Nook to enter UK market

US book seller Barnes & Noble are entering their rival Nook device into the UK market and it will be sold exclusively through chain store John Lewis Partnership. There isn’t much competition here at the moment in the ebook reader market. Amazon has the majority share and the Kobo, which sells exclusively through WHSmith, has not fared as well in the UK as it has done in North America. The Guardian suggests that Amazon Kindle sales represents a wapping 90% of the market share. Continue reading

Where is Arc 1.3?

By my reckoning it is late.

Arc 1.1 was released on 15th Feb 2012.
Arc 1.2 was released on 24th May 2012.

It is a quarterly magazine so surely Arc 1.3 should be out by now? I have received no communication on this, there is nothing on the Arcfinity tumblr and I’ve not received a single update about upcoming content. The competition link is still on the tumblr page and that closed sometime in July.

There is also nothing on The Tomorrow Project website.

Anybody know anything?

Amazon say Kindle sales outstripping those of physical books

They said it was coming but now, online retail giant Amazon have claimed that Kindle ebook sales have overtaken those of printed books. Combining all hardback and paperback sales, digital downloads for Kindle devices is winning the war. But is it? Is there more to this story than meets the eye?

I’d like to go all “2012 and all that” on this post (my secondary blog where I challenge publicly believed nonsense and misinformation) and try to explain my understanding of how this is panning out in real terms. My alarm bells started to ring when I read this excerpt:

Much to the consternation of the publishing industry, Amazon has refused to release audited figures for its digital book sales, something it does for printed books. It told The Guardian that the company would not discuss future policy on the matter.

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The holiday reading dilemma

The holiday that I am currently on (I’m writing this post four days before I leave by the way) is my first without The Holiday Reading Dilemma. And when I have such a large backlog as I generally do, it can often cause me a lot of stress. Seriously, I used to spend hours deciding which of my books to take with me and I had a very specific ritual:

* No fewer than three (in case I run out)
* No more than five (because I’ll never read more than that)
* Try to avoid having two of the same sub-genre (avoids repetition if the books are inadvertantly too similar)
* Paperbacks only (for weight)
* Light reading only (nothing too deep – I am on holiday!)
* Not too thick (for weight) Continue reading

Some sales figures to chew over – ebooks

Carrying on from yesterday’s discussion, on the trends of buying ebooks and the effect it is having on the market, we have some sales figures today from The Grauniad.

Sales of ebooks are increasing and compensating for the decline in physical books. I would assume that this trend is here to stay. Book sales in general – when we combine the sales of physical and digital formats – are down just 2%. There are many aspects that could affect this so any hint that people are starting to read less (as more reactionary newspapers than The Graundian might suggest) could be affected by economic factors. On a side note, I would be interested to know what the equivalent sales figures are for second-hand book sales. If these have increased, it could indicate that the decline in sales of new books is for economic purposes.

Some food for thought anyway.

A view from the other side – epublishing

In amongst all the doom-mongering of Amazon monopoly and of epublishing in general, there is an alternative view in which the publishing houses are dinosaurs who can – yet refuse – to avoid their own extinction to preserve a monopoly they feel entitled to. Strong stuff, but this is the view of Barry Eisler in this article for The Guardian.

There are some incendiary points in there as well as a completely irrelevant aside about the US Department of Justice’s conduct on political prisoners but this section caught my eye:

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Something has to give

I can’t express enough right now just how much I miss writing fiction. Those of you blog readers who know me personally will be aware that my main focus in the last few months have been study (GIS) and the desperate need to find another job – and soon. Unfortunately, I haven’t been writing as much fiction as I ought to and I sorely miss it at times. It has been too easy to bang out a blog post or two and neglect the very reason for this blog. I haven’t completely stopped, I did attempt (and fail on both occasions) to write short stories for two separate competitions which gave me tight deadlines. They were neither the right time nor the right way of going about getting back into fiction writing because what I have is two more incomplete short stories on my shelf.
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London Book Fair: The ebook debate brought into focus

The debate about the role of ebooks in the publishing world is the debate that just will not go away and now it seems the issue is getting more political with lots of bickering between the divisions of physical and e-publishing sectors of the industry, accusations of anti-competitive behaviour and lawsuits. This debate is going to rage on at least until sometime in 2013, perhaps beyond. Continue reading

Site of the Week: You Write On

You Write On is a community of readers and writers that claims, very boldly, to have had a large number of success stories for getting writers published. It has an interesting approach for spreading the word about your book. Upload a chapter or a section from your novel and it will be assigned at random for another member to review. In turn, you will be randomly allocated somebody else’s work to review. Once you have received eight reviews, it enters the chart to be in contention for formal review by publishers and agents representing Orion and Random House (the top 5 get the honour). Continue reading