Adobe is to stop releasing stand-alone versions of its most popular products - Photoshop, InDesign et al. In future, if you want the software that has, until now, been grouped under the Creative Suite brand, you'll have to move to the cloud.
Adobe isn't the first company to switch from selling softing to renting it. But there's something about this shift that seems especially egregious.
For professionals, it's a good deal. Renting single packages, such as Photoshop, will cost you $20/month. Or you can stump up $50/month and get everything. You're always upgraded to new versions, and you get new features as they become ready, rather than having to wait for a point upgrade or whole new version. If you compare this with buying upgrades, it actually works out cheaper and more convenient.
Which is fine if you always buy the new versions when they become available. Not everyone does.
If you're an amateur or semi-pro, you probably haven't used every version of Photoshop. You might, instead, upgrade every second or third version. If this is the case, you're screwed - Adobe's Creative Cloud is an extremely bad deal.
Worse, if you decide to stop upgrading, you lose everything.
There are lots of good reasons for not using out-of-date software. Security is one - and let's face it, Adobe's record on the security flaws in its software is hideous.
But there's one very good reason in its favour: cost. Unless you are making lots of money from your use of the software, it's hard to justify Adobe's grotesquely inflated prices for its products. However, once you've laid out some cash for, say, Photoshop 3 or 4 or 5, and if that version gives you all the features you actually require, then you could just stick with it and not waste any more money on updates you don't need.
But if you get on the Creative Cloud treadmill, they've got you. Because once you stop paying the rent, the software becomes unusable. You don't get left with an out-of-date version - you're left with nothing. Worse, you're most likely left with files not editable by other software. Start on this path, and Adobe has you in chains forever. Which, presumably, is the whole point.
I don't use Photoshop much anymore, so I'll be sticking with my old version and ignoring Creative Cloud. Same goes for InDesign.
But I'm worried about Lightroom. This is a program I use a lot. And it's currently unclear whether LR users will also be forced into the cloud if they want to upgrade. Maybe it's time to check out Apple's Aperture...
When Google announced it was going to shut down it's Reader service, there was a predictable outcry from users and an equally predictable response from smug non-users saying 'get over it'.
There's a debate about the value of RSS, but the real significance of the closure is how vulnerable you become when you put your faith in free services.
There has been no shortage of self-enamoured pundits on the web proclaiming that RSS is 'dead anyway'. The web is full of people who assume that, because they don't used something and have moved on to the next shiny thing, that no-one (who matters) uses it.
But the fact is that RSS, for all its age and simplicity, remains an extremely useful technology for anyone who uses the web for serious or professional research.
I'd actually been using RSS for some time before discovering Google Reader. But the discovery was a relevation, and for one particular reason - tagging. As a journalist, I use Reader to track stories as raw material for news and feature articles. If, for example, I'm following what's happening with DDoS, I just tag each useful story I find with 'DDoS', knowing that all the material will be pulled together under that tag. Reader makes it easy with predictive (or type-ahead) text entry, so I often only have to type 'dd' then hit return. It's a very fast workflow.
When I've written my story, I simply delete the tag.
I've been looking around for alternatives to Reader, but haven't found any that work nearly so well. Lots of Reader users have jumped ship to Feedly: but while it's very pretty, its tagging feature is crap - primitive at best. It doesn't even come close to satisfying the needs of my workflow. And neither does anything else I've tried.
Reader fits my needs perfectly. But, of course, Google doesn't care about that.
There's a tired but accurate truism that, with free services such as Google and Facebook, 'you're not the customer, you're the product'.
I'm assuming that Google created Reader as yet another way of monitoring what sites and stories on the Internet people are viewing. In other words, it was an additional source of data for Google's ever-hungry Total Information Awareness (to steal a term from another domain). And I'm also assuming that once the cost of running the service exceeded the value of the data, it decided to shut it down. Google, after all, is a business, and its business isn't altruism.
That some of Google's users (one can't say 'customers') might have come to rely on this service simply isn't a factor in the company's thinking.
Of course, you're always at the software supplier's mercy, regardless of whether you've paid. Software firms go out of business, dump products when they're no longer economical to continue developing, or even develop products to a state there they no longer work for you.
But at least with something that runs on your computer, you can carry on using it until OS updates render it useless.
With web-based services, you're far more vulnerable. And if those services are free, then the supplier can drop them without feeling even a smidgen of what passes for guilt or responsibility among Internet giants.
When Google pulled the rug on Reader, it probably did so without even a moment's thought for the users. After all, they weren't paying for the rug.
So, if you have a free, web-based service as an important part of your workflow, ask yourself a question. Who is supposed to benefit from that service? Here's a clue: it's not you.
I love the feel of a real book in my hand, and for all that I think e-books are a wonderful innovation, and the basis for a genuine revolution in publishing, I can't resist publishing WebVivant Press titles in print as well.
But it's not really for the benefit of our authors. In fact, it's a pretty bad deal. Let me explain...
I'm just going through the process of setting up Black Project - my satirical novel about conspiracies, paranoia and unexplained phenomena - on CreateSpace. This is Amazon's Print On Demand (POD) service and gives your book the advantage of showing up as 'in stock' on Amazon sites.
I'd previously published a version of Lady Caine, my earlier novel, on CreateSpace, but then decided not to bother with the service for future titles. The reason was that, at the time, CreateSpace was entirely US-centric. Customers from other parts of the world could order the titles, but the delivery charge was ludicrously expensive. That's now changed, with Amazon having opened European printing and distribution centres. However, pricing is still a big issue, as we'll see.
Fortunately, the process is pretty simple. I'd already set up an InDesign project for the Lulu print version, which is the same size (6x9in) as the CreateSpace edition, so all I had to do was assign a new ISBN, edit the copyright page to enter the new number and output a new PDF. For the cover, I just needed to replace the bar code.
So I zipped happily through the setup process on CreateSpace ... until I came to the page where you set pricing.
I believe in making the books as inexpensive as possible. There's always a temptation to make the cover price relatively high so that you get a nice, fat royalty from each copy sold. But that's a mistake. As a general rule, I think that the increased sales from lower unit prices ultimately results in more revenue - and happier readers.
So I tried to set the US base price fairly low - at $4.99. But CreateSpace wouldn't let me. Presumably, this is something to do with the production cost of the book. It's 488 pages long (not including covers), which is quite a lot. So I started increasing the price, a dollar at a time, until I hit a level Amazon would allow. That was $11.99 - at which price my author royalty would have been about $0.09. Yup, seriously.
I decided to push it another dollar, finally setting the price at $12.99 - much higher than I would have liked - but even at that level the royalty is just $1.09. That's 8.4% of cover price.
Which is pathetic.
An author whose book is published by a mainstream publisher usually gets a royalty somewhere in the vicinity of 10-12.5%. Initial, hardback royalties may be higher - up to 15%, perhaps. And it's often quite a complicated picture in which different editions will net authors different percentages, there are sliding scales involved, and royalties may at times go as low as 7.5%.
So you could argue that the CreateSpace royalty is in line with normal practice, albeit on the low end of the scale. But that would be missing some important points.
For their cut, publishers provide a number of services - sales & marketing and distribution being chief among them. (Yes, mid-list authors are now discovering that many publishers aren't bothering so much with the marketing anymore, but that's a separate discussion.) And traditional book distribution is horribly wasteful, requiring warehousing, shipping and a returns process that often leads to the pulping of copies.
CreateSpace does none of this. It's a POD operation, so no warehousing or distribution, and you do the sales and marketing yourself.
Yes, POD copies are more expensive to manufacture than offset printing, but does that really account for Amazon pocketing 91.6% of the cover price?
The bottom line here is that - as I've argued many times - e-books represent a much better deal for self-publishers and their readers. You get to keep a much larger chunk of the sales price - even Apple's famously avaricious attitude still leaves iBooks authors with 70%. And you can set prices lower.
We're producing these print versions for those readers who like print - which is something I understand. But they make no sense whatsoever from a business perspective.
Not everyone wants to read - at least not all the time. Sometimes, it's better to listen.
Audio books are hugely popular - just ask Audible.com (now part of Amazon). And they have some real advantages, even for people like myself who mostly prefer to read. I have a friend, a smallholder, who spends most of her day in the garden. She often gets through a book a day and loves the ability to be transported while she toils.
At WebVivant Press, we're planning to issue some of our books as audio books. It takes a lot of work, but it's fun to do and helps reach a wider audience, including those with impaired vision.
That's a little way down the road yet, but in the meantime, we have started a series of podcasts. These will include readings by authors from their books, plus interviews with the writers - about what inspires them, what interests them, their writing processes and so on.
It was an interesting process and a fascinating result. Clare's stories, while sometimes superficially whimsical, have an unsettling quality. She often uses elements of magical realism, but usually as a kind of counterpoint to the everday settings of her tales.
I've read these stories many times, but hearing Clare deliver 'Disguise' caused me to experience it in an entirely new way. And that's the value of an audio book or podcast: it doesn't replace the printed word but stands alongside it as simply another interpretation.
I'm looking forward to doing many more of these. We already have plans for some original short stories, not yet in book form, so they will be 'published' first as podcasts.
For those of you who like the technical production details - and I know you're out there ;) - here's how the podcast was produced.
The reading and introduction were recorded in our office using condenser microphones (Rode M3 and Audio Technica AT2020) via a Behringer mixing desk to a Zoom H4N digital recorder set to record 44.1kHz 24-bit Wave files. These were imported into Apple's Logic Pro software. After editing and adjustments (some EQ, volume etc), the file was 'bounced' out to a 128kbps MP3 file for uploading to SoundCloud. We're currently looking at making the podcasts available via iTunes, too.
We were lucky enough to be able to use music by Clare's sister Louise Le May. It added a great deal to the professionalism and ambience - but more of that in the next post.
Creating an e-book is easy. Creating a professional-looking, classy e-book that stands out from the crowd takes skill and effort. And as e-book formats improve and start to offer greater flexibility and complexity, you're going to need advanced skills to really exploit their potential.
Not that long ago, Apple introduced iBook support for fixed format ePub files, aimed at publishers who want to produce picture books (photography, art, comics). And Amazon is in the process of introducing Kindle Format 8 (KF8). This is, essentially, an extension of the HTML commands supported by Kindle devices. Embracing HTML5 and CSS3, KF8 will ultimately make the .mobi and .azw formats currently used by Kindles obsolete. The advantage of KF8 is that it will allow for complex and creative page designs, with embedded images and rich media. Again, this is aimed at illustrated books.
The two most popular and successful e-books formats - Kindle (.mobi/.azw) and ePub - are essentially HTML web pages with various kinds of wrapping (mainly XML and, sometimes, copy protection). In essence, there's nothing difficult about them. But hand-coding HTML is tedious. That's why most of us use some kind of software packge to output the files.
You might create your book as a Word document and then have your e-book publishing service (Kindle, Smashwords, Lulu or whoever) convert the file to the formats you want. This is very easy, but it tends to produce pretty basic e-books. You may be missing a properly clickable chapter listing, for example.
At WebVivant Press, we lay out books in InDesign, output to ePub and do a little hand-coding on the resulting files. This produces high-quality e-books. However, this workflow isn't going to support KF8.
We may see tools come along soon that allow you to exploit all the possibilities of advanced formats such as KF8. But they're not here yet and, when they do arrive, they're likely to be expensive, professional-level packages, such as InDesign.
Adding rich content like video, animation and sound is no easy matter, either.
It's likely, then, that the only people with access to the skills and resources necessary to fully benefit from the advanced formats will be professional publishers (or self-publishers).
The self-publishing world is awash with shoddy, amateur works, thrown together by people with no real talent or training in book production. Of course, sometimes you may find a gem among the dross. But it's difficult to tell which books have been created by people with real skills and which hacked out over a weekend by some clueless wannabe.
The development of advanced e-book formats may give professionals a chance to differentiate themselves. Perhaps it may even save the publishing industry if enough people are motivated to seek out well-produced works. In the new self-publishing era, publishers need a reason to exist. That reason may be: quality.
WebVivant Press has just published my first collection of short stories, Twisting Tales. I'm delighted about this because WebVivant is aimed at the market for electronic books. Although it's fast gaining in popularity, this way of reading is still a relatively new idea, so WebVivant Press wisely ensures that its publications are also available as a paper version. But as a Kindle user myself I believe that WebVivant Press is one of the pioneers of a new way of publishing.
The Kindle has many attractions which include the obvious green credentials and the possibility of carrying around 3,500 books in a device that is no bigger or heavier than a paperback. I've had my Kindle for about four months now and I love it. I'm reading more and in a different kind of way. I experiment with books I might not have previously considered reading as it would have required an effort to obtain the paper version and the electronic one could be downloaded in a minute. Now I always have a choice of books with me, depending on what I'm in the mood to read. Kindle have hundreds of books that are free, or cost only pence. With my Kindle I can have a number of books on the go at once - I can move from one book to another, cross reference (the dictionary is a wonderful bonus), and the Kindle always saves my place for me.
It seems almost too good to be true - there has to be a catch, and sadly I think I've found one, namely Amazon's pricing policy. After the first flush of downloading the free books and the books that cost next-to-nothing I started to search for books for my Kindle that had recently been published. I was surprised to discover that they weren't that cheap - maybe a couple of quid cheaper than the paperback, but not much.
Then yesterday, into my Inbox popped an email that said it had some great deals for my Kindle. I had a look - I was particularly interested in reading some of the books on the Orange Prize Short List. But they didn't seem like particularly good deals, so I had a quick look in Amazon.co.uk where I could compare the prices for paperbacks and Kindle versions.
The Memory of Love by Aminatta Forna is £5.11 for the paperback and £4.60 for the Kindle version. So the Kindle is 51p cheaper. Not brilliant, but still cheaper. But then ... Grace Williams Says It Loud by Emma Henderson costs £4.25 for the paperback and £4.99 for the Kindle version - 74p more expensive. And how about if I want to buy the Orange Prize Winner - The Tiger's Wife by Téa Obreht? If I want a version for my Kindle I have to pay £4.99 as opposed to £3.99 for the paperback.
I know quite a few people who have Kindles and iPads, but I have to say that at the moment I know more people who don't. And I've also heard many people say they could never give up the pleasure of physically holding and owning a book. The jury is still out, but I believe that just as it has now become common to keep your music collection on an iPod, electronic books will become mainstream. It's just a matter of how long it takes. Almost every day there's a new electronic reading device on the market. But if we are going to be able to enjoy the advantages of electronic books, something is going to have to happen to tip the balance in their favour and price has got to be a major factor.
Electronic books make reading easy, so if priced competitively people will buy more of them. So Amazon, isn't it time to take a sensible approach and allow electronic publications to take their rightful place in the book market? They are cheaper to produce than paper books, so they should be cheaper to buy
Clare Le May
All self-publishing platforms allow you to set your own price, and this is important because control over pricing is key to your whole marketing strategy.
Alas, when it comes to the Kindle, there's a problem.
At WebVivant Press, we're about to publish a book that we've priced at €2.99 in Europe and $4.50 in the US. And so, via Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) platform, that's the price we set. And, indeed, if you're based in the US, that's the price you see.
Amazon does warn you that, if you make the book available to customers outside the US, local taxes will apply. For European (but non-UK) customers, this means adding the standard rate of Value Added Tax (VAT). That's 15%, so I expected to see the price as $5.18. Instead, it comes up as $7.48!
I contacted Amazon and got fobbed off with a boilerplate reply explaining that, "There are a number of reasons why prices for Kindle titles may vary from region to region, including taxes and other operating costs."
That's a wholly inadequate response (and we're not letting it rest there). Amazon needs to come up with a more transparent pricing structure that allows publishers to set actual retail prices.
With this book, we opted for the 70% royalty scheme, but on a retail price of $7.48, we'll actually see only 42%. It means the book is far more expensive than we'd like, and our only method of fixing that is to take a smaller royalty. By my (rough) reckoning, we'd have to drop the royalty per sale from $3.15 to $1.30 to get a decent retail price for the book in Europe.
Amazon is making it difficult for Kindle self-publishers to employ a professional and commercial approach to marketing their books. And I'd like to know into whose pockets that extra $2.30 is disappearing.
Any publisher will tell you that setting the right price for your book is critical. When you self-publish, and have completely free rein when it comes to pricing, there's always the temptation to add a little extra. "Great," you think. "I'll get $10 for every book I sell." Except that you end up not selling any.
There's plenty of anecdotal evidence around that setting low prices actually ends up making you more money. If the book sells for, say, $2.99, that's low enough for people to take a punt on it. They'll buy on a whim knowing that, if the book turns out to be rubbish, it's a negligible amount to lose. That's important on the Internet, where things are often bought sight unseen.
Strangely, there are some publishers who are putting out e-books that actually cost more than the print versions. This isn't just wrong, it's stupid. In their defence, you'll hear these publishers wibbling on about the fact that there are still distribution and production costs with e-books, suggesting that these higher prices are forced upon them. They are, of course, lying through their teeth.
It's far more likely that they're raking in as much profit as possible while e-books are still cool and niche (which won't be for much longer). The thought process running through what passes for the corporate mind at these publishers probably goes something like this: "E-book buyers desperately want stuff for their e-readers and tabletty things, so we can charge anything we like because they'll buy it anyway".
That phenomenon does, indeed, pertain in the early days of any new technology. When VHS, CD and DVD were all new, software for them - movies on tape, albums on CD - were very expensive. Once a technology is established and mainstream, however, software prices fall.
E-books are mainstream now. Amazon.com recently announced that e-books outsell hardback and paperback books combined. So the days of the early adopter premium are over.
So what about that excuse regarding production and distribution costs? It's a lie. Yes, there are costs involved in producing an e-book - mostly about the same as producing a print book, unless you're very unskilled and inefficient (which might apply to some publishers). In fact, it's often the same process: producing the e-book can be done alongside the print book, sharing the same material and files. At WebVivant Press, our books are produced in Adobe InDesign, using the same set of files to output a PDF for print and an ePub file for the e-book.
What you don't have with e-books is the cost of paper and printing, which are both expensive.
As for distribution, the costs for e-books (putting them in a database or on a file server) are far, far lower than the warehousing, shipping and pulping involved in distributing and selling print books.
Some publishers will probably carry on with this ridiculous pricing right up to the point they realise just how silly it is - probably at the bankruptcy hearing for the company.
There's a real opportunity with e-books. Because the overheads are much lower (and, if you self-publish, you also cut out the distributor's margin and publisher's expense account) it's possible to price books very low indeed. That not only makes it more likely that people will buy - and enjoy - your book. It might even encourage greater sales of books altogether. And that can't be a bad thing.
As we'll see in the next blog post, however, some e-book publishing services (yes, Amazon, I'm looking at you) don't make life easy when it comes to pricing.
A while back I wrote how Adobe's InDesign CS3 software could directly ouput ePub e-book files, but how they needed a little work. Now I've had a chance to play with the current version of the software - CS5 - and have had a chance to evaluate its handling of ePub exports.
The good news is that it's much better. The bad news is that you're still going to have to do a little work on the final files if you want your ePub documents to be fully standards compliant.
For this test, I decided to create a test ePub e-book for one of our forthcoming releases. Twisting Tales is a stunning collection of short stories by Clare Le May, which WebVivant Press will be publishing in print, Kindle and iBooks editions.
As it consists of short stories, it's important that the story titles show up in the table of contents. As usual, then, we created the InDesign document using the software's 'book' feature. Each chapter, and sections such as title page, copyright page and so on, is created as a separate document, managed via the book. To create an ePub file, all you need do is select the 'save as ePub' option:
Now, if you're eagle-eyed, you'll have noticed that the menu above is in French. That's because I was using a French friend's Mac to run this test. But even a basic grasp of the language should be enough for you to see that there's an 'Export book in ePUB format...' option.
This brings up a dialogue box with three tabs. I won't go through all the options - I dealt with many of them in the previous series of articles. However, it's worth pointing out a couple of options that have appeared since CS3.
There are now two fields that allow you to input important information. In my previous articles, I detailed how you need to have a unique ID (which appears in two places) and how it's desirable to be able to add metadata to the ePub files identifying the publsher. With the CS3 export, you had to hack the resulting files by hand. With CS5 that's no longer needed. The 'Ajouter une entrée pour l'éditeur' and 'Identificateur unique' fields allow you to enter a publisher (not 'editor' as you might think) and ID information. Here, we've used the ISBN number as the ID.
Running the latest version of epubcheck (v1.1) on the resulting ePub file produced just one error:
ERROR: Twisting Tales.epub/OEBPS/content.opf(2): date value '' is not valid. The date must be in the form YYYY, YYYY-MM or YYYY-MM-DD (e.g., "1993", "1993-05", or "1993-05-01"). See http://www.w3.org/TR/NOTE-datetime.
That's not bad, but it still needs fixing. There's always a chance that the Apple iBookstore - which insists on files passing epubcheck - might reject the file. It's possible that, somewhere, there's a metadata setting in the InDesign file that I've overlooked and which would fix this problem. If you know of one, please let me know.
In spite of this error, the file opens just fine in Adobe Digital Editions (ADE):
Note how the chapter headings have rendered fine in the contents listing on the left. These have been lifted from the filenames of the individual chapter files.
Also, note the image. Twisting Tales is enlivened by some beautiful illustrations by Angela Rozelaar - on the cover and one illustration starting each story. I placed these in the InDesign pages by creating a new paragraph style where the text was centred and there's a little space above and below the par. I then cut and pasted the images into these paragraphs. As you can see, the images exported fine and are suitably centred.
Now to the nitty-gritty of how well InDesign CS5 did, compared to CS3. In the previous series of articles I detailed how I would unzip the .epub document and tweak the content.opf and toc.ncx files, before zipping up the package again. How much of that work still needs to be done?
Content file - content.opf
The 'unique-identifer' attribute in the <package> tag is now properly inserted, thanks to that new field in the dialogue box. Certain schema information, which we've been entering as attributes in the <metadata> tag haven't been inserted by InDesign, but as epubcheck doesn't complain about its absence, maybe that's not a problem.
The publisher and identifier tags are there, again thanks to that extra field in the dialogue box. However, I would prefer it if the identifier tag also contained the attribute opf:scheme="ISBN", given that we're using the ISBN as the ID. This would need to be added by hand, but it's not the end of the world if it's not there.
There's a language tag - in this case it was:
I might have preferred en-GB for the value, but maybe that's splitting hairs.
The creator tag is similarly basic:
<dc:creator>Clare Le May</dc:creator>
A more complete and compliant version would be:
<dc:creator opf:file-as="Le May, Clare" opf:role="aut">Clare Le May</dc:creator>
The <manifest> section has the correct media-type attribute and didn't suffer the duplicate image references that CS3 insisted on inserting.
The one actual problem was the date tag. This was empty, thus: <dc:date/>
Once modified to show the publication date - <dc:date>2011-03</dc:date> - the ePub file validates fine. And given that the content.opf file needs to be opened and hacked in this way, you might as well go ahead and add the other stuff I've mentioned above.
Table of contents file- noc.ncx
Given that the toc.ncx file validates fine with epubcheck, you could always leave it alone. Indeed, CS5 has addressed nearly all the issues I mentioned with regard to the CS3 files. The only thing it does a little strangely is that, with the <navPoint> tags, it uses id="navpoint-1", id="navpoint-2" etc, rather than using the chapter titles for the navPoint ID. You'd probably need to be a purist to worry about this, though.
In summary, InDesign CS5 does a fine job of exporting to ePub - providing you set up some of the metadata information in the InDesign files themselves. If there's a way of fixing that date problem with ID CS5 metadata, then only a purist would feel the need to go in a hack the ePub files.
There's been a lot of debate about when we'll reach the 'tipping point' for e-books - the moment when digital editions become the norm and print is relegated to the 'also available as...' category. Well, it seems that Amazon is already there.
As part of its latest financial report, in which it announced its first $10bn quarter, Amazon mentioned that it is now selling more Kindle e-books than paperbacks, at a ratio of 1.15:1. This is for the company's US store.
This is the second milestone for the firm. In July 2010, the company said it was selling more e-books than hardbacks. Cynics said that, with the way the publishing industry was going, this was not a hard trick to pull off. But that trend has continued and Amazon is now selling three times as many e-books as hardbacks.
These figures are made all the more impressive by the fact that free Kindle e-books are excluded from the figures. Amazon has aalways been coy about how many Kindle devices it has sold, but it said sales of the third-generation model are in the millions. The number of e-books sold may have been boosted by the firm's 'buy once, read anywhere' strategy by which customers can read their e-books on a variety of devices aside from the Kindle, including iPads, and iOS, Android and Windows Phone 7 smartphones.
The Kindle store currently carries 810,000 books, with 83% of them priced at $9.99 or less. And people who buy books via the Kindle pay no delivery charges.
Amazon attributed its record sales figures to the growth of the digital channel. But it's worth mentioning a couple of caveats.
First, Amazon is an Internet business and you would expect digital publishing to fit well with its overall business model. I'm sure the significance of these figures for the publishing industry as a whole - including traditional bookstores - will be the subject of some lively debate.
Second, books are only a part of Amazon's business these days, and it's a fact that it makes better margins on sales of secondhand books, through its Marketplace feature, than new books direct from its own warehouses. How this will translate to digital is anybody's guess.
The web seems to make it harder to find decent clipart
E-publishing is a truly international business - something Barnes & Noble seems to have overlooked
Okay, so I caved. I still think the Kindle is a dead-end technology. But I bought one anyway.
The recently updated Pages application now has an ePub export — there's no simpler way to create your e-book.
One of the keys to success with an e-book workflow is getting your paragraph and character styles sorted.
Most scam emails are easy to spot and trash. But this one made me pause before hitting 'delete'.
Yes I'm a geek but I hate to see hardware going to waste - and Debian has given my old PowerPC Mac Mini a new lease of life.
A flashmob at New Scotland Yard drove home the point that just because you're taking pictures doesn't mean you're planning an act of terror
Publishing your book for the iPad is straightforward, if you have all your ducks in a row
As electioneering gears up, and starts to get dirty, political parties should be careful about which images they use