You need to read more. It’s just a fact. Everyone could stand to read a few more books a year and watch a few less GIFs on the internet. Isn’t that why you bought your iPad? Because you said you’d read more if you had an “eReader”? No? Well you should anyway.
To inject your life with more literature you’ll need to buy a lot of books. They’re not cheap, and they kind of suck to buy because, depending on which digital store you buy them from, they’re laden with DRM. Don’t let that get you down though because there’s some really great news today on the eBook front. Storybundle.com just launched their cool new website, and it’s pretty much the neatest thing to happen to eBooks this year.
Apparently, ebook buyers don’t care about typography or design.
Amazon is now selling more electronic books than all paper books combined – in the UK at least. The Kindle went on sale in Blighty just two years ago, and now “Amazon.co.uk customers are now purchasing more Kindle books than all printed books – hardcover and paperback – combined,” says Amazon PR.
And of course the Kindle itself is far from the whole story. The Kindle’s presence on pretty much every device ever, including the iPhone and iPad, makes the Kindle store a much more compelling place to buy books that the iBooks Store, whose offerings will only work on Apple devices. And it doesn’t hurt that it’s trivially easy to strip the DRM from Kindle books, making people like me a lot happier buying them.
TED’s new ebook series and ebook app highlights the concern that ebook purchases lock readers into specific platforms.
The TED organization, which sponsors a range of conferences and talks on cutting edge topics recently launched an ebook series known as TED Books. Like the non-profit’s other initiatives, TED Books are “designed to spread great ideas.” Sticking to that ideal, the organization is making the ebooks, which will be released every two weeks, available across a range of ebook platforms including the new TED Books app for iOS devices.
The move highlights one of the challenges about ebooks – the choice of merchant and platform. That’s a particular concern when it comes to Apple’s iBookstore because purchases can only be read on an iOS device.
Book fetishists often cite the smell and feel of a book as a reason to keep chopping down trees and wasting fuel to ship the pulp around the world. But what about something that we probably all value, whether we are paper-sniffers or we have entered the modern age – signed books? Specifically, how does one get a digital book signed by the author?
Which industries will thrive in an iPad-dominated world? Which will fail?
Led by the iPad, tablet sales are now expected to overtake laptop sales within four years. Given how disruptive the iPad has already been to many industries, it’s almost impossible to read reports like that without wondering which industries the iPad will topple or transform over the next five to ten years.
A new Morgan Stanley report identifies some of the likely winners and losers in an iPad and tablet dominated world. The industries expected to succeed include a couple of surprises – at first glance.
More than half of iPad owners prefer to read news and books on their device rather than on paper.
There’s no question that the iPad is incredibly popular and revolutionary. As the device continues to become part of our daily lives, we’re beginning to see the iPad take hold in schools, workplaces, and our homes. What’s the most common task performed on an iPad(or other tablet)?
According to research firm Gartner, the most frequent task is checking email.
In a new report, Gartner used survey data from consumers in the U.S., U.K. and Australia that was recorded in a diary-style format at the end of last year. Email was the most common task performed on a tablet but a more interesting observation from Gartner is that people are largely using tablets as a way to replace tasks that previously involved printed and paper in one form or another.
The report stopped well short of saying we’re going to become a paperless society in the near future, but it did identify some interesting trends.
Erica Sadun writes at TUAW about a new, possibly first of its kind ebook, one that includes American Sign Language (ASL) videos embedded along with the electronic text and pictures.
While bilingual education has been around for a good long while, the concept of prepackaged ASL translation is a relatively new one, as the tools to embed quality video in an eBook haven’t been mainstream enough. Until now, of course, with iBooks, the iPad, and iBooks Author.
Author Adam Stone released his new book, Pointy Three, on the iBooks store last week. From the iTunes description:
Presented in American Sign Language (ASL) and English! The story of a fork who’s missing one of his prongs, but not his brave spirit. Follow Pointy Three on his journey through the land of Dinnertime as he meets characters left and right and looks for a place where he belongs.
Sadun interviews Stone and talks with him about his motivation to do such a book. “I want to show everybody that it can be done easily, quickly, and cheaply,” he said on his blog. “You don’t need to talk to a publisher; you are the publisher.”
Stone works as a first grade teacher at an ASL school in New York. He was inspired by the introduction of iBooks Author and came up with the idea for the story with ASL elements on the way home one day. He typed up the treatment on his iPhone in the Notes app, he says.
When asked why he hadn’t created an app, Stone reveals that he has no skills as a programmer. With iBooks Author, anyone can create an interactive story for their unique audience and situation.
This is the disruptive success of Apple, one that hearkens back to the original computer club and Steve Wozniak. Apple devices are all about empowering people to actually create and do things – wonderful and unique things – with the powerful technologies inside.
You know what it takes to step up your game on your Mac? Apps. Great apps. This isn’t really news to you, is it? And one of the reasons that Cult of Mac brings you deals is so you can get a great deal on a great app. Recently we’ve had great-app-one-offs, you know one great app at one great price. Today we’re bringing you a slew of great apps at a fantastic price.
The Mac Productivity Bundle comes with 7 apps, two sets of icons & graphics, 6 ebooks on web development, and 4 WordPress themes for $50. I’ll understand if you don’t finish reading and go buy it.
French publishing and price-fixing laws might have been the model for Apple’s iBookstore price-fixing
One of the ironic twists about the anti-trust lawsuits against Apple and the major publishing companies is that Apple’s entrance into the ebook market actually broke Amazon’s virtual monopoly on the ebook business. In the process, publishers gained the ability to control ebook pricing, which can be seen as actually encouraging competition in the industry.
While the U.S. Department of Justice and attorneys general from many states are pursuing lawsuits around the matter, not every country would see the situation in the same terms as the U.S. government. In France, for example, publishers can legally control pricing and are protected from booksellers undercutting their business as Amazon had been doing with its power over the ebook market. It’s even possible that France’s laws protecting publishers may have served as inspiration for the agency model that Apple used in building the iBookstore.
Ms. Santilli, a self-professed “die-hard Mac girl”, was looking for a new way to not only challenge her Advanced Life Sciences class, but also leverage technology to make learning fun. Not to mention get some practical experience in the real world of writing, photography, video, and ebook publishing. Just a few minutes with this free ebook and you can see how much potential there is for iBooks Author and iPads in the classroom. Not to mention you’ll probably learn something interesting.