Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Barnes & Noble's eBookstore

In the book world, concern that Amazon will control the e-book market with the Kindle is waning. Barnes & Noble and Apple are both fighting back.

Barnes &Noble launched their eBookstore ( which now offers books that can be read on a variety of platform including Windows and Mac computers, the iPhone, the iPod Touch, and newer BlackBerry phones. (The Kindle Reader, Amazon’s version, only works on the Kindle, the iPhone and the iPod Touch.)

B&N has also partnered with Plastic Logic and will release a reading device early in 2010. No one’s saying whether or not B&N will sell the reader, but if it is available in stores, not only will people be able to handle it prior to purchase, but they’ll be able to get it without waiting for FedEx to deliver it.

The downside, B&N’s wireless reading device won’t be compatible with the Kindle Reader or with the Sony eReader. The upside, B&N already offers 700,000 titles available for download. Of course, this includes 500,000 public domain titles that can be downloaded for free already. But still 500,00+ books!

My daughter loves reading books on her iPod Touch. For the rest of us who have trouble focusing on the little screen, this new wireless reader will be great for reducing eyestrain. Just think of it: there are now over 500,000 books are available for downloading on line for free at

And soon, Apple will be coming out with their own reader; another alternative that may help bring down the price on wireless readers.

In case you didn’t know, there are currently more than a dozen different formats for e-books, none of which are compatible with all the different readers.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Print On Demand is Transforming Publishing

There used to be only one way to get a book printed. You had the printer set up the book, then you had it printed using offset printing. All of the books needed to be paid for at the time of the printing and stored afterwards. With print runs ranging in the 2,500 books and up, the cost to print a book was prohibitive.

With Print on Demand, or POD, the cost to print a single book is marginal. In some instances, under $15 for a paperback book. Yes, it’s more expensive to print one book using POD than offset printing, but since you only pay for what you print, the cost is much more accessible to individuals. And since some PODs don’t even charge a setup fee, your only cost is for printing the book. Not counting the time, energy and effort it’s taken you to turn your manuscript into something worth printing.

Even better, many of the POD sources are connected to some sort of on-line distribution. If you use these, your book can be available for sale on, and/or other sites.

So what does this mean.

  • More books are getting into print;
  • More books are available to readers;
  • Going through agents and publishers or using a vanity press are no longer the only ways to get your book into print.

Of course, the bad side is that:

  • Anyone can have their book printed and for sale on the web;
  • Quality control may be non-existent;
  • And there are more books to weed through to find the good ones.

Hmm. Interesting.