thinner," by Brad Stone and Motoko Rich, The New York Times, February 9, 2009 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/10/technology/personaltech/10kindle.html?ref=business

Escalating its efforts to dominate the fledgling industry for electronic books, Amazon introduced a new version of its electronic book reader today, dubbed Kindle 2.

Amazon said the upgraded device has seven times the memory as the original version, allows faster page-turns and has a crisper, though still black-and-white, display. The Kindle 2 also features a new design with round keys and a short, joystick-like controller — a departure from the design aspects of the previous version, which some buyers had criticized as awkward. The new device will ship on Feb. 24. Amazon did not change the price for the device, which remains $359.

Though the improvements to the Kindle are only incremental, Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder and chief executive, defined some ambitious goals for the device. “Our vision is every book, ever printed, in any language, all available in less than 60 seconds,” he said at a news conference in New York.

Amazon introduced several new features for the Kindle. A new text-to-speech function allows readers to switch between reading words on the device and having the words read to them by a computerized voice. That technology was provided by Nuance, a speech-recognition company based in Burlington, Mass.

Amazon is also allowing Kindle owners to transfer texts between their Kindle and other mobile devices. Amazon said it is working on making digital texts available for other gadgets (such as mobile phones), though it did not specify which ones.

One competitive threat Amazon is facing in its effort to dominate the world of e-books is from Google, which has scanned in some seven million books, many of them out of print. Google has also struck deals with publishers and authors to split the proceeds from the online sales of those texts.

Google recently said it would soon begin selling these books for reading on mobile devices like Apple’s iPhone and phones running Google’s Android operating system.

Implicitly addressing the threat posed by Google, Mr. Bezos said that Amazon knows better than other companies what book-buyers wants and stressed Amazon’s digital catalog of 230,000 newer books and best-sellers.

“We have tens of millions of customers who buy books from us every day and we know what they want to read,” he said. “And we are making sure to prioritize those items.”

Markus Dohle, chief executive of Random House, the world’s largest publisher of consumer books and a unit of Bertelsmann of Germany, said the company was working with Amazon and other e-book makers to digitize its so-called backlist of older titles. When asked in an interview after the news conference if he was concerned about the effects of Amazon’s dominance in the e-book market, Mr. Dohle paused and laughed.

“It is not up to us to talk about Amazon’s competition,” he said. “I don’t think that any kind of defensive business strategy will succeed. We want to grow our business in all channels and one of the fastest growing customers is Amazon in all areas.”

“We see the Kindle and we see e-books as a real opportunity because we think that it will not cannibalize the physical part of the business and it will also generate and create new readers of books,” Mr. Dohle said.

For features and pictures see http://www.pcworld.com/article/159173/amazon_unveils_kindle_2.html

$359 at Amazon --- Click Here


"The Incredible Vanishing Book," by Christopher Conway, Inside Higher Ed, November 3, 2008 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2008/11/03/conway

We don’t know how soon it will happen, but it is happening and it will be consummated soon. The commodity of the book, as we have known it for the last few decades, is vanishing and being replaced by new electronic media. Paper-and-binding books have irrevocably begun to fade away as products of mass consumption and will soon transform themselves into curios like vinyl records. The age of the massive emporium bookstore is coming to an end under the crushing, virtual weight of the Internet. Amazon’s Kindle e-book reader is doing well and it promises to get better and cheaper in the future. Textbook companies have developed publishing platforms, like www.ichapters.com, for textbooks to be digitally delivered to students through a price-per-chapter system. And worst of all, if you’re a paper-and-binding book lover such as myself, people are reading less paper than before.

In the diverse, mostly Latino first generation student population that I teach, responses to the paper-and-binding book are often mediated by practical economics. A few years ago I assigned Antonio Skármeta’s beautiful, hardcover children’s book about dictatorship, The Composition, to a Latin American literature class. The Spanish edition I assigned cost about $25, which I didn’t consider to be too much, especially because the total cost for all the books in my class was under $70. All but one of the books I assigned were books that I thought were beautiful as artifacts and as stories. These books, I believed, would command students’ minds and hearts to such a degree that students would want to keep them after the class was over. Most of all, Skarmeta’s book, with its color illustrations and poignant lessons about life and death issues was a book that I was excited to teach to my students. When we got to discussing the book in class, several of my students did not have the book, only black and white photocopies because they could not or did not want to buy the book. I felt a strange mix of powerlessness, disappointment and distance. I had conscientiously made my class inexpensive compared to other classes, but it was not inexpensive enough.

Lest you think that this was an isolated situation, a few examples from one of my current classes come to mind. I have one student who has not bought any of the books on the syllabus because he reads the 19th-century classics I have assigned off of the Internet on his laptop, which he brings to class for discussions. Another student has already begun returning the books we’ve read in class so far, after confirming that they would not be covered in the final exam. A third student, a talented and curious young man who arrives to class with an ipod plugged into his ears, is a graduating senior who had never read a novel before my class. They are all bright, responsible and hard-working students but they are not consumers of books. This is also reflected in the reaction that dozens upon dozens of students have had upon entering my office over the years and noticing my 5 or 6 huge bookshelves full of books. They ask: “Have you really read all of these books?” Which sometimes leads to an interesting conversation about my library, in which I explain which parts are my teaching reference and which parts are the books that I’ve read cover to cover.

The fate of the book in the university classroom is impacted by many factors: the use of instructional technology, the economics of textbook publishing and the pedagogical idiosyncrasies of professors, who either promote the disappearance of the paper-and-binding book or try to reinforce its value in the classroom. Let’s look at each one of these factors for a moment. Naturally, in some contexts and disciplines, it is relatively easy to teach a class without books thanks to the wealth of realia and sources on the Web, whether they be freely available, or available through institutionally subscribed databases. In fact, I find great material online and value its role in my courses. I think that we can agree that some material may be best taught off of the Internet.

The economics of textbook publishing is a little bit more complicated and ties in with the surprising choices some faculty members make as teachers. The bottom line is that a lot of textbooks are just too expensive for what you get. There are certain kinds of textbooks, ubiquitous in certain disciplines, that have become monsters of paper and color, a carnival of colored insets and attention-getting graphic design and layout. They are alternately exciting or stupid, but always exhausting. Worst of all, they are dreadfully disposable. The dizzying rate at which one edition substitutes another so that a publisher can make a profit or stay in business makes these books as valuable and as enduring as colored photocopies. This wasteful, pathetic cycle is the best argument for doing away with over-saturated textbooks altogether and going to an online, subscription model.

Other textbooks are more modestly priced and dispense with the graphic fireworks and multiple editions. These thoughtful anthologies or edited volumes are reasonably priced and straddle the border between textbook and stand-alone book. You can see their classroom application immediately but you can also see these books sitting on a public or university library shelf, and yes, even resting on your average reader’s night table. These books are the innovative work of professors, not a corporate marketing team, and are designed for other professors to use in their classes. Although reasonably priced, you would be mistaken to think that all professors value such books. Many professors will spend countless hours putting together elaborate and voluminous course packets of photocopies for classroom use (I used to be one of them). And now, it is more frequent for technologically minded teachers to file-share large numbers of PDFs through password protected sites on campus. This is so wrong it hurts. We are killing our own chances to have readers in the future or be remunerated for the scholarship we do. It’s not only about the modest royalties that faculty authors may or may not receive, it’s about the principle of valuing each other’s scholarship and editorial work. I order good, attractive and useful paper-and-binding books or textbooks for my classes because I want there to be a system in place to support my work as an author and editor in the future.

If the paper and binding book vanishes as a dominant commodity, as it seems to be, maybe the new virtual system of book distribution, reproduction and delivery will allay some of the problems I describe in relation to photocopies and PDFs. It is becoming increasingly easier to put together affordable ‘readers’ or anthologies culled from existing print material without bypassing rights and fees and without overloading students with unnecessary expense. If this wave of the future takes hold and becomes the new standard in textbook publishing, I think it will be good for all parties involved. But what about the paper-and-binding book? Say you are teaching David Copperfield by Charles Dickens and you had a choice between an excellent paper-and-binding edition by a major academic press, with useful footnotes and front matter, and an electronic edition that students could download to their handy e-book readers, along with selected secondary articles you have selected for them to read? What if their e-book readers had a stylus and/or a network that enabled the class to annotate those assigned texts, and share them over the class network? I don’t think anyone’s nostalgia for paper-and-binding can replace the pedagogical value of my not-so-fanciful or far-fetched e-book scenario.

And yet I am sad about the fading of the paper-and-binding book and I am not going into the good night without putting up a good fight. I am committed to making the cost of my assigned books affordable. I order my books with care and I try to use them in their entirety, so that students get affordable books that are actually used in the class. This does not mean that I limit myself. I do use the occasional supplement (or two or three) and I share with my classes my disagreements with the books or textbooks that I am using. I continue to pick books that I believe are worth keeping and treasuring, both for the words they contain and for their tactile beauty as works of art and design. I want the books that my students hold in their hands to have the heft of what is important and of what is beautiful. I want that student who never read a novel before my class to value the physicality of the reading a paper-and-binding book. This endangered act, after all, will connect him to a centuries-old, vanishing tradition that has touched the lives of millions and altered the course of history on many occasions. That’s just too good to pass up.

Bob Jensen's threads on available online books are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm


"Next Chapter for E-Books," by Doug Lederman, Inside Higher Ed, April 9, 2008 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2008/04/09/suny

That great new book is timed for release this summer, and you’d love to have it on your syllabus for the fall semester. But like many a high-demand scholarly book, the one you have your eye on is being released only in hardcover. If you’re willing to spring for (and have your students pay) the full hardcover price, you can choose to buy now or, in some cases, make an electronic version of the book through a service like NetLibrary.

More likely, though, you’re going to decide to wait the year or more until the paperback edition comes out, bringing the price down into a reasonable range for students.

The State University of New York Press hopes its new “Direct Text” program provides another alternative for the college faculty member and her students. Under the program, which was announced Tuesday, the press will simultaneously make available, for $20, electronic copies of front-list books that are released only in hardcover. Professors, students or others have several options: They can download or print copies of the book, or they can gain online access to it for 180 days. About 20 such titles are available now, and the press expects 100-plus books to be available in this format each year, many in its core fields of philosophy, political science and Asian studies.

“In the past, a professor may not or probably would not have been able to assign that book until it came out in paperback,” said Dan Flynn, marketing director for SUNY Press, adding that oftentimes, by then, the content of some scholarly books has lost currency. “This approach takes those books, which are important as a teaching tool for their students, and makes it an affordable purchase for them.”

Flynn said SUNY believed it to be the first press making hardcover-only, front-list titles available simultaneously in a lower-cost electronic form. Alex Gendler, founder and president of Publishers Row, the company whose software undergirds the Direct Text program, said that while Hebrew University’s Magnus Press was using a similar technology, he too believed SUNY was the first American press to take such an approach.

Flynn and Gendler noted that many presses want to keep publishing hardcover books so that they can be sold to libraries — an important source of income — but need to find ways of making the titles affordable to students for use in courses.

SUNY Press’s latest effort, Flynn said, shows that the press is “continuing to adjust to the new paradigm of publishing. Really what this is about, first and foremost, is giving the purchaser of the book what they want in an affordable way. We’re trying to make it available, make it affordable, and make it accessible.”

By mid-day Tuesday, within hours of launching the new program, the press had its first sale: David Janssens’s Between Athens and Jerusalem: Philosophy, Prophesy and Politics in Leo Strauss’s Early Thought.

Jensen Comment
I viewed an Excel spreadsheet of the current listings in SUNY's DirectText program. They're pretty much low volume books where the publisher is probably more thankful for any added revenues from the book vis-a-vis mainline textbooks like we see in accounting, finance, and business courses. There might be some reading supplements in a few courses such as business ethics. Fortunately our major textbook publishers are increasingly offering electronic versions themselves. However, the price is much higher than $20 per password. 

Students that can afford it may well want to order a package deal of both the hard copy and the electronic versions. The reason is that hardcopy is preferred for reading and scanning (even by me) and that electronic versions are better for word searches, bookmarks, and hot links that take you to amazing Websites (like mine, ha ha). Thus far, however, I find that basic textbook authors in accounting don't provide much evidence that they are knowledgeable Web surfers.

At a minimum financial accounting and AIS textbooks should provide links such as the following links:

 


 

2009 Updates

Book Readers versus Hard Copy Textbooks

Much still depends upon the textbook publishers.

The ideal for Kindle is where virtually all textbook publishers have Kindle versions. Then for every semester all the required textbooks in all courses can loaded onto Kindle. Gone are the heavy backpacks. The savings to students across the years will depend upon how much discount is obtained on Kindle versions relative to used hard copy prices.

It’s inevitable that the day will come when hard copy will no longer be an option because of hard copy printing costs, inventory carrying costs, logistical costs of shipping to stores or retail customers, and the costs of buying back unsold copies from the stores. The question is when this day will arrive. My guess is that we are at least ten years or more away from that point in time. Between now and 2020, book readers will improve greatly just like laptop computers improved greatly between 1995 and 2009.

Students gain the immense advantage of Kindle’s word search. Students lose all the comfort and other traditional benefits of curling up in bed or chair with a book.

There is much more risk with a Kindle. If a student loses a book or has a book stolen it’s one book. If a Kindle is stolen it can be the loss of all of a semester’s textbooks. There’s also the risk that Kindle needs to be repaired. I might say Kindle becomes kindle that goes up in smoke, but that’s probably going a bit too far. Eventually there might be local repair/replacement shops for Kindles, but that day is way off into the future.

In ideal circumstances, students should be able to submit police reports to publishers or Amazon for free replacement downloads in a replacement Kindle. Perhaps the Kindle licensed repair shops of the future will be able to download free replacement books.

Can you imagine 12 students coming ten days before the final exam and reporting that their Kindles were stolen? In the past I’ve carried a few extra textbooks for the occasional circumstance where a student needs to borrow a book for a few days. Textbook reps usually supplied me with a few copies for such purposes, but with Kindle the textbook rep will eventually be out of the picture, especially when publishers cease to publish hard copy textbooks.

I personally think the risk of dependency on a Kindle is too high until publishers and/or Amazon take away the worst risks. One possibility would be to sell a backup hard drive that will only work with a given Kindle or replacement Kindle. Then a student who must replace a Kindle could get the secret password to download from the hard drive into the replacement Kindle.

I’ve not yet purchased a Kindle and am waiting for some improvements like multimedia and computing capabilities. But if I were a student today given a choice between hard copy and a Kindle version, I would go for the hard copy every time in spite of putting my spine at risk with a heavy backpack. I guess only nerds/faculty carry brief cases.

Eventually a book reader will not contain downloaded books. It will only access student-rented books from one or two sources. One source might be an on-campus library server. Backup servers might be available from publishers or from distributors like Amazon. That eliminates much of the risk of loss of purchased books stored on a Kindle. A book reader might have computing and note storage drives.

Along fraternity/sorority row back at Iowa State University years ago, the only accepted way to go to class was for fraternity men to carry a book and clipboard on the opposite side from where a slide rule dangled from a belt. Sorority women carried the clip board, book, and slide rule pressed to their chests. Eventually students will be able to carry a Kindle that replaces all this on their hips or chests. They won’t have to rush back to the fraternities and sororities between classes just to change books.

Of course students today use back packs. I’m so old that I don’t recall seeing a single fellow student at Iowa State University wearing a back pack. In the rain, students usually wrapped their book and clipboard in plastic. If you had two classes in a row, it was acceptable to carry two books and a clipboard. More than two books turned you into a nerd.

 


"E-books, slow to catch on in mainstream, are a hit in niches," MIT's Technology Review, December 4, 2007 ---
http://www.technologyreview.com/Wire/19820/?nlid=734

For a decade now, publishers have been hoping to wean readers off books and move them to electronic versions, which are much cheaper to produce and distribute.

It just hasn't happened, even with the support of an electronics giant like Sony, which put out a dedicated e-book reader last year. Amazon.com Inc. recently followed up with its own reader.

But if you look away from the mainstream publishing industry, e-books are already a success in a few niches, where they are giving rise to new ways of doing business. The standout example is role-playing games, but buyers of college textbooks and even romance novels are warming to e-books.

Witness Gareth-Michael Skarka, a representative of one of our newest professions: the e-book publisher. ''E-book publishers'' that reformat printed books into electronic formats have been around for a while, but Skarka commissions, edits and sells books that overwhelmingly never see print, and would never have existed if it weren't for electronic publishing.

''Most of our customers are fairly comfortable with the electronic format,'' said Skarka. He pulls in around $50,000 a year in sales, enough to make a living of it in Lawrence, Kan., where he is based.

The 156 e-books in Portable Document Format, or PDF, sold by Skarka's Adamant Entertainment aren't exactly highbrow literature. With titles like ''Slavers of Mars,'' and ''One Million Magic Items,'' they're aimed at people who play role-playing games -- the most famous of which would be ''Dungeons & Dragons.'' Skarka's prices are mostly less than $10, but the e-books aren't hugely cheaper than printed books, because most of the PDFs are short.

Role-players buy lots of books, which contain rules for their games or expand on the imaginary worlds in which they are set. It's fiction, but it's more like reference material than the kind of long narratives you'd find in novels. Industry insiders see that as a big reason PDFs work for role-players.

''In general, it's not the 300-page prose novels that people want to read on the screen,'' said Steve Wieck, who co-founded one of the most successful publishers of role-playing games, Atlanta-based White Wolf Inc., in the early 90s.

Wieck started noticing that a lot of White Wolf's releases would be scanned by fans and pirated online. Following a ''can't beat 'em -- join 'em'' strategy, he and his brother started DriveThruRPG.com in 2004 to sell PDFs, gathering books from many publishers, including Adamant Entertainment.

Wieck and Skarka estimate that e-book sales make up 10 percent of the $25 million in annual RPG sales. DriveThruRPG alone does $2 million in business annually. By comparison, the Association of American publishers put 2006 e-book sales at $54 million, 0.02 percent of total book sales of $24.2 billion.

Marc Zuckerman, a role-player in Rockville Centre, N.Y., bought his first e-book six months ago, even though he already has, or at least may have, a print copy of the book. His copy of the superhero game ''Villains and Vigilantes'' got lost in a move. Originally published in 1982, it's long out of print but available on DriveThruRPG.

''It's really nifty to be able to walk into a gaming session and plug in my laptop and everything is there, as opposed to lugging 40 books,'' Zuckerman said.


Look for a Year of E-Textbooks in 2008
Over the past year, a consortium of major textbook publishers and several competing ventures have been getting ready for a new push in what is becoming a small but steadily growing fraction of the overall market for college students. “Those efforts are starting to crack the surface of digital content being a serious growing enterprise in higher education,” said Evan Schnittman, vice president of business development and rights for Oxford University Press’s academic and U.S. divisions. McGraw-Hill Education, for example, offers almost 95 percent of its textbooks as e-books, and the publisher has seen a steady growth in interest over the past several years, albeit from a small base. Their logic seems unassailable: With laptops now an ubiquitous presence on college campuses and textbook prices ever on the rise and suddenly a hot issue, technologically inclined students seem poised to change their study habits — and save a lot of money — by forgoing scribbles in the margin and trading in their highlighters for cursors.
"E-Textbooks — for Real This Time?" Inside Higher Ed, January 3, 2008 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2008/01/03/eBooks 

Bob Jensen's links to free online textbooks and other electronic literature --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm


"Yale University Press Goes the E-Book Route:  Google Plans Searchable Text in Images Searching Library Collections in FaceBook," by Josh Fischman, Chronicle of Higher Education, January 7, 2008 --- http://chronicle.com/wiredcampus/index.php?id=2644&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en 

Yale University Press Goes the E-Book Route Yale University Press is relying on a new piece of software to make its titles more widely available. The program, CoreSource, interfaces with Microsoft's Live Search Books program. The idea is that the press will be able to digitize more of its books and potential buyers will be able to find them through Live Search Books. If motivated by the text, users can become buyers through print-on-demand programs.

Microsoft's Live Search Books Program is part of Windows Live --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Live_Search_Books

Bob Jensen's links to free online textbooks and other electronic literature --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm


 

 

 


Electronic Book Readers Updates

See above for the updated 2007 module on Amazon's Kindle!

Making Digital Books Into Page Turners
Despite tepid response to its Reader, Sony sees potential in the market--and Amazon may agree

Nearly 10 Months After its debut, the Sony Reader is hardly a game changer. Reviews of the tiny handheld book-reading device have been tepid at best, and Sony Corp. has consistently declined to release sales figures, which just might tell you something. But Sony isn't backing away. In fact, as speculation continues in publishing circles that book e-tailing giant Amazon.com is planning to come out with its own portable reader, Sony is launching a number of initiatives to give its Reader more sizzle. The market for digital books is nascent, and Sony, despite the Reader's less-than-splashy debut, still sees its potential, believing people will eventually warm to reading on a flat screen everything from books to the magazine you're holding now. The half-inch-thick Sony Reader, which can store about 80 electronic books, allows readers to flip pages and adjust the type size. It sells for about $300, and digital book downloads range from $2 to $20 apiece.
Business Week, September 3, 2007 --- http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/07_36/b4048065.htm?link_position=link9

Sony Portable Reader System --- Click Here

There are millions of books, poems, and related electronic literature now available, or soon to be available, free to read on your PC --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm


Question
What made the old Sony Walkman better than all new "audiobooks" for the blind?

As a library trying to implement digital audiobooks for our patrons, the dreadful state of player technology presents us with a serious obstacle ("Getting an Earful of Printed Words -- Downloads, Small Devices Draw a Wider Audience of Audiobook Listeners," Personal Journal, Sept. 28). The nearly 30-year-old Sony Walkman is easy to grasp and can be used by anyone with about 10 seconds of training. The controls can be manipulated with ease in the dark or by a blind person. It is cheap, reliable and has a consistent form factor. But the new, portable digital media players, regardless of price and maker, suffer from overengineering, and their features are focused on the music customer, ignoring the needs of the audio book user. None of the new devices can be used by the blind or visually impaired because the controls have no tactile feedback, are multifunction and ridiculously small. The displays, when they exist, are too small even for people with good eyesight. The process of downloading the book, transferring it to the device and then trying to keep your place while "reading" over a series of hours, days or weeks is daunting to the best and impossible for many. Many users give up after trying it once or twice.
Vern Mastel, "New Audiobook Technology Frustrates Blind Listeners," The Wall Street Journal, October 7, 2006 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB116017662453985426.html?mod=todays_us_opinion

Bob Jensen's threads on "Technology Aids for the Handicapped and Learning Challenged" are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#Handicapped


"Review: Sony's Reader a step forward," PhysOrg, September 27, 2006 --- http://physorg.com/news78593741.html

Sure, there are electronic books available for download at Amazon and elsewhere, but they haven't really caught on. Sony Corp. is now tackling part of the problem with the U.S. launch of the first e-book reader that imitates the look of paper by using an innovative screen technology.

Is this the iPod for books? Not quite. But it is a step forward.

The Sony Reader is a handsome affair the size of a paperback book, but only a third of an inch thick. It goes on sale for $350 on Sony's Web site Wednesday, and in Borders stores in October.

The 6-inch screen can be taken for a monochrome liquid-crystal display at first glance, but on closer inspection looks like no other electronic display. It's behind a thin pane of glass, but unlike an LCD it shows no "depth" - it pretty much looks like a light gray piece of paper with dark gray text.

The display, based on technology from Massachusetts Institute of Technology spinoff E Ink Corp., is composed of tiny capsules with electrically charged particles of white and black ink. When a static electric charge is applied on the side of the capsule that faces the reader, it attracts the white particles to the face of the display, making that pixel show light gray. Reversing the charge brings the black pigments floating through the capsule to replace the white pigments, and the pixel shows as dark gray.

Like paper, the display is readable from any angle, but it doesn't look as good as the real thing, chiefly because the contrast doesn't compare well. The background isn't white and the letters aren't black. The letters show some jaggedness, even though the resolution is a very respectable 800 by 600 pixels. It will display photos, though they look a bit like black-and-white photocopies.

But it's still a more comfortable reading medium than any other electronic display. The text is easy on the eyes in almost any light you could read a book by.

The other major advantage of the display is that it's a real power sipper. Sony says a Reader with a full charge in its lithium battery can show up to 7,500 pages, an amazing figure that I unfortunately didn't have the time to test.

The reason behind this trilogy-busting stamina is that the display only consumes power when it flips to a new page. Displaying the same page continuously consumes no power, though the electronics of the device itself do use a little bit.

The Reader's internal memory holds up to 100 books, depending on their size. The memory can be expanded with inexpensive SD cards or Memory Sticks.

To load books, connect the Reader with a supplied cable to a Windows PC running the accompanying software. You can transfer Word documents or Portable Document Format files to the Reader, download blog feeds, or buy e-books at Sony's online store. It will also play MP3 music or audiobook files.

 
The store is not live yet, so I was unable to test it, but the interface looks comfortably like that of iTunes. It should have 10,000 titles at launch, Sony said, with major titles from publishers like HarperCollins, Simon and Schuster and Penguin-Putnam. In keeping with the e-book market so far, there's no big price break: the electronic version will cost a dollar or so less than the printed book.

The Reader would be a perfect companion for the avid book reader, but for a few things.

First of all, navigation is fairly clumsy. You can't just enter the page number and jump to the page, nor can you enter a word or phrase to search for, as you can when reading a book on a PC. To get around, there are 10 buttons that will each take you a 10th of the way through text. You can also jump to chapter starts, or return to bookmarks. Still, this is very much a one-way device, designed for reading a book straight through from cover to cover.

This lack of interactivity is partly because the screen is slow to change, since it takes time for the pigments to move through the capsules. It takes about a second to display a new page. That means no scrolling through pages, and no note-taking on the screen - imagine having to wait a second for each letter you write to appear.

Secondly, and less importantly, the Reader handles PDFs poorly. It doesn't allow you to zoom in on them, so if they're formatted for standard 8.5-inch-by-11-inch pages, the text will be illegibly small.

Thirdly, the Reader doesn't have a built-in light source, unlike PCs and personal digital assistants. A small clip-on light of the kind sold for books should work well, though.

Because of these drawbacks, it's hard to see the Reader as something that will bust the e-book market open. But it deserves a much better reception than the generally small LCD-based devices that hit the market a couple of years ago, some of which are already discontinued.

Other competition comes from cell phones and PDAs, but none of them match the Reader for screen size, legibility and battery life. Laptops, Tablet PCs and tablet-style Ultra-Mobile PCs have the screen size, but are heavier, more expensive, take time to boot up and have short battery lives.

The real competition, though, will be printed books, which have so far defeated all digital contenders with their excellent "battery life" and "display quality." Sony's going to have to try a little harder before it can really start saving trees.

---


On the Web --- http://www.sony.com/reader

"Gutenberg 1, Sony 0:  Its reader is hurt by clunky software and a clueless bookstore," by Stephen H. Wildstrom, Business Week, October 16, 2006 --- Click Here 

  • In an age when digital distribution of content is becoming the norm, the oldest mass medium has remained stubbornly resistant. Most recorded music is available for download, as are newspapers, magazines, and some TV shows. But books remain stuck in the Gutenberg era, with minuscule sales of the few titles that exist in electronic form.

    Sony's much delayed Reader aims to change that. It will be available in October for about $350, which includes a credit for $50 in book purchases. Even though the Reader has its flaws, it's a vast improvement over various other e-book designs rolled out in the past decade. I can't say the same for the clunky software that manages book purchases and Reader downloads on a Windows PC, or for Sony's attempt at an online bookstore, which is reminiscent of its clueless efforts to sell music online.

    The 12-oz. Reader is about the size of a standard paperback. Just half an inch thick in its handsome black leather cover, it has enough memory to store dozens of books. When the Reader is set to a standard type size, the 4 3/4-by-3 3/4-in. screen contains perhaps half as much text as a typical book page. The display itself is revolutionary. E Ink, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology spin-off, has been laboring for years to perfect the technology, which generates crisp black letters by selectively rotating millions of half-white, half-black balls.

    While far better than the monochrome displays on earlier e-books in both appearance and power consumption (it will run for days on a charge), the Reader falls short of real print on paper. The promised black-on-white effect is more like dark gray on light gray. And when you press a button to turn a page, it takes about a second to respond, during which interval the page turns black, a minor but distinct annoyance.

    ANY E-BOOK READER IS BOUND TO INVOLVE COMRPOMISES
    The Sony Reader's storage capacity is effectively unlimited, since you can add memory cards. This lets you carry a library of books in a tiny package. On the other hand, the reading experience is far inferior to that of a real book, partly because all concept of page design is lost. For example, in the best-selling Freakonomics, tables that are barely legible on the Reader to begin with sometimes break over two pages. Files downloaded from a computer (via a usb cable) fare worse. I found that most pdf files were unreadable even in the largest type size, and I could not get Word files to download at all.

    Another big limitation is that the display can show only four shades of gray, thus restricting graphics to line drawings. This essentially disqualifies the Reader from one of its most attractive uses, textbooks.

    These deficits, however, pale compared to Sony's Connect bookstore (eBooks.connect.com), which seems to be the work of someone who has never visited Amazon.com (AMZN ). Sony offers 10,000 titles, but that doesn't mean you will find what you want. For example, only four of the top 10 titles on the Oct. 1 New York Times paperback best-seller list showed up. On the other hand, many books are priced below their print equivalents—most $7.99 paperbacks go for $6.39—and can be shared among any combination of three Readers or pcs, much as Apple (AAPL ) iTunes allows multiple devices to share songs.

    The worst problem is that search, the essence of an online bookstore, is broken. An author search for Dan Brown turned up 84 books, three of them by Dan Brown, the rest by people named Dan or Brown, or sometimes neither. Putting a search term in quotes should limit the results to those where the exact phrase occurs, but at the Sony store, it produced chaos. "Dan Brown" yielded 500 titles, mostly by people named neither Dan nor Brown. And the store doesn't provide suggestions for related titles, reviews, previews—all those little extras that make Amazon great.

    The problems of the store and software are fixable. But unless Sony repairs them fast, the Reader may be headed for the scrap heap of failed e-book readers.

  • "Sony Reader Is a Work in Progress," by Tom Bentley, Wired News, September 30, 2006 --- http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,71844-0.html?tw=wn_index_3

    At 7 inches by 5 inches and with a 6-inch diagonal screen, the Sony Reader approximates paperback size, though at only 0.5 inches high it's skinnier than most. Visually, the reading experience is uncannily like that of its paper counterpart: The Reader's 800-by-600 resolution is typographically crisp at any normal (and even abnormal) reading angle, and eminently readable in the sharpest sunlight.

    This revelation is due to E Ink technology: Positively or negatively charged microcapsules display black or white on the screen, which holds that charge -- and the screen's image -- until another page's charge replaces it. The upshot of that is that you experience a static, non-flickering screen -- albeit a grayscale one -- with the added benefit of very low power consumption. I could discern some "ghosting" of the previous screen's contents on the display, but a Sony spokesman said that effect would be reduced at release time, though not completely eradicated.

    Continued in article

    "Review: Sony's Reader uses e-ink for e-books," MIT's Technology Review, September 27, 2006 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/read_article.aspx?id=17550&ch=infotech

    Books have been a bit of the orphan in the digital world. Music has the iPod. Video has YouTube. Books have, well, Amazon.com, where you can buy them printed on paper.

    Sure, there are electronic books available for download at Amazon and elsewhere, but they haven't really caught on. Sony Corp. is now tackling part of the problem with the U.S. launch of the first e-book reader that imitates the look of paper by using an innovative screen technology.

    Is this the iPod for books? Not quite. But it is a step forward.

    The Sony Reader is a handsome affair the size of a paperback book, but only a third of an inch thick. It goes on sale for $350 on Sony's Web site Wednesday, and in Borders stores in October.

    The 6-inch screen can be taken for a monochrome liquid-crystal display at first glance, but on closer inspection looks like no other electronic display. It's behind a thin pane of glass, but unlike an LCD it shows no ''depth'' -- it pretty much looks like a light gray piece of paper with dark gray text.

    The display, based on technology from Massachusetts Institute of Technology spinoff E Ink Corp., is composed of tiny capsules with electrically charged particles of white and black ink. When a static electric charge is applied on the side of the capsule that faces the reader, it attracts the white particles to the face of the display, making that pixel show light gray. Reversing the charge brings the black pigments floating through the capsule to replace the white pigments, and the pixel shows as dark gray.

    Like paper, the display is readable from any angle, but it doesn't look as good as the real thing, chiefly because the contrast doesn't compare well. The background isn't white and the letters aren't black. The letters show some jaggedness, even though the resolution is a very respectable 800 by 600 pixels. It will display photos, though they look a bit like black-and-white photocopies.

    But it's still a more comfortable reading medium than any other electronic display. The text is easy on the eyes in almost any light you could read a book by.

    The other major advantage of the display is that it's a real power sipper. Sony says a Reader with a full charge in its lithium battery can show up to 7,500 pages, an amazing figure that I unfortunately didn't have the time to test.

    The reason behind this trilogy-busting stamina is that the display only consumes power when it flips to a new page. Displaying the same page continuously consumes no power, though the electronics of the device itself do use a little bit.

    The Reader's internal memory holds up to 100 books, depending on their size. The memory can be expanded with inexpensive SD cards or Memory Sticks.

    Continued in article


    "Yale University Press Goes the E-Book Route:  Google Plans Searchable Text in Images Searching Library Collections in FaceBook," by Josh Fischman, Chronicle of Higher Education, January 7, 2008 --- http://chronicle.com/wiredcampus/index.php?id=2644&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en 

    Yale University Press Goes the E-Book Route Yale University Press is relying on a new piece of software to make its titles more widely available. The program, CoreSource, interfaces with Microsoft's Live Search Books program. The idea is that the press will be able to digitize more of its books and potential buyers will be able to find them through Live Search Books. If motivated by the text, users can become buyers through print-on-demand programs.

    Microsoft's Live Search Books Program is part of Windows Live --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Live_Search_Books


    Clearly, the movement toward digital content delivery is gaining steam. And, as such, it is not surprising to read that the technology’s more vocal enthusiasts are forecasting nothing short of a revolution in academic research, teaching, reading, writing, and publishing once it becomes ubiquitous.Over at if:book, the collective blog of the “Institute for the Future of the Book,” commentators have had a great deal to say about the immense transformations that digital delivery and online publishing will effect on the academy and academics.
    Scott W. Palmer, "If:book, Then What?" Inside Higher Ed, August 15, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2006/08/15/palmer

    Bob Jensen's links to free electronic literature are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm

    Bob Jensen's search helpers are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/searchh.htm


    New Textbooks in Electronic Formats

    Most publishing firms now have alternatives for obtaining electronic versions of their textbooks.

    August 15, 2006 message from Ivy Banaag [ibanaag@ECNext.com]

    Hello Robert,

    My name is Ivy, and I work for ECNext, Inc. After reviewing your website, specifically the Links section, http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/000aaa/eBooks.htm , I wanted to propose you consider adding a new online textbooks site, iChapters.com.

    iChapters.com offers brand new textbooks, in electronic & print formats. Electronic versions of college textbooks, including individual chapters, are available for immediate download at affordable prices. Only at iChapters.com can you choose to buy just what you need at the price you want to pay.

    Students who frequent your website, especially those with a tight budget, will surely benefit from iChapters. I am hoping that you can help them find us by including iChapters ( http://www.iChapters.com ) on your Links section.

    Please don’t hesitate to contact me ( ibanaag@ecnext.com ) if you have any questions.

    Ivy iChapters.com


    Bob Jensen's links to free electronic literature are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm

    Bob Jensen's search helpers, including book search helpers, are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/searchh.htm


    Can Sony make the iPod of electronic books?
    See "Curling Up With a Good eBook," Business Week, December 29, 2005 --- http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/dec2005/tc20051229_155542.htm?link_position=link1

    March 31, 2006 message from Chuck White

    I really appreciated your remark about what your print publications have meant to you as compared to the web based stuff. I have mentioned that to many since and pointed out how anachronistic paper publishing seems to be. Check out the new Sony book reader. Uses the electronic ink technology developed at MIT several years ago to render the screen infinitely more readable and brighter than the LCD screens and brighter than ink on paper. I am hoping this is the e-book reader that will end the talk of "I can't read from a computer screen."

    chuck

    Charles B. White
    V.P. Information Resources and Administrative Affairs,
    Trinity University


    The Renewed Upward Trend in Portable Electronic Books
    Richard D. Warren, a 58-year-old lawyer in California, is halfway through Ken Follett's novel Jackdaws. But he doesn't bother carrying around the book itself. Instead, he has a digital version of Follett he reads on his Palm Treo each morning as he commutes by train to San Francisco from his home in Berkeley. He's a big fan of such digital books. Usually, there are around seven titles on his Treo, and he buys at least two new ones each month. "It's just so versatile," he says. "I've tried to convert some friends to this, but they think it's kind of geeky." Geeky? For now, maybe, but not for much longer. Many experts are convinced that digital books, after plenty of false starts, are finally ready for takeoff. "Every other form of media has gone digital -- music, newspapers, movies," says Joni Evans, a top literary agent who just left the William Morris Agency to start her own company that will focus on books and technology. "We're the only industry that hasn't lived up to the pace of technology. A revolution is around the corner."
    "Digital Books:  Start A New Chapter Lighter devices, better displays, and the iPod craze could make them best-sellers," Business Week, February 27, 2006 --- Click Here 

    There are some points to take into consideration about "free textbooks" such as the ones that I list at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm#Textbooks

    1. Many of these "free" books are books that have been dropped by publishing firms or were never accepted by publishing firms in the first place. If they were dropped, they have met a rigorous reviewing process and may have made money for the authors. In fact they might have been dropped simply due to the all-to-frequent process of publishing company mergers that left publisher oligopolists with too many textbooks on a given topic.

    2. Whereas the end consumer makes many choices about whether to use a product with advertising (e.g., magazine subscriptions, newspaper purchases, Google searches, etc.), the choice of a textbook is usually in the hands of instructors rather than end user students. In general, students are ceteris paribus grateful for free textbooks even if they must endure a certain amount of advertising. It's the "ceteris paribus" part that's a problem. Those new textbooks costing students $90 or more (without advertising) provide incentives for authors to make careful revised editions. Also publishing firms have the revenues to provide improved supplements (most of which really need improving in the accounting textbook market sector). As of yet free textbooks, with or without advertising, provide little monetary incentive to authors or free-book publishing firms to constantly improve the product.

    3. Free textbooks are not available in hard copy. Some electronic publishers offer hard copy versions, usually at prices cheaper than photocopying entire books would cost. Many of us, and I mean me especially, prefer a hard copy version to read and an electronic version to search. Good electronic versions also provide convenient hypertext links and possibly even some multimedia. Although Cybertext does not offer free textbooks, I like the Cybertext option to also buy a hardcopy version. And I like the hot links in the electronic versions and the option to take quizzes online with results being graded and sent to instructors --- http://www.cybertext.com/
    Publishers of free textbooks are never likely to offer such services unless advertising revenues become very successful. I don't think any of them are at that point yet.

     4. We should all be grateful that free textbooks exist even if we do not ourselves adopt them for our courses. In this age of price gouging by publisher oligopolies, the free textbook alternatives may be about the only serious competition that publishers face, especially when, not if, textbook publishers finally invent a way to eliminate the used textbook market in their own books.

    February 14, 2006 message from a distributor of free textbooks (that do have advertising)

    To date our free textbooks have been made possible by a combination of angel investor money and by the principals in the company, who have invested both their time and money. We have some advertisers (download a book and you'll see) and seek more. We are actively pursuing sponsorships. More investment has been promised. Authors receive a percentage of our revenues -- "net receipts"-- per book. They sign on because of their confidence in our business model and in us.

    We sell the paperback copies pretty much at cost. Regardless, those monies are very limited, inasmuch as only about 5 percent of students, thus far, end up buying the print book.

    What propels our business is the widespread perception that text prices are unreasonable. We are addressing this situation in an innovative way. Moreover, we do not skimp on instructor support; all our titles come with ancillaries available to adopters.

    In this case, "free" really does mean free. This is not the proper forum, but I can provide testimonials and contact information for many people who already have benefited from this service.

    Best wishes to all concerned!

    Edgar Laube
    Freeload Press
    3316 Tally Ho Lane
    Madison, WI 53705 608.233-1112

    edlaube@gmail.com 
    www.freeloadpress.com

    For examples of free textbooks see  http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm#Textbooks 

    Bob Jensen's threads on electronic literature (mostly downloaded to PCs and Macs) are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm


    Sony Reader:  The New eBook Alternative
    Electronic books have traditionally gone straight from the manufacturer to the remainders bin -- but the market has never gone away entirely, despite years of tepid sales and failed predictions. Now a new device from Sony is generating buzz worthy of a Stephen King novel. Some people are even wondering whether the Sony Reader might be just the ticket to kick the e-book market into high gear.
    Dylan Tweney, "Screening the Latest Bestseller," Wired News, January 24, 2006 --- http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,70039-0.html?tw=wn_tophead_13


    "The Shift Away From Print" by Eileen Gifford Fenton and Roger C. Schonfeld, Inside Higher Ed, December 8, 2005 http://insidehighered.com/views/2005/12/08/schonfeld 


    Amazon Pages:  Amazon's Breakthrough Technology to Help Quadriplegic's Read

    "Turning Pages for Those Who Can't," by Steven Edwards, Wired News, January 24, 2006 --- http://www.wired.com/news/columns/0,70052-0.html?tw=wn_tophead_4

    I've been watching companies' efforts to develop e-book offerings for a long time. As a quadriplegic, I can't hold a book, so reading literature on the computer seems like an obvious solution.

    Alas, companies like Microsoft, Adobe and Palm have failed in their e-book endeavors. They've introduced proprietary, encrypted formats that require their respective software to be installed before reading them, in effect destroying a book's inherent characteristic: portability.

    Amazon seems to be on the brink of doing e-books right, and I'm keeping my proverbial fingers crossed. By taking advantage of the web's ubiquity, Amazon can restore portability: Pay once, read anywhere.

    In November, Amazon announced two new services for accessing books online. The company seems to be targeting programmers and students who would welcome freedom from toting enormous texts. But Amazon has another, perhaps unforeseen, set of customers: the disabled.

    Amazon Pages will allow readers to buy online access to individual pages and chapters from books instead of the entire thing, presumably for a few cents a page. Amazon Upgrade will let readers purchase, for a similar premium, perpetual access to an online digital copy of the text.

    If the services turn out to be as good as they sound, I plan on taking full advantage of them. I miss the comforting sensation of curling up with a good book at night, promising myself that I would only read one more chapter before becoming so engrossed in the story that I devour it whole and am barely aware of the fact that, as my eyelids are closing, the sun is rising on the next day.

    It truly is the little things in life that make it worth living.

    The joy of holding a book again won't be happening in the next year, but Amazon's proposed services, assuming they are well implemented, will reopen the boundless horizons of literature to me and other similarly disabled readers.

    Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, told Fox News that publishers will decide whether their books will be included in the programs, unlike Google Print, which requires publishers to opt out. Among the publishers I'm rooting for are Penguin Group and Tor. (So, give Mr. Bezos a call. Today. Please? The Shadowrun and The Wheel of Time series, among others, beckon.)

    The Amazon services should allow publishers to have their content available as plain text, as do niche sites such as The National Academies Press, InformIT's Safari and Safari's predecessor site, MacMillan's Personal Bookshelf (an all-time favorite, now deceased, that allowed me to learn a lot for free).

    Continued in article

    Bob Jensen's threads on electronic literature are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm

    Bob Jensen's threads on learning aids for the handicapped, disabled, and learning challenged persons --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#Handicapped


    Ariz. High School Swaps Books for Laptops
    Students at Empire High School here started class this year with no textbooks _ but it wasn't because of a funding crisis. Instead, the school issued iBooks _ laptop computers by Apple Computer Inc. _ to each of its 340 students, becoming one of the first U.S. public schools to shun printed textbooks.
    Arthur H. Rotstein, "Ariz. High School Swaps Books for Laptops," The Washington Post, August 19, 2005 --- http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/08/19/AR2005081900273.html?referrer=email

    Online Economics Textbooks --- http://www.oswego.edu/~economic/newbooks.htm

    History of Economics --- http://cepa.newschool.edu/het/

    Random House is exploring the possibility of selling its books online directly to consumers, the first such move by a major publisher.
    Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg, "Random House Considers Online Sales of Its Books," The Wall Street Journal, December 15, 2004, Page A3 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB110308002114100603,00.html?mod=technology_main_whats_news 

    More competition for readers than writers:  How to write your dream novel in the modern age
    "Steal This Book. Or at Least Download It Free," by Claudia H. Deutsch, The New York Times, August 21, 2005 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/21/business/yourmoney/21lunch.html

    The way Mr. Adler, 77 (there goes "you can't teach an old dog new tricks"), sees it, portable electronic readers will soon do to paper books what the Walkman and iPod did to boomboxes.

    "Print publishing has had a great 500-year run, but the print book is morphing into the screen book," he said during a recent lunch at Pigalle, a French restaurant in Manhattan's theater district.

    But what does that mean for those many, many people who believe there is a novel inside them, clamoring to be let out? Making a living as a writer has never been easy - even Mr. Adler was a self-described "failed writer" until, at 45, he finally caught a publisher's attention. So will all this technological upheaval make it easier or harder to get read?

    Both, Mr. Adler insists. The Internet, with its limitless capacity for blogs and whole books that can be electronically whisked from place to place, means people can pretty well publish what they want. On the downside, the competition for readers, already intense, will become maddeningly so. But writers need not make it past the gatekeepers at publishing houses to be published. Vanity publishing - a term Mr. Adler hates - has come into the electronic age.

    Continued in article


    Hard Copy versus Electronic Textbooks

    A public library keeps no intentional secrets about its mechanisms; a search engine keeps many.
    "'Tip-of-the-Tongue Syndrome,' Transactive Memory, and How the Internet Is Making Us Smarter," by Maria Popova, Brain Pickings, September 13, 2013 ---
    http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2013/09/13/clive-thompson-smarter-than-you-think/

    Jensen Comment
    What I found is that the Internet makes me aware of knowledge that I certainly would not have stumbled upon before the days of the Internet. Some may argue that this is like learning a little bit about a lot of things. But I'm currently writing a technical article invited by a journal. The Internet has most certainly helped me drill deeper and deeper to learn more about an angel on the head of a pin.


    "Haas (business school at UC Berkeley) Puts Executive MBA Program (books and other learning aterials) on the iPad," by Francesca Di Meglio, Bloomberg Businessweek, November 5, 2013 ---
    http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-11-05/haas-puts-executive-mba-program-on-the-ipad 

    Getting senior executives to trade in their hardbound textbooks for digital copies is a challenge. But University of California, Berkeley’s Haas School of Business has had 68 of them doing just that as part of a pilot program using a learning platform on school-issued iPads (AAPL) this fall.

    Students in the Berkeley MBA for Executives program are testing a learning platform by EmpoweredU, which aims to consolidate school materials in one source on an iPad. Essentially, the platform is an app via which students can find pretty much all they need to complete their coursework, including syllabi, readings, access to their Facebook (FB) groups and teams, and school and faculty information.

    Reading textbooks on iPads was the issue that caused the most discussion during this pilot phase, says Ashish Joshi, a student in the MBA for Executives’ Class of 2014 and a senior director of product management at Oracle (ORCL). Haas’ solution was to give students both hardbound books and digital versions on their iPads.

    Continued in article

    Bob Jensen's threads on electronic books ---
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ebooks.htm


    I saw an segment on ABC News where San Antonio has a new public library without books.

    "A Bookless Library Opens in San Antonio:  The all-digital space – stocked with 10,000 e-books and 500 e-readers –resembles an Apple store. But is that really a library?" by Josh Sanburn, Time Magazine, September 13, 2013 ---
    http://nation.time.com/2013/09/13/a-bookless-library-opens-in-san-antonio/ 


    "E-Textbooks Report Questions Cost Savings," by Tanya Roscorla, Center for Digital Education, July 18, 2013 ---
    http://www.centerdigitaled.com/news/E-Textbooks-Report-Questions-Cost-Savings.html 

    Digital texbooks are gaining ground in education, as shown by a study released by the Book Industry Study Group earlier this year: Students' preference for print text over digital dropped from 72 percent in November 2011 to 60 percent in late 2012. 

    And a recent EDUCAUSE study finds that students and faculty value lower-cost textbooks -- though they aren't sure that the current digital textbook model will drive prices down.

    Last fall, more than 5,000 students and faculty at 23 colleges and universities participated in an e-textbook pilot with EDUCAUSE, Internet2, McGraw-Hill Education and Courseload, and the EDUCAUSE Center for Analysis and Research (ECAR) published the findings in Understanding What Higher Education Needs from E-Textbooks: An EDUCAUSE/Internet2 Pilot.

    Both students and faculty cited cost as the No. 1 factor they considered when looking at digital textbooks, followed by availability and portability. Some of the biggest barriers to adoption included the funding model and fee structure.

    While the students in this pilot didn't have to pay for their e-textbooks, they would pay a mandatory fee per class for e-textbooks outside of the pilot. The mandatory fee guarantees that all the students at a university would purchase a digital textbook and thus give the publisher a larger number of customers. In turn, the publisher would charge the university less for buying in volume.

    But in written comments, students said they wanted to be able to opt out of fees and find other ways to get the content. And it's up in the air whether they would take classes with a fee: one-third responding that yes they would, nearly a quarter said no, and 43 percent chose maybe.

    Faculty also supported students' desire for less expensive options and choices. And traditional publishing models -- even revised for digital publishing -- may not cut it.

    They noted that students look for study materials in many places, which is why it's important to consider other types of course materials besides e-textbooks. And since this is an ever-changing field, education leaders would be wise to consider many business models, as well as the needs of different groups of students and faculty.

    One of the keys in making decisions about digital content is "to understand what students and faculty need from these course materials and keep that front and center," said Susan Grajek, vice president of data, research and analytics for EDUCAUSE.

    In the ECAR 2012 Study of Undergraduate Students and Technology, 57 percent of students said they wished their instructors used open educational resources more, compared to 47 percent who wanted more e-textbooks. In the previous year, nearly a third of students wanted more e-textbooks, and 19 percent of students wanted open educational resources. 

    In this pilot, some students and faculty really liked the e-textbooks, and some hated them so much that they bought a print textbook, Grajek said.

    Faculty members can be change agents when it comes to different technology, but they need support. In this pilot, faculty members said one of their biggest barriers was limited access to the e-textbooks.

    They only had the e-textbooks during the course, so more than half of them didn't make annotations and other notes because they would disappear once the course was over. Interestingly enough, students in 96 percent of the courses used highlights, sticky notes, annotations or bookmarks in their e-textbook.

    Continued in article

    Jensen Comment
    If e-Textbooks were available 50 years ago they would definitely be cheaper because savings in terms of hard copy printing, inventory, and distribution costs.

    But the costs of hard copy printing, inventory, and distribution costs have changed dramatically over those 50 years such that e-Textbooks are no longer "definitely" cheaper.

    Consider for example the way that Amazon saves on inventory costs of used books. Amazon eliminated itself as a middleman in the buying, warehousing, and redistributing used books. It is now simply provides a guarantee that the buyer of a used book will receive that book directly from households who are willing to ship the book directly to the used book buyers. In the grand scheme of things inventory costs are cheaper in aggregate. The marginal cost of storing one book in each of 100,000 households is virtually zero. But the marginal cost of storing 100,000 books in a single warehouse is huge. Thus, Amazon has a way of saving a lot of inventory cost by having each current owner store the book at home.

    And computers have greatly changed the production functions of printing books. Five decades ago, the marginal cost of each book was reduced by having enormous printing press runs due to economies of scale. This unfortunately led to huge inventory costs. Distribution costs were also relatively high since the printing houses were centrally located and had to ship to warehouses around the world.

    Today, computerized print runs can be much smaller and even reduced to a point where a hard copy order is received before the book is printed. And the book can be printed at computer sites all over the world.

    Hard copy has less sharing risk than electronic versions. Students and other book thieves have talents for staying a step ahead of electronic book publishers, including sharing of passwords and downloading of electronic books to criminal servers. Sometimes enemies of the United States make a business out of selling purloined software and electronic literature.

    Shipping costs still exist for hard copy books, but electronic book distribution is not free given the costs of hardware and technician labor that goes into keeping books available in the clouds.

    In terms of textbooks, many of the huge costs do not go away with a shift from hard copy to electronic versions. Authors must still be paid and sometimes the authors demand more if they must put in more labor keeping books up to date year-to-year rather than every five years. Frequent updating is probably the major advantage of electronic books in the clouds relative to hard copy.

    Textbook publishers must still pay representatives to work each college campus trying to entice professors to adopt particular textbooks. Electronic marketing has not yet taken the place of face-to-face communications between sellers and instructors.

    Textbook publishers must still pay to participate in expensive trade shows such as when setting up booths at academic conferences. Sales personnel must now be trained better to answer questions regarding such things as technology supplements that accompany textbooks.

    In the final analysis I think cost savings will not be the key competitive advantage of electronic textbooks over hard copy. The key competitive advantages will be such things as the following:

    1. Ease of continuously updating electronic textbooks, especially those that are in the clouds.
       
    2. Multimedia features such as video clips and interactive spreadsheets that can be included in electronic textbooks.
       
    3. Reader conveniences in electronic books such as word search and cut-and-paste quotation conveniences.
       
    4. Possible cost savings by cutting out the publishing companies when authors distribute their electronic books directly to customers or by marketing their books via Amazon rather than McGraw Hill.

    Bob Jensen's threads on hard copy versus electronic books ---
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ebooks.htm#Textbooks

    Bob Jensen's threads on electronic books ---
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ebooks.htm

    Bob Jensen's threads on education technology are at
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm

     


    "E-Books' Varied Formats Make Citations a Mess for Scholars Kindle, Nook, and other devices put the same text on different pages," by Tushar Rae, Chronicle of Higher Education, February 6, 2011 ---
    http://chronicle.com/article/E-Books-Varied-Formats-Make/126246/

    As e-reading devices gain popu­larity, professors and students are struggling to adapt them to an academic fun­damental: proper citations, which other scholars can use.

    The trouble is that in electronic formats, there are no fixed pages. The Kindle, developed by Amazon, does away with page numbers entirely. Along with other e-book readers, the Kindle allows users to change font style and size, so the number of words on a screen can vary. Instead of pages, it uses "location numbers" that relate to a specific part of a book.

    Other devices, like the Sony Reader, which reflows text based on font size and model of device, have different methods, so the same passage might have a different identifier. Things get more confusing when readers come in various screen sizes.

    The inability to find passages limits scholarly research, academics complain, because they depend on citations not only to track down and analyze text, but also as a testament to the accuracy of their own work. "The lack of page numbers is disconcerting," says Rosemary G. Feal, executive director of the Modern Language Association.

    To provide guidance for the e-book world, the three major keepers of academic-citation style—the Modern Language Association's MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, the American Psychological Association, and the University of Chicago Press, publisher of The Chicago Manual of Style—have taken steps to answer the question of how to cite e-books. But many scholars are unaware of such guidelines, or find the new citation styles awkward.

    The MLA suggests treating all e-books in the same way as a digital file (like a Micro­soft Word document posted online) when listed in a bibliography. That means simply adding the kind of digital file used to the end of the traditional citation. To indicate where the snippet comes from within the file, the MLA recommends using section and paragraph numbers, if available. That's the same way the handbook suggests handling any work that lacks page numbers.

    Continued in article


    Finance Professor and Blogger Jim Mahar on Facebook Says $200 Textbooks are Too Much ---
    https://www.facebook.com/FinanceProfessorBlog/posts/386988958017435

    I THINK I made my decision on Fall text books. Sorry to the major publishers, but $200+ books is just too much. Going with Ivo Welch' s Corporate Finance for MBA 610 (free online or $60 for hard copy) and Tim Gallagher's Financial Management (Cost from $17.95 to about $50) for Fin 401. Still looking for Behavioral Finance, any ideas?
    Read the comments from readers.

    Jim's excellent Finance Professor Blog --- http://financeprofessorblog.blogspot.com/
    Jim is a very giving person and often goes off weeks at a time to volunteer in places like Haiti and poor parts of the U.S.

    Jensen Comment

    With respect to textbooks, instructors are between rocks and high prices since the big publishing firms merged into oligopoly status and take advantage in the pricing of new textbooks. The e-book alternatives sound great on paper, but often their prices are not as competitive as we would like. And I think some people, like me,  learn better from hard copy.

    There are many free older textbooks available for courses, but these are seldom kept up to date by authors who are no longer compensated for their time and effort ---
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm#Textbooks
    In financial accounting this is especially troublesome because the end-of-chapter material may actually be misleading in terms of new FASB/IASB standards and interpretations. One possible class assignment is to have students update the end-of-chapter material and write new problems and cases for older free textbooks.

    Instructors may adopt newer and cheaper textbooks but the cheap part generally applies to the sparse and superficial end-of-chapter material. This same type of dilemma applies to instructor-authored hundreds of pages of handouts. It's almost impossible for instructors to both keep the handouts up-to-date and to revise illustrations, problems, and cases for new standards and interpretations.

    The one saving grace is the used textbook market. Sometimes the updates to new editions are so superficial, that for a semester or two, instructors can get by with recommending used textbook purchases of a slightly older edition. By then, there are usually a lot of used copies of the newer edition of the textbook. Instructors should save old test banks and both modify and update older test banks.

    The textbook rental services sound great on paper, but often their prices are not as competitive as we would like.

    Always remember that most likely students have obtained legitimate or not-so-legitimate tests and assignment answers used in prior semesters. Lazy instructors ignore this way students, especially fraternity and sorority students, create an uneven playing field.


    Featuring the Engineering Library in the New Engineering Building at Stanford University
    "The End of Books," by Paul Greenberg, Townhall, July 8, 2010 ---
    http://townhall.com/columnists/PaulGreenberg/2010/08/17/the_end_of_books

    "The periodical shelves at Stanford University are nearly bare. Library chief Helen Josephine says that in the past five years, more engineering periodicals have been moved online, making their print versions pretty obsolete -- and books aren't doing much better. ... In 2005, when the university realized it was running out of space for its growing collection of 80,000 engineering books, administrators decided to build a new library. But instead of creating more space for books, they chose to create less. The new library is set to open in August with 10,000 engineering books off the shelves -- a decrease of more than 85 percent from the old library ... eventually, there won't be any books on the shelves at all."

    "You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them."

    --Ray Bradbury

    The robotic voice, recorded on an endless loop, droned on in the C Level cafetorium, explaining the dangers represented by that dangerous artifact of an earlier civilization, the book.

    The bored work crews filtered in and out of the bare hall for their prefabricated rations, pausing now and then to use their OCDs, or Online Communications Devices. Each of the small accessories, just the right size to fit into a pocket of their government-issue coveralls, was licensed, limited, and certified to have no more links than necessary to barracks, work station, National Public Agitprop and the current Top Ten beatmusiks.

    Jaws masticated, thumbs clicked keyboards, knees jerked in time with the rap. There was no melody. It had been proscribed by the Prole Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2041, Title XI, Subsection A. The same clause mandated continuous lectures on the danger of preserving any "shards, pottery, ornaments, and/or books, scrolls, inscriptions or fragments thereof which archaeologists, geologists, sewer workers and affiliated trades might encounter" in their excavations.

    The crew at lunch was working on the next big transmission tower in the vicinity. The towers by now had largely replaced the forests that had once stood across the countryside, for trees were suspect, too, being possible sources of paper. More towers were constantly being built to keep the public uninformed.

    The masses (it was no longer permitted to refer to them as the people) demanded more towers, more Breaking News and broken musik. Anything but silence. Silence was frightening. It might leave them with no recourse but to think. Or just see, and even perceive.

    In the background Frequency 24/7 never ceased. "Remember the three As," it was saying. "Beware of keeping any Artifacts, Antiques, and/or Adornments, or anything else, you might come across in your dig.

    Continued in article


    "Ebooks: Getting Beyond Disruption," by Ania Wieckowski, Harvard Business Publishing Blog, February 26, 2010 ---
    http://blogs.hbr.org/hbr/hbreditors/2010/02/ebooks_getting_beyond_disruption.html?cm_mmc=npv-_-DAILY_ALERT-_-AWEBER-_-DATE

    Enhanced ebooks. The first step beyond simply putting the text of books onto ereading devices is, essentially, adding different media to the mix. This doesn't mean just cute animations (though there were a fair share of those in some of the demos I saw). It means adding video — that's the hallmark of the "Vook" and a feature of the forthcoming Apple iPad's iBook as well. Those videos, as the people at Vook told me, can be integral to the text itself (such as the workout demos in a fitness book) or a kind of footnote with more information (such as the scholarly incursions into their text of Sherlock Holmes stories). Digital "footnotes" are available through visual search and augmented reality: technologies that allow you to point your phone's camera at a paragraph to bring up related content, such as opening up a set of further-reading links or finding a song mentioned in the text with iTunes. Vendors and speakers alike hailed the opportunities for adding synced audio, interactive tables of contents, and for collecting fine-grained user data. All of these possibilities go beyond what a physical book could possibly do to add new value for readers and for publishers.

    Community. The biggest push throughout the conference was for technologies that allow readers to share their reading experiences. In his annual program session on current ereaders, Keith Fahlgren of Threepress Consulting noted that while "the first Kindle didn't really offer that much more than a paper book," there is much more to come in the form of networks of ereaders. In the future, ebooks will likely be stored "on the cloud": out on the internet, ready for you to grab and read from any device you have handy. This is the model showcased by Copia, a major sponsor of the conference, in their proposed social network–cum—ecommerce platform–cum–cloud econtent provider. In their vision, users are be able to see not only what their friends are reading, but where they are in the book, what their annotations have been, and what else is on their shelves. This may not be something we all make use of every day, but there are strong possibilities for the value-add for educational users and could, in the end, become part of the way we all read.

    While the Consumer Electronics Show in January marked the apogee of ereader proliferation, at the time I was still irked by the fact that the ebook didn't really have that much to offer consumers over a physical book. Apple's iPad, introduced a few weeks later, showed more promise in that regard. But the most exciting thing I've heard all spring is what one of my fellow attendees at TOC told me: "What's new this year is that ebooks have arrived — now we get to figure out what we can do with them."

    Ania Wieckowski is an Assistant Editor at the Harvard Business Review.


    Amazon claims sales of e-books surpassed sales of physical books
    That's somewhat amazing since many physical books (especially popular textbooks) are not yet available as e-books

    "Amazon's Kindle Reader cuts book shipping:  Book sales in the United States surged during the holiday season, but in a dramatic shift for the shipping world, retailer Amazon.com said this week sales of e-books for the first time surpassed sales of physical books," Journal of Commerce, December 2009 ---
    http://joc.com/print/415491

    Book sales in the United States surged during the holiday season, but in a dramatic shift for the shipping world, retailer Amazon.com said this week sales of e-books for the first time surpassed sales of physical books.

    Amazon’s peak in e-book sales occurred on Christmas day as gift recipients used their new Kindle reading devices to make purchases from among the 390,000 books available in Amazon’s Kindle Store.

    The Kindle electronic reader, which allows users to download books and other media from a variety of sources, was “the most gifted item ever in our history,” said Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos.

    Overall retail spending the first of November through Dec. 24 increased 3.6 percent compared with last year, according to MasterCard’s SpendingPulse survey, which tracks cash as well as credit purchases. The online portion of sales jumped 15.5 percent compared with last year to account for 10 percent of all retail sales, the survey said.

    Another retailer industry watcher said online spending in the United States grew 10 percent in November over a year ago. The comScore research firm said online sales reached $12.3 billion in November, and the group said visits to the Web site of Wal-Mart grew 62 percent and visits to the Target site grew 43 percent over last year.


    "Booksellers Embrace Amazon," Jerry Trites' E-Business Blog, May 26, 2010 ---
    http://trites-e-business.blogspot.com/2010/05/booksellers-embrace-amazon-while.html

    While independent booksellers have long feared Amazon, they are now changing their view. Many of them are selling through the Amazon website and some of them are having some real success. It's a change that might have legs, and might point the way to a new business model for the industry.

    People who sell books over the Internet are finding that Affiliate marketing seems to work the best. This method involves splitting the sales revenues with an affiliate, but in exchange gaining access to a wider market. Often, the split goes as high as 50%.

    With Amazon, the split is normally 15%, which makes for a better deal. One downside, however, is that Amazon is so big that individual sellers can get lost in it. That means they still need to launch effective marketing campaigns. Nevertheless, some independent booksellers and making a success of it. Here's a Here's a
    write-up on this approach.write-up on this approach.


    September 1, 2008 message from Steve Doster [sdoster@SHAWNEE.EDU]

    I’ve considered having my students purchase electronic versions of textbooks, but I think even with a laptop the net cost of electronic texts probably exceeds conventional textbooks for at least 3 reasons.

    · Students often purchase used textbooks.

    · Many students resell their used textbooks upon completion of the course.

    · Printing out hard copy of selected portions of the text, which most students will probably do at one time or another, adds toner and paper costs.

    Steve

    September 2, 2008 reply from Bob Jensen

    Hi Steve,

    I agree with every one of your points. As an instructor, however, I would also consider the following:
     

    Bob Jensen

    "Random House to digitize thousands of books," The Washington Post, November 24, 2008 ---
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/11/24/AR2008112400652.html?wpisrc=newsletter

    With e-book sales exploding in an otherwise sleepy market, Random House Inc. announced Monday that it was making thousands of additional books available in digital form, including novels by John Updike and Harlan Coben, as well as several volumes of the "Magic Treehouse" children's series.

    Random House CEO Markus Dohle said in a statement that "more people everyday are enjoying reading in the electronic format and Random House wants to extend our reach to them with more of our books."

    The publisher already has more than 8,000 books in the electronic format and will have a digital library of nearly 15,000. The new round of e-books is expected to be completed within months; excerpts can be viewed online through the publisher's Insight browsing service.

    With e-book sales exploding in an otherwise sleepy market, Random House Inc. announced Monday that it was making thousands of additional books available in digital form, including novels by John Updike and Harlan Coben, as well as several volumes of the "Magic Treehouse" children's series.

    Random House CEO Markus Dohle said in a statement that "more people everyday are enjoying reading in the electronic format and Random House wants to extend our reach to them with more of our books."

    The publisher already has more than 8,000 books in the electronic format and will have a digital library of nearly 15,000. The new round of e-books is expected to be completed within months; excerpts can be viewed online through the publisher's Insight browsing service.

     

    Free Electronic Literature --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm


    An Oligopoly
    To say they have to be is an understatement. The General Accounting Office says textbook prices have increased at twice the rate of inflation since 1986.

    "Textbooks for Tightwads:  As classes start, business students are in for a shock: Textbook prices are higher than ever. A word to the wise: It pays to shop around," by Rachel Z. Arndt, Business Week, August 26, 2009 ---
    http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/content/aug2009/bs20090826_069900.htm?link_position=link1

    Shopping for textbooks can be burdensome at best, painful at worst. And it's no different for business students. By the time students get to B-school, they're probably well-versed in the tricks of the textbook trade. They need to be, with some books required at top B-schools retailing for well over $200.

    Although textbook shopping is as inevitable as picking classes or group projects, spending tons of money on books doesn't have to be part of the process. The catch is knowing what you're doing, which isn't as obvious as it sounds, even for students with top-of-the-line spreadsheet skills. Of course, you can still look for the least beat-up copy in the campus bookstore, but that should be just the beginning.

    The Web is overflowing with sites claiming to offer the cheapest textbooks around. So, with book prices rising, the cost of higher education higher than ever, and a dreary economy to boot, it'll certainly pay off to spend some time shopping around. Publishers may be resourceful, but students are, too.

    An Oligopoly
    To say they have to be is an understatement. The General Accounting Office says textbook prices have increased at twice the rate of inflation since 1986. And today, students spend on average about $700 per year on required course materials, according to a 2008 survey by the National Association of College Stores (NACS).

    Part of the problem is rising production costs, but the textbook market itself plays a role. The industry is an oligopoly, says James V. Koch, president of Old Dominion University, in a 2006 report by the U.S. Education Dept. Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance. According to Koch, five publishers—Thomson, Wiley, Houghton-Mifflin, Pearson, and The McGraw-Hill Companies (Businessweek's parent)—control the market, putting out about 80% of all college texts.

    What's more, Koch says, the textbook market is unique. Unlike markets for most consumer products, where demand is generated by consumers themselves, textbook demand is created by another group: the faculty choosing texts for their classes. That makes it possible for publishers to introduce higher prices without much&mdashlif any—loss in revenue.

    Publishers can also introduce "bundled" versions of books—books sealed with additional CD-ROMs or other materials—for higher prices. This means, even if just the book itself is required, students are stuck buying a more expensive version.

    Tricks of the Trade
    But the situation for students isn't as dire as it sounds. First of all, as some economists point out, students are smart and know how to consume. Yes, textbooks are expensive. But they are expensive at list price—usually the highest price a student can find. The prices charged by most bookstores, online retailers, and even online trading posts are well under this publisher-set price.

    As BusinessWeek found out, those retail prices can vary wildly, which is why it pays to shop around. One of the easiest and fastest ways to find the best prices is to use a site that aggregates prices from many retailers. Booksprice.com and allbookstores.com are good places to start. They both list prices from the most popular Web retailers, such as alibris.com, half.com, bookbyte.com, and even Amazon.com. If aggregated searches aren't turning up the results you want, you can go to individual retailers' sites. Make sure to know the edition, author, and publisher of the book you're looking for—some books, on topics such as microeconomics, share the same title for completely different products.

    Expect some surprises. Sometimes a retailer will sell the new version of a textbook for much less than a used copy. AbeBooks, for example, charges $69.99 for a new copy of Jonathan Berk's and Peter DeMarzo's Corporate Finance and $120.54 for a used one. It's unclear why this happens, but one possibility might be that the owners of the used books simply overpriced their product.

    Continued in article

    How to find the cheapest college textbooks ---
    http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-the-cheapest-college-textbooks

    I’m not in college any more, thank goodness, but I remember every penny-pinching moment. Some days I hardly had enough money for food, mainly because the materials and textbooks I had to buy ripped a hole in my pocket the size of the Grand Canyon. And so I’m always on the lookout for ways to help out college students. Today, I found two.

    There are numerous methods available to search for textbooks, including the ever-popular “shopping” search option in Google. But if you want to go deeper, a few of my favorite sites in the past have included:

    AbeBooks.com
    Addall.com
    Amazon.com
    Alibris.com
    Craigslist.org
    Bizrate.com
    Half.com (which is part of eBay)
    Textbooksnow.com

    No doubt you’ve used one or two of these already. But it’s a pain to search each one and compare results. Usually, you find the book you want, ponder the price and then pay. Not good enough for me. I want to help students, who are suffering like the rest of us in this hellish economy, to get the absolute rock-bottom price on any book they’re looking for.

    So I did a little more hunting around and found some much more powerful search engines, devoted to scouring multiple books sources at once. The two I like the most are CAMPUSBOOKS.COM and BIGWORDS.COM. And they really are the ultimate search engines for books, especially textbooks.

    All you need to know are a few basics about the book you’re searching for. The easiest way is to have the ISBN number readily at hand. If that’s not available, you can search by keyword, author, title, the usual search engine options. And as you can see, the results from both sites are impressive. Here are two searches I did for an advertising book I love called “Hey Whipple, Squeeze This.”

    Community College Open-Textbook Project G
    Especially note the open sharing sources being used

    The Community College Open Textbook Project begins this week with a member meeting in California," by Catherine Rampell, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 29, 2008 --- Click Here

    At the meeting, representatives of institutions around the country will start reviewing open-textbook models for “quality, usability, accessibility, and sustainability,” according to a news release. They will initially review four providers of free online educational resources: Connexions, run by Rice University; Flat World Knowledge, a commercial digital-textbook publisher that will begin offering free textbooks online next year; the University of California’s UC College Prep Online, which offers Advanced Placement and other courses online; and the Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources, which was founded by the Foothill-De Anza Community College District and the League for Innovation in the Community College.

    One of the most popular sites for textbooks is Bigwords --- http://www.bigwords.com/
    Be careful, however, when buying cheaper foreign editions such as European editions of popular textbooks. There are often differences to be aware of such as different orderings of chapters.

    One of the first places to start is to look for used books on Amazon.com and bn.com
    I like buying from Amazon in order to reduce the number of online vendors that have my credit card numbers. Also Amazon guarantees delivery of used books and other merchandise from linked vendors.

    "Barnes & Noble Announces Textbook Rental Service," by Jill Laster, Chronicle of Higher Education, January 11, 2010 ---
    http://chronicle.com/blogPost/Barnes-Noble-Announces/20432/?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

    Barnes & Noble's college-bookstore division has entered the growing field of textbook rental for college students, the bookseller announced Monday. After testing the waters with a pilot program, the service has expanded. It will allow students to rent textbooks through campus-bookstore Web sites at 25 college campuses or through the Barnes & Noble stores on those campuses. Students can pay for the service in several different ways, including financial aid and campus debit cards

    Jensen Comment
    Students should carefully make comparisons between renting versus buying used and possibly reselling. Campus bookstores will usually buy back books they sold to students, and there are online buyers of used books.


    "Textbook Rentals Come to the Kindle: Probably Not a Money-Saver," by Audrey Watters, ReadWriteWeb, July 18, 2011 ---
    http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/textbook_rentals_come_to_the_kindle_probably_not_a.php

    Amazon unveiled a Kindle Textbook Rental, giving students the ability to rent instead of buy digital textbooks. Amazon says that "tens of thousands" of titles from some of the major textbook publishers - including John WIley & Sons, Wlsevier, and Taylor & Francis - will be available for this school year.

    It's not just the selection that the company is touting, of course, it's the savings: "now students can save up to 80% off its textbook list prices by renting from the Kindle Store." Amazon's boasted savings for students has put the company at odds with brick-and-mortar college bookstores, and the National Association of College Stores has accused the online retailer of misleading students about the potential for savings when buying textbooks from Amazon.

    But renting textbooks has becoming a popular alternative to buying recently, with companies like Chegg offering students the ability to rent books just for the duration of a semester. Amazon's new program is similar, but with the added bonus of being digital rather than physical, letting students read the e-books on Kindles and on Kindle apps.

    Buying Used Textbooks, Still Cheaper Than Renting

    The Kindle Textbook Rental program also lets students configure the length of the rental, from 30 days to 360 days. Of course, the longer you rent, the more expensive it becomes. A $100 Kindle purchase can be rented for $40 for a month, but that quickly increases the longer you keep the book - and most students will keep it for at least a semester. It's still cheaper to buy used textbooks in most cases, and when you buy a physical book, of course, you can keep the book or sell it back as you deem fit.

    To make this option more appealing, Amazon has added a new feature to the Kindle Textbook Rental program, the ability for students to keep any of the notes they make in the textbooks they've rented. Typically, when you borrow an e-book, any marks you make in the text disappear when you return them. But Amazon says you'll be able to keep your highlights and notes "in the Amazon Cloud," and should you buy or rent the book again, the notes will be "just where you left them."

    College Students Lukewarm about Kindles

    The Kindle itself hasn't gained much traction among college students, and several studies have found that students say that they don't find e-readers to be very useful for their note-taking and studying needs. It's worth noting that on Amazon's page announcing the new program that an actual Kindle isn't depicted. Instead, there's an e-book on a laptop and displayed on a large monitor. You needn't use a Kindle, the message seems to suggest, just a Kindle app.

    Continued in article

    Jensen Comment
    It's a little unfair to only compare eBooks with hard copy (including used hard copy) books on the basis of price or rental fees alone. Electronic books are different on other criteria. Word searches are easier in electronic books whereas hard copy books don't crash and burn. All the electronic textbooks for all courses ever taken can be carried in one reader weighing less than two pounds. Try stuffing the hard copy textbooks for more than two courses into a backpack.

    Rentals in electronic books or hard copy have some drawbacks. I wish I could have had all the textbooks for every course I ever took in college stored for access today. But I took some of those courses before printing presses were invented.

    Bob Jensen's threads on electronic books are at
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/eBooks.htm


    We Rent Movies, So Why Not Textbooks?," by Miguel Helft, The New York Times, July 4, 2009 ---
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/05/business/05ping.html?hpw

    Cengage Learning said Thursday that it would become the first higher education publisher to let students rent as well as buy print textbooks directly from the source. Cengage said it would transform its existing online platform, known as iChapters, into a broader site that would allow students to rent print textbooks at 40 to 70 percent off retail as well as purchase print and digital texts and other materials. Publishers have been exploring a range of ways to enter the burgeoning market for renting textbooks.
    Inside Higher Ed, August 14, 2009 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/08/14/qt#205700

    Jensen Test:
    Rent Textbooks from Chegg --- http://www.chegg.com/
    Rental prices are about half the so-called purchase price of a new book.
    Buying a used book is probably a better idea since it, in turn, can be sold back into the used market.

    Intermediate Accounting ISBN 0470374942 by Kieso et al.
    New (Chegg claims the new price is $209 but the price of hardcover is $177 at Barnes & Noble )
                The Amazon Price of a new hardcover is $168 --- Click Here
    Bigwords.com (international edition that differs somewhat in chapter orderings) lists a price of $53.98
    Used prices start at Amazon for about $159 (but watch carefully for the edition number)
    Rent from Chegg ($96.53) ---
    http://www.chegg.com/details/intermediate-accounting/0470374942/

    Jensen Comment
    To get value for my money, I prefer used houses, cars, and books.
    Of course, both Amazon and Google are now selling electronic versions of textbooks. For Amazon you must have a Kindle reader. For Google, all you have to have is a computer, although to date Amazon has a wider selection of textbooks available.

    American Council of the Blind filed a lawsuit last month against Arizona State University, saying that its plan to use the Kindle to distribute books to students is illegal because blind people cannot use the device as currently configured ---
    http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/07/06/kindle 

    March 25, 2009 message from Ramsey, Donald [dramsey@UDC.EDU]

    The cost accounting book I'm using retails for $190.30. I see on a textbook search website called Bigwords.com that no less than 9 large dealers are offering it at under $50 for a new copy, including shipping. How can this be possible?

    My concern would be how to get the word to students early enough so they could (1) not buy books at retail, and (2) get delivery in time for the first assignment.

    Cheers,

    Don

    March 25, reply from Zane Swanson [ZSwanson@UCO.EDU]

    Convince your university/college/department to go completely electronic (like Kindle) and the pricing problem would be gone. This recession may well drive some cost-sensitive programs to go to electronic books looking for a comparative advantage or a means of covering a budgetary shortfall. The tipping point will center around the trade-off costs of the campus book store versus outsourcing the textbooks electronically.

    Zane Swanson

    Jensen Added Comment
    Universities that are promoting Kindle are running into some resistance from sight-impaired students. Although Kindle benefits some sight-impaired students by being able to enlarge fonts, the issue is one of access to Kindle readers and access to audio versions of the text. Many publishers have audio versions restricted to sight-impaired students. To avoid conflicts with sight impaired students, universities might have to offer audio versions to sight-impaired students at deals as good as Kindle deals to other students.

    The National Federation of the Blind and the American Council of the Blind filed a lawsuit last month against Arizona State University, saying that its plan to use the Kindle to distribute books to students is illegal because blind people cannot use the device as currently configured --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/07/06/kindle

    PS
    I noticed that Bigwords.com is also selling solutions manuals --- Click Here
    http://www5.bigwords.com/search/?z=easysearch&searchtype=ISBN&searchstring=Kieso&Go.x=36&Go.y=28

     

    "Textbooks Offered for iPod, iPhones CourseSmart Applications Will Let Students Access 7,000-Plus Titles," by Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg, The Wall Street Journal, August 10, 2009 ---
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124985423101217817.html#articleTabs%3Darticle

    A provider of subscription e-textbooks for college students is making its 7,000-plus titles accessible on Apple Inc.'s iPhone and iPod Touch as interest heats up in the digital-textbook arena.

    The new applications, free for subscribers to CourseSmart LLC, will let students access their full electronic textbooks, read their digital notes and search for specific words and phrases.

    "Nobody is going to use their iPhone to do their homework, but this does provide real mobile learning," said Frank Lyman, CourseSmart's executive vice president. "If you're in a study group and you have a question, you can immediately access your text."

    The move comes as Amazon.com Inc. is shipping its $489 large-screen Kindle DX e-reader, which is aimed in part at college students. Amazon is overseeing a DX pilot program at seven colleges this fall involving hundreds of students who will experiment with reading textbooks digitally. Last week, McGraw-Hill Education, a unit of McGraw-Hill Cos., said it is making about 100 college textbooks available for use on Amazon's Kindle and Kindle DX.

    CourseSmart's titles aren't available on either Amazon device. Mr. Lyman said he would like to see his books available wherever college students want them but that the two companies haven't yet had any conversations.

    CourseSmart, which was created in 2007 as a joint venture of six higher-education publishers, including McGraw-Hill Education and Pearson PLC's Pearson Education, operates on a subscription model. Typically students rent a book for 180 days; when their subscription expires, they lose access to the title.

    The company, which doesn't release financial results, offers its digital books at about 50% of the retail price of the corresponding physical textbook. Although students can't resell their e-textbooks, Mr. Lyman said they typically don't get more than 50% of what they paid for a new book when they resell it.

    "Textbooks are the missing link in the e-reader content base," said Sarah Rotman Epps, an analyst with Forrester Research, Inc. "The problem so far is that college students haven't really been interested in reading on their laptops. The iPhone will help create excitement and generate awareness of e-textbooks."

    Mr. Lyman said he believes that lack of awareness has been the largest barrier to students trying e-textbooks.

    Albert N. Greco, a professor at the Fordham Graduate School of Business Administration who studies the book industry, estimates that sales of printed college textbook this year will reach $5.02 billion, up 3.5% from last year. He expects college e-textbooks to hit $117.5 million in sales in 2009, up 10.3%. "Once the recession ends, we will see a major, national push to make all higher education textbooks available in digital formats, as well as a move in that direction for high-school textbooks," Mr. Greco said.

    Jensen Comment
    I am truly amazed at the large number of accounting textbook listings, far more than are available on Kindle or Google eBooks. Perhaps this is because books are more difficult to copy books not actually stored on iPods and iPhones. Many of the books have 2008 and 2009 copyrights such that these are not obsolete editions. I cannot, however, even imagine reading textbooks on such small screens. Also the subscription prices seem quite high.

    Instructors can request examination copies. For example, enter "Accounting" into the Instructor's search box at http://www.coursesmart.com/

    August 16, 2009 reply from Gerald Trites [gtrites@ZORBA.CA]

    Bob,

    I think the best way for us as academics to help students with the textbook pricing problem is to self publish our books. Since we publish the textbooks, we have some control over that in the longer term, and for those who have not yet published a text, it could be done in the shorter term.

    The current publishing indistry is an anachronism that survives only through their marketing system, the entrenched habits of writers, the fixed long term contracts that they cannot get out of, and the residual attachment of some prestige (arguably falsely grounded) to the traditional publications means as opposed to self publishing To use my book as a comparison, it sells for $125 per copy. The royalty is 20% of net sales. Lets ignore the net aspect for the moment. That means a royalty of $25 per copy. If I were to publish this same book through LuLu, for example, the "royalty" would be 80%, which means I could sell the same book for $31.25 and make the same $25 each. If I were to sell it through Booksurge, which has some marketing capability through Amazon and other online outlets,  the royalty would be 35%, so the same book could be priced at $72 to make the 25 each. The fly in the ointment is that LuLu has no marketing arm cruising around the universities selling the books or displaying them at conferences. However, if we academics made a little adjustment in our buying choices, and checked out sources like LuLu, we could make a difference. It's really all in our hands.

    If I could get out of my existing contract, which I can't, I would love to move it over to LuLu or Booksurge or an equivalent. I'd price the book at 19.95, giving the students a break and still getting back some reward for my efforts. I would also have more control over my book and could still get it reviewed by colleagues. If I ever write another textbook, it will definitely be done that way.

    We could change our ways and make life a little easier for the students if we really wanted to.

     Jerry

    __________________________
    Phone - 416-602-3931
    Website - www.zorba.ca
    Blog - www.zorba.ca/blog.html

    August 19, 2009 reply from Bob Jensen

    Hi Jerry,

    The issue lies in what one expects from a textbook. I seldom cared much about the text part itself, because I usually thought I had better text in my course notes, my videos, and my Websites.

    But I almost always assigned a textbook, and the reason was almost always to provide students with problems, cases, and other assignments. It just took too much of my time to develop the end-of-chapter stuff (complete with an answer book) for my own materials. For example, I think one of the best textbooks ever written was the one I assigned repeatedly for my accounting theory course (where I did not assign accounting theory textbooks):

    Derivatives: An Introduction (Hardcover)

    by Robert A. Strong

    Robert A. Strong (Author)

    Before my students could begin to comprehend FAS 133 and IAS 39, they had to understand derivatives. I can, and did, explain derivatives in class. But I could not find the time to develop assignment material like that found in Strong’s textbook. Nor could I teach some of the hedging strategies developed by Strong in that book.

    I might add that one of the huge problems in free textbooks is the loss of incentive to update the end-of-chapter stuff that, in many cases, is not even written by the textbook authors. Publishers often outsource the end-of-chapter stuff, and with a free textbook there’s no longer any incentive to pay a lot of money for updating the end-of-chapter material so vital to a textbook.

    Of course there are many textbook revisions that badly suffer from having updated the chapters without updating the end-of-chapter material or only superficially updating what’s at the end of the chapter.

    When a publisher’s rep sent me a new edition of a textbook to examine, the first thing I always did is compare the ends of chapters between the old and the new editions if I was seriously contemplating an adoption of the new edition.  I figure that the revision is a cheapie if it does not significantly revise what’s at the end of the chapters.

     Bob Jensen

     

    Free online textbooks, cases, and videos ---
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm#Textbooks

    Teaching Without Textbooks --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#NoTextbooks

    Bob Jensen's threads on technologies for aiding handicapped learners --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#Handicapped

    Bob Jensen's threads on electronic books ---
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/eBooks.htm

     


    Now students and faculty can print at high speeds their own copies of many books found in the library

    Millions upon millions of literature and scientific classics are now available free online --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm
    Most can be printed as well as read online.

    But in specialized fields like accountancy, our classics are seldom available online. Now it is possible for our colleges to print hard copies of virtually any classic or other book where there are no copyright restrictions at a clip of about 15 minutes per book. This allows educators such as accounting educators to adopt supplementary books for courses at reasonable prices.

    First watch the Expresso Book Machine Video --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JMFh5axDKWU

    Then read about the Expresso Book Machine --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Espresso_Book_Machine

    The New York Public Library put the first Expresso Book Machine into operation ---
    http://www.engadget.com/2007/06/21/new-york-public-library-gets-first-espresso-book-machine/

    "New Machines Reproduce Custom Books on Demand," by Lisa Guernsey, Inside Higher Ed, December 5, 2008 ---  http://chronicle.com/weekly/v55/i15/15a00103.htm?utm_source=wb&utm_medium=en

    If you wonder what the future of book publishing might look, smell, and sound like, head north to the University of Alberta's bookstore in Edmonton. There a $144,000 machine is churning out made-to-order paperbacks at a cost of a penny a page.

    It's the Espresso Book Machine, which converts digital files into bound books, one order at a time, in under 15 minutes. The contraption smells like glue, looks like a couple of copy machines attached to a cabinet, and emits its share of clunking and thunking sounds, said Jacqui Wong, the machine's operator, who calls it her "baby."

    At least seven Espressos are in operation, several on college campuses. Instead of publishers' printing thousands of books and hoping some of them will find buyers — and losing money when they don't — the machine prints on demand. Customers can submit an order for, say, an old textbook or a copy of a 19th-century classic, and walk out with it several minutes later.

    But the machine has limitations. It cannot print just any book. Copyright law limits the books that can be offered, the texts must be PDF's, and it can take days to get a repairman when something breaks.

    The company behind the device is called On Demand Books. Founded in 2003, On Demand is the brainchild of Jason Epstein, former editorial director of Random House, who saw the machine's prototype in 1999 in a warehouse in St. Louis, where it was built by the inventor Jeff Marsh. The company's chief executive is Dane Neller, former chief executive of the gourmet food distributor Dean & Deluca.

    "Our business proposition is to make books available anywhere, in any language, immediately," Mr. Neller says.

    Todd Anderson, the University of Alberta's bookstore manager, says "tens of thousands" of books have been printed since the machine arrived last November.

    He says orders come from multiple sources: Some professors order out-of-print textbooks to keep costs low for students. Others order classics, scanned with their own handwritten notes in the margins. Some customers want bound copies of book sections, like the first 10 chapters of a 20-chapter book. Hobbyists make custom books for gifts. A science-fiction writer used it to self-publish his first novel.

    "I get calls on this every day," says Mr. Anderson, who adds that revenue is streaming in. "It's a symbol for change."

    He can print an 800-page, out-of-print chemistry textbook for $18, he said, and sell it for $37, making a tidy profit. (Yet the price is well below what the text would cost elsewhere.) Mr. Anderson said he has already run off and sold tens of thousands of books, earning well over the cost of the machine.

    Laws and Repairs

    In addition to the technical restrictions, however, U.S. copyright regulations require that books be in the public domain (which includes anything printed before 1922), or that the copyright holder must grant permission for reprinting. Canadian law offers more avenues for reproduction under copyright, which may explain why two Canadian universities — Alberta and McMaster University, in Ontario — are among the sites using the machine. Printers in Canada must pay a royalty fee of no more than $10 for each copy of an out-of-print book, Mr. Anderson says. The law requires books in print to carry a royalty of no more than 10.3 cents per page.

    The machine is not immune to glitches that come with human error and the wearing down of mechanical parts.

    The University of Michigan Library bought one this summer with alumni donations and started using it in October, within a few steps of Shapiro Library's coffee shop. But the machine has been shut down twice for repairs. Several dozen requests have come in, but only a few have been fulfilled so far, says Terri Geitgey, the digital-projects librarian who is taking the orders.

    Because so few people know how to repair it, waits for service can take several days, says Maria Bonn, the library's director of scholarly publishing. But she emphasizes that On Demand Books has been "very responsive."

    Mr. Neller explained the Michigan glitches. "It was a programming error and one of the cutting sticks was misaligned," he says, adding that version 2.0, which became available this month, incorporates a Xerox machine that can be repaired, or unjammed, by anyone with Xerox training. The new machine is also more compact, with dimensions similar to those of a large copy machine.

    The Michigan library may be in a prime position to produce public-domain books. It is part of the HathiTrust, a recently announced repository of two million digitized books shared among the universities of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (which includes the Big Ten research universities), the University of California's campuses, and the University of Virginia.

    Printing Books at the Library

    "We'd like to get to a point where, when you are looking through the catalog, you see three options for each book," Ms. Bonn says. "Do you want to check it out? Do you want to view it online? Or do you want to buy your own copy?" Michigan's prices are $6 for a book under 16 pages and $10 for a longer one.

    It might sound strange for a library to be printing and selling books, but Ms. Bonn says the library's goal is no different than it always has been: making books accessible.

    The lines between publishers, printers, bookshops and libraries were already blurring. With the book machine, they may be scrambled up, too. At Alberta, for example, Mr. Anderson expected to be printing mostly course packs and was surprised to find that self-publishers have been among his most frequent customers.

    Now, with the machine hitting its first birthday, Mr. Anderson is considering buying a second one. "It paid for itself in 11 months," he says.

    Free Electronic Literature --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm



     

    Bob Jensen's links to free online textbooks are at
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm#Textbooks

    Free online tutorials, videos, and other learning aids in various disciplines --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#Tutorials

    Links to other open sharing sites --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

    eBook Publishing Platform
    ebrary --- http://www.ebrary.com/corp/

    ebrary® is a leading e-content services and technology provider that has been serving the library, publishing, and corporate markets since 1999.

    More than 1,400 customers around the world serving more than 12.5 million end-users use the ebrary platform to acquire e-content from leading publishers as well as distribute their own PDF content online.


    The Rotten Apple iBooks

    Apple launches iBooks 2 e-Textbook platform (video) --- http://www.engadget.com/2012/01/19/apple-iBooks-2/

    iBooks: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) --- http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4059

    What are the requirements to use iBooks?

     

    January 19 Comment by Alex at the end of the article at
    http://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/apple-reinvents-textbooks

    There is indeed a lot to like except one major objection: Apple has once again opted not to support open standards and instead chosen to implement interactive iBooks via a proprietary format that could only be consumed on Apple-only devices.

    Clearly, Apple is most interested in locking the education market into a closed system where iBooks textbooks can only be produced, sold, distributed and consumed by Apple-only technology.

    Also, the iBooks Author app capability to export interactive multimedia-rich books as plain-text or PDF is a lame face-saving gimmic.

    Shame on Apple for not fully supporting open standards like HTML5 and ePub3, and for undermining the open Web and Web browsers in favor of a closed proprietary system.

    January 20, 2012 reply from Richard Campbell

    One concern I have with Apple's iBooks Author program is in respect to the EULA

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/01/20/apple_ibooks/ 

    I would prefer that Apple would charge for this authoring program and allow the standard file format (epub) be sold wherever the author wanted. Under the current conditions, Apple gets 30% of anything created with this program.

    On a brighter note, it means that individual entrepreneurs who create their own works will be at a competive advantage vis-a-vis the major publishers.

    Richard

    January 20, 2012 reply from Bob Jensen

    Hi Richard,

    As one of the most diehard ToolBook users are you still writing ToolBooks?

    It's amazing how iBooks have apparently borrowed almost all the ideas (such as wizards) from ToolBook with a couple of major exceptions. ToolBook has relatively expensive licensing fees but will play back on most Internet Browsers, including 100 millions of Windows machines.

    As far as I can tell, iBooks will only play back on iPads which has to greatly limit the population of users to only those with access to iPad machines. Meanwhile, Amazon is still winning the high volume user and price wars on eBook downloads to its Kindle.

    I would hate to have to author a textbook with touchscreen keys and a small screen. I realize there are limited apps for iPad keyboards and screen projections, but life would be so much simpler if IPads just had two or more UBS ports and a VGA port.

    Also there are many, many readers and authors who want optional hard copy books. Depending too much upon multimedia for book authoring may be premature until hard copy books themselves have built in video playback screens on the inside back cover --- which is not yet a technology that I've seen developed.

    Alternately, hard copy books may one day have UBS-type ports where video player headsets can be plugged into the binding of a hard copy book. This might be a neat way to publish hard copy books with multimedia components. The days of ubiquitous computing are just dawning and this may include a small computer built into the binding of a hard copy book --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ubiquit.htm

    Respectfully,
    Bob Jensen

    PS I disagree with your implication that publishers have lost comparative advantages vis-a-vis custom (Vanity Press) authoring. Since you teach CVP analysis you must appreciate the fact that publishers still can add greatly to the "V" in CVP. You witness this every semester when publisher book reps walk up and down the halls outside your faculty office. The proportion of accounting textbook market share held by major textbook publishers may be declining slightly, but it's certainly not enough of a decline to contend that major textbook publishing houses do not currently have very important comparative advantages to authors of textbooks.

     

    Bob Jensen's threads on eBooks are at
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Ebooks.htm

    Bob Jensen's threads on free electronic literature are at
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm

     

     


    "Duke U. Press Rolls Out Online Access to Its Books," by Jennifer Howard, Chronicle of Higher Education, September 10, 2008 --- Click Here

    Libraries can now sign up to buy access to all of Duke University Press’s latest offerings in electronic form through the just-launched e-Duke Books Scholarly Program. The program operates via ebrary, a widely used online content provider.

    Duke publishes about 115 books a year in the social sciences and humanities, according to Michael McCullough, the press’s sales manager. Subscribers to e-Duke Books will have online access to all those and to all backlist titles available in electronic format — 900 and counting. Although many university presses have partnerships with ebrary, Mr. McCullough said he believed that Duke’s program is unique because it offers access to the press’s full list, not just to individual titles.

    Scholarly presses, including Duke’s, have watched hardcover library sales slide. The e-Duke program is “a sort of long-range response to the decline in sales of cloth monographs,” Mr. McCullough told the Chronicle.

    “We know that, increasingly, library resources are moving toward electronic products rather than print books, and we want to make sure that we’re participating in that in a way that’s as beneficial to libraries and us as possible,” he said.


    Greg Smith, chief information officer at George Fox, said the iPad's technological limitations—its inability to multitask and print, and its limited storage space—have kept students dependent on their notebooks. "That's the problem with the iPad: It's not an independent device," he said.
    "Classroom iPad Programs Get Mixed Response," by Travis Kaya, Chronicle of Higher Education, September 20, 2010 ---
    http://chronicle.com/blogPost/Classroom-iPad-Programs-Get/27046/?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

    A few weeks after a handful of colleges gave away iPads to determine the tablet's place in the classroom, students and faculty seem confident that the device has some future in academe.

    But they're still not exactly sure where that might be.

    At those early-adopter schools, iPads are competing with MacBooks as the students' go-to gadget for note taking and Web surfing. Zach Kramberg, a first-year student at George Fox University, which allowed incoming students to choose between a complimentary iPad or MacBook this fall, said the tablet has become an important tool for recording and organizing lecture notes. He also takes the device with him to the university's dimly lit chapel so he can follow along with an app called iBible. "The iPad's very easy to use once you figure them out," he said.

    Still, Mr. Kramberg said the majority of students rely on bound Bibles in chapel and stick to pen and paper or MacBooks in the classroom.

    Greg Smith, chief information officer at George Fox, said the iPad's technological limitations—its inability to multitask and print, and its limited storage space—have kept students dependent on their notebooks. "That's the problem with the iPad: It's not an independent device," he said.

    Mr. Smith said that the 67 students—10 percent of the freshman class—that opted for iPads over MacBooks are really excited about the technology but have not been "pushing the capabilities" of the device.

    Caitlin Corning, a history professor at George Fox, said it's been hard to meld iPads into the curriculum because only a small subset of her students has the device. Ms. Corning used the iPad as a portable teaching tool during a student art trip to Europe this summer, flashing Van Gogh works on the screen when they were in the places he painted them. Translating that portable-classroom experience into her classroom back in Oregon, however, has not been easy. "It's still a work in progress," she said. "It's a little complex because only some of the freshmen have iPads."

    Faculty members at Seton Hill University, which gave iPads to all full-time students, are working with the developers of an e-book app called Inkling to come up with new ways to integrate the iPad into classroom instruction. The textbook software—one of many in development—allows students to access interactive graphics and add notes as they read along. Faculty members can access the students' marginalia to see whether they understand the text. They can also remotely receive and answer questions from students in real time.

    Catherine Giunta, an associate professor of business at Seton Hill, said the technology has changed the way students interact with their textbooks and how she interacts with her students. While reviewing the margin notes of a student in her marketing class, Ms. Giunta was able to pinpoint and correct a student's apparent misunderstanding of a concept that was going to be covered in class the next day. "The misunderstanding may not have been apparent until [the student] did a written report," Ms. Giunta said. "I could really give her individualized instruction and guidance."

    As students and faculty members around the country feel around for new ways to integrate the iPad into academic life, a handful of programs are taking a more formal approach to finding its place in the classroom. Students in the Digital Cultures and Creativity program at the University of Maryland at College Park will turn a critical eye on the iPad as a study tool while integrating it into their curriculum. "I think [students are] taking a sort of wait-and-see approach," said Matthew Kirschenbaum, the program director and an associate professor of English.

    Similarly, the faculty at Indiana University has formed a 24-member focus group to evaluate iPad-driven teaching strategies. The groups have started meeting this month to assess how their iPad experiments are going, with a preliminary report due in January. "It's meant to be a supportive, collaborative, formalized conversation," said Stacy Morrone, Indiana's associate dean of learning technologies. "We don't expect that everything will go perfectly."

    Although not entirely related to the substance of the iPad educational debate, a pilot program at Long Island University was thrust into the spotlight over the weekend in an animated e-mail exchange between a college journalist and Apple's founder Steve Jobs. As Gawker reports it, complaints about a few unreturned media inquiries from a deadline-stressed reporter led to a curt "leave us alone" response from the Apple chief executive.

    In the e-mail chain, Mr. Jobs said, "Our goals do not include helping you get a good grade."

    Bob Jensen's threads on Tricks and Tools of the Trade are at
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm


    Question
    Do you want to publish and distribute your writings, artwork, etc.?

    One Answer
    Diffusion (electronic books, interactive publishing, custom publishing) --- http://www.diffusion.org.uk/ 

    DIFFUSION eBooks are PDF files for readers to download, print out and make into booklets - a simple and effective mode of publishing that bypasses typical distribution problems encountered by small presses and specialist publishers. The format allows small 'artist's books' or illustrated essays to be published and distributed digitally worldwide. The internet provides a radical platform for small presses to reach parts of the world that it would not be economical to distribute traditional books to. By making the eBook files free to download and re-distribute as well as small in size, the knowledge contained in the books can reach a far greater audience than was previously accessible.

    The DIFFUSION format challenges conventions of interactivity - blending the physical and the virtual and breaking the dominance of mouse and screen as the primary forms of human computer interaction. The format's aim is to take the reader away from the screen and computer and engage them in the process of production. Through the physical act of making the eBook, a different dynamic is created and the distinctions between producer and consumer of knowledge and information are blurred.

    DIFFUSION eBooks are free to download and distribute, electronically or as material objects. The format is 'open source': i.e. Proboscis welcomes the adoption or re-interpretation of the format by anyone, anywhere. Proboscis is also able to offer a design and production service for clients wishing to use the format - please email for prices.


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    New Technologies for Electronic Reading

    The U.S. will announce plans to purchase 20,000 high-tech educational toys called LeapPads to educate rural Afghan women about health maintenance.
    Queena Sook Kim, The Wall Street Journal, August 3, 2004, Page B1 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB109149503340581281,00.html?mod=gadgets%5Fprimary%5Fhs%5Flt 

     

    When Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson visited Afghanistan at the end of 2002, he found not just wrecked hospitals and a scarcity of health-care workers.

    He also found a pressing need for health education among Afghan women. But in a country where 80% of women are illiterate, the agency couldn't rely on the educational pamphlets commonly used elsewhere in the world.

    So Mr. Thompson turned to an unlikely solution: the educational toy LeapPad, a product of LeapFrog Enterprises Inc. of Emeryville, Calif. The electronic book sells for around $40 and is a mainstay in suburban U.S. homes; it is designed to teach reading, and recites out loud to kids when they touch the words on the page.

    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services plans to announce today that it is purchasing 20,000 LeapPads. Rather than featuring the likes of Dr. Seuss, these modified LeapPads will educate rural Afghan women about the benefits of immunization, the dangers of sexually transmitted diseases and the perils of some homespun remedies, such as rubbing dirt into cuts to heal them. The special LeapPads talk in either Pashto or Dari, Afghanistan's two most common languages.

    Mr. Thompson says such education is sorely needed in a country where diarrhea or acute respiratory infections kills nearly 40% of all children, and where 1,600 out of every 100,000 women die in childbirth. (The U.S. rate is 7.5.) "If this works, we can make this a tool across the world," says Mr. Thompson. "We can use it for AIDS in Africa and for health care in Iraq."

    The $1.25 million deal could also give a much-needed boost to LeapFrog, one of the country's top toy makers. Launched in 1995 as a technology-based education company, LeapFrog made its first big splash with the 1999 introduction of LeapPad. Such electronic learning toys are now one of the fastest-growing categories in the industry; from 1999 to 2003, LeapFrog's overall revenue jumped from $71.8 million to $680 million.

    But lately, both the toy industry and LeapFrog have seen sales dip. In LeapFrog's case, analysts said the company shipped too much product last Christmas, resulting in soft demand after the holidays. Those inventory problems helped push the company's share price down to below $20 from a high last year of $47.30.

    Continued in the article


    "Electronic Readers, Now on Sale in Japan, Still Don't Beat Paper," by Phred Dvorak, The Wall Street Journal, July 15, 2004, Page B1 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,personal_technology,00.html 

    Geeks the world over have long dreamed of the day when the content of books, magazines and newspapers will be downloaded digitally onto electronic readers. Yet despite an explosion of digital content and gadgets to read it on, paper still rules -- in part because nobody has yet been able to beat its portability and readability.

    Now the world's two biggest consumer-electronics companies -- Sony and Matsushita Electric Industrial, the maker of Panasonic devices -- are giving the digital book a whirl in Japan, though not yet anywhere else.

    Both recently started selling electronic readers that let users view a variety of material downloaded from Internet sites. But despite some attractive services and compelling technology, a week of testing the Sony Librie and Panasonic SigmaBook reminded me how great paper still is.

    The Sony Librie gets high marks for its svelte size: at 8.5 ounces and 5 inches by 7.5 inches by 0.5 inches, it's smaller and only a bit heavier than the 138-page instruction manual it ships with.

    But its best feature by far is its display -- the first-ever consumer application of something called "electronic ink." The technology, developed by E Ink of Cambridge, Mass., forms images by electronically pulling around microscopic particles of black and white pigment that float in tiny capsules inside the screen. The result is a display that uses very little power and looks almost identical to black print on white paper. For reading, it's a vast improvement over the liquid-crystal displays common in noteBook computers, PDAs and cellphones.

    I took the Librie with me on a coffee run -- down a dim hallway, into the elevator and out into bright sunlight -- reading comfortably all the way. It also let me enlarge the text size up to 200%, and has a set of built-in dictionaries for easy reference.

    But it didn't do as well on my graphics test, Vol. 1 of Shotaro Ishinomori's 1963 comic "Cyborg 009." The display left a faint afterimage of the previous page's lines on the black areas of the drawings. And with only four levels of gray shading, the images often looked rough. The Librie's relatively small screen was also a problem. Rather than shrinking the original page to fit the display, the publishers of "Cyborg 009" decided to put one frame on each page. The resulting story pace was so slow I got bored, even in the middle of a pitched battle between cyborgs and evil robots.

    Part of the problem is that the Librie display's response is excruciatingly slow. "Turning" a page takes a full second, and using the jog wheel to move the cursor through menus is frustrating. It's still tolerable if you're chugging through a story from start to finish, but returning to a section you've read before is a real slog unless you've had the foresight to "bookmark" the page you want.

    Where the Librie really fails is in its handling of digital content. It can only view content that comes from a site run by Publishing Link, a Sony-affiliated company with investments from most of Japan's big publishers. Users download digital books to their computers from there and then transfer them to the Librie, but only about 600 are available. What's more, your right to that content expires after 60 days. The only English-language books I saw being offered were textbooks.

    The rental model keeps prices relatively low. I paid 315 yen ($2.89) to "rent" the autobiography of comic artist Shigeru Mizuki, which was selling for 609 yen ($5.60) new on Amazon Japan.

    Though it costs the same hefty $370, Panasonic's SigmaBook reader gets right a lot of what Sony gets wrong. Although Panasonic's own online-content site, SigmaBook JP, has only a hundred titles, the SigmaBook can also handle content downloaded from an independent site called 10 Days Book, which mainly features comics but boasts around 5,400 titles.

    The SigmaBook is also better suited to reading comics because it has two screens. At 7.2 inches they are bigger than the Librie's and capable of more tonal gradations. But the device is also twice as thick and almost twice as heavy as the Librie.

    Continued in the article


    What's new at London's famous Old Vic Theatre?

    "9/11 Book Born Online Hits Stage," by M.J. Rose, Wired News, September 10, 2002 --- http://www.wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,55022,00.html 

    When the curtain opens at London's famous Old Vic Theatre on Wednesday evening, most people in the audience won't realize they're watching what might be the world's first play conceived on the Internet.

    Last year, e-publishing, print-on-demand and e-mail gave rise to a collection of essays by journalists and non-journalists on the Sept. 11 tragedy called 09/11 8:48 AM; Documenting America's Greatest Tragedy, co-edited by Ethan Casey and Jay Rosen, chairman of the journalism department at New York University.

    The Old Vic performance -- a one-act play directed by veteran actor and director Murray Woodfield -- has been adapted from the personal testimonies of Rosen, Conor O'Clery, Peter Wong, Karmann Ghia, Kate Bolick, Dawn Shurmaitis and Andrew Ross.

    Woodfield said he was gratified to be involved in the memorial performance.

    "The fact that writers online ended up on the London stage probably means that this has got to be one of the first plays ever created solely via the Internet," he said. "Any way you look at it -- this is a unique event."

    Proceeds from the event will go to The New York Firefighters 9-11 Disaster Relief Fund.

    - - -

    E-nabeling readers: Students with visual impairments or learning disabilities can listen to more than 97,000 digitally recorded books on CD.

    The largest collection of its kind, the catalog offered by nonprofit Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic (RFB&D) includes 6,000 new titles -- from Harry Potter to Systems of Psychotherapy: a Transtheoretical Analysis.

    RFB&D is the nation's largest educational library for students who are blind or visually impaired, or who have learning disabilities such as dyslexia.

    The digitally recorded textbooks allow instant access to any page, chapter or subheading. Unlike books recorded on analog cassette, the digital versions don't force users to fast-forward through and count embedded beeps to find what they're looking for.

    Continued at http://www.wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,55022,00.html 


    Book Readers versus Hard Copy Textbooks

    Much still depends upon the textbook publishers.

    The ideal for Kindle is where virtually all textbook publishers have Kindle versions. Then for every semester all the required textbooks in all courses can loaded onto Kindle. Gone are the heavy backpacks. The savings to students across the years will depend upon how much discount is obtained on Kindle versions relative to used hard copy prices.

    It’s inevitable that the day will come when hard copy will no longer be an option because of hard copy printing costs, inventory carrying costs, logistical costs of shipping to stores or retail customers, and the costs of buying back unsold copies from the stores. The question is when this day will arrive. My guess is that we are at least ten years or more away from that point in time. Between now and 2020, book readers will improve greatly just like laptop computers improved greatly between 1995 and 2009.

    Students gain the immense advantage of Kindle’s word search. Students lose all the comfort and other traditional benefits of curling up in bed or chair with a book.

    There is much more risk with a Kindle. If a student loses a book or has a book stolen it’s one book. If a Kindle is stolen it can be the loss of all of a semester’s textbooks. There’s also the risk that Kindle needs to be repaired. I might say Kindle becomes kindle that goes up in smoke, but that’s probably going a bit too far. Eventually there might be local repair/replacement shops for Kindles, but that day is way off into the future.

    In ideal circumstances, students should be able to submit police reports to publishers or Amazon for free replacement downloads in a replacement Kindle. Perhaps the Kindle licensed repair shops of the future will be able to download free replacement books.

    Can you imagine 12 students coming ten days before the final exam and reporting that their Kindles were stolen? In the past I’ve carried a few extra textbooks for the occasional circumstance where a student needs to borrow a book for a few days. Textbook reps usually supplied me with a few copies for such purposes, but with Kindle the textbook rep will eventually be out of the picture, especially when publishers cease to publish hard copy textbooks.

    I personally think the risk of dependency on a Kindle is too high until publishers and/or Amazon take away the worst risks. One possibility would be to sell a backup hard drive that will only work with a given Kindle or replacement Kindle. Then a student who must replace a Kindle could get the secret password to download from the hard drive into the replacement Kindle.

    I’ve not yet purchased a Kindle and am waiting for some improvements like multimedia and computing capabilities. But if I were a student today given a choice between hard copy and a Kindle version, I would go for the hard copy every time in spite of putting my spine at risk with a heavy backpack. I guess only nerds/faculty carry brief cases.

    Eventually a book reader will not contain downloaded books. It will only access student-rented books from one or two sources. One source might be an on-campus library server. Backup servers might be available from publishers or from distributors like Amazon. That eliminates much of the risk of loss of purchased books stored on a Kindle. A book reader might have computing and note storage drives.

    Along fraternity/sorority row back at Iowa State University years ago, the only accepted way to go to class was for fraternity men to carry a book and clipboard on the opposite side from where a slide rule dangled from a belt. Sorority women carried the clip board, book, and slide rule pressed to their chests. Eventually students will be able to carry a Kindle that replaces all this on their hips or chests. They won’t have to rush back to the fraternities and sororities between classes just to change books.

    Of course students today use back packs. I’m so old that I don’t recall seeing a single fellow student at Iowa State University wearing a back pack. In the rain, students usually wrapped their book and clipboard in plastic. If you had two classes in a row, it was acceptable to carry two books and a clipboard. More than two books turned you into a nerd.

     


    Failed Ventures

    The e-book market is littered with the wreckage of failed ventures.


    Question
    Are eBooks dead?

    Answer
    I think there is still a big market in textbooks, but the market for popular fiction and non-fiction has dwindled.
    September 9, 2003 message from Barnes & Noble

    Dear eBook Newsletter Subscriber,

    As of September 9, 2003, Barnes & Noble.com will no longer sell eBooks. At this time, we will also be terminating our eBook Newsletter service.

    "Barnes & Noble's Online Arm Pulls the Plug on E-Book Sales," by Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg, The Wall Street Journal, September 10, 2003 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB106312780219656500,00.html?mod=technology%5Fmain%5Fwhats%5Fnews 

    Publishers, she added, failed to make enough of a pricing distinction between hardcovers and their e-book counterparts. Barnes & Noble Inc., the nation's largest retailer, owns 38% of Barnes&Noble.com and is in the midst of buying Bertelsmann AG's 37% stake in the business. That purchase is expected to close within two weeks.

    Some e-book publishers tried to play down the company's decision to exit from e-book retailing. Arthur Klebanoff, co-founder and chief executive of New York-based Rosetta Books LLC, an e-book publisher that has released 117 titles from such writers as George Orwell and John Updike, said the company's strongest retailer is Palm Digital Media, a unit of PalmGear Inc.

    "On a sales basis, Barnes&Noble.com contributed a tiny percentage of Rosetta's revenue," said Mr. Klebanoff. "But they had an early leadership role in e-books. My guess is that they still believe in e-books in the long term, but that the economics in the short term don't make sense."

    Barnes&Noble.com's decision comes at a difficult juncture for the e-book business. "Any defection is going to be a negative," said Mike Segroves, director of business development at Palm Digital Media. "While it will certainly be a reduction in revenue for some publishers, our business has been growing. We'd like to think that we can make up for the revenue publishers will lose from this -- but time will prove whether we are right or wrong."

    Continued in the article.


    August 30, 2002 message from Carolyn Kotlas [kotlas@email.unc.edu

    FUTURE OF E-BOOKS

    "The e-book market is littered with the wreckage of failed ventures, and with some justification, one might think that it is approaching total collapse." In "Electronic Books: Reports of Their Death Have Been Exaggerated" (ONLINE, vol. 26, no. 4, July/August 2002), Donald T. Hawkins, editor-in-chief for Information Today, Inc. Information Science Abstracts and Fulltext Sources Online, charts the ups and downs of e-books and the market's successes and fiascos. Although e-book company failures have shaken the confidence of early-adopters, Hawkins believes that e-books still have a future. The article is available online at http://www.onlinemag.net/jul02/hawkins.htm

    Online [ISSN: 0146-5422] is published six times per year by Information Today, Inc., 143 Old Marlton Pike, Medford, NJ 08055 USA; tel: 609-654-6266 or 800-300-9868; fax: 609-654-4309; Web: http://www.onlinemag.net/

    In the article "Students Complain About Devices for Reading E-Books, Study Finds" (THE CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION, August 26, 2002; http://chronicle.com/free/2002/08/2002082601t.htm), Scott Carlson reports on a study of the usability of e-books and their acceptance by college students. The study was conducted by Richard F. Bellaver, Associate Director, Center for Information & Communication Studies, and Jay Gillette, Director, Human Factors Institute, Ball State University. The researchers concluded, that if future improvements are made in the technology, e-books could be acceptable devices for delivering and storing students' reading materials. The study's report, "The Usability of eBook Technology: Practical Issues of an Application of Electronic Textbooks in a Learning Environment," is available online at http://publish.bsu.edu/cics/eBook_final_result.asp

    The Chronicle of Higher Education [ISSN 0009-5982] is published weekly by The Chronicle of Higher Education, Inc., 1255 Twenty-third Street, NW, Washington, DC 20037 USA; tel: 202-466-1000; fax: 202-452-1033;

    Web: http://chronicle.com/


    But the e-book market is still "clicking" in academe.

    I thank Kevin Kobelsky (USC) for the link below:
    "E-textbooks clicking with colleges Most greet e-books with enthusiasm, but wariness remains, by Marsha Walton, CNN.com,  September 1, 2002 --- http://www.cnn.com/2002/TECH/science/08/30/coolsc.eBooks/index.html 
    Note that the link above also has audio testimonials From students!

    It's 4 a.m., the astronomy homework is due in just a few hours, and there's still confusion about some quirks in those mysterious quasars. What's a fretting college student to do?

    If you're in professor Michael Ruiz's astronomy class at the University of North Carolina at Asheville, your answer may be just a few clicks away, in an online forum that every student in the class can access, 24-7.

    "If you don't understand something it's nice to be able to ask another student without wandering the halls knocking on doors saying, 'Do you take astronomy? Do you take astronomy?' Just type it in the forum, and ask your question about stars or nebulae," said Margaret Eason, who is taking the class this semester.

    The student forum is one of dozens of interactive and multimedia features in the electronic textbook written and produced by astronomy and physics professor Ruiz. Along with his academic credentials, he's an accomplished musician, and a veteran experimenter in all types of technology.

    All three of those interests contribute to the interactivity of his online texts, filled with music, movies, experiments, and incentives. He's also created an e-book for his physics of sound class, filled with online videos of his own piano and keyboard performances.

    Fast updates, around-the-clock access Ruiz's electronic texts are Internet-based. Students access the class Web site on a with a login and password.

    "I'm more effective with a class of 90 today than I was 20 years ago with 30 people and some equipment up front. Let's face it, your best time might be 2 o'clock in the morning, so if you're in here half falling asleep, you can see that demonstration or experiment again at home, and absorb it," he told students in his sound class the first day of this semester.

    One major advantage over traditional texts is Ruiz's ability to update information, literally within minutes. And that's crucial, he says, in a field like astronomy, with constant discoveries and debates.

    Continued (with audio) at http://www.cnn.com/2002/TECH/science/08/30/coolsc.eBooks/index.html 


    Electronic Book Trends on College Campuses

    Bob Jensen's history of book authoring, course authoring, and course management technology --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/290wp/290wp.htm

    Bob Jensen's helpers for writers are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob3.htm#Dictionaries


    How do instructors give "open-book" exams without giving students full access to other computer files and even the wireless Web?

     

    This is a mixed blessing for students.  It makes storage, transport, and searching more convenient, but it is difficult to read page after page on the screen.  And printing the pages is expensive.  As pointed out in the article, there is not a used book market.

     

    "College Books Move Online," by Charles Goldsmith and Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg, The Wall Street Journal, April 23, 2004, Page B3 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB108266691905691021,00.html?mod=technology%5Fmain%5Fwhats%5Fnews 

    Faced with mounting criticism that the cost of new textbooks is too high, and vexed by students who buy cheaper used texts, Pearson PLC is making 300 of its most popular U.S. college textbooks available in a Web-based format for half the price of the print versions.

    Beginning this autumn, specialized texts such as "Educational Research" and "Social Psychology," which normally retail in hardback for about $100, can for the first time be bought online for about $50.

    "A lot of students have affordability problems," says Will Ethridge, president of Pearson's college-text unit.

    Such price resistance poses a threat to the $3.4 billion-a-year U.S. college-textbook industry -- as students either buy used versions, seek cut-rate deals through foreign Web sites or do without.

    Pearson's new strategy, if successful, will transform the college-textbook industry, which has been under attack from parents and students stunned by the rising cost of higher education. Complaints about high prices have become so bad that at a recent annual meeting, the American Association of Publishers handed out a pamphlet justifying the industry's prices, and the issue has become a heated topic at educational conferences.

    The prospect of online textbooks would seem to raise piracy concerns, but Pearson, which is based in the United Kingdom, is confident that the system is secure.

    "There is a sophisticated security protocol developed two years ago that protects the intellectual content from file sharing or access by unauthorized subscribers," says Wendy Spiegel, a spokeswoman for Pearson Education, based in New York. "This is not downloadable. It is a Web-based book with the full function of the Web. You can print it section by section, but not at one sitting. It won't continuously print for you. We envision that students will print out the parts of the chapter that they need that day. If you are a crook, you could duplicate a printed book much easier."

    Those who have seen early prototypes of the online texts describe them as attractive and intriguing, and note that publishers have a significant incentive to see that Web-formatted books go mainstream. The traditional four-color hardcover book already is loaded up with related CD-ROMs and links to additional Web sites -- thus boosting costs.

    Web-based books may well provide the solution. By transferring content to the Internet, publishers will be able to slash inventory costs, eliminate returns, reduce shipping expenses, and perhaps put a significant dent in the used-textbook business. Further, if they are able to pass along those savings, they should be able to lure back budget-minded students.

    Pearson last year generated 19% of its revenue and 30% of its operating profit from college publishing. But executives have expressed concern that price resistance poses a future pothole. By the company's research, about a third of students say they don't buy all of their required texts, while half say they are likely to buy a lower-cost version online assuming a savings of at least $25.

    Although textbook prices have been rising 2% to 3% a year, well below college-tuition increases, texts are a conspicuous billboard of college inflation, given that students pay for them directly. According to the College Board, the average tuition and fees at a four-year private U.S. college was $19,710 in the 2003-2004 school year, up 6% from the previous year.

    A spokeswoman for the National Association of College Stores, representing more than 3,000 college retailers, says the group didn't expect online versions to rapidly displace print editions. "Most students in higher education still prefer a physical textbook" given that they grew up on such texts since childhood, she says.

    One book retailer suggests that interactive books won't represent a significant price break for students, who usually sell their books at the end of the semester.

    Mark Oppegard, chief executive of closely held Nebraska Book Co., which sells used and new college textbooks, notes that a student who bought a $100 new textbook could sell it back for $50 at the end of the semester. A student who bought a used book for $75 could get $37.50 for it. "The interactive books don't represent a real savings," he says. "Let's see how well they are received."

    Publishing-industry officials say educational publishers typically make between $15 and $20 profit from a book with a retail list price of $100, after subtracting costs for author royalties, printing, distribution and retailers' take. In a goodwill gesture to college bookstores, Pearson said it would offer retailers a cut of revenue from online sales if stores direct students to the publisher's Web site.

    Continued in article


    October 15, 2002 advertisement Message from Alex von Rosenberg [alex@atomicdog.com

    See Atomic Dog’s unique ability to develop online books that were interactive and customizable, but that were also translated to print products that met the needs of those that preferred that medium. An additional factor was the potential long-term impact of improving access to education by dramatically lowering the cost of a substantial student expense (textbooks) while simultaneously improving the overall quality. The final and most critical factor was the global impact that Atomic Dog’s products are already making along with the one-of-a-kind capabilities home grown in the State of Ohio. In less than two years Atomic Dog textbooks have gone from being used in 50 schools to over 550 schools in over 70 countries.

    To learn more, visit: http://ecom-ohio.org/success_stories/AtomicDog.pdf 

     


    September 25, 2002 message from Van Ness, Paul [Paul.VanNess@thomsonlearning.com

    Bob, 

    You might be interested to know that South-Western has business text books in eBook format available in Adobe Acrobat eBook format ( http://eBooks.swcollege.com ) and Rovia's eBook format ( http://store.rovia.com/?usca_p=t ). You'll find titles in Accounting, Business Communication, Business Law, Economics, Finance, Management, Marketing, Real Estate, and Tax.

    Sincerely, 
    Paul Van Ness Technology/Marketing 
    South-Western/Thomson Learning http://www.swlearning.com 

     


    Digitizing Education A Primer on eBooks by MICHAEL A. LOONEY and MARK SHEEHAN

    EDUCAUSE Review, JULY/AUGUST 2001 Volume 36, Number 4
     http://www.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/erm0142.pdf  
    http://www.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/erm0142t.pdf
      (text-only)

    The eBook revolution has spawned several new support businesses: companies that provide DRM technology; content conversion houses, which aid publishers in converting existing print and electronic content to eBook formats; and system integrators and clearinghouses--such as Lighting Source ( http://www.lightningsource.com/ ), Reciprocal ( http://www.reciprocal.com/ ), iUniverse.com ( http://www.iuniverse.com/ ), and OverDrive (http://www.overdrive.com/)--which provide encryption, hosting, and e-commerce integration services to authors, publishers, and resellers.  Before long, specialized rich-media authoring services, copyright clearinghouses, and digital object vending services will also be established.  Besides these service providers, online resellers such as Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble have begun vigorously marketing eBook content, and online college bookstores will start to do the same fairly soon.  Finally, specialized system integrator companies will soon be assisting libraries with integrating eBooks into their lending systems.

     

    How eBooks Add Value to Education

    eBooks in the broad sense of electronic content) are ideal for the academic environment.  A number of social and economic factors make eBooks or digital content preferable to paper textbooks and course materials--or at least highly desirable as adjuncts to these materials.  First of all, eBooks provide a means for nontextbook course adoptions whether the material is a trade book (nonfiction, biography, etc.) or customized content authored by the faculty member or colleagues.  This is particularly appealing for upper-division courses, in which textbooks are used less frequently.

    In addition, textbooks in eBook format can be made modular.  This will allow the faculty member to review a fifteen-chapter textbook and simply select the three or four chapters that are relevant to a course.  This modular selection can be offered electronically and as a POD book in the bookstore, with either option costing considerably less than the price of the complete printed textbook.

    Another distinct advantage of eBooks is the equality of access to learning materials they provide to both the campus-based and the distant learner.  Students who are literally anywhere in the world will have access to the same content that is available to the student on campus, whether that access is through the faculty Web site, the college bookstore, or the digital library.  Furthermore, with dictionary plug-ins and automated text-to-speech technology, the eBook reader software can greatly benefit students whose primary language is not English.  Similarly, students and faculty of foreign languages, as well as international students in the United States, will be able to access digital content in real time from a broad range of countries, whether it be a Manga comic from Japan or an original, native-language version of a scholarly publication from France.

    The eBook format also opens the door to the many precious and rare documents that are currently under lock and key in collections around the world.  Typically inaccessible to the average student, these will become available, as digital representations, to any student in any location.  Several examples of these rare publications, now available as eBooks, can be experienced at the Octavo Web site (http://www.octavo.com/).

    As previously mentioned, eBooks can be enriched with a broad range of media types to help with the learning process.  For example, MIT's Sloan School of Management is already preparing "Knowledge Updates," brief research updates from MIT faculty.  Complete with video, audio, and potentially animated materials, these updates are current research snapshots intended as much for alumni, corporate customers, and friends of Sloan as for current students.

    Keeping current is an additional advantage of eBooks.  For courses on cutting-edge technologies or current affairs, textbooks are out-of-date the minute they are printed.  eBooks can enable daily, weekly, or monthly updates via the Internet.  This would eliminate out-of-date textbooks and would help the student and instructor stay on top of developments relevant to their courses.

    eBooks can also improve on qualities of traditional printed books.  Like a paper book, the eBook will become marked with highlighting, with page corners turned down for quick reference, and with notes made in the margins of the pages.  The difference with the eBook is that all of these aids will be the user's own amendments rather than the vestiges of the learning habits of previous owners.  In addition, the digital medium is often simply more convenient or appropriate as either a replacement for or an adjunct to the potentially heavier, environmentally unfriendly paper medium.

    Finally, another factor that may influence the adoption of eBooks and other digital courseware is the financial model used by traditional textbook publishers and the financial burden this model imposes on students.  The average price of a new textbook in 1998 was almost $62, and this price is anticipated to increase 4-6 percent per year.  This represents a nearly 500 percent increase since 1965.  Contributing factors to this worsening economic scenario include the fact that 24 percent of all academic books are returned to publishers from college  bookstores and the fact that each purchased book is turned over six times or more on average before it is out of circulation.  As a result, one-third of students buy used books, and one-third do not even purchase the book required for the course.  Only 10 percent of textbook sales are to international markets, due increasingly to hard-copy piracy as the costs of books increase.  All of these factors, coupled with bookstores' and publishers' profit margins, lead to textbook prices that in some cases are higher than the tuition for the course.  Through the utilization of an eBook "workflow" process that can leverage not only eBooks but also POD books and modular content, eBooks are an opportunity for academic textbook publishers to provide students with content that is of higher value and is potentially less expensive.


    eBookWeb ---- http://www.eBookweb.org/ 
    News, resources, reviews, etc.


    "A University That Reveres Tradition Experiments With E-Books," by Jeffrey R. Young, The Chronicle of Higher Education,  May 18, 2001 --- http://chronicle.com/free/v47/i36/36a03901.htmb 

     

    Textbook pages never rustle during a University of Virginia seminar about the Salem witch trials, because printed books have been replaced by electronic ones. Students in the experimental course were lent hand-held computers loaded with several assigned textbooks, as well as electronic versions of every warrant, indictment, and deposition from the trials.

    The course was designed to take advantage of two of the most celebrated features of digital textbooks -- their capacity to hold reams of data and their ability to let readers easily search for any word or phrase. In the classroom, students became on-the-spot historians, using the gadgets to home in on court documents so they could argue for and against various interpretations of what happened in Salem, Mass., more than 300 years ago.

    Many futurists have predicted the death of the book, but the printed word has proven extremely difficult to replicate electronically in a form that is as elegant and easy to read as text on paper. A pilot project here this spring, comprising two courses, attempted to see whether the latest e-book technologies could allow entire courses to go bookless.

    During class sessions, students tapping on tiny screens with plastic styluses looked more as if they were taking scientific readings than discussing history and religion. The setting was decidedly old-fashioned, though; the class met in one of the few classrooms remaining from Jefferson's "academical village."

    "Whenever we got to talking about something in a document, we would just go to the document," says Amy Nichols, a senior who took the course. The students say they used court records and other texts more than they would have with bulky printed versions of the same documents.

    What's more, the students were bolder than usual in criticizing scholarly summaries of events presented in their textbooks, says Benjamin C. Ray, the religious-studies professor teaching the course. In fact, they were often too quick to dispute scholarly accounts once they came upon source material that seemed to contradict the textbook, he says. "I think they're going overboard. They're trashing too much ... without knowing the historical methods."

    For their part, the students quickly discovered disadvantages of the high-tech texts. Unlike paper books, e-books sometimes crash. Several students lost marginal notes and bookmarks when their hand-held computers suddenly erased their data.

    Some students said reading from the tiny screens made the texts seem more fragmented. "When I'm at home sitting on my chair curled up with the afghan on my lap, I don't want to be flipping through this," says Kristen Buckstad, a student in the course, holding up her Hewlett-Packard Journada, which sells for about $450. The hand-held device is roughly the size of a Palm Pilot, with a 2½-by-3¼-inch color screen and enough memory to store about 90 books. "The screen is too small," she says. "It's hard to get the overall feeling of the flow of the narrative."

    For the rest of the article, go to http://chronicle.com/free/v47/i36/36a03901.htm 


    "Are We Headed Toward the Bookless Campus?" The New York Times, May 18, 2001 --- http://chronicle.com/free/v47/i36/36a03501.htm 

     

    In the articles that follow, The Chronicle examines the possibilities of e-textbooks, the impact that e-books are having on academic libraries, and an experiment in teaching with e-texts using specialized reading devices.


     

    How many Microsoft Press books can you afford to buy? What if you could just pick the chapters you want from each book and make your own book of specialty advice and techniques? Now you can! http://www.accountingweb.com/item/51821 

     


     

    WizeUp Electronic Textbooks 

     


    From Syllabus e-News, Resources, and Trends August 14, 2001

    Thomson Learning Offers eTextbooks this Fall

    Course Technology, a computer education publishing division of Thomson Learning, is offering flexible textbook content electronically through eBooks. Course Technology will offer a library of more than 50 of their best-selling textbook titles within eBook platforms beginning in September 2001. Course Technology offers a secure system for accessing, annotating and sharing copyrighted content online through its partnership with Rovia. The Rovia-enabled etextbooks, which look exactly like the printed version, integrate the entire offering of materials that accompany a textbook, including interactive quizzes, movies and other multimedia enhancements, into a single platform. Professors and students can customize their content by annotating text, highlighting key passages, inserting "sticky notes," and bookmarking pages.


    From Syllabus e-News, Resources, and Trends August 14, 2001

    Atomic Dog Publishing Launches My Backpack 2.0

    Atomic Dog Publishing, a Cincinnati-based higher education, online publisher, announced the release of its new online learning environment, MyBackpack 2.0, the platform upon which all of Atomic Dog's online textbooks are delivered. MyBackpack 2.0 presents textbooks in real-time, allowing for a higher level of customization, currency, and multimedia integration. The new learning environment features full text searching, pop-up glossary terms and footnotes, bookmarking, integrated study-guides, integrated video, audio, simulations, and animations, and a hyperlinked table of contents, in full and brief. MyBackpack 2.0 also enables students and instructors to customize their textbooks. Students can now enter personal notes and highlights within any of Atomic Dog's online textbooks. Instructors can also post notes, quizzes, Web exercises, alternative points of view, case studies, current events and critical thinking questions to their students. For more information, visit www.atomicdog.com .

     


    An e-publisher selling versions of several significant books survives a day in court against Random House --- http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,51022,00.html


    "E-Books Out of Print Already?" by M.J. Rose, Wired News, June 4, 2001

    See also:
    What if E-Books Cost Less?
    E-Book Forecast: Cloudy
    Getting a Read on New E-Books

     


     

    "The Premature Obituary of the Book:  Why Literature?" by Mario Vargas Llosa, The New Republic, May 14, 2001 --- http://www.thenewrepublic.com/051401/llosa051401.html 
    This is a very long article.  Llosa's concluding remarks are are as follows:

     

    So literature's unrealities, literature's lies, are also a precious vehicle for the knowledge of the most hidden of human realities. The truths that it reveals are not always flattering; and sometimes the image of ourselves that emerges in the mirror of novels and poems is the image of a monster. This happens when we read about the horrendous sexual butchery fantasized by de Sade, or the dark lacerations and brutal sacrifices that fill the cursed books of Sacher-Masoch and Bataille. At times the spectacle is so offensive and ferocious that it becomes irresistible. Yet the worst in these pages is not the blood, the humiliation, the abject love of torture; the worst is the discovery that this violence and this excess are not foreign to us, that they are a profound part of humanity. These monsters eager for transgression are hidden in the most intimate recesses of our being; and from the shadow where they live they seek a propitious occasion to manifest themselves, to impose the rule of unbridled desire that destroys rationality, community, and even existence. And it was not science that first ventured into these tenebrous places in the human mind, and discovered the destructive and the self-destructive potential that also shapes it. It was literature that made this discovery. A world without literature would be partly blind to these terrible depths, which we urgently need to see.

    Uncivilized, barbarian, devoid of sensitivity and crude of speech, ignorant and instinctual, inept at passion and crude at love, this world without literature, this nightmare that I am delineating, would have as its principal traits conformism and the universal submission of humankind to power. In this sense, it would also be a purely animalistic world. Basic instincts would determine the daily practices of a life characterized by the struggle for survival, and the fear of the unknown, and the satisfaction of physical necessities. There would be no place for the spirit. In this world, moreover, the crushing monotony of living would be accompanied by the sinister shadow of pessimism, the feeling that human life is what it had to be and that it will always be thus, and that no one and nothing can change it.

    When one imagines such a world, one is tempted to picture primitives in loincloths, the small magic-religious communities that live at the margins of modernity in Latin America, Oceania, and Africa. But I have a different failure in mind. The nightmare that I am warning about is the result not of under-development but of over-development. As a consequence of technology and our subservience to it, we may imagine a future society full of computer screens and speakers, and without books, or a society in which books--that is, works of literature--have become what alchemy became in the era of physics: an archaic curiosity, practiced in the catacombs of the media civilization by a neurotic minority. I am afraid that this cybernetic world, in spite of its prosperity and its power, its high standard of living and its scientific achievement would be profoundly uncivilized and utterly soulless--a resigned humanity of post-literary automatons who have abdicated freedom.

    It is highly improbable, of course, that this macabre utopia will ever come about. The end of our story, the end of history, has not yet been written, and it is not pre-determined. What we will become depends entirely on our vision and our will. But if we wish to avoid the impoverishment of our imagination, and the disappearance of the precious dissatisfaction that refines our sensibility and teaches us to speak with eloquence and rigor, and the weakening of our freedom, then we must act. More precisely, we must read.


    "The Battle to Define the Future of the Book in the Digital World." by Clifford Lynch, First Monday,  vol. 6, no. 6, June 4 2001) --- http://www.firstmonday.dk/issues/issue6_6/lynch/index.html 

    Commercial publishing interests are presenting the future of the book in the digital world through the promotion of e-book reading appliances and software. Implicit in this is a very complex and problematic agenda that re-establishes the book as a digital cultural artifact within a context of intellectual property rights management enforced by hardware and software systems. With the convergence of different types of content into a common digital bit-stream, developments in industries such as music are establishing precedents that may define our view of digital books. At the same time we find scholars exploring the ways in which the digital medium can enhance the traditional communication functions of the printed work, moving far beyond literal translations of the pages of printed books into the digital world. This paper examines competing visions for the future of the book in the digital environment, with particular attention to questions about the social implications of controls over intellectual property, such as continuity of cultural memory.

    Contents 

    Issues of preservation, continuity of access, and the integrity of our cultural and intellectual record are particularly critical in the context of e-book readers and the works designed for them. These have enormous importance both for individual consumers and for society as a whole, and for libraries, which manage much of the intellectual archives of our society. Most fundamentally, we face the question of whether libraries can continue to collect books as they move to digital form, particularly in mass-market publishing. We must not overlook these issues in our rush to adopt e-book readers and content distributed for them, and libraries will have a special obligation to speak out on these issues and to educate society about them, while also trying to work out viable arrangements with the content industries.

    Finally, we must continue to recognize that digital books, in the broadest sense, are at least potentially much more than simply digital content translated from the print framework that can be viewed by e-book readers promoted by today's publishing establishment and technology providers as part of an agenda of market share, new revenue opportunities, or control over content. Digital books, in all of their complexity and potential, are as yet only dimly defined, and will be a continued focus for the creativity and ingenuity of present and future generations of authors, teachers and scholars.

    I have argued at length here that the printed word, and particularly its manifestation in the book, holds a very special and privileged place in our culture and our society. As we think about the migration of authoring to the digital medium, the book - rather than other cultural products such as musical works - should be the benchmark against which we measure and test our assumptions and beliefs about the roles and uses of intellectual property in the new environment. We must remain mindful of this distinction, and not constrain the virtually unlimited potential of the digital medium to the traditions and business interests that have coalesced around the printed book over the centuries and that may now seek both to define a new canon of "book" in the digital world, regaining the control of the digital printing press that they suddenly lost with the creation of the World Wide Web, and to surround these new eBooks with new technology-enabled controls on content. We need to be careful not to prematurely marginalize any of the new genres the digital medium may enable. The most compelling case for eBooks as relatively literal of the printed book is based on greater convenience and ubiquity of access, and somewhat enhanced use. The case for digital books broadly, as new genres of works, is about more effective communication of ideas, enhanced teaching and learning, and renewed creativity. While the first case is a good one, if the price is not too high (in social as well as economic terms), the second case is truly compelling and inspiring. The future digital book will take us far beyond today's printed books and publishing industry, in many different and sometimes unexpected directions, though our points of departure will inevitably be an important influence. Let us welcome the journey and be open to many destinations; we will find treasures and wonderful surprises along the way


    "The Next Chapter In Electronic Books," by Arik Hesseldahl, Forbes, April 26, 2004 --- http://www.forbes.com/personaltech/2004/04/26/cx_ah_0426tentech.html 

    The electronic book is one of those technological concepts from the 1990s that seems somewhat of a leftover. It's never really taken off the way it potentially could: It makes so much sense.

    Books--especially the great beefy ones worth reading--are bulky. Their size makes them inconvenient. And with all this electronic equipment we lug around--laptops, personal digital assistants and the like--there's no reason they couldn't be used to carry the text of books.

     

    Last month, Sony (nyse: SNE - news - people ) and Royal Philips Electronics (nyse: PHG - news - people ) teamed with privately held E Ink to announce the Librié, which is set to go on sale in Japan this month. It looks a bit like a PDA but its display uses E Ink's electronic ink technology that it says offers a "paper-like" reading experience comparable to newsprint.

    Getting the display's appearance just right has been a key problem in the evolution of the e-book concept. Paper is ideal for most eyes, electronic displays simply aren't. Paper requires no technical knowledge; electronic devices invariably include instruction manuals--printed on paper.

    E Ink's electronic paper display is reflective and can be read in the sunlight and in conditions of dim light. It presents a resolution of 170 pixels per inch, similar to newspaper. The gadget uses four AAA batteries but only uses power when a page is turned and the image presented on the display changes. The companies say a user can turn 10,000 pages before those batteries have to be replaced.

    The device itself is about the size of a paperback book and can store the contents of about 500 books at a time. And therein is the basic strength of the e-book. While information is increasingly available in digitized form, we're still using a lot of paper, still buying books and still carrying them around. Cramming all our reading into a light electronic device that is easy on the eyes makes sense for the reader as long as it's easy to use. If nothing else, it would reduce the size of carry-on luggage on long flights.

    Last year, BarnesandNoble.com (nasdaq: BNBN - news - people ) stopped selling e-books for download from its Web site amid underwhelming sales. Also last year, Gemstar (nasdaq: GMST - news - people ) stopped selling its Softbook e-book devices and discontinued sales of e-book content.

    If the e-book is going to be a hit, a few things have to happen. First there has to be a good selection of material to read, and, for publishers, that means taking the risk that their best titles may wind up being distributed for free on the Internet.

    PDA users are already downloading books. Palmsource (nasdaq: PSRC - news - people ) sells e-books for use on handheld devices running the Palm operating system. Bob Woodward's Plan of Attack is available for download for $14.99. Microsoft (nasdaq: MSFT - news - people ) also sells e-books for its Microsoft Reader software on PDAs running Windows Mobile. But last year the security on Microsoft's software was cracked.

    The recording industry has struggled with this problem in ways both overt and subtle: It has sued batches of pirate downloaders but also circulated its own falsely labeled music files intended to frustrate and dissuade would-be pirates.

    The right device--like an iPod from Apple Computer (nasdaq: AAPL - news - people )--coupled with a good music-download service--like Apple's iTunes Music Store--are proving to be a success. And while Apple has lately been chasing the creators of a software program called Playfair--which has defeated Apple's digital rights management scheme, dubbed Fairplay, and limits how music purchased from iTunes can be used--publishers learn a lot from the iTunes experience.

    If Sony's new reading device turns out to be the iPod of electronic readers, then publishers will have to develop the reader's equivalent of iTunes.


    "Academic Publishing in the Digital Realm: An Interview with Clifford Lynch," Syllabus, December 2002, pp.10-13 --- http://www.syllabus.com/article.asp?id=6983 
    Syllabus interviews Clifford A. Lynch, executive director of the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI).

    CL: There are two rather separate things going on, that occasionally get jumbled together under the guise of electronic publishing even though they have rather different characteristics. On one side of the fence we see the changes in the traditional business of scholarly publishing—which includes the journals, monographs, and other kinds of materials that we are all familiar with—this is the incremental evolution of print publishing to the digital world.

    On the other side, we have new works of digital authorship and truly new electronic publishing models. Here is where we see an investigation of the transformative potential of digital media. Both sides can be legitimately talked about as electronic scholarly communications, but often, discussions of scholarly publishing in the digital realm focus too narrowly on one side or the other.

    S: Why don't we talk first about what's happening on the traditional scholarly publishing side—are we seeing a major movement toward electronic publication?

    CL: These materials are moving on a large scale now, from print to digital form. But the conceptualization of the work is still very much rooted in print. Indeed, you will often see people printing these materials out in order to read them. So, rather than producing paper and shipping it to a library, what you'll see is a publisher setting up a Web site that people browse, reading some things online but printing out what they really want to study carefully.

    This move to electronic publishing has happened largely with journals. It's happened to a lesser extent with books and monographs, the sorts of things that would be read in rather large chunks, in part because they are awkward to print out on demand for readers.

    S: Are the authors of these materials creating different versions of their works digitally? What are the authority considerations?

    CL: When you look at how people author for these kinds of works, they are mostly still writing things which could appear equally in digital or paper form. But it's interesting that journal publishers in particular take the position that the authoritative version is the digital version. I think that is an important intellectual step, but it's one that their authors have not entirely caught up with yet. Virtually all of these authors are still producing articles for which the digital and the print versions are essentially equivalent.

    So, while the editorial decision that the digital version is definitive opens the door to things like interactive simulation models or datasets that can be navigated and analyzed by readers, in practice, the tradition of scholarly authorship is still very strongly based on a print model.

    S: And what about indexes and reference materials?

    CL: Indexing and abstracting services, encyclopedias, dictionaries—these things have a more natural existence in the digital world as databases, so they have really gone off on their own separate trajectory and are no longer particularly recognizable from their origins as printed volumes.

    S: What about the publishers? Are there new business models?

    CL: This move to digital formats has been driven primarily by the same groups who were the major players in the print publishing world. The scholarly societies, the university presses, and the commercial journal publishers—particularly in the scientific, technical, and medical areas.

    Obviously there have been some perturbations in business models. For instance, we now typically see site licensing, particularly for journals, giving all members of an institutional community unlimited, concurrent access to that journal—rather than adhering to the convention in the print world, where a large institution would subscribe to multiple copies of a journal to house in different libraries around the campus. With site licensing, some publishers have moved to a pricing structure that figures in the size of the institution.

    S: But this is really incremental progress on the traditional scholarly publishing side.

    CL: That's what's happened with the traditional publishing industry so far. They are using electronic publishing as a way to disseminate and deliver, but generally, they are disseminating and delivering things that are rather strongly rooted in print. Note, however, that this is a generality. There are some experiments going on among these publishers—but they are mostly experiments rather than large-scale change.

    S: Then let's talk about the other side—the new works of digital authorship and the newer electronic publishing models.

    Continued at http://www.syllabus.com/article.asp?id=6983  

     



    How to Find Electronic Books

    Glossary of Book Collecting Terms --- http://hardyboys.bobfinnan.com/bookterms.htm 

    Free Electronic Books --- http://www.awriteshop.com/e_reading.html 
    Many of the books are scanned photographs of actual book pages.

    Children's Books Online ---  http://www.childrensbooksonline.org/ 

    Search for electronic books --- http://www.searcheBooks.com/ 

    Subject Index to Literature on Electronic Sources of Information http://library.usask.ca/~dworacze/SUBJIN_A.HTM 

     Electronic Sources of Information: A Bibliography http://library.usask.ca/~dworacze/BIBLIO.HTM 

    A great index of electronic journals (although admittedly not comprehensive)--- http://ejw.i8.com/ 

    Supporting Campus, Community, and Distance Education

     
    Accounting
    Electronic Journals
    Websites & Tax Info
    Botany
    Electronic Journals
    Websites
    Environmental
    Electronic Journals
    Websites
    Literature
    Electronic Journals
    Websites
    Physics
    Electronic Journals
    Websites
    Agriculture
    Electronic Journals
    Websites
     Business & Economics
    Electronic Journals
    Websites
    Geography
    Electronic Journals
    Websites
    Mathematics
    Electronic Journals
    Websites
    Political Science 
    Electronic Journals
    Websites
    Anthropology
    Electronic Journals
    Websites
    Chemistry
    Electronic Journals
    Websites
    Goverment Documents
    Electronic Journals
    Websites
    Medical & Health
    Electronic Journals
    Websites
    Psychology
    Electronic Journals
    Websites
    Archaeology
    Electronic Journals
    Websites
    Communication 
    Electronic Journals
    Websites
    History
    Electronic Journals
    Websites
    Music
    Electronic Journals
    Websites
    Religion
    Electronic Journals
    Websites
    Architecture 
    Electronic Journals
    Websites
    Computer Science 
    Electronic Journals
    Websites
    Journalism
    Electronic Journals
    Websites
    Nursing
    Electronic Journals
    Websites
    Sociology
    Electronic Journals
    Websites
    Art 
    Electronic Journals
    Websites
    Earth Science 
    Electronic Journals
    Websites
    Language
    Electronic Journals
    Websites
    Nutrition
    Electronic Journals
    Websites
    Theatre
    Electronic Journals
    Websites
    Astronomy
    Electronic Journals
    Websites
    Education
    Electronic Journals
    Websites
    Law
    Electronic Journals
    Websites
    Philosophy
    Electronic Journals
    Websites
    Zoology
    Electronic Journals
    Websites
    Biology
    Electronic Journals
    Websites
    English
    Electronic Journals
    Websites
    Library Information
    Electronic Journals
    Websites
    PhysEd & Recreation
    Electronic Journals
    Websites
    Gender Studies
    Electronic Journals
    Websites
     
    Search Engines Primary Sources Distance Learning Ethnic Studies Teaching Tools
    Genealogy Dictionaries Plus Career Information Grant Sources Web Site Evaluation
     Kansas Sites  Radio & TV Stations  Newspapers  Fun & Useful Stuff  Copyright Information
    If you cannot find information herein, you are encouraged to use a mega search engine such as 37.com, profusion.com, search.com, Google, or Alltheweb.
    The Following Sites provide access to free journal articles online.
    Find Articles.Com at http://www.findarticles.com where articles can be accessed using a subject search. For a mega-site of free e-journal sources.
    Ejournal SiteGuide : a MetaSource http://www.library.ubc.ca/ejour/abc.html,
    Electronic Journal Miner, http://ejournal.coalliance.org/
    Highware Press, http://highwire.stanford.edu,
    Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography, http://info.lib.uh.edu/sepb/sepb.html
    Australian Journals Online, http://www.nla.gov.au/ajol/,
    Journals - QQQ Research, http://www.qqqresearch.com/journals/
    An Archive of Life Science Journals, http://www.pubmedcentral.gov/
    GoArticles.com, http://www.goarticles.com  Over 7,200 articles that can be sent via e-mail
    ArticleCity.com,http://www.ArticleCity.com Indexed collection of copyright-free articles on various subjects neatly organized by category.
    To Translate This Site into another Language go to http://www.freetranslation.com/web.htm or http://babel.altavista.com/
    and enter the address of this page http://ejw.i8.com
    They do not do the best job but should help with any one of several languages
    About Web Based Resources
    Lewis' Curriculum Vit

    "HarperCollins Private Reserve Houses E-Books," T.H.E. Journal, April 2002, Page 26 --- http://www.thejournal.com/magazine/vault/A3964.cfm 

    Book publisher HarperCollins and OverDrive have created HarperCollins Private Reserve, a digital warehouse for HarperCollins e-books worldwide. Using OverDrive servers and technology, HarperCollins Private Reserve allows the publishing company's divisions in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand to manage and distribute e-book titles and marketing information directly.

    The warehouse supplies online retailers with e-book catalog information, and fulfills e-book purchases to their customers in Microsoft Reader and Adobe Acrobat eBook Reader formats. In addition, OverDrive's technology allows HarperCollins to use its growing e-book library to promote the sale of both print and electronic titles. For example, HarperCollins can now offer electronic review copies or e-books bundled with print titles. The initiative includes HarperCollins' e-book imprint, PerfectBound, and e-books from its Christian publishing group, Zondervan. HarperCollins Publishers, New York, NY, www.harpercollins.com .


    Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography ---  http://info.lib.uh.edu/sepb/sepb.html 

    This bibliography presents selected English-language articles, books, and other printed and electronic sources that are useful in understanding scholarly electronic publishing efforts on the Internet. Most sources have been published between 1990 and the present; however, a limited number of key sources published prior to 1990 are also included. Where possible, links are provided to sources that are freely available on the Internet.

    Announcements for new versions of the bibliography are distributed on PACS-P and other mailing lists.

    An archive of prior versions of the bibliography is available.



    Electronic Book Sources from the University of Illinois --- http://archive.ncsa.uiuc.edu/SDG/People/rgrant/books.html 


    Online Libraries --- http://www.pcs.cnu.edu/html/Libraries.html 


    Classic Novels --- http://www.classic-novels.com/ebs.shtml 


    Palm --- http://www.geocities.com/alauchlanredwoodgrove/redwoodgrove/palm.html 


    A great index of electronic journals (although admittedly not comprehensive)--- http://www.emporia.edu/libsv/ejw/ 
    Virtually every campus discipline is indexed.

    Supporting Campus, Community, and Distance Education
    Accounting
    Electronic Journals
    Websites
    Botany
    Electronic Journals
    Websites
    Environmental
    Electronic Journals
    Websites
    Literature
    Electronic Journals
    Websites
    Physics
    Electronic Journals
    Websites
    Agriculture
    Electronic Journals
    Websites
     Business & Economics
    Electronic Journals
    Websites
     Foreign Language
    Electronic Journals
    Websites
    Mathematics
    Electronic Journals
    Websites
    Political Science 
    Electronic Journals
    Websites
    Anthropology
    Electronic Journals
    Websites
    Chemistry
    Electronic Journals
    Websites
    Geography
    Electronic Journals
    Websites
    Medical & Health
    Electronic Journals
    Websites
    Psychology
    Electronic Journals
    Websites
    Archaeology
    Electronic Journals
    Websites
    Communication 
    Electronic Journals
    Websites
    Goverment Documents
    Electronic Journals
    Websites
    Music
    Electronic Journals
    Websites
    Religion
    Electronic Journals
    Websites
    Architecture 
    Electronic Journals
    Websites
    Computer Science 
    Electronic Journals
    Websites
    History
    Electronic Journals
    Websites
    Nursing
    Electronic Journals
    Websites
    Sociology
    Electronic Journals
    Websites
    Art 
    Electronic Journals
    Websites
    Earth Science 
    Electronic Journals
    Websites
    Journalism
    Electronic Journals
    Websites
    Nutrition
    Electronic Journals
    Websites
    Theatre
    Electronic Journals
    Websites
    Astronomy
    Electronic Journals
    Websites
    Education
    Electronic Journals
    Websites
    Law
    Electronic Journals
    Websites
    Philosophy
    Electronic Journals
    Websites
    Zoology
    Electronic Journals
    Websites
    Biology
    Electronic Journals
    Websites
    English
    Electronic Journals
    Websites
    Library Information
    Electronic Journals
    Websites
    PhysEd & Recreation 
    Electronic Journals
    Websites
    Gender Studies
    Electronic Journals
    Websites
    Multi-Search Engines Fulltext Sources Distance Learning Ethnic Studies Teaching Tools
    Genealogy Dictionaries Plus Career Information Grant Sources Web Site Evaluation
     Kansas Sites  Radio & TV Stations  Newspapers  Fun & Useful Stuff  Copyright Information

    There are over 600,000,000 web pages on the Web.   Information is Power!   Search engines only scratch the surface, and many sites available herein cannot be found on a search engine.   These web sites that are listed are meant to be a starting point for finding useful information on the Internet, especially useful for faculty who require students to complete web site analysis assignments. This is not a comprehensive listing, but rather an attempt to gather some of the most representative sources for information within each discipline.  This should serve as a gateway to research information on the Internet.  Go the the "Search Engines" page to continue beyond the sites contained herein.

    Electronic Texta and Publishing Resources --- http://www.loc.gov/global/etext/etext.html 

    Eye on Books (included photographs and audio) --- http://www.eyeonbooks.com/ 
    Read and listen to reviews of top books --- separate the wheat from the chaff.

    eBooks.com --- http://www.eBooks.com/ 

    Subjects
    Children's & Educational (9 titles)
    Computing & Information Technology (8 titles)
    Earth Sciences, Geography, Environment, Planning (7 titles)
    Economics, Finance, Business & Industry (161 titles)
    Family, Home & Practical Interest (19 titles)
    Fiction (51 titles)
    Humanities (12 titles)
    Language, Literature & Biography (10 titles)
    Law (7 titles)
    Mathematics & Science (6 titles)
    Reference, Information & Interdisciplinary Subjects (15 titles)
    Social Sciences (22 titles)
    Sport, Travel, Leisure Interests & Tourism (5 titles)
    Technology, Engineering, Agriculture, Veterinary Science (1 title)

    "HarperCollins Private Reserve Houses E-Books," T.H.E. Journal, April 2002, Page 26 --- http://www.thejournal.com/magazine/vault/A3964.cfm 

    Book publisher HarperCollins and OverDrive have created HarperCollins Private Reserve, a digital warehouse for HarperCollins e-books worldwide. Using OverDrive servers and technology, HarperCollins Private Reserve allows the publishing company's divisions in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand to manage and distribute e-book titles and marketing information directly.

    The warehouse supplies online retailers with e-book catalog information, and fulfills e-book purchases to their customers in Microsoft Reader and Adobe Acrobat eBook Reader formats. In addition, OverDrive's technology allows HarperCollins to use its growing e-book library to promote the sale of both print and electronic titles. For example, HarperCollins can now offer electronic review copies or e-books bundled with print titles. The initiative includes HarperCollins' e-book imprint, PerfectBound, and e-books from its Christian publishing group, Zondervan. HarperCollins Publishers, New York, NY, www.harpercollins.com .

     

    The eBook store at Barnes & Noble--- http://eBooks.barnesandnoble.com/index.asp?userid=2OCW3SU9XZ 

    BARNESANDNOBLE.COM, ADOBE TEAM UP ON E-BOOKS Barnesandnoble.com has forged a partnership with Adobe to promote Adobe's new e-book software, the Acrobat eBook Reader 2.0. The software is an updated version of the company's Glassbook software that features improvements such as a two-page display and clearer text. It's designed to enable people to download e-books to their PCs and read them, rather than to a hand-held e-book device. Acrobat eBook Reader 2.0 will be available only from the Barnesandnoble.com and Adobe Web sites, and users downloading from the Adobe site will see a link urging them to buy an e-book at the Barnes & Noble site. 
    (The Wall Street Journal, January 22, 2001)
     http://interactive.wsj.com/articles/SB980115042367976875.htm 

    Barnes & Noble dropped its eBook store on September 9, 2003

    Dover Publications (books, eBooks) --- http://store.doverpublications.com/ 

    The only place on earth where you'll find Dover's entire collection of unique, value-priced books, in-stock and ready to ship. Our site presently accepts orders for shipment to U.S. addresses.

    We’re busy converting some of your favorite Dover titles into e-book format. Sign up for our eBook update service and we’ll send you an email as soon as titles (and these great benefits) become available. Instant access to sample chapters. Complete collections right on your PC. Free eBooks that you can share with your friend

    University of Chicago listing of electronic books and journals --- http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/f/dtml?dtml=/e/db/index.dtml 

    Macmillan Publishing's electronic computer books --- http://cma.zdnet.com/texis/zdrewards/mcpmore.html 

    Listings of electronic journals in accounting (some are more reference databases than journals)

    Search engine for education sites --- http://www.searchedu.com/   

    Over 20 million university and education pages indexed and ranked in order of popularity.

    Search for electronic books --- http://www.searcheBooks.com/ 
    There were 293 hits for accounting books.

    For more help in online searching go to http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/searchh.htm 

    From Yahoo on September 11, 2000

    Electronic Literature Organization --- http://www.eliterature.org/ 

    First there was the groundbreaking Project Gutenberg, a collaborative effort to distribute world literature in electronic format. Now, e-books, e-ink, e-publishing, and e-reading devices are part of the daily buzz. The newly launched Electronic Literature Organization aims to serve as hub and gathering place for literati of the Net, providing news, resources for authors and readers, and a growing showcase of online work, from avant-garde hypertexts and visual poetry to more familiar fiction and non-fiction formats. The ELO is also building a directory, which promises to grow into a valuable catalog of digital authors and their online work.


    Problems in Marketing Electronic Books

    May 4, 2002 message from TXeBookAuthor@aol.com 

    Dear Mr. Jensen:

    I received a copy of one of your articles about eBooks from a friend who works at Trinity University. It was an excellent presentation and very insightful in all aspects except marketing. I thought perhaps you might want to hear a real world perspective from someone who has been through the eBook "wars" almost since their inception.

    I am a Time Warner iPictureBooks author. My fantasy series, beginning with episode one, THE SCYTHIAN STONE, has done quite well both with mass marketers like Amazon.com (where it is currently ranked in the 3000 range) and in foreign markets like Mobipocket.com (#7 in their European fantasy eBook rankings). Sales figures are, by contract, confidential, but I can say that this title has done well despite the ups and downs eBooks have gone through over the last five years. During that time, I have learned some very important lessons about how to market electronic titles. I thought I would share my perspective with you and your readers.

    Most eBook articles I have read forget to consider the most important aspect of this burgeoning concept--the MARKET for eBooks. Young readers are the market for them, as I see it, thus any eBook must be produced with that demographic in mind. Kids need colorful, fast reads with lively action and lots of character driven dialogue. Kids WANT to read, but most older books are written for the adult readers who have $24 to spend on a printed book. Most potential eBook customers are young, savvy Internet buyers who have their parents' credit card or $10 in their Paypal account or an Amazon coupon to spend. Price point thus becomes a huge issue along with this demographic. On the web, if you keep it cheap, kids will seek--that's where eBooks have their greatest advantage.

    As for marketing to the rest of the web masses, another advantage is that you can post a new title for $8 retail and if it doesn't sell well, you can lower it by a dollar a month until you find its optimum price point. With the far lower cost of production and distribution per unit, you can market an eBook for as little as $1.00 if necessary to move it and there is never a problem with returns. Yes, they can be illegally copied. But then, is that really a bad thing for a kid to share a book with a friend or two who might BUY the next one in your series?

    Sharing, in a way, actually builds a market that might not have been there before. I know. I've seen it firsthand. Emails I receive from customers attest to the fact that kids often send a copy of my first episode to a friend who is now waiting anxiously for the second book in the series so they can BUY a copy for themselves. These are readers I might never have attracted, if not for the lending effect. I'm sure, in the short run, this has cost me thousands of dollars in lost sales, but I prefer to look at this as a form of flattery, not thievery.

    From my experience as a Time Warner eBook author, the great untapped market for electronic books is the 8 to 18 year olds who have Internet access from pl aces like Bangladesh, Bali, and Botswana where there are far fewer bookstores, limited copies of English language books and an exchange rate that makes the dollar king. The scary thing is, nobody yet knows the true size of this arena or where it will take eBooks in the future. I'm betting that with a good handheld reading device made available for under $50, within the next five years eBooks will become a staple addition to the entertainment and educational reading world.

    Thank you for your article and your time. I look forward to your reply.

    Jon Baxley 
    A Time Warner iPictureBooks 
    Author THE SCYTHIAN STONE series

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00005R217 

    http://hometown.aol.com/wasp1946/ 

     


    Campus Bookstore Options

    New Option for Student Shoppers: E-Books
    As students at eight colleges shop for noteBooks and car decals this fall, they’ll have another product to consider at the campus bookstore: electronic textbooks. But not everyone expects the e-books fly off the shelves. The eight colleges have partnered with the wholesale company MBS Textbook Exchange to offer about 30 textbooks at 33 percent below the normal cover price. “It’s about giving students a cheaper option,” said Jeff Cohen, advertising and promotions manager at MBS.
    David Epstein, "New Option for Student Shoppers: E-Books," Inside Higher Ed, August 12, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/08/12/eBooks


    Electronic Libraries

    Bob Jensen's links to libraries on the Web --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/searchh.htm#Librarian'sIndex 

    Six leading e-libraries are as follows:  

    For more information, visit www.eduventures.com .

    University of Chicago listing of electronic books and journals ---
    http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/f/dtml?dtml=/e/db/index.dtml 

    The Michigan Electronic Library --- http://mel.lib.mi.us/ 

    Electronic Texta and Publishing Resources --- http://www.loc.gov/global/etext/etext.html 

    ebrary  (full-text search of hundreds of business and economics books) --- http://learningnetwork.ebrary.com/

    ebrary's solutions include:

    eContent Distribution – We give publishers the ability to tap the Internet to increase sales and distribution.

    ebrarian™ – Our ebrarian solution helps online community aggregators retain customers, create eCommerce opportunities and build brands.

    ebrarian Pro – Fast and accurate, ebrarian Pro helps libraries and information professionals make the business of performing research easy and cost effective.

    ebrarian A+ – For eLearning properties, ebrarian A+ makes word-level content interaction a reality, generating new comprehension and commerce opportunities.
      

    Bob Jensen's threads on electronic libraries  --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/searchh.htm 


    Top 20 eBooks --- http://www.questia.com/top20eBooks/top20eBooks.html  

    September 2002 
    Sept.
    2002
    Last
    Month
    1. Motivation and Learning Strategies for College Success: A Self-Management Approach, by Myron H. Dembo. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2000.
    2. Buddhism: A Very Short Introduction, by Damien Keown. Oxford University Press, 1996. 8
    3. Theses and Dissertations: A Guide to Planning, Research, and Writing, by R. Murray Thomas & Dale L. Brubaker. Bergin & Garvey, 2000.
    4. How to Read a Book: The Art of Getting a Liberal Education, by Mortimer J. Adler. Simon and Schuster, 1967.
    5. Domestic Violence: Facts and Fallacies, by Richard L. Davis. Praeger Publishers, 1998.
    6. Sin Boldly! : Dr. DaveÝs Guide to Writing the College Paper, by David R. Williams. Perseus Publishing, 2000.
    7. The Origin of Everyday Moods: Managing Energy, Tension, and Stress, by Robert E. Thayer. Oxford US, 1997.
    8. Hinduism: A Very Short Introduction, by Kim Knott. Oxford University Press, 2000.
    9. Regulating Workplace Safety: System and Sanctions, by Neil Gunningham & Richard Johnstone. Oxford University Press, 1999.
    10. Computer: A History of the Information Machine, by Martin Campbell-Kelly & William Aspray. Basic Books, 1996.
    11. Analyze, Organize, Write: A Structured Program for Expository Writing, by Arthur Whimbey & Elizabeth Lynn Jenkins. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1987.
    12. The Industrial Revolution, by Arnold J. Toynbee. Beacon Press, 1956.
    13. Handbook of College Reading and Study Strategy Research, by Rona F. Flippo & David C. Caverly. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2000.
    14. Capital Punishment in the United States: A Documentary History, by Bryan Villa & Cynthia Morris. Greenwood Press, 1997. 6
    15. Witchcraft, by Charles Alva Hoyt. Southern Illinois University Press, 1981.
    16. The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America. United States Government Printing Office, 1979.
    17. A World in Flames: A Short History of the Second World War in Europe and Asia, 1939-1945, by Martin Kitchen. Longman, 1990.
    18. International Handbook on Gender Roles, by Leonore Loeb Adler. Greenwood Press, 1993.
    19. Dictionary of Religion and Philosophy, by Geddes MacGregor. Paragon House, 1989. 5
    20. Women and Men in Organizations: Sex and Gender Issues at Work, by Jeanette N. Cleveland, Margaret Stockdale, & Kevin R. Murphy. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2000.


    Additional eBooks
    21. Beowulf, by Charles W. Kennedy. Hand and Flower Press, 1968.
    22. Islam: An Introduction, by Annemarie Schimmel. State University of New York Press, 1992. 16
    23. To Die Or Not to Die? Cross-Disciplinary, Cultural, and Legal Perspectives on the Right to Choose Death, by Joyce Berger. Praeger Publishers, 1990.
    24. The Cold War: The United States and the Soviet Union, 1917-1991, by Ronald E. Powaski. Oxford University Press, 1998. 1
    25. Motivation for Achievement: Possibilities for Teaching and Learning, by M. Kay Alderman. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1999.
    26. Leadership for the Twenty-First Century, by Joseph C. Rost. Praeger Publishers, 1993.
    27. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain. P. F. Collier & Son Company, 1912.
    28. The Ethics of Abortion: Pro-Life vs. Pro-Choice, by Robert M. Baird & Stuart E. Rosenbaum. Prometheus Books, 1993. 4
    29. The Ethics of Human Cloning, by Leon R. Cass & James Q. Wilson. American Enterprise Institute, 1998.
    30. Thought and Knowledge: An Introduction to Critical Thinking, by Diane F. Halpern. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1996.
    31. Personality, by David C. McClelland. Sloane, 1951. 17
    32. The First World War, by Keith Robbins. Oxford University, 1993.
    33. The Decision to Drop the Atomic Bomb, by Dennis D. Wainstock. Praeger, 1996.
    34. The New Terrorism: Fanaticism and the Arms of Mass Destruction, by Walter Laqueur. Oxford University Press, 1999. 14
    35. Adolescent Sex Roles and Social Change, by Lloyd B. Lueptow. Columbia University Press, 1984.


     

     

    netLibrary Electronic Books

    From the Director of the Trinity University Library on May 17, 2000:

    As part of the library's continued efforts to offer the latest resources, we've licensed access to 500 carefully selected titles from netLibrary electronic books. Before those become available, they've given us free access to the entire library of 18,000 titles for a short time (thru June 5th). Later this summer we'll announce permanent access to the shorter list of current, scholarly titles thru this forum.

    Please take a look. You can click on: http://www.netlibrary.com. The interface is very easy; some brief instructions appear below. The attached Word document offers some added details. The titles include some that I think you will appreciate.

    Please submit your comments or thoughts to your liaison librarian or me. Our marketing rep indicates he also will be happy to address questions about this exciting new technology. See his email address below....

    Thanks.
    Richard Meyer [rmeyer@Trinity.edu


    What was new at McGraw-Hill in Spring 2001?

    04/02 McGraw-Hill Higher Education offers digital textbooks through netLibrary's MetaText
    04/02 McGraw-Hill Education to digitally transform operations
    03/29 Standard & Poor's announces launch of new Royalty Income Trust Index for Canada
    03/29 ECAT Chairman Harold McGraw III urges U.S. Congress to pass broad trade promotion authority
    03/28 S&P expands Singapore and SE Asia corporates coverage
    03/28 S&P introduces Servicer Evaluation Seal

    New York, N.Y., April 2, 2001 — McGraw-Hill Higher Education, a unit of McGraw-Hill Education and a leading provider of electronic learning solutions for the college market, today announced it has formed an alliance with MetaText, netLibrary's digital textbook division, to develop electronic versions of its college textbooks that will be ready for review this spring.

    In a move designed to enhance student learning and help professors manage their courses, McGraw-Hill for the first time will make its digital-textbooks available through classroom websites created with its PageOut® course management software, which is free to professors who use McGraw-Hill materials. With over 50,000 registered professors, PageOut® continues to be the most user-friendly course management tool available. Through PageOut® , a student can view a professor's instructions and notes, take tests prepared by instructors, and directly link to a MetaText e-textbook and other electronic tools, such as McGraw-Hill's Online Learning Centers, exercises and links to related websites.

    MetaText will convert about 30 McGraw-Hill market-leading textbooks, covering a variety of subject areas including Economics, Accounting, Communications, English, Biology, Anatomy & Physiology and GeoScience. MetaText's production staff will digitize McGraw-Hill textbooks and make them available throughout the spring and summer for review and adoption by instructors at colleges and universities throughout the North America. Instructors will be able to adopt MetaText editions directly through McGraw-Hill Higher Education sales representatives and begin using the McGraw-Hill Metatext editions in the fall semester of 2001.

    This alliance is part of McGraw-Hill Education's strategy to combine its superior content with the best of technology to enhance learning at all levels any time, any place, in any format and on any device. It also adds to the over 400 e-textbooks McGraw-Hill offers through Primis Online and alliances with other e-textbook developers.


    Barnes & Noble will pay authors a 35% royalty!
    Barnes & Noble Digital decides to become a publisher ---  http://www.wirednews.com/news/culture/0,1284,41056,00.html 

    Figuring that nobody knows how to market e-books better than those who sell books for a living, retailer Barnes & Noble Digital will soon become a virtual publishing house.

    "After all, it’s bookstores that have always had the most power in their ability to recommend books and move titles," said Simon Lipskar of the Writer's House.

    Hoping to attract readers, all e-books will be priced under $8. Authors, meanwhile, will want to know if their titles will be sold at other venues.

    Barnes & Noble Digital will launch this spring with the digital imprint of "The Book of Counted Sorrows," by Dean Koontz. But contrary to published reports, BN.com is not just culling titles from out of print book lists and established authors. Michael Fragnito and his editorial staff are actively seeking new talent.

    Barnes & Noble Digital will try to attract authors with competitive advances and a flat rate of 35 percent of the cover price. The best incentive may be that it can provide a one-stop, direct-to-market process. It also will provide authors the ability to track the progress of sales, which hasn't always been easy.

    "In our conversations with (agents) we keep hearing that writers want to be treated like grown-ups, get fair treatment and know how their books are selling," Fragnito said. "We are going to offer them all that."

    BN.com is also considering giving authors the ability to become more involved in marketing their titles than they have been at traditional houses. One author-inspired idea that Fragnito is considering is letting a writer invest part of the book advance back into the marketing budget of his or her title.

    According to one agent, a serious reservation about the new imprint is that while Barnes and Noble (stores and website) accounts for 10 percent of all books sold in the United States, what will happen to BN.com-published books at other book outlets?


    Reply from John C. Roberts, Jr.

    B&N took a significant step in this area when they acquired Fatbrain.com last November. Fatbrain was only a four year old company at that time but they had made significant progress in providing both digital content and paper books. There offerings were mostly for engineers and scientists, hence the name fatbrain. They were also pioneers in developing secure digital content that could be sold over the web with a low degree of copyright problems. Most of Fatbrain's current business is providing digital content to corporations both in the form of digital reference books and also converting the corporations paper documents to a digital format for easy distribution of the company's net.

    Last March Fatbrain created the MightyWords™ subsidiary to capitalize on mass-market digital-publishing opportunities. In June MightyWords™ was spun off as an independent company with a $20 million investment by B&N and $16 million form other investors. Fatbrain kept about 23% of the company. It appears that the acquisition of Fatbrain will also give B&N full control of MightyWords™.

    Prior to the purchase of Fatbrain, B&N had already been using MightyWords™ to distribute digital books. This content is not for e-books but are normally available in secure, downloadable PDF files for the user to read on screen or print as they wish. I personally believe that e-books will be the established standard in the future but these PDF files do give people without an e-book the opportunity to purchase and read digital format without the additional equipment purchase. These files are also meant to be read using Glassbook or Microsoft Reader.

    I guess my main point in this rambling is that I believe B&N is uniquely positioned to offer digital content due to these recent acquisitions.

    You can check out Fatbrain at http://www.fatbrain.com  and MightyWords™ at http://www.mightywords.com 

    John C. Roberts, Jr. 
    St. Johns River Community College 
    283 College Drive Orange Park, FL 32065 (904) 276-6816 FAX (904) 276-6888

    Question
    Are eBooks dead?

    Answer
    I think there is still a big market in textbooks, but the market for popular fiction and non-fiction has dwindled.
    September 9, 2003 message from Barnes & Noble

    Dear eBook Newsletter Subscriber,

    As of September 9, 2003, Barnes & Noble.com will no longer sell eBooks. At this time, we will also be terminating our eBook Newsletter service.

    "Barnes & Noble's Online Arm Pulls the Plug on E-Book Sales," by Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg, The Wall Street Journal, September 10, 2003 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB106312780219656500,00.html?mod=technology%5Fmain%5Fwhats%5Fnews 

    Publishers, she added, failed to make enough of a pricing distinction between hardcovers and their e-book counterparts. Barnes & Noble Inc., the nation's largest retailer, owns 38% of Barnes&Noble.com and is in the midst of buying Bertelsmann AG's 37% stake in the business. That purchase is expected to close within two weeks.

    Some e-book publishers tried to play down the company's decision to exit from e-book retailing. Arthur Klebanoff, co-founder and chief executive of New York-based Rosetta Books LLC, an e-book publisher that has released 117 titles from such writers as George Orwell and John Updike, said the company's strongest retailer is Palm Digital Media, a unit of PalmGear Inc.

    "On a sales basis, Barnes&Noble.com contributed a tiny percentage of Rosetta's revenue," said Mr. Klebanoff. "But they had an early leadership role in e-books. My guess is that they still believe in e-books in the long term, but that the economics in the short term don't make sense."

    Barnes&Noble.com's decision comes at a difficult juncture for the e-book business. "Any defection is going to be a negative," said Mike Segroves, director of business development at Palm Digital Media. "While it will certainly be a reduction in revenue for some publishers, our business has been growing. We'd like to think that we can make up for the revenue publishers will lose from this -- but time will prove whether we are right or wrong."

    Continued in the article.

    Barnes and Noble University still seems to be up and running as of September 9, 2003!
    Free courses from Barnes & Noble University --- http://www.barnesandnobleuniversity.com/ 


    Rovia Electronic Books

    Roviia is a relatively new electronic book publisher.  

    Robert , 
    Thanks for your time today. I have set you up with a Rovia account, and put the titles we discussed in your account. To access them, you must first download our secure RovReader. This is available at our web site, www.rovia.com . After you have downloaded the reader, start it and log in to your account. Your user name is your email address from above. Your password is your first name, Robert . Once you are in you can see the titles enabled in your account by clicking on the link, "Go to your BOOK LIST". From there you can view the titles and see how they look online.

    I'll call you in a few days to make sure everything is going smoothly and see where we go from here.

    Thanks in advance for your time, I look forward to talking with you soon.

    _____________________________________________________________________

    Matt Kenslea
    Vice President, Academic Sales
    Rovia, Inc.
    82 Brookline Ave
    Boston, MA 02215
    617-778-7556
    www.rovia.com 

    You can read the following at http://www.rovia.com/about.html 

    Rovia is a young, dynamic, MIT-bred startup that develops proprietary software to provide secure access to valuable information over the web. Complying with copyright laws, Rovia's technology allows the user to view and interact with digitized material including: textbooks, articles, and brokerage research reports.

    The possibility of copyright infringement has held the publishing industry back from reaping the benefits of the internet revolution. Publishers have realized that once a copy of their content is out on the web, unrestricted reproduction would seriously undermine their revenue. Rovia has addressed this problem by implementing a business model that allows access fees to be collected, each time the content is viewed.

    The business model relies on two key elements: an internet based syndication platform and proprietary software - the RovReader - that permits viewing documents without compromising copyright law.

    Rovia competes toe-to-toe with WizeUp. 


    E Ink Emerges

    Reading on a PDA or e-book may never be the same. With new electronic ink displays, handheld devices may become lighter, thinner and easier to read than ever before --- http://www.wirednews.com/news/technology/0,1282,42056,00.html 

    E Ink and Philips Components announced plans this week to jointly develop high-resolution electronic ink displays for handheld devices such as PDAs and electronic books.

    The high-contrast, low-power displays could lead to PDAs, cell phones, pagers, e-books and other handheld devices that are lighter and more readable than ever before, said Russ Wilcox, vice president and general manager for E Ink.

    Under the agreement, Philips Venture Capital and Philips Components will invest $7.5 million in E Ink to help advance research and development.

    In return, Philips Components secured exclusive global rights to manufacture and sell handheld devices using E Ink's technology. The companies plan to develop a prototype later this year that they expect to be available to consumers by 2003.

    As anyone who has arduously squinted while reading text on a laptop or Palm handheld knows, the electronic display industry has been dominated by liquid crystal displays (LCDs) that can be difficult to read.

    Electronic ink, which combines the look of ink on paper with the dynamic capability of an electronic display, could revolutionize the way that text is displayed, Wilcox said.

    E Ink's technology contains millions of black and white particles in microcapsules that, when electrically charged, either sink to the bottom or float to the top. The ink can be coated over large areas cheaply and continually updated with new information, and it works on virtually any surface, from plastic to metal and paper.

    Last year, E Ink became the first company to bring electronic ink to market, beating Xerox PARC's Gyricon Media, which researched the technology for more than two decades.

    In mid-December, Lucent Technologies and E Ink unveiled their first commercial product called Immedia -- large indoor signs that can be changed automatically by remote two-way pagers controlled through the Internet.

    So far E Ink has focused on developing these large text displays. But the agreement with Philips marks a fundamental shift toward creating high-resolution, graphical electronic displays.

    E Ink hopes to use Philips' global reach to seep into the handheld display market, which is expected to exceed $10 billion over the next few years, according to DisplaySearch.

    The e Ink homepage is at http://www.eink.com/ 

    Electronic ink products are redefining how information is displayed. Information that was once static can now be dynamic. And the dynamic information of today will no longer be confined to rigid flat glass screens. With electronic ink, information can be displayed on any surface, wherever it's needed.

    With such a vast range of opportunities, E Ink has chosen to focus product and technology development on three major needs:

    Immedia™

    Personal Devices

    Publishing with Paper 2.0


    This has got to be good!

    "How to Teach Accounting With E-Books," Pro2Net, June 19, 2000 http://accounting.pro2net.com/research/solutions/education/soed000619.asp 
    By Terri Folks terfolks@aol.com 

    (June 19, 2000) - Are electronic books or e-books the next generation of textbook publishing? As the world has moved toward electronic communication, the educational community has been forced to reevaluate learning opportunities including supplemental course materials. With the advent of interactive software programs, students can practice equations, take sample tests and download their textbooks a chapter at a time.

    According to Trinity University Accounting Professor Robert Jensen in San Antonio, Texas, the main advantages are hypertext navigation, hypermedia, animation, live links to the Internet, text search and content updating frequency. Jensen is the Webmaster of a site at the San Antonio University that follows accounting trends ( www.trinity.edu/rjensen  ).

    "Electronic textbooks can, in theory, be updated in real time," he said. "Users of Softbooks, for example, can download early editions of The Wall Street Journal and the New York Times each morning."

    The rest of the article is at http://accounting.pro2net.com/research/solutions/education/soed000619.asp 



    Electronic Books Are Not Popular With Every Reader

    AccountingStudents Newsletter: July 11, 2000 http://www.accountingstudents.com 

    STUDENTS SHARE THOUGHTS ON E-TEXTBOOKS Many responded to an inquiry in last week's newsletter: Why are e-textbooks so unattractive to accounting students? Here's what some of you had to say:

    "With a real live book, the student can highlight certain passages, run their finger down the pages, and keep it close and handy while doing problems."

    "Personally, I favor traditional textbooks because you can get comfortable in a recliner with them."

    "Students without their own computers find e-books extremely inconvenient and many just don't like to read on the computer."

    "The expense of printing your own text would be similar to the actual cost of the book."

    "There's just something sacred about being able to highlight the important parts."

    "I stare at a computer all day at work. The last thing I want to do is read a book on the thing! Besides, a tangible printed textbook is much more reliable than a computer ever will be!"

    Steven J. Zipperstein, the David E. Koshland Professor in Jewish Culture and History at Stanford University. Excerpts follow.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2000/09/23/technology/23TANK.html 

    I write these words in a building on the Stanford campus carved out of limestone, designed by Frederick Law Olmstead at the turn of the century, when he helped John Stanford transform his massive horse farm into a university. Mine was among the first buildings; the humanities here remain housed mostly in these older, sedate, dusty buildings, with the sciences, the law school and the business school in far more plush, up-to-date quarters.

    Here I sit in a book-lined study, with shelves of wood (and also, admittedly, a new Dell computer), where I spend my days reading, writing and speaking with students and colleagues. It is much the same routine as has existed for faculty in the better-endowed universities for much of the century. Outside my window, just across the street, is the business school, which now prepares its students primarily for work in high-tech jobs. Its basement lunchroom has the most aggressive feel on campus. On the streets of my morning commute, I pass company after company at the forefront of the technological transformation. . . .

    When I consider their impact, I conflate it with the fact that both my favorite bookstores here — one for new books and the other for used books — shut down in the last three months. This is, of course, a direct result of the popularity of Web-based book buying and the impact of megabookstores. A few blocks from the now-closed secondhand bookstore, a sleek, very, very fashionable shop with wide aisles displaying, it seems, fabulously expensive design books and magazines has opened, and is doing brisk business. These tomes — gorgeous, seductive nonbooks — are mostly oversize, packed with pictures, and the people who crowd into the shop peruse their pages in ways altogether different, it seems, from "true" readers. They inhale them with their eyes; they move across their pages without the tense, alert attention demanded by books. On their faces one sees obvious, casual pleasure, but not learning. I refuse, on principle, to walk in.

    Am I a Luddite smarting in the wake of inescapable change? The analogy feels, at times, all too apt, and I bristle at it. Especially since I, too, cannot resist being deeply impressed by the technological discoveries around me, including electronic books the size of paperbacks containing full libraries. Who can fail to be impressed by the prospect of tiny chips the size of one's shirt buttons that claim to hold all human knowledge acquired since Rousseau?


    Electronic Book Message Threads
    Bob Jensen at Trinity University 

    April 18, 1999

    July 30, 1999 (A Special Review)

    August 11, 1999

    September 21, 1999

    September 28, 1999

    October 12, 1999

    January 11, 2000 (Microsoft)

    April 11, 2000 (About Stephen King's eBook Sales of Over a Half Million Copies) 

     


    April 18, 1999
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book99q2.htm#041899 

    One of the most controversial technologies for publishing are the electronic books that allow you to download entire copyrighted books into special hardware devices called "E-books."  Unlike netLibrary described above, these electronic books cannot be downloaded into desktop or laptop computers.  Nevertheless, electronic books have some advantages of computers such as text selection devices, highlighters, stylus pens for taking notes on margins of pages, hypertext linking, insertion of bookmarks, and keyword search capabilities.  Purportedly, E-books are easier to navigate than books downloaded into personal computers.  They do not allow computer utilities such as cut, copy, paste, and screen duplication.  Most do not yet connect to the Internet, although that type of connection is expected in the next round of upgrades to such devices.  The devices themselves are light, and some offer two screens to resemble adjoining pages of a hard copy book. 

    The major publishing companies such as Random House and McGraw-Hill are coding selected manuscripts into electronic books.  Major advantages to publishers include avoiding the cost of printing in multiple colors on hard copy paper and destruction of the used book market.  Books can be updated more frequently, and holders of existing books can download new editions for reduced fees.  Dealers are easily bypassed with direct downloads over telephone lines.

    Advantages to readers include lower prices, more frequent upgrades, and the ability to store five books or more into one easy to carry electronic book.  Drawbacks mainly center around screen quality and preferences for readers to view hard copy pages.

    For a review see "Electronic Textbooks: From Paper to Pixels," Syllabus, February 1999, pp. 16-19.  The online version can be found at http://www.syllabus.com/feb99_magfea.html .  In that article Steve Epstein reports the following"

    Major university projects, such as The Humanities Text Initiative at the University of Michigan (http://www.hti.umich.edu/ ) and Project Bartleby at Columbia ( http://www.columbia.edu/acis/bartleby/ ) have already begun to create and disseminate electronic versions of books.

    One of the E-book devices is called Rocket eBook at http://www.rocketbook.com/ from NuvoMedia.  The following facts are given at the Rocket eBook web site:

    About the size of a paperback, the Rocket eBook™ holds some 4,000 pages of words and images. That's about 10 novels. Weighing just 22 ounces, the Rocket eBook nestles easily in the curve of your palm. And it goes wherever you go - so you can take off in any direction and never be far from what you want or need to read.

    Another E-book device is called the Softbook Electronic Tablet from Softbook Press at http://www.softbook.com/index.html .   Don Steinberg gives it raves at http://www.zdnet.com/products/stories/reviews/0,4161,368946,00.html .  He claims that this device has the best screen resolution.

    Note Added July 5, 2000:

    Get the complete lowdown on the next-generation Rocket eBook and add your two cents to community-member feedback by posting to the "Martin Eberhard's Keynote Address at ReBA Con" and the "ReBA Con 2000 'Official' report" threads on the rocket.eBook newsgroup. http://www.rocket-library.com/support/newsgroups.asp 


    July 30, 1999 
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book99q3.htm#073099
     

    I just purchased a Rocket e-Book (my price was $282).  This allows me to download copyrighted books and journals that are available for purchase in hard copy but are not available on the web.  I found the selection of books to be very limited, but I anticipate that more will quickly become available as the Rocket e-Book takes off.

    The Rocket e-Book has a cradle that attaches to your serial port of a PC linked to the Internet.  You can then set up your account and download books and journals online.  Note that you do not have to be connected to your PC in order to use the Rocket e-Book.  You only have to connect when you want to download some more books.  You can also delete books and reload them from an online library of books that you have selected for possible downloading.

    The portable e-Book device will hold over 4,000 pages (about 10 books on average).  However, for about $99 it can be upgraded to where it will hold 32,000 pages (about 100 books).  It has a built-in standard dictionary (Random House).  You can point to most any word in a book and bring up the definition.  You may not, however, install other dictionaries for more technical terminology.  The battery is good for about 30 hours before you have to recharge in the cradle.  Both the cradle and the e-Book are portable and do not have to be connected to a PC except for initialization of your account and for downloading books.  The Rocket e-Book weighs 22 ounces, but it is easier to hold in one hand than a book.   You can flip pages easily with your thumb while holding the book in one hand.  Warning:  old duffers who tend to doze should not drop the device even though they are prone to dropping books on the floor when they nod.  It should come with a wrist cord.  It does have a very nice carrying case.  Its dimensions without the case are roughly 7 inches by 4.5 inches.

    One nice surprise is that some books can be downloaded free as an enticement to purchase other books.  For example, I am a mystery buff.  I downloaded two mystery books (including one Agatha Christie book) for free.  You can also download free samplers of books.  The screen is monochrome, but the resolution is quite good.  Old duffers like me can increase the font size.  It will show the graphics.  Audio is available, but the speakers are as bad or worse than laptop speakers.

    With this gadget I will probably read books that I would not otherwise think of reading.  The library list is pretty strong on the classics.  It is weak on new books from publishing houses.  Specialty books are available, but the selection is very limited.  You should probably investigate what books are available before purchasing the Rocket e-Book.  

    Key web sites are as follows:

    Franklin Electronic Publisher for Rocket e-Book at http://www.franklin.com/ 
    Rocket e-Book Library at http://www.rocket-library.com/ 
    Barnes & Noble e-Books at http://www.barnesandnoble.com/bookshelf/eBooks/epub1.asp 

    There are a slew of new Rocket editions you can download from: 
    http://www.powells.com 
    http://www.bn.com 
    http://www.ecampus.com 

    Another E-book device is called the Softbook Electronic Tablet from Softbook Press at http://www.softbook.com/index.html.  Don Steinberg gives it raves at http://www.zdnet.com/products/stories/reviews/0,4161,368946,00.html .  He claims that this device has the best screen resolution among the electronic book alternatives..

    You can now purchase or rent them from netLibrary. See http://www.thejournal.com/magazine/vault/A2356.cfm  

    A veritable library of electronic books has been created on the Internet by netLibrary. At www.netlibrary.com you can search, view and borrow eBooks such as reference, scholarly, mass market and professional publications. The list of publishers providing content include: Grove's Dictionaries, Inc., Macmillan Ltd., National Academy Press, St. Martin's Press, The Brookings Institution and McGraw-Hill Companies, as well as many university presses such as Cambridge University Press, Columbia University Press, Duquesne University Press, University of Akron Press, University of California Press, University of North Carolina Press, New York University Press, Ohio University Press and Rutgers University Press.The netLibrary provides the services of a traditional library in that patrons have the option of either borrowing the eBook and viewing it online, or viewing it offline by downloading it to their computer. Patrons will have to wait for eBooks that have been lent to other patrons before them. Some of the nation's major libraries are charter customers of netLibrary. Individuals and corporations may also become customers and check out what these cyber shelves hold. netLibrary, Boulder, CO, (303) 415-2548, www.netlibrary.com  .

    The Rocket e-Book was priced at about $300, but it is now much cheaper.  Many books are free, and some journals are available.  You must pay for other books, but the prices are quite reasonable.  Most publishers also allow you to download free samples.  About 500 books are available for the Softbook.  Softbook users may also subscribe to the Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.  This would be much easier to read on a plane or train than the hard copy versions.  The Softbook costs $599 whereas the Rocket e-Book is only $299 before academic or other discounts.

    What amazed me are the books that can be downloaded free.  I can understand getting free classics such as Alice in Wonderland, the works of Shakespeare, and a lot of Keats' poetry books.  But the selected free downloads of Agatha Christie books and the Sherlock Holmes books surprised me since the same books are actively sold in book stores at prices that are not free.  You can view many of the free selections at http://www.rocket-library.com/.  Some of the free downloads are amazing and some appear to be garbage.  It is nice that readers supply reviews of unfamiliar books.  You can spontaneously submit your own reviews.


    eBooks
    Why do publishing firms like Rocket e-Book and Softbook?

    Why are publishing firms afraid of electronic books in general, including web-based books? 

    Textbooks

    Look for a Year of E-Textbooks in 2008
    Over the past year, a consortium of major textbook publishers and several competing ventures have been getting ready for a new push in what is becoming a small but steadily growing fraction of the overall market for college students. “Those efforts are starting to crack the surface of digital content being a serious growing enterprise in higher education,” said Evan Schnittman, vice president of business development and rights for Oxford University Press’s academic and U.S. divisions. McGraw-Hill Education, for example, offers almost 95 percent of its textbooks as e-books, and the publisher has seen a steady growth in interest over the past several years, albeit from a small base. Their logic seems unassailable: With laptops now an ubiquitous presence on college campuses and textbook prices ever on the rise and suddenly a hot issue, technologically inclined students seem poised to change their study habits — and save a lot of money — by forgoing scribbles in the margin and trading in their highlighters for cursors.
    "E-Textbooks — for Real This Time?" Inside Higher Ed, January 3, 2008 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2008/01/03/eBooks 

    Bob Jensen's links to free online textbooks and other electronic literature --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm

    January 3, 2008 reply from Don Ramsey [dramsey@UDC.EDU]

    Students may have access to computers, but not all have laptops. I used an e-book for a year, hoping to pioneer the cost savings (free, at freeloadpress.com), but found that students would not bring their books (laptops) to class. They could not follow the problems being demonstrated, nor others picked spontaneously, not to mention various illustrations. In a class of perhaps 25, I would see 3 or 4 laptops in use. At first I tried printing handouts for the classroom problems, but that got to be a real chore very quickly.

    A related problem was that they could not study or do homework anywhere but where their computer is located; e.g., between classes, at lunch, etc.

    Some would print the chapters. This got to be a lot of work and fairly expensive. (A real hoot: The free textbook is supported financially by internal advertising. Some students would go to Kinko's to print. Kinko's software absolutely would not print the text legibly. Letters would be run together, etc., etc. I checked with a Kinko's technician who had several years experience with .pdf files, and he could not make it work. So, guess who is one of the major advertisers within the book? Bingo--Kinko's, naturally! And I doubt they have fixed the problem.)

    There were other problems less significant individually, but more so in the aggregate. Students would fail to make the download promptly. We reproduced Part I on disks, but some still procrastinated or had last-minute (i.e., pre-exam) installation problems. Downloads are long for those with dial-up access. University labs can suffice for those not having their own computers, but there are limitations of location away from home (all our students are commuters) plus administrative approval for installation.

    A major issue arose in that other sections did not use the same textbook; so I have decided to rejoin my colleagues with their conventional textbook. This is particularly important in standardizing chapter coverage for assessment purposes.

    So, I am back to the good old portable textbook. The half-year version, which at least weighs less than the complete boat anchor.

    I still have a major issue with every textbook I have seen, in that the question banks (which I believe tend to validate performance on a national level) are woefully inadequate. There ought to be a plenitude of objective questions on every subtopic, so that the question bank can be used for quizzes and examinations without duplication. Some publishers' question banks are barely adequate; some are downright spotty as to topical coverage. To expect sufficient questions for two semesters without duplication is apparently utterly unrealistic. I have a strong suspicion that neither the "editors" (marketers) nor the authors pay attention to the content supplied by the contractors who write the question banks.

    The software houses that provide generic exam software would do well to add a feature that allows the instructor to keep track of which questions have already been used, so as to avoid using the same question on an exam that had already been used in a quiz. (Actually I used to give two quizzes per chapter, pre- and post-.)

    Of course, when we reach saturation, or nearly so, of laptop ownership, the whole picture would change. Publishers who anticipate that situation are to be congratulated. The price of conventional textbooks is outrageous. (But at e-book prices, would authors be motivated to write?) Perhaps our school is behind the curve, laptop-wise. Clearly the market for distance courses, at least, is made to order for the e-book.

    Finally, there is the problem of students who are determined to avoid the textbook entirely, electronic or not. I have one colleague who says his course gets easier every time the student takes it.

    Wishing you all an excellent 2008!

    Cheers,

    Don Ramsey

     


    I think the primary fear among publishers is that authors are tempted to by-pass publishing houses by producing and distributing their own books.  You can write your own electronic book, make it available to the world, and receive 100% of the revenues.  Of course you can also write your own textbooks and publish them directly on the web.  Professors Murthy and Groomer were pathfinders in publishing online electronic textbooks through Cybertext Publishing at http://www.cybertext.com/ .  I use the Accounting and Informations Systems textbook and force my students to take weekly quizzes that are graded by Cybertext.  A listing of older (some are still updated)  Cybertext books is shown below:

    Accounting Information Systems: A Database Approach
    by Uday S. Murthy and S. Michael Groomer
    Preview Version for Check Payers

    An Information Technology Primer
    by Uday S. Murthy and S. Michael Groomer

    Advanced Systems Analysis and Design
    by Uday S. Murthy, Ph.D., ACA
    Preview Version for Check Payers

    Database Systems Design & Development
    by Uday S. Murthy
    Preview Version for Check Payers

    The Audit Learning Guide
    by S. Michael Groomer, David S. Kerr, and Uday S. Murthy
    Preview Version for Check Payers

    Other Online Textbooks

    Other Online Publishers

    Taxpoint: http://taxpoint.swcollege.com/taxpoint_2001/taxpoint.html 
    StudyLive: http://www.swcollege.com/acct/studylive/studylive.html 
    INTACCT: http://www.swcollege.com/acct/rama/intacct/intacct.html 
    Computerized Principles of Accounting:  http://www.swcollege.com/acct/klooster_introacct/klooster.html 

    Also see my Wizeup discussion at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/eBooks.htm#051500 

    Free online textbooks and cases --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm#Textbooks

    Will online books and/or e-Books replace hard copy on campus?  Once again there is bad news and good news.  Students probably will prefer reading from hard copy.  Some courses need color images, especially science courses.  Online books must be viewed on PCs or printed as desired on a computer printer.  It is not possible to read e-Books on a PC or to print the pages.  An e-Book must be viewed in a device such as Rocket e-Book or Softbook.  It sounds a bit unlikely, but there are some advantages for students if and when their textbooks are available for e-Book and Softbook.  These advantages include:

    Immediate improvements would be wrist strap and a cord that prevents users from misplacing the stylus.  Medium-term improvements would be a detachable keyboard (like the keyboard that is at last available for the Palm VII), a color screen, and a wireless modem connection that bypasses a PC when users want to download books.  Long-term improvements would be to add a wireless digital phone and enough memory to store hundreds of books (coupled with a new fee arrangement based upon book usage rather than book downloading).  One day these devices may be a part of wireless computers (e.g., a subset of the computer that cannot be accessed by other parts of the computer for copying pages into the computer's hard drive.)

    I do not think that these devices will replace hard copy in this decade, but then I didn't buy a PC until 1990 --- I thought it would never be anything but a gadget for bored adults to play with in leisure time.  I was a main frame die hard!  Now I own an e-Book and have joined the "Boys-and-Their-Toys Club."


    After posting the first version of the July 30 New Bookmarks on the AECM, Craig Polhemus wrote the following:

    Here at the American Accounting Association, we are experimenting with both devices. (And also eagerly awaiting release of the Everybook [ www.everybook.net  ].)

    We of course are looking at them from the perspective of a publisher, though one less concerned about unauthorized copying than most commercial publishers. In this regard, the inability to "cut and paste" or print from these electronic books is more of a drawback than an advantage for us.

    One aspect you did not dwell on is the (limited) ability in each system to add your own materials. For the Rocket e-book, you can add PDF files on your own -- but, due to the small size of the screen, essentially every table, graph, etc., would need to be re-formatted.

    For the Softbook, you can add ASCII files on your own and can allegedly buy software (some of which is not really released yet) to convert HTML files as well. Unlike the Rocket e-book, the Softbook screen is about a full page, so tables and graphs that are already in HTML will probably look pretty good without manual re-formatting to fit another screen size.

    I believe screen size is very important for professional journals, which is why I am so eager to see a functioning Everybook -- it is said to show two portrait pages at once. I envision this as being important to someone who wants to look at a chart or graph on one page while reading relevant text on another. (I do not know how easy it may be to transfer one's own material to the Everybook -- I've been told to "expect a response" to my inquiries of a month or so ago.)

    So far, I have downloaded PDF versions of Accounting Horizons articles to the Rocket e-book and transferred ASCII versions of various AAA materials to the Softbook. The Softbook company has also promised to convert one or more articles from the online HTML version of Accounting Horizons to Softbook format -- I'll check tonight to see if they have done so. I will have both devices with me at the AAA Annual Meeting in San Diego, if any list members are interested in seeing them.

    Ultimately, I think B5-sized noteBook computers will have all the capabilities of these early electronic books without the dubious "advantage" of restricting printing and copying text. However, for now the electronic books are about one-tenth the cost, and even after B5 prices stabilize it may be that copy-fearing publishers will keep the separate electronic book market alive as well.

    (As a reader rather than a publisher, I like both the Rocket e-book and the Softbook -- with an edge toward the latter because of its larger screen size. On the other hand, the Rocket e-book's ability to present text either portrait or landscape is a really neat feature! I read several books on the Softbook on the way to and from the AAA First Globalization Conference in Taiwan, and although the Softbook is heavier than one book, it's much lighter than ten!)
    Craig Polhemus, American Accounting Association [ AAACraig@AOL.COM ]


    Especially note Craig's reference to the forthcoming Everybook Dedicated Reader described at http://www.everybook.net/.  Everybook will have two screens that open up like a book.  More importantly, they will be color screens (I don't know what this will do to battery life and weight).

    Medical Professionals on the run can read their journals and reference books in full color, with easy-to-view charts, graphs, and formulas, as well as high-resolution photographs and illustrations.

    Thanks to its cutting-edge technology, the EB Dedicated Reader™ is poised to take its place as the natural extension of the traditional book.


    August 11, 1999  
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book99q3.htm#081199
     

    Dear Robert Jensen:

    NuvoMedia is excited to announce today the launch of eRocket(TM). eRocket is a software only version of the Rocket eBook(TM) that works on your PC screen and allows you to read free RocketEditions(TM) available from Rocket-Library.com or ones you've created with RocketWriter.

    If you've been hoping for a tool that:

    * allows previews of free RocketEditions before sending them to the Rocket eBook

    * enables your friends who want to read RocketEditions you've created or contributed to Rocket-Library.com but don't have a Rocket eBook to read

    * shows your friends what the Rocket eBook can do without having to give them your Rocket eBook

    * share your enthusiasm for the eBook industry

    Then, eRocket can help.

    Try the new software at: http://info.nuvomedia.com/Key=1415.Gs.B.BtfX7l 

    Let us know what you think. In addition, if you create skins for eRocket, send it to erocket@rocket-eBook.com and qualify to win a Rocket eBook t-shirt or a Rocket eBook. Details for skins are posted on the Rocket eBook Web page.

    Best,
    Cynthia Mun


    September 4, 1999  
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book99q3.htm#090499 

    There is now a memory upgrade ($99 until September 30, 1999) that will raise the number of books that you can store at one time from approximately ten books to 100 books --- an additional 32,000 pages of text and graphics. That translates to 100 more books on your Rocket eBook! This powerful upgrade brings you the freedom of conveniently taking even more books, web sites and documents wherever you go. There are now about 1,200 books available for downloading for a fee and another 1,000 (many classics) that can be downloaded free.  Along with the additional memory, you will also have a more extensive dictionary that has over 75,000 definitions with hundreds of new words and meanings.  

    I upgraded my Rocket eBook at http://www.rocket-eBook.com/Auto/32meg.html 

    You can download eBooks books for a fee from Barnes & Noble at http://www.barnesandnoble.com/subjects/eBooks/eBooks.asp?&sourceid=00096832100249871520&bfdate=09-03-1999+16:29:01 

    You can download free eBooks from http://www.rocket-library.com/ 


    September 21, 1999  
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book99q3.htm#092199
     

    Update on the amazing Everybook

    You can read more Rocket eBook and its leading competitors at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book99.htm#Rocket .  I just received my upgraded model that will hold about 100 books.  Note that over half the books are free for Rocket eBook.  However, Softbook is better if you want daily downloads of the NY Times and The Wall Street Journal.  We are all awaiting the (probably expensive) colored two-screen model from Everybook at http://www.nvisiontek.com/

    The Everybook Storewill be a hard wired collection of fileservers containing electronic publications, complete with graphics and typographically formatted text, from the dust jacket to the back cover art. Publishers will provide, on a consignment basis, the electronic files created by their composers and shipped to printing companies. The EB Dedicated Reader (EB) can display the read-only versions of those same files without the loss of page layouts, in the same vertical format as that of a printed page. The publications will be accessed by computer modems, via the Internet connecting the EBS with EB Dedicated Readers around the world. The EBS will also access bank accounts of EB owners via electronic funds transfer, to debit accounts at the moment of publication purchase. By automating the browsing, purchase, delivery, and payment for publications, Everybook, Inc. will dramatically reduce costs for publishers, consumers, and the natural environment.

    The Everybook Store is a digital archive, where publications are stored on hard disks and backed up to digital linear tracking tape. A large database of titles and publication jackets, organized by title, author and subject, is linked to the redundant array of disk storage units. The database has a user-friendly graphical interface, which can appear as a virtual library, bookstore, or powerful search engine. EB owners access the EBS file server holding the publication database via high speed phone lines and a toll-free, universal phone number. When the EB owner accesses the Everybook Store, the server verifies the EB by its unique security chip and the owner's prearranged debit account. Once verified, the user is allowed to browse a public domain library, an English Bookstore, a Non-English Bookstore, and a Subscription Store. Selections are downloaded as compressed PDF files, onto a secure PCMCIA storage card. The card should hold hundreds of books, magazines, and newspapers, and may only be accessed by the EB which was used to purchase the publications.


    September 28, 1999
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book99q3.htm#092899 

    A message from Rocket eBook

    The Open eBook Publication Standard was announced this past Tuesday morning. As one of the founding members of the Open eBook Authoring Group, NuvoMedia completely stands behind the Open eBook specifications. What the standard means to Rocket eBook users is more RocketEditions will be available! The standard makes it easier for publishers to provide content for Rocket eBook.

    As a Rocket eBook owner, you will continue to read every RocketEdition you purchased prior to this specification. In the future, you will be able to read OEB-based RocketEditions as well as the current HTML-based RocketEditions. We will continue to support HTML-based RocketEditions so you can still create your own RocketEditions by downloading web pages or converting documents from applications that will save your documents in HTML such as Microsoft Word(R).

    Rocket eBook upgrades to support OEB-based RocketEditions will be available as a simple download off of the Rocket eBook website. It’s as simple as downloading a book!

    If you have any more questions regarding the Rocket eBook and the Open eBook standard, please refer to our FAQ at: http://www.rocket-eBook.com/Products/Faq/index.html 

    A second message from Rocket eBook

    ROCKET eBook: TOOL FOR THE VISUALLY IMPAIRED Carol Wulster writes:

    "I have not been able to read a book in five years due to MS and the affect it had on my vision, but I was able to read a computer screen. I first saw news about the Rocket in November 98, but felt it was too soon to buy. In May, an review in Slate magazine appeared. After reading it, I ordered a Rocket eBook. I had every intention of returning the eBook if it didn't work for me. Within five minutes of opening the package I as hooked. The combination of the large size font, the physical size of the page, and the backlight allow me to read without my vision doubling. A Miracle! I have become so passionate about my Rocket, that I want every title in the world in Rocket Format...."

    -----Carol, thank you for your interest in the Rocket eBook! As you may know, the Rocket eBook comes with two default fonts, 10-point and 14-point. However, you can use the Rocket Librarian program to set the font style or size to any font you have on your PC (up to 28-point!). It is our sincere wish for the Rocket eBook to bring the gift of reading and writing to all those who are limited by conventional books!

    A word of caution from Bob Jensen.  Even though I own a Rocket eBook, there are some advantages of Softbook and some huge advantages (as well as disadvantages) of the forthcoming Everybook.  Shop carefully if you are going to purchase an electronic book.  What I am really happy with is the ease with which you can create your own custom library and download any configuration of books whenever you want into your library from http://www.rocket-library.com/.  Each book takes roughly 20 seconds to download on a T1 line.  I also like the upgrade that allows me to hold 100 books in my Rocket eBook having a battery life of roughly 30 hours before recharging.  To make comparisons between Rocket eBook, Softbook, and Everybook Dedicated Reader, go to http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book99.htm#Rocket 


    October 12, 1999 
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book99q4.htm#101299
     

    I received the following message from Debra (Brown?) Messick. It may well be that Everybook will be the answer to many copyright concerns of authors. Given the new electronic book standards, it may well be that the library of the future will merely be an enormous database in which we can designate pointers (sometimes free and sometimes for a fee) for our own customized library table of books. At any time, we may then download at will from that table. My Rocket eBook now holds up approximately 100 books that I can download from my customized table of hundreds of pointers to books (most of which were free selections).

    Dear Bob:

    Thank you for your interest in the Everybook Dedicated ReaderTM (EB).

    We will be offering two models of the EB: · A Professional model with a screen dimension of approximately 8-1/2" x 11" and · A Personal model with a screen dimension of approximately 6" x 9".

    The EB Professional model is anticipated to be in full production in June of 2000. It will sell for approximately US $1,600. plus tax, shipping and handling. The EB has the potential to pay for itself over time because of the projected discounts the owner will receive on every book title purchased -- 25-40% off list. The more books you buy, the more quickly the EB pays for itself and then starts saving you money.

    Some of the features of this model include: · Two screens-each with an approximate dimension of 8-1/2" x 11" · 24-bit color screens · A rendered image of approximately 300+dpi · Two full page touch screens for easy navigation · Full annotation capabilities (highlighting, margin notes, full-page notes) and search features (hypertext) · Digital audio · Digital video · Phone line, Internet access to browse and purchase (no PC needed) · Removable storage card (different size options) which hold up to 500,000 pages · Discounted book prices enabling the owner of an EB to make back their investment over time.

    The Professional model is designed to optimally display professional trade journals, manuals and reference libraries as well as college textbooks. In addition, all artwork, complex schematic drawings, charts and tables are displayed in their original format and context.

    Our second model, the Personal EB Dedicated Reader is anticipated to be available in late 2000. It will have virtually the same functionality of the Professional model, but will have two smaller screens - each with an approximate dimension of 6" x 9" - that almost meet in the center so that the book can be opened flat and read as one single screen. This allows the user to read reference-sized material in its original format one page at a time.

    The most important advantages that Everybook has to offer are:

    1. The Everybook Dedicated ReaderTM is the world's first true electronic book. The EB's full-page, two-screen display is 24-bit color and 300+dpi rendered resolution. The other eBooks are really tablets since they offer only one small screen, gray-scale, 72-105 dpi, and very limited storage capacity. You can store up to 200 fully illustrated reference books or 2,000 novels on each of the EB's removable storage cards and no PC is needed for downloading. There are no monthly fees or minimum purchases required.

    2. The EB is the only eBook that supports PDF, the publishing industry's standard. The others, which use HTML, cannot display high-resolution photos, illustrations, charts, formulas, etc. With the EB, publishers need not pay to have books converted, since 90% of them already format their publications in PDF.

    3. We are not striving to sell the EB to the "gadget" market. Our first model is geared toward professionals such as scientists, medical professionals, pharmacists, lawyers, engineers, architects, salespeople, business-to-business applications, and the military.

    4. College students will be able to buy or lease an EB from their college bookstores. The EBs will come fully loaded with their textbooks, course packs, and required reading.

    Nothing will ever truly replace the traditional book. Instead, we see the EB as the natural extension of the book, because it replicates all the things we love about books while adding mass storage, portability of your entire collection, frequent updating of information, and 24-hour-a-day access to the Everybook Store where you can browse, purchase, and download publications instantly. Book sales--and the number of titles available--will increase because titles will no longer go out of print or require a large market in order to make them profitable.

    We have found wide acceptance of the EB because of its familiar dual-page layout, full-color images, and high-resolution display of page layouts in their original format. Publishers find that we understand their requirements and they appreciate the fact that we are the only eBook manufacturer that supports the PDF file format. We are not forcing a computer-based paradigm on them; instead, we studied their needs and built an electronic book system around them.

    An estimated 90% of publishers have been electronically formatting their books in Adobe System's PDF file format for the production of traditional books. This makes PDF the de facto publishing industry standard for electronic books. Using PDF gives us access to the 10 to 15 years' worth of printed publications and eliminates the cost of conversion. We offer publishers a no-risk, low-cost distribution of their publications, with secure copyright protection, and sales incomes 60-90 days faster than current standards.

    We plan to sell EBs directly from our web site, through professional associations, college bookstores, and through licensing agreements with entities such as corporations and the military.

    If you have any additional questions, please feel free to write.

    Regards, Debra G. Messick 
    Sales Consultant
    http://www.everybook.net/ 
    717-939-3995 ext. 101


    December 1, 1999 
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book99q4.htm#120199
      

    This is for Barry Rice and others interested in eBooks.  You can now purchase or rent them from netLibrary.  See http://www.thejournal.com/magazine/vault/A2356.cfm 

    A veritable library of electronic books has been created on the Internet by netLibrary. At www.netlibrary.com you can search, view and borrow eBooks such as reference, scholarly, mass market and professional publications. The list of publishers providing content include: Grove's Dictionaries, Inc., Macmillan Ltd., National Academy Press, St. Martin's Press, The Brookings Institution and McGraw-Hill Companies, as well as many university presses such as Cambridge University Press, Columbia University Press, Duquesne University Press, University of Akron Press, University of California Press, University of North Carolina Press, New York University Press, Ohio University Press and Rutgers University Press.

    The netLibrary provides the services of a traditional library in that patrons have the option of either borrowing the eBook and viewing it online, or viewing it offline by downloading it to their computer. Patrons will have to wait for eBooks that have been lent to other patrons before them. Some of the nation's major libraries are charter customers of netLibrary. Individuals and corporations may also become customers and check out what these cyber shelves hold. netLibrary, Boulder, CO, (303) 415-2548, www.netlibrary.com .

    I might add that the Digital Duo on November 28 was not very complimentary of the Franklin's pioneering electronic books at http://www.franklin.com/.  These books require that you purchase tiny disks for at least $20 or more and have a very limited selection of books as opposed to Internet download books such as are available from netLibrary, Barnes & Noble, Rocket, etc.  Recall that my review of eBooks is in my July 30 Edition of New Bookmarks at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book99.htm#Rocket 


    January 11, 2000 
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book00q1.htm#011100

    Historical timeline of books --- http://www.microsoft.com/READER/press/timeline_past.htm 

    Microsoft's view of history is biased.  No mention is made in the historical timeline of the pioneering Rocket E-Book and the subsequent Softbook Electronic Tablet and EveryBook.  See http://www.microsoft.com/READER/press/timeline_past.htm 

    Microsoft Electronic Book Reader Software --- http://www.microsoft.com/PressPass/press/1999/Aug99/SeyboldPR.htm 

    Microsoft Reader is the first product to include ClearType™ font-rendering technology. Developed by Microsoft Research, ClearType greatly improves font resolution on LCD screens to deliver a paper-like display. Microsoft Reader also pays strict attention to the traditions and benefits of good typography. It offers a clean, uncluttered display; ample margins; proper spacing, leading and kerning; plus powerful tools for book-marking, highlighting and annotation. It includes a built-in dictionary as well as a Library that can store and manage a large collection of books and other documents. It also features a flexible copy-protection system that allows publishers to distribute titles with protection from piracy and illegal copying.

    Various publishers, book vendors and e-Book pioneers have expressed support for Microsoft Reader. "Microsoft is to be applauded for helping enable meaningful on-screen reading," said Michael Lynton, chairman and CEO of Penguin-Putnam. "This technology gives publishers and authors a better opportunity to reach readers with their titles in an electronic medium."

    "It is the dawn of the age of the e-Book," said Steve Riggio, vice chairman of Barnes & Noble. "Microsoft Reader will vastly improve the readability of content on PCs and laptops and bring it to an installed base of millions of readers."

    In his keynote address at the Seybold SF '99 conference, Brass predicted Microsoft Reader would change the pace of electronic book adoption by enabling hundreds of millions of existing PCs and laptops to function as high-quality e-Books.

    "In less than 15 years, more than half of all titles sold will be electronic," Brass told the conference audience in his address. "Advances in computer displays and storage have made electronic reading possible; Microsoft Reader will make it widespread and profitable."

    "Until now, the lack of readability on a typical PC or note-Book display has been the biggest obstacle to the widespread adoption of emerging technologies, such as electronic books, that emphasize continuous, long-duration reading on screen." Brass said. "With Microsoft Reader and ClearType, authors and publishers will be able to present works of a very high quality, which consumers will be eager to purchase."

    To ensure that customers have easy access to a wide range of titles for electronic reading, Microsoft is working closely with publishers, distributors, retailers and e-Book pioneers to establish standards that will nurture the fledgling electronic book industry. In October 1998, Microsoft joined with dozens of other industry leaders to create the Open e-Book Standard, which provides publishers with a common standard for formatting and preparing electronic titles.

    Microsoft ClearType Overview 

    http://www.microsoft.com/OpenType/cleartype/cleartypeq.htm 

    http://www.microsoft.com/typography/links/News.asp?NID=956 

    I may be wrong, but it is my understanding that the new Microsoft Reader for electronic books will read on a PC (in Windows Media Player using ClearType fonts) such that special electronic hardware devices such as the Rocket eBook, Softbook, and Everybook specialty reading devices will not be necessary).  Correct me if I am wrong on this.

    From MIT:  How Microsoft's Amazing ClearType really works.

    "Pixel Perfect," by Don Baker, Technology Review, June 2001

     

    ClearType works through manipulation of the red, green and blue components of individual pixels (called "sub-pixels") to sharpen characters. To overcome color blurring, Microsoft developed an algorithm to filter sub-pixels based on their locations, illuminating those near a character's fringes differently than those at the center. The patent issued earlier this year is the first of more than 20 Microsoft expects to receive for the technology. "The importance of ClearType is that it lets us produce really readable type on existing hardware," says Microsoft researcher Bill Hill.

    Armed with its first patent, Microsoft is strongly pushing ahead in deployment of ClearType. First released last August as part of Microsoft Reader software for electronic books, ClearType will appear in the next major release of Windows, future versions of the company's Pocket PC handheld computer, and a dedicated e-book device coming this summer.

    Barnes & Noble deal with Microsoft--- http://interactive.wsj.com/articles/SB947175881851550760.htm 

    Software giant Microsoft Corp. and online bookseller Barnesandnoble.com Inc. Thursday said they would create an online store stocked with electronic books viewable with Microsoft's new Reader software.

    Barnesandnoble.com will open the "Microsoft Reader e-Book" store on its Web site by midyear. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

    "The combination of barnesandnoble.com's online strength and Barnes & Noble's dominant retail presence will make Microsoft Reader available to tens of millions of book consumers in a matter of months," said Dick Brass, vice president of technology development for Microsoft.

    Steve Riggio, vice chairman of Barnes & Noble Inc., which co-owns New York-based Barnesandnoble.com along with German media company Bertelsmann AG, said the bookseller envisions "a time in the not too distant future when there will be electronic versions of virtually every book in print."

    From Syllabus Web on October 24, 2000

    Reciprocal Integrates Microsoft Reader DRM

    Reciprocal Inc., a leader in digital rights management (DRM) and digital commerce services, announced today that it has formed an alliance with Microsoft Corp. in which the two companies will offer an out-sourced DRM solution for e-book publishers. Reciprocal will integrate Microsoft's DRM solution, including the Digital Asset Server (DAS) product, into its Digital Clearinghouse infrastructure. DAS is Micro- soft's technology for providing secure distribution of eBooks in Microsoft Reader format. With this integration, Reciprocal hopes to answer demand from its network of publishers, e-tailers, and dis- tributors for the Microsoft Reader format. The partnership will provide publishers with an easy way to package and distribute content in a variety of secure ways with Microsoft DAS, and con- sumers with greater access to titles in the Microsoft Reader format.

    Consumers can download Microsoft Reader at no charge at http://www.microsoft.com/reader/  (connect-time fees may apply).


    April 11, 2000
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book00q2.htm#041100

    Probably the most successful electronic book written to date was written by Stephen King while recovering from being hit by a car on a country road in Maine.  Recall that an electronic book can be downloaded from the Internet, but it must be downloaded into a device that will not allow printing or copying of any part of the text. 

    Stephen King's electronic book was distributed free as a promotion of electronic books.  You can read more about the success of this electronic book in "A Thriller on the Net," Newsweek, March 27, 2000, pp. 46-47.  The online version of the Newsweek article is at http://newsweek.com/nw-srv/printed/us/bz/a17498-2000mar18.htm

    Folks in publishing are still trying to figure out what happened last week. One thing they think they know is that they've just seen the fastest-selling book of all time, Stephen King's "Riding the Bullet"—if you can call it "sales" when many of the first day's 400,000 copies were distributed free, and if you can call a downloadable but not printable electronic text a "book." The title of King's e-book-only story refers to a scary amusement-park ride. He wrote it while recuperating from being hit by a van last summer, with no special idea of how he'd publish it, so he didn't know how apt that title would prove. But e-books, which up to last week had seemed a niche market with distant possibilities, suddenly have a working mass-market model—almost working—and everybody's lining up for the thrill ride. Almost everybody.

    Serialized Electronic Book Trends:  WSJ:  The Little Dickens

    A serialized novel makes its way onto the pages -- and homepages -- of The Wall Street Journal.--- http://www.wirednews.com/news/business/0,1367,44135,00.html   

    For the first time, The Wall Street Journal is serializing a novel -- Amanda.Bright@home  -- by journalist and author Danielle Crittenden. The first chapter debuted Memorial Day weekend in both the printed edition of the paper as well as at OpinionJournal.com. Subsequent chapters will be posted solely online now through Labor Day.

    Crittenden, a frequent contributor to the Journal’s editorial page and author of the hotly debated nonfiction title What Our Mothers Didn't Tell Us, said that she is releasing the novel week by week. "I’m really doing it the way Dickens did -- sending it out while the ink is still wet -- or whatever the cyber version of wet ink is."

    While Crittenden hopes the book will appear between covers one day, "the immediacy of writing directly for readers and bypassing the publishing process is exhilarating," she said. The print rights have not yet been sold and Crittenden made the deal to serialize Amanda.Bright@home directly with the Journal. Payment for each chapter is modest, the author said. "I’m getting about as much per chapter as I would get paid for an editorial column."

    James Taranto, OpinionJournal's editor, said he is intrigued at the prospect of publishing serialized fiction online. "We're breaking new ground here. Amanda.Bright@home is a good read, and its tough-minded political and social commentary ought to appeal to our readers."

    See also:
    New Accounting for Best-Sellers
    Pay to Publish, Pay for Review

     


    May 15, 2000
    WizeUp
    Electronic Textbooks

    Question:  What should all instructors do at this very moment?  Answer
    Answer:     See if their textbooks are now available as electronic books.  The list of available textbooks includes many of the leading textbooks of the world.

    How do WizeUp electronic books differ from more traditional eBooks?

    Have you adopted any textbooks that have become WizeUps?

    Do you want to sell WizeUp textbooks (this one is a controversial matter of ethics?)

    Dear Professor Jensen:

    WizeUp.com would like to give you a new opportunity to introduce technology into your curriculum.

    We are offering a new series of Digital Textbooks.  Our products bring together the textbooks you know and trust with the power of technology and the Internet.  We are working together with:

    Our products can be used seamlessly with your curriculum.  The Digital Textbooks follow the printed textbooks page-by-page, graphic-by-graphic -- while bringing the power of digital technology and interactivity to your students.  Students can download the Digital Textbooks onto their computers.  They can take notes electronically, highlight key passages digitally, leverage powerful search capabilities, and work through interactive learning tools, multimedia enhancements, and other powerful features.

    Our leading titles include textbooks from authors such as:

    Call us to receive a free copy of your Digital Textbook (1-800-458-2627) and to find out if your title is available for Fall '00.  Call now before your summer begins.

    Sincerely,

    David Gray
    Chief Executive Officer
    WizeUp.com

    WizeUp
    90 William Street @ 1 Silicon Alley Plaza, Suite 506
    New York, NY  10038
    Telephone: (800) 458-2627
    www.wizeup.com

    Now there are over 100 titles available.  A sampling is shown below:

    Business: Introductory
    Contemporary Business, Boone and Kurtz, 9th edition, Dryden Press, 1999.

    Computer Science: Programming Languages
    Introduction to Object Oriented Programming with C++, Millspaugh, 1st edition, Dryden, 1999.
    Data Structures and Problem Solving Using Java, Weiss, 1st edition, Addison Wesley Longman, 1998.

    Computer Science: Data Communications: Data Networks
    Networking Essentials: exam 70-058, Tittel, Hudson & Stewart, 1st edition, Coriolis, 1999.

    Economics: Principles of Macroeconomics
    Economics Today: The Macro View, Miller, 10th edition, Addison Wesley Longman, 1999.

    Economics: Intermediate Macroeconomics

    Introduction to Economic Growth, Jones, 1st edition, W.W. Norton, 1998.

    Economics: Microeconomics: Intermediate Managerial Economics

    Managerial Economics, Mansfield, 4th edition, W.W. Norton, 1998.
    Managerial Economics: Study Guide and CaseBook, Mansfield and Mansfield. 4th edition, W.W. Norton, 1998.

    Engineering: General: Introductory
    Engineer's Toolkit: Microsoft Excel for Engineers, Etter, 1st edition, Addison Wesley Longman, 1995.
    Engineer's Toolkit: Engineering Design and Problem Solving, Howell, 1st edition, Addison Wesley Longman, 1995.
    Engineer's Toolkit: MATLAB 5.0 for Engineers, King, 1st edition, Addison Wesley Longman, 1998.

    English: Developmental/Remedial
    The Reading Edge, Johnson, 1st edition, Houghton Mifflin, 1998.

    Finance: Corporate: Graduate
    Financial Management: Theory and Practice, Brigham, 9th edition, Dryden Press, 1999.


    Philosophy: Critical Thinking

    Critical Thinking, Epstein, 1st edition, Wadsworth, 1999.
    Workbook for Critical Thinking, Epstein, 1st edition, Wadsworth, 1999.


    Philosophy: Introductory

    Applying Ethics, Olen and Vincent, 6th edition, Wadsworth, 1999.
    Archetypes of Wisdom, Soccio, 3rd edition, Wadsworth, 1999.


    Psychology: Introductory

    Psychology, Myers, 5th edition, Worth, 1998.
    Psychology: An Introduction, Kagan and Segal, 8th edition, Harcourt College Publishers, 1995.

    Sociology: Introductory
    Sociology: Understanding A Diverse Society, Andersen, 1st edition, Wadsworth, 2000.
    Sociology: The United States in a Global Community, Ferrante, 4th edition, Wadsworth, 2000.
    Sociology in Our Times, Kendall, 2nd edition, Wadsworth, 1998.
    Sociology in Our Times, Essentials, Kendall, 2nd edition, Wadsworth, 1999.
    Sociology: Discovering Society, Stockard, 2nd edition, Wadsworth, 2000.  

     

    WizeUp will also let you sell their electronic books --- http://www.wizeup.com/affiliates/ 

    WiZeUp.com will implement an affiliate network to enable you to sell digital textbooks in the very near future. We welcome you to join us in providing the world's first digital college textbooks for great students.

    We intend to treat you as a partner in this relationship. So, we named this program PartnerNet ™, and encourage you to approach us in the same spirit.

    In fact, we would be happy to open a dialogue with you regarding any aspect of PartnerNet. Simply contact us at partners@wizeup.com  and we will try to respond as soon as possible.

    I can proudly declare that I will not sell to my own students as a matter of ethics.  However, suppose we work out a side deal between you, Professor XYZ, and me.  Your recommend that your students buy from me, and I will recommend that my students buy from you.  I think electronic books are a good idea.  Having professors contracted as "affiliates" to sell those books is a conflict of interest.

    But publishing electronic books will be the wave of the future irrespective of how they are marketed.  For some time now I have argued that electronic textbooks will become commonplace.  However, the WizeUp books are not my idea of eBooks or "electronic books."  A Wizeup book takes no special device to read it or to prevent printing of a hardcopy version (printing is not possible in electronic books that require reading devices such as Rocket, Softbook, or Everybook.).  Here are some questions and answers about WizeUp.

    Q: Can I print the book if I need to take it to class? A: Sure. Most publishers allow chapters of the book to be printed one time for your personal use.

    Q: Can I install the book on more than one computer? A: Ah. Well actually, no. Though you're an honest person, there are lots of people out there who would make sure nobody ever had to buy the textbook if we allowed this. We'd sell one copy, and that would be the end.

    Think of it this way -- would you like to work for us, let's say just a whimpy 12 hours per day (that's like a vacation at WiZeUp.com), for FREE? It's hard work, and you'll always come home tired, stressed, and have absolutely no life.

    But hey, think of all the good you'd be doing the world by giving away great educational tools! Yeah right! Like that wouldn't suck.

    The reality is that we work hard to develop the WiZeUp software. And we're a company, which means we need to make a profit to stay in business. Unfortunately, there are enough dishonest people out there that it makes things a little tougher on you.

    As part of the copy protection, a WiZeUp book can only be installed on one hard drive, and comes with a single user license. Awfully sorry about that. We're wide open to suggestions if you can think of a way to make the textbook entirely digital so that it's a more efficient study tool -- and at the same time, allow multiple installations. Send ideas, we're listening!

    Q: How can I re-sell a WiZeUp textbook? A: At this time, it is not possible to re-sell the electronic textbook. This is because of the copy protection mechanism mentioned above.

    Here's the 411 on used books: Used textbooks make all textbooks cost more. Did you know that the author and the publisher do not receive any money on a used textbook sale?

    Textbooks are incredibly difficult and expensive to create. It takes almost two years for the author and publisher to make a new textbook. A huge team of highly skilled professionals at several companies have to work together. This means it costs $ millions (believe it or not).

    A new textbook is only new as long as there are no used books available. Used textbooks are 80% of the sales, and remember, the author and publisher don't make any money on a used textbook sale. By Spring semester it's all over for a book that was new in the Fall semester.

    Because the publishing companies and authors don't see a dime on used textbook sales, the price for the new book has to go up. The publishers have just one shot at recovering the $ millions they spent during two years of work on the book and to make some profit. (Remember, they're in business so no profit = no company.)

    We know -- and the publishers, authors and college bookstores know -- that textbooks are a big expense for you. Nobody's happy about this. The publisher takes a huge risk every time it wants to make a new book, and the profit level does not increase although costs of business increase. And you end up parting with more beer money than you want to think about. And bookstores need to keep offering used textbooks because students demand a less-expensive option than the new book.

    We're on your side. We are working with our publishing partners and the college bookstores to find ways to make textbooks less expensive. Some of our partners are exploring ways to let you buy just the chapters you need, for example. Others are letting us give you a steeper discount. Stores are helping by providing information about WiZeUp digital textbooks to you and your professors, and making these products available through the stores' Web sites. It's kind of like the new, state of the art gym your student activity fees are paying for, but won't be finished until you've graduated. It will take some time, and your little brother or sister will get more out of it than you will. In the meantime, we're at least making a textbook that works better, so you get more value for your textbook dollar.

    Q: What about tech support? A: Tech support is free, and you have the choice of 24-hour Web-based support or phone in.

    Q: Can I buy only the chapters I need for a class? A: Yes, you can. As a matter of fact, WiZeUp.com and Thomson Learning released the world's first textbook that is available chapter-by-chapter in the Fall semester of 1999. This has proven to be a popular option, and we expect a growing number of titles from our publishing partners to feature this money-saving option. Check the individual textbook information page at WiZeUp.com to find out if your digital textbook is available on a chapter-by-chapter basis.

    Q: I downloaded and installed the Drop/Add Test Drive. How do I...? A: You can so some really cool things with WiZeUp. Check out the animated tutorial. You will need the Macromedia Flash Plug-in. WiZeUp software also includes extensive, searchable help and context-sensitive help (that means if you right-click your mouse, you can get to help about the thing you're pointing to).

    Update on August 29, 2000
    WizeUp requests that I be more accurate in my evaluation of their services.  

    WizeUp requests that I be more accurate in my evaluation of their services.  My main complaint concerned the ethics of allowing professors to both adopt and sell leading textbooks online.  The latest version of the WizeUp website seems to be playing down that option for professors relative to earlier versions of the website.  Now I am happy to encourage students and faculty to make use of this wonderful way to purchase top academic textooks.

    Other than that, I think that it is great that WizeUp is providing over 100 leading textbooks from almost every discipline online (it amazes me how they got the leading publishing houses to partner with WizeUp for this purpose.)  It great that these leading textbooks can be obtained in digital form for ease of storage, ease of access, ease of word search, and price.  

    Different universities and bookstores offer different types of programs and pricing to students and the markets and prices are often complex and they often change.

    Generally, WizeUp Digital Textbooks are currently priced at $10 below the used book - some of our Digital Textbooks are priced at $20 below the used book.

    In the digital form, you can take notes, highlight, make bookmarks, and search.  My evaluation is at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/eBooks.htm#051500   Especially note the FAQs at http://www.wizeup.com/instructors_faq.html 

    Reply to Jennifer Johnson, WizeUp Digital Textbooks
    I will be out of town a great deal this semester. What would be better is for you to write a correcting message that you would like to have me put in my work. If I agree with your corrections (and I will probably trust your judgment more than my judgment), I will publish your corrections.

    Bob (Robert E.) Jensen 
    Jesse H. Jones Distinguished Professor of Business
    Trinity University, San Antonio, TX 78212 
    Voice: (210) 999-7347 Fax: (210) 999-8134 Email: rjensen@trinity.edu  
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen 

    -----Original Message----- From: Jennifer Johnson [mailto:jenjohnson2000@earthlink.net] Sent: Wednesday, August 23, 2000 9:54 PM To: rjensen@trinity.edu Subject: (no subject)

    Professor Jensen,

    I read with interest the coverage of our company on your Website. I am the National Sales Manager for WizeUp and I would be happy to provide you with accurate information for your site.

    It was a little difficult to follow, but the inaccuracies may discourage professors or student users. I would like our local rep to be able to meet with you for a demonstration of the product this semester. Would you be available?

    I look forward to hearing back from you at your earliest convenience.

    Jennifer Johnson WizeUp Digital Textbooks (212) 324-1300 x 1021 jjohnson@wizeup.com 

    Update on January 16, 2001

    What has always impressed me with WizeUp is how they persuaded the leading textbook publishers to allow WizeUp to distribute their top textbooks as downloads into PCs (with software that allows one print copy) at substantial savings to students.  I received the following message from WizeUp on January 15, 2001:

    WIZEUP DIGITAL TEXTBOOKS AND COLLEGES.COM ANNOUNCE PARTNERSHIP TO PROVIDE E-LEARNING PRODUCTS TO THE MASSES

    NEW YORK, NY, January 16, 2001 -- Today, WizeUp Digital Textbooks (WizeUp), and Colleges.com announced a joint marketing agreement to promote WizeUp's e-learning products to students across the country through the numerous on and off-line properties owned and operated by Colleges.com.

    WizeUp's e-learning products will be offered to Colleges.com's users through the Colleges.com web site (www.colleges.com), "word of the day" e-newsletters, U-Magazine and the College Press Network. Concurrently, WizeUp will promote Colleges.com as the leading content provider for college students by showcasing Colleges.com's unique content on www.wizeup.com.

    WizeUp is the leading provider of Digital Textbooks and Study Guides in the higher education market. WizeUp offers the top selling textbooks in association with the world's leading higher education publishers including McGraw-Hill; Thomson; Harcourt; Pearson; and Bedford, Freeman & Worth. WizeUp products allow students to search, sort and manage the educational content much faster than with print-based materials. The e-learning products are in great demand as professionals and students who are under pressure to acquire new skills need new computer-based, interactive tools for gaining those skills-faster, better and cheaper. As a result, distance learning and on-line training is expected to experience exponential growth over the next three years. According to International Data Corporation, the number of students enrolled in distance-learning courses is growing 30% annually. Over 80% of all higher education institutions will offer distance learning by 2002.

    Colleges.com is an extensive network of on-line and off-line properties that provides unparalleled promotional opportunities for its partners and advertisers. The web property, www.colleges.com , will offer the entire WizeUp catalog of products, which is the largest catalog of digital textbooks in the world.

    "Colleges.com and its associated properties allow WizeUp to step up our promotional efforts from our target 250 schools to thousands of schools across the country," said David Gray, CEO of WizeUp. "The age of Digital Textbooks is here and Colleges.com will help us bring these advanced learning tools to the masses."

    "This deal gives Colleges.com another avenue to actively support and participate in the new world of e-learning," said John Carrieri, CEO of Colleges.com. "WizeUp is the first mover in the digital textbook space and we look forward to expanding the exposure and benefits of digital textbooks to students."

    About WizeUp: Based in New York City, WizeUp Digital Textbooks ( www.wizeup.com ) is the leading developer of digital educational content-including digital textbooks, training materials, and other related educational content-for both the higher education and corporate marketplaces. The company is dedicated to serving the educational community with innovative new E-learning solutions. Additional information is available by visiting www.wizeup.com.

    About Colleges.com Colleges.com, the parent company of U. Magazine and the College Press Network is an interactive web site focused on providing college and university specific information, financial aid and e-commerce. Other services include a college search engine listing over 4,600 colleges and universities, a scholarship search engine offering 2 billion in awards and a price-comparison engine that compares on-line retailer textbook prices. Colleges.com also owns and publishes U. Magazine, the most widely read lifestyle and entertainment magazine among sixteen to twenty-four year-olds, with a circulation of over 1.5 million. U. Magazine is the only national college magazine written for college students by college students. It is currently distributed at more than 250 four-year colleges and universities nationwide. The College Press Network is a leading provider of advertising and on-line content for over sixty on-line college newspapers. Colleges.com is privately held and is headquartered in San Diego, CA.

    I added the following to my threads on February 15, 2001 

    "Textbooks Go Online," T.H.E. Journal, February 2001, p. 14 --- http://www.thejournal.com/magazine/vault/A3294.cfm 
    McGraw-Hill Education and WizeUp Digital Textbooks have formed a joint initiative to electronically publish, sell and distribute digital textbooks for the higher education market. Students will be able to view the education titles online with password-protected access, or download the book directly to a computer. The titles integrate seamlessly into course management technology systems such as Web CT and Blackboard, and allow the professor to link the textbook content to classroom presentation materials. Interactive technology allows students to search texts, take and manage notes, create hyperlinks and bookmarks, and electronically highlight text. WizeUP
    , New York, NY, www.wizeup.com.


    Email message on February 7 from Jonathan Kowit 

    Allyn & Bacon and WizeUp Launch Digital Textbook Initiative for the Higher Education Market

    New York - February 7, 2001 - Allyn & Bacon, a division of Pearson Education, and WizeUp Digital Textbooks announced today the first major initiative to electronically publish, sell and distribute digital textbooks in education and social sciences for the higher education market.

    For the first time, titles such as Allyn & Bacon's Psychology by Philip Zimbardo; Educational Psychology by Robert Slavin; Social Psychology by Robert Baron and Donn Byrne; Living Sociology by Claire Renzetti and Daniel Curran; and other titles in the social sciences will be available in digital format. There have been a number of initiatives to develop digital content for business, technology, and other “hard” sciences. This initiative marks the first major effort in the “soft” sciences where Allyn & Bacon is the market leader.

    Initial trials of the program conducted this past fall with key professors, such as Richard Jackson at Boston College, who uses Allyn & Bacon’s Exceptional Learners: Introduction to Special Education, by Daniel P. Hallahan and James M. Kauffman, proved to be extremely successful.

    “I’m predicting in five years that all curriculum resources will be available digitally,” said Professor Jackson.

    WizeUp has developed the most advanced technology in the e-Publishing marketplace with highly sophisticated features and functions. WizeUp Digital Textbooks are unique in ensuring the pedagogical integrity of the books as developed by the publishers. The Digital Textbooks follow the printed version page-by-page, graphic-by-graphic while bringing the power of interactive technology and the Internet to the students. WizeUp Digital Textbooks, which are available via Internet download or on the web, include features such as: powerful search capabilities, in-context note-taking and notes-management tools, custom hyperlinking, bookmarking and electronic highlighting capabilities.

    “Our alliance with WizeUp demonstrates our commitment to developing e-learning solutions for the higher education marketplace-in particular for the soft sciences,” said Sandi Kirshner, President of Allyn & Bacon. “These products will make an immediate impact in technology-based learning environments, where digital textbooks will expand the classroom and offer students a powerful and efficient learning solution.”

    The combination of the widely utilized and respected content from Allyn & Bacon and the e-learning tools supplied by WizeUp benefits all of today’s learning environments-traditional, online, distance learning, continuing education and corporate education. The evolution of the textbook into a complete e-learning solution gives students and professors unprecedented educational power, making both studying and teaching more effective, more efficient and more dynamic.

    Allyn & Bacon and WizeUp have developed innovative pricing packages designed to capture market share in technology-based academic environments, including: distance learning, laptop universities and other educational technology based student populations.

    "Students will enrich their learning experience with the powerful combination of Allyn & Bacon’s highly recognized content and WizeUp's e-learning tools. This will allow students to meet their academic goals and gain an edge in our increasingly competitive society,” said Stephen Jordan, Vice President of Publishing for WizeUp.

    About WizeUp:

    Based in New York City, WizeUp Digital Textbooks is the leading developer of digital educational content-including digital textbooks, training materials, and other related educational content-for both the higher education and corporate marketplaces. The company is dedicated to serving the educational community with innovative new E-learning solutions. Additional information is available by visiting www.wizeup.com.

    About Pearson Education:

    Pearson Education is the world's leading integrated education business. Pearson Education offers a full range of rich content across electronic and print media for all students everywhere, from early childhood to professional education and training. Pearson Education's leading brands include: Prentice Hall, Addison Wesley, Longman, Allyn & Bacon, Scott Foresman, Pearson Learning, NCS Learn, and NCS Pearson. Pearson Education is the global education publishing business of Pearson plc, the international media group. For more information, visit www.pearsoned.com.

    Contact: Wendy Spiegel Pearson Education 212.782.3482 wendy.spiegel@pearsoned.com 

    Jonathan Kowit WizeUp Digital Textbooks 212.324.1300 jkowit@wizeup.com 

     

    Update on March 2, 2001:  Barnes & Noble Wizes Up

    Barnes & Noble College Bookstores will actively market WizeUp Digital Textbooks at many of the colleges and universities it serves through both in-store and cyber-store promotions. The promotions include sampling of collateral materials, displays, product placement, promotional shelf-talkers and other co-branded signage, Internet marketing, and seamless e-commerce integration between the two companies for specific university class programs.

    WizeUp Digital Textbooks produces digital editions of some of the largest and most prestigious college textbooks that professors use in classrooms around the country every day. Applying its advanced e-publishing technology to the printed textbook, WizeUp has been able to establish partnerships with virtually every major publisher in higher education including Pearson Education, Thomson Learning, Harcourt College Publishers, McGraw Hill, among others.

    WizeUp follows the printed textbooks page-by-page, graphic-by-graphic, but provides students with technological features such as a powerful search tool, electronic note taking, a digital highlighter, bookmarking for creating custom hyperlinks, and additional multimedia enhancements and capabilities. WizeUp produces textbooks across virtually every major discipline including liberal arts, sciences, and business.

    About WizeUp Based in New York City, WizeUp Digital Textbooks ( www.wizeup.com ) is the leading developer of digital educational content-including digital textbooks, training materials, and other related educational content-for both the higher education and corporate marketplaces. The company is dedicated to serving the educational community with innovative new e-learning solutions. Additional information is available by visiting www.wizeup.com

    Beth Taylor [btaylor@wizeup.com


    January 29, 2001

    The software publisher says it's a textbook marketing mistake to expect people to read their favorite fiction on a handheld device, so instead the company plans to concentrate on digital reference materials --- http://www.wirednews.com/news/technology/0,1282,41249,00.html 

    Adobe announced the release of its new e-book software, the Adobe Acrobat eBook Reader 2.0. Adobe also unveiled version 2.0 of the Adobe Content Server, a system that secures and prepares Adobe PDF files for online distribution and purchase.

    "We don't necessarily think that that's the narrow range where e-books should be pigeonholed," said Kevin Nathanson, group product manager for Adobe e-books. "We look at it as part of a much broader universe."

    Adobe said that BarnesandNoble.com will feature a range of new Adobe PDF-based e-books on their e-book website. Adobe will also sell books on its own e-books website.

    Adobe entered the e-book fray in 2000 with its purchase of e-book software developer Glassbook.

    But Adobe is taking a different approach from competitors such as Microsoft. It will go after two target markets where it thinks e-books have the most value: the higher education market and the mobile professional.

    Adobe is targeting students and business workers with Internet-connected computers. They may not read an entire textbook or research report, but could readily use e-books to search multiple books, take notes or highlight text.

    "We believe that the early adopters are people who have a value for time saving, and reducing the bulk of papers they lug around," said Michael Looney, Adobe's senior director of e-books.

    So instead of focusing on the latest bestsellers, Adobe is bargaining with publishers to produce content that's usually considered reference material.

    Analysts say that's the right approach.

    "We see those as the growth markets that are going to bleed over into the consumer market," said IDC analyst Malcolm Maclachlan.

    While rivals Microsoft (MSFT) and RCA/Thomson race to convert titles into their respective e-book reader formats, Adobe hopes to appeal to publishers who have already published content in its Portable Document Format (PDF).

    "The vast majority of books that are printed today already exist in PDF," Nathanson said. "There's a virtual universe of compelling content that's available in the file format."

    Electronic pages captured in PDF look just as they would on paper, preserving all the fonts, graphics and layout. PDF files can be read by Windows and Macs.

    "If (a publisher) already (has files stored in) PDF, you have a pretty good e-book right off the bat," Nathanson said. "The costs of conversion are practically nil."


     

    May 15, 2000 http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book00q2.htm#051700 

    Bob:

    I just signed a contract with www.softlock.com . as a Content Provider for of electronic accounting textbooks. Softlock.com is the company that brought the Stephen King novel to the web. Softlock.com  takes Adobe Acrobat-formatted text, encrypts it and allows the prospective buyer to see a sample of the e-book. The buyer gets a key to unlock the content after paying for the work. It can't be moved to another machine, and whether the the work can be printed is at the discretion of the author. The author/publisher can provide printability as part of the basic charge or as a premium charge. The author can also disable the Windows copy to the clipboard capability for text and graphics.

    Essentially softlock.com takes a 20% commission and the author/publisher takes the other 80%. This makes trivial the traditional 12% to 18% royalties that the major print publishers. it has been reported that Stephen King made $400,000 for the 66 page short story that alternatively he could have sold to a magazine for $10,000.

    I will be converting my existing content for "Financial Accounting 2000" and "Managerial Accounting 2000" I hope to have my first work up on my www.VirtualPublishing.Net  site by the end of June.

    Richard J. Campbell
    mailto:campbell@VirtualPublishing.Net 

    March 1, 2001 Illustration of Adobe's DigitalGoods

    AECMers: A preview of etextbook publishing using Adobe Acrobat / softlock.com (now digitalgoods.com ) / PDF merchant technology - not all links and resources are up and running yet.

    www.VirtualPublishing.NET/fa2001.htm 

    You will need the current version of Adobe Acrobat Reader. www.adobe.com 

    But here is how it works: 1. You can download the sample, (1.0 megs) view a few pages, and click the Buy button to unlock the product. 2. On the page listed above I have other resources, that will be locked up after a preview period. 3. The movie 600K is downloadable to your hard drive.

    I will be announcing a live web conference on "techie teaching tips" sometime next week. Anyone who wants to participate should email me privately with "Web Conference" as the subject.

    Richard J. Campbell www.AccountingeBooks.com  www.VitualPublishing.NET  mailto:campbell@VirtualPublishing.NET 


    January 17, 2002 Message from Barnes & Noble

    January 17, 2002 Message from Barnes & Noble:  eBooks Newsletter from Barnes & Noble.com

    Dear eBook Reader:

    Well, the reading available in eBook format just gets better and better! If you want to see what we're talking about, just take a look at this month's Newsletter; it's chock-full of top authors like Kenneth H. Blanchard, Michael Connelly, Stephen King, and Anne Rice, to name just a few. We predict this format will really come into its own this year as everyone discovers what you already know: eBooks are the only way to have a whole library on your laptop!

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    >Read an excerpt: http://service.bfast.com/bfast/click/bnmarket?siteid=39166271&isbn=140140233X&displayonly=excerpt 

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    For the past decade, Michael Connelly's readers have thrilled to the adventures of Detective Harry Bosch, a modern-day hard-boiled detective in the best noir tradition. Now, your can enjoy the three novels that launched Harry's career -- including Connelly's Edgar Award-winning first novel -- in one exciting eBook.

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    The bestselling author of THE NOTeBook once again proves that he understands the yearnings of two hearts in this powerful drama. After his wife's death in a hit-and-run accident, Miles lives only for revenge -- until he meets his son's teacher, Sara, and learns to love again. But Sara has a secret that will challenge everything he believes.

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    ON WRITING: A MEMOIR OF THE CRAFT by Stephen King Our Price: $14.99 http://service.bfast.com/bfast/click/bnmarket?siteid=39166271&isbn=0743211537  
    In this blend of memoir and manual, filled with vivid accounts of King's childhood and the years of struggle leading up to his first published novel, the best selling author explains the rules that every writer should know. Don't miss his powerful description of his near-fatal accident and how the link between writing and living helped him heal.

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    TOUCHSTONES: A BOOK OF DAILY MEDITATIONS FOR MEN by Hazelden Foundation Our Price: $6.95 http://service.bfast.com/bfast/click/bnmarket?siteid=39166271&isbn=1401402216  
    TOUCHSTONES is a spiritual guide filled with daily meditations created to help men express their feelings, reconnect with their souls, and reclaim their deeper masculine qualities. Each daily "touchstone" begins with a special quote from one of a multitude of writers, such as William Shakespeare, Wendell Berry, and Woody Allen.

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    Rose was always Daddy's girl. But when her father dies suddenly, she learns that he had many secrets he didn't share with her -- secrets that will destroy the only life she has ever known while delivering her into a world of luxury. Now her mother has been sucked into a hateful whirlwind of wealth and greed, and only an unlikely hero can save them.

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    April 22, 2002 Message on Audio Books

    "E-books bad, Audible books good," b David Coursey, ZD Net AnchorDesk, April 22, 2002 --- http://www.zdnet.com/anchordesk/stories/story/0,10738,2862106,00.html 

    For years, people have been promising that computers are going to change the way we read. But with a few online exceptions (such as ZDNet and CNET, of course), that promise has never been fully realized. So far, electronic books in particular, while much hyped, have pretty much been a wash.

    I know paper is in no danger of becoming extinct around my house--at least not because of e-books.

    But my reading habits have changed lately, thanks to audio books I've been downloading from a service called Audible. For $15.95 a month, I can download two books of my choice; for $12.95, I can get a single book plus a subscription to a magazine, newspaper, or radio program.

    CONSIDERING THAT two audio books on compact disc or cassette--or their hardcover equivalents--can easily cost more than $50, this is a really good deal. (If you want audio books that you can hold in your hand, several Web sites, including Audio Book Central, will rent them to you.)

    What kind of books can you download from Audible? Not the entire Amazon catalog, to be sure. But with a 6,000-volume selection that includes fiction, non-fiction, business, science, foreign language, comedy, history, and children's books, I haven't had any trouble finding two books I want to listen to each month. I've even made some à la carte purchases above and beyond the two books my membership gives me.

    Right now, I'm listening to Anthony Bourdain's "Kitchen Confidential" and John Maclean's "Fire on the Mountain," the true story of how 14 firefighters died six years ago in a Colorado wildland fire. (If you ever need an example of how a whole series of innocent screw-ups can result in horrible consequences, I heartily recommend the latter.)

    You can listen to the books as an audio stream over the Net, but I don't recommend it. Better to downloaded them and listen using your PDA, MP3 player, or a special device called Otis that Audible sells (or gives away with a one-year subscription).

    As many as four audio formats are available for each book. Files range in size from a few megabytes to almost 100, depending on format. As you might imagine, the larger files give you better fidelity but limit the length of segments you can carry on your portable device. Audible provides a nice Windows application that helps manage your library.

    AUDIBLE IS ALSO a good model for how content publishing on the Internet ought to work--the music industry should pay attention to what Audible is doing. I like Audible's take on digital rights management: The books I download are mine to listen to and keep forever. I can download them again if I need to. I tried that with some e-books I bought at Amazon without success, which feels like flushing money down the drain.

    Better, many Audible books can be burned onto compact discs, making them easier to listen to in the car and other places where a CD player is the best choice. Yes, that means you can loan your discs to someone else. But I do that with the books I own already, so what's the big difference? And I still buy a lot of books.

    Audible also offers other content on a subscription basis. These include magazines, newspapers, and public radio programming. You can, for example, subscribe to NPR's "All Things Considered" or "Car Talk," and get every edition automatically downloaded to your PC and PDA or player.

    I've subscribed to NPR's excellent Science Friday program, which happens to be on the air at the same time I do my own radio program. Sure, I could tape it each week--but I don't and probably won't. The subscription works better for me.

    Continued at  http://www.zdnet.com/anchordesk/stories/story/0,10738,2862106,00.html 

    May 30, 2003 message from Stephen Green

    Anthropology Sharing Site --- http://www.qozi.com/anthropology/ 

    Hi Stephen

    I added your link to the file that you requested.  However, I also added it to However, I also added it to http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob2.htm#Social  

    Thanks for sharing your anthropology materials.

    Bob Jensen

    May 30, 2003 message from anthropology@qozi.com 

    I'm Stephen Green and this is my site: "qozi.com/anthropology". I contact you because I would like to exchange links with your site: http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/eBooks.htm. I think our sites are related. My site contains community groups, news, and books about anthropology.

    So, if you decide to do that you can use this information in order to link to us:

    URL: http://www.qozi.com/anthropology/
    Title: Anthropology Resources
    Description: anthropology related news, books and web resources

    Thank you very much!
    Stephen Green


    June 8, 2000 The Genesis Modification by Peter Kruger

    Hi Peter,

    I added your message to the following documents:

    1. New Bookmarks Edition for June 14 (forthcoming) --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book00q2.htm 

    2. http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/acct5341/speakers/muppets.htm  (Where I also pay tribute to pioneers in education through mystery novels.)

    3. http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/eBooks.htm 

    Thanks,

    Bob (Robert E.) Jensen Jesse H. Jones Distinguished Professor of Business Trinity University, San Antonio, TX 78212 Voice: (210) 999-7347 Fax: (210) 999-8134 Email: rjensen@trinity.edu  
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen
     

    -----Original Message----- From: Peter Kruger [mailto:pkruger@steinkrug.co.uk]  
    Sent: Friday, June 09, 2000 6:25 AM 
    To: rjensen@trinity.edu 
    Subject: The Genesis Modification

    Bob

    I thought that the readers of your eBook newsletter might be interested in this.

    Please find below the announcement of our on-line novel 'The Genesis Modification.'

    The title, which in view of the recent controversy regarding the accidental release of GM oil seed rape is highly topical, can be found at www.steinkrug.com 

    regards
    Peter Kruger

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Novel, 'The Genesis Modification', is Available for eBooks and Pocket PCs.

    9th June 2000. Cambridge UK. Steinkrug Publications have released an on-line version of the novel 'The Genesis Modification' compatible with a range of eBook portable readers. The release of the title has been timed to coincide with the launch of a number of new Windows CE driven pocket PCs capable of supporting on-line publications. ____

    Man continues to play Russian Roulette with the environment. BSE and the accidental release of Genetically Modified crops are the result of reckless gambles we have made with our future. Every time we get lucky, our belief that we will always be lucky grows. But this is a game where we will only get the chance to be unlucky once

    The Genesis Modification is set forty years into future. The Green Alliance Party dominates European politics and dictates economic policies in the US. The party is clear who was to blame for the accidental release of the Genetically Modified crops which triggered a string of environmental disasters. But these assumptions are challenged when a body is discovered in a run down hotel in London. _____

    The Genesis Modification is supplied as a Microsoft Reader file for Windows CE driven Pocket PCs or as Word file. The Pocket PC is proving to be a simple and convenient way of accessing eBooks. The title is also available for the Nuvomedia Rocket eBook - which the May edition of Red Herring suggested 'might be the next portable device you can't live without.'

    Steinkrug believe that the Web, as a delivery medium, will influence both the style and content of fictional works. Emerging technology such as 3G will improve this delivery mechanism and, in time, the eBook could replace the hardback book.

    The first section of Genesis Modification is available free and the complete book costs US$7.99 It can be found at www.steinkrug.com 

    [ends]

    About Steinkrug

    Formed in 1995 Steinkrug Publications have developed a range of Web based interactive content. The company sees the growth of the World Wide Web as an opportunity to replace the hardback element of the book publishing cycle. It also feels the global nature of the Web and the availability of reading devices will bring about a revolution in the book publishing industry similar to the one caused by MP3 in the music industry.

    For further details contact:-

    Peter Kruger. Steinkrug Publications Ltd. 20 Leaden Hill, Orwell, Royston, Herts. SG8 5QH
    www.steinkrug.com
    Tel:- ++ 44 (0) 1223 208926 Email pkruger@steinkrug.co.uk 


    Time Warner Announces iPublish.com

    From Internet World News on May 23, 2000

    Time Warner Trade Publishing announced on Tuesday the creation of iPublish.com 
    ( http://www.twbookmark.com/features/ipublish.com/ ) , an open-platform publishing site that will take manuscripts from anyone and, unlike most other online publishing companies, trash the ones that aren't fit for print.

    "Without an intermediary's vetting process, readers cannot determine what's good," said Time Warner Trade Publishing vice president Gregory Voynow, who will be senior vice president and general manager of the new enterprise. "We plan to use the Internet as an actual publishing channel, rather than just a distribution channel."

    The company's structure will be trifold: an area called iRead, to highlight and electronically distribute previously printed works; iWrite, to function as a publishing engine for new authors, with both editors and other readers reviewing and rating the submissions; and iLearn, to provide expertise from the publisher's top-selling writers and editors for their readers and prospective writers.

    iPublish introduces something not often found in online publishing: editing. But is a lack of editing what's giving electronic books an uneven reputation? In a recent interview with Internet World magazine, Chris MacAskill, CEO of FatBrain.com, says that Web readers are more than capable of judging a book's content. MacAskill started MightyWords.com to offer an outlet for material that is between magazine and book length; he cites a potential $100 billion market for such documents.


    "E-Books Push Bookselling Envelope," by M.J. Rose, Wired News, June 5, 2000 --- http://www.wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,36745,00.html 

    With archives of over 4,000 reviews and hundreds of author interviews, at least five to seven new book reviews are posted at Bookreporter.com weekly and blurbs of those reviews are starting to show up on book covers including new releases from Pocket Books, Bantam, and Doubleday.

    Reading Group Guides debuted this week with several titles from Vintage Books, a division of Random House. Jessica Willett, manager of promotion and new media at Vintage said that reading groups are a huge focus for the paperback imprint.

    "We devote a lot of time and energy to our guides because we've found the word of mouth these groups generate is invaluable to us and Fitzgerald's site reaches the audience we are looking for."

    More than 600 free guides, provided by various publishers, will be available on the Reading Group Guide site by late June. Editorial features include practical information about forming and running a reading group, articles about offbeat reading group ideas, and interviews with various groups, which are updated monthly by the site's editor, Liz Keuffer.

    The Bookreporter.com website is at http://www.bookreporter.com/.


    eBook and pbook
    Debbie Bowling sent the following that she got out of Word Spy

    As today's word shows, the apparently inevitable e-book revolution is forcing the language to change in anticipation. Within a year or two, using the word "book" without any kind of modifier will be confusing because people won't know if you're talking about a book printed on paper or one that's printed on electrons (so to speak). So I predict that p-book (or pbook, which I've also seen) will become a common noun that will help us distinguish between the paper and electronic formats.

    In linguistic circles, a word such as "p-book" is known as a retronym: a word formed from an older word by attaching a previously unnecessary modifier. For example, there was a time when the words "guitar," "mail," and "transmission" were unambiguous. However, the advent of the electric guitar, e-mail, and the automatic transmission forced the creation of the retronyms "acoustic guitar," "snail mail," and "manual transmission."


    Bob--

    I'd like to give you some information concerning what we are doing: ZIP Publishing has recently been posting free reports in the areas of Health & Fitness, Genetics and Business using the Rocket eBook System. We are now offering supplementary course material in a program called ZIP Rocket Notes which also uses the Rocket eBook System. ZIP Rocket Notes allows Professors to post electronic material through us which their students can download from our Web site: www.zippublishing.com .

    I'd like to propose that we each include a link to our respective Web sites-in a prominent place. Along with the link we have a paragraph defining our products and services:

    Welcome to the world of electronic books and the Rocket eBook System! ZIP Publishing brings you free and low-cost books. Electronic ZIP Rocket Notes-course packs and material sold through University-area bookstores and downloaded from this site. Valuable links to bookstores, libraries, publishers and services for the electronic book user.

    Please include this link and paragraph on your Web site.

    We already have a link to your Web site on zippublishing.com. However, if you would compose a short paragraph (50 words or less), we will include this with the existing link.

    Best wishes for continued success with your Web site.

    Nick Petruzzella 
    ZIP Publishing PHONE: (614) 263-0214 CELL: (614) 348-3225 FAX: (614) 263-0257
    http://www.zippublishing.com 


    Hi Dr. Jensen,

    Cytale will launch the first European electronic book reader at the end of November this year. Our site is now live in English, so you may be interested in finding out more about the features of Cybook, which was officially unveiled last week at the NIST e-book conference. Cybook boasts the largest and highest definition screen in the market (10 inch, SVGA color), and its patented page layout method, called CytalePage, allows it to display works with a level of quality that is at least as good as on a printed book, with any font or font size you choose - and it is fully OEB-compliant. The announced recommended retail price is US$ 600 before tax - in France, that is. 

    The address of the site is www.cytale.com . Thanks in advance for your attention.

    Marc Devillard 
    COO Cytale S.A


    EveryBook is the high end (Mercedes) of the specialty device electronic book readers (two screens in color).  Bob Jensen's  PDF threads are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/acrobat.htm 

    I received this the following message from Kirby McKinney on January 18, 2001:

    Everybook is pleased to announce that we have released a remarkable and robust PDF document management application tool called DocAble(tm) 1.0. Fifteen (15) day evaluation copies of DocAble(tm) are available on our website ( www.everybook.net  ). Orders can be placed by contacting me directly. For orders over ten (10) in quantity, please contact me for information on Everybook's aggressive volume discount schedule, as well as government and educational pricing.

    DocAble(tm) can help organize, search, read from and write with PDF documents. It is the first PDF document manager to visually organize, auto-index and excerpt PDF documents. DocAble's cross document search tool, multi-screen reader, integrated noteBook and PDF workflow capabilities greatly add to the utility and distribution of your documents. Please feel free to contact me via phone or e-mail for more information. Thank you for your consideration.

    Regards,
    Kirby

    Kirby L. McKinney 
    Director New Business Development 
    Everybook, Inc. 
    2300 Vartan Way 
    Harrisburg, PA 17110 717.703.1010 ext. 129
    kmckinney@everybook.net 


    Hi Bob,

    Just found your site. What a great resource! I'd like to invite you to check out XC Publishing http://www.xcpublishing.com  for possible inclusion on your web page. We offer high-quality fantasy, science fiction, romance, mystery, historical, adventure, cross-genre novels and selected nonfiction e-books to our readers. Our e-books are provided in as many file formats as possible. We also offer special book-related extras such as maps, games, newsletters and more at our website.

    I noticed that your site seems to focus on non-fiction. If you ever decide to include fiction, however, we'd be delighted to find room on your page.

    BTW, my day job is in the Finance dept. of city government. ;-)

    Best,

    Xina Marie Uhl [xinamarieuhl@earthlink.net
    XC PUBLISHING - http://www.xcpublishing.com  
    Your Source for XC-lent eBooks & More!


    Why don't you publish your own book?

    Vanity Press:  Do It Yourself

    You can do it --- put your own words into print!
    iPublish --- http://www.ipublish.com/ 

    You can even pay to have reviewers comment on your work.  Authors can pay for anything now, including reviews of their work. The controversial idea launches soon on a website near you. Also: The benefit of a free sample, and poetry that pays --- http://www.wirednews.com/news/culture/0,1284,43606,00.html 

    Beginning June 1, any publisher or author can buy a review through the site for $295. Included in the price is the right to print the review in any marketing or publicity effort, lifetime archival of the review on-site, and distribution to numerous licensees including Ingram's iPage and Baker & Taylor's Title Source II.

    Publisher Victoria Sutherland said the industry is sorely in need of a new method of obtaining reviews. "Currently there are over 70,000 print books published annually but only about 10 percent of them wind up getting reviewed -– and e-publishing adds ten of thousands more titles each year," she said.

    But paying for reviews is controversial. So much so that Foreword Magazine's editor, Mardi Link, has written an editorial defending the concept.

    In it she points out that in the past year the New York Times Book Review has grown thinner, the San Francisco Chronicle is now printing fewer reviews in favor of interviews and feature articles, the Seattle Times has cut its review section by two-thirds and the San Jose Mercury News by a third, and the Boston Globe may fold its Sunday book section altogether.

    "As the technologies of print-on-demand, self-publishing, and e-publishing send exponential numbers of 'new' books into distribution, how are readers going to be able to find the book they're looking for?" Link asks.

    See also:
    You Write, They Edit, iPublish  
    Authors, Agents on E-Books' Side

    Authors Lose Sight of Writer Site
    Fall of Times New Roman Empire
    E-Pledge Drives Don't Work
    Discover more Net Culture
    There's no biz like E-Biz

    Traditional book publishers said Juliet Waldron's book was too romantic, too historical, too something. So she self-published it, and now it's been honored with an Independent eBook Award --- http://www.wirednews.com/news/culture/0,1284,42624,00.html 

    Mozart's Wife was too romantic for one New York publishing house, and too historical for another. Others told her it was too sophisticated. Editors told her over and over that they loved her voice but had no idea how to position her book.

    She finally realized that the problem was not with her book but with marketing issues. That's when Waldron looked into e-publishing, despite protests from her agent.

    Waldron's belief in her work was rewarded Saturday when she won the Independent eBook Award for best fiction. Mozart's Wife was one of five works, out of more than 200 submissions, honored at the first Independent eBook Awards in Charlottesville, Virginia.

    "There are not many readers yet, for the technology is still working itself out," Waldron said. "E-authors and e-publishers are like baby birds."

    The awards are as follows. Fiction: Mozart's Wife, by Juliet Waldron (Online Originals).

    Non-fiction: The Spirit of the Internet, by Lawrence Hagerty (Matrix Masters).

    Children: Nessie and the Living Stone, by Lois June Wickstrom and Jean Lorrah (CrossroadsPub.Com).

    Short Fiction: The Cavemen in the Hedges, by Stacey Richter (first appeared in Zoetrope: All-Story).

    Digital Storytelling: Homecoming, by Pamela Gay (self-published).


    July 10, 2001

    It's time to dig out my Rocket e-Book that has been gathering dust in one of my file drawers.

    "Franklin Has Some New E-Book Pals," By M.J. Rose, Wired News, July 3, 2001 --- http://www.wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,44958,00.html 

    Hoping to entice more readers, Franklin Electronic Publishers has entered into relationships with AlexLit, MobiPocket.com, St. Martin's Press Prepare, The Wall Street Journal Online and Reciprocal.

    The affiliations will add an estimated 3,000 titles and hundreds of news articles to eBookMan's offerings by the end of the summer.

    "It's been clear from the beginning that the availability of content is key to widespread adoption of e-books," said Barry J. Lipsky, chief executive officer of Franklin Electronic Publishers, creators of the reading device.


    November 27, 2001

    Palm to Distribute eBooks from HarperCollins

    Palm, Inc. said it reached an agreement to distribute the HarperCollins PerfectBound line of eBooks through Palm Digital Media, its line of eBooks for handheld computers. PerfectBound's eBook list includes a variety of popular fiction and non-fiction. David Steinberger, president of corporate strategy for HarperCollins, said Palm technology "lets us offer readers the editorial and technological special features that are exclusive to PerfectBound eBook editions, while also protecting our authors' copyrights." Palm also has distribution agreements with top trade publishers Random House, Simon & Schuster, St. Martin's Press and Time Warner Trade Books.

    For more information, visit: http://www.palm.com/eBooks 
    (Bob Jensen's eBook threads are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/eBooks.htm )


    Audio and Video Searching

    Go to http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/searchh.htm#Audio 


    Bookstore Operator to Offer Adobe e-Book Guides

    College store operator Follett Higher Education Group said it would start offering study guides and other course material in Adobe as well as Microsoft eBook formats. The company's website, efollett.com, opened earlier this year with eBook titles in Microsoft Reader format. Last week it said it would now add thousands of titles in Adobe Acrobat eBook Reader format as well. Higher education publishers participating in the launch with eBook study guides include Thomson Learning Higher Education Group, Wiley Higher Education, Houghton Mifflin College Division and Bedford, Freeman and Worth Publishers. Follett is also working with OverDrive, Inc. to support course material conversion into eBook formats.

    For more information, visit: http://www.efollet.com 


    The late December 2001 shuttering of MightyWords is just one in a series of closings by big-name, e-book sellers. But smaller companies are thriving --- http://www.wirednews.com/news/culture/0,1284,49184,00.html 


    For my review of more information on online books and publishers, Click Here.

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