Let Readers Share E-Books, And They’ll Really Take Off

Limits on sharing and borrowing are limiting widespread e-book adoption. Remove those barriers, new research says, and the e-book market will expand even faster than it already has. Here’s that and some other new statistics…

Each week, e-book journalist Charlotte Abbot (@charabbot) leads an hour-long Twitter discussion with publishing industry innovators, identified by the hashtag #followreader. Yesterday’s discussion, about e-book buyer behavior, included reps from leading book industry research organizations Book Industry Study Group and Bowker PubTrack Consumer (on Twitter here). The two companies collaborate on research about consumer attitudes toward e-book reading. Here are some of their newest findings (and their earlier findings on e-book power buyers are here):


—About 15 percent of book buyers have adopted e-books. Steve Paxhia, who wrote the report, was surprised at e-book readers’ loyalty to the format. “It turns out that when readers go digital they rarely return to print,” he said.


—E-book buyers buy more books than print book buyers. In May 2011, over 30 percent of e-book buyers said they’d increased the money they spend on books, versus 23 percent who decreased their spending. However, the increases in dollar spending are lower than the increases in units purchased—i.e., people are buying more e-books but those books may be lower-priced.


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The rise of the indie author

As American John Locke becomes the first self-published writer to sell a million Kindle electronic books, the first "indie authors" to top the UK e-books chart explain their success.

Fed up that your latest masterpiece has failed to make it out of the literary agents' "slush piles" of unread manuscripts?

Self-publishing - paying a printer to run off a few hundred copies - has long been available as a last resort to frustrated amateur authors.


But it does not come cheap, and the chances of having a hit are virtually non-existent - it's with good reason that the practice is known as "vanity publishing".

Help appears to be at hand in the form of websites on which writers can publish their novels and sell them as e-books for electronic readers such as the Kindle.


On the face of it, the rise of such technology has the potential to democratise the publishing process.

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Why YouTube Adopting Creative Commons Is a Big Deal


YouTube's new Creative Commons remix feature in its video editor.

Making legal YouTube mashups just got a whole lot easier. The site’s video editor is now allowing its users to remix existing YouTube videos without violating anyone’s copyright. This is made possible by YouTube adopting Creative Commons licenses, offering users the chance to publish any video under the liberal CC-BY license. It’s a big step forward for YouTube, and a giant leap for Creative Commons, which previously hasn’t played a big role in the web video world.

Here is how the new mashup feature, which is slated to go live at 9 a.m. PDT on Thursday, works: Creative Commons-licensed videos can be found from within YouTube’s video editor through a special CC tab. These videos can then be trimmed, combined with other clips and synchronized to music, just like users have been able to do with their own uploads ever since YouTube launched its video editor a year ago. “It’s as if all the Creative Commons videos were part of your personal library,” explained Product Manager Jason Toff when I talked to him on the phone yesterday.


YouTube's new Creative Commons licensing options.

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Who Will Win at Mobile Payments? Google or Square?

Published on May 26, 2011
by Tricia Duryee

This was one heck of a week for mobile payments.


Google unveiled a mobile wallet and deals program that will allow users to tap their Android phone at the register to pay using near field communication (NFC) technology.

At the press conference today, it also said it has built a deal network, much like Groupon, that offers consumers discounts and loyalty programs for local retailers and merchants.

(It was only a tiny bit deflating later in the day when PayPal sued Google and its top two payment execs).



Rewind to earlier this week when Square, the company founded by Twitter creator Jack Dorsey, also announced its mobile payment plans.

On Monday, Dorsey showed Square’s way of replacing wallets without using NFC.

Instead of NFC, users order and pay with an iPhone application, where their credit card information is stored. At checkout, they give their name to the cashier, who will need to use an iPad as a register in order to complete the transaction.

Square also envisions building a local deals network.


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