The argument for real books against virtual books is often based on the thingness of the real book — the beauty of the binding, the pleasure of handsome design and typesetting, the sensuality of turning a paper page, the pride of ownership. I sympathize with that, but I’m a reader, not a collector — I love my books (and I have lots of them) for what’s in them. Except for a few dear, battered kid’s books that both my mother and I read as children, the physical individuality of a book is pretty secondary to me.
And so, given this priority of the contents, I’ve defended the e-book and e-reading devices as an extension of, not an attack on, The Book — as augmentation, not loss or destruction.
Ursula K. Le Guin is my god.
Excellent commentary on a recent NYT Op-Ed by Scott Turow (head of the Authors Guild). I definitely recommend reading both.
The book publishing industry, already facing disruption from Amazon and e-books, will confront a new form of turbulence in 2013. Starting in January, publishers face the loss of their back lists as authors begin using the Copyright Act to reclaim works they assigned years ago.
Even by the standards of copyright law, the author reclamation rules are a messy cat’s cradle of ambiguous rules and technicalities. The math makes your head spin.
For instance, authors have a five-year window to exercise the right but must also provide advance notice at least two years but no more than 10 years beforehand. For 1978 authors — who are eligible to reclaim in 2013 — the window is already closing.
Note of interest: J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Silmarillion was published in 1978, so it’s one of the works that could be affected by this. It will be interesting to see whether the Tolkien estate (or any of the authors for whom this applies) does anything about it.
“Are you tired of searching for yourself in Google Scholar, Scopus, or Academic Search Complete and finding other people who share your family name? This is a serious problem for researchers, whose reputations rest on their publication history. Many researchers are working on ways to separate the agronomist Dr. Jones from the medical Dr. Jones from the archeologist Dr. Jones. ORCID, a registry that will assign a unique ID to each author, is now live. But assigning a unique ID isn’t going to help unless EVERYONE uses that ID. Up until now, different companies and products have assigned ID numbers to their authors, but nobody else uses those numbers. That’s how authors have ended up with a Scopus ID, a ResearcherID, and a different institutional ID.”
This has great potential. Scopus has been trying to do something like this for a while, but there are problems with the algorithms they use (how an author’s location is displayed can change from article to article, for instance, which can result in duplicate author profiles) and the Scopus database certainly doesn’t include everything anyway.
It will be interesting to see whether ORCID is widely adopted or not.
We know that there are issues related to ebooks that have nothing to do with libraries. For example that you don’t own your ebooks, you lease them, that you can’t loan them at all or can’t loan them easily, that you can’t switch platforms (without some possibly illegal hacking of your books) for no other reason than corporate greed. These issues apply to an increasing number of ebook readers (as of April 2012 20% of Americans had read and ebook), but not all of them are using library ebooks for a number of reasons.
YA Highway—Publishing Road Map: Your Guide to Reading, Writing, and Publishing Young Adult Literature
Earlier this week, Smashwords announced a groundbreaking agreement with Califa, the California public library consortium, in which they would agree to sell up to 10,000 books for lending by California libraries. The CEO of Mark Coker had gone direct to his authors and asked them if they wanted to make their books available for lending; the answer was clear. Of the surveyed authors, 82 percent believed that library access would help them sell more books; almost one quarter were willing to give their book to the library for free… .
Indie writers owe Amazon big time for what they’ve given us. Are they perfect? No. Do they make mistakes? Yep. And they’ll continue to make mistakes. But I promise you that traditional publishers never call up their authors and ask what they can do better. I nearly wet my author pants when I got a call from someone in the Kindle publishing department who wanted to know what publishing and promotional features I’d like to see. He wanted to know all about my experience with them, what I liked, what I didn’t like, and on and on. I was floored. Amazon messed up their sales reporting page not that long ago, and you know what they did? They sent a goddamn email out to their authors explaining what had happened! And then they fixed it! Do you think a big publisher would do that? No, they certainly would not.
Thank you for the stories Ray Bradbury.
A reader lives a thousand lives…
Take lord of the Rings for example, there’s a lot of truth to be found within it’s pages. Can anyone honestly tell me that there is history be be found in Tolkien’s work? Just look at the maps in the back of the books, NO ONE can make that up!
The author name disambiguation process compares citations with the same author name. The similarity for each citation pair is measured by examining the metadata for both citations, such as co-authors, journal, title, affiliation, abstract, MeSH terms, grants, and publication date. Citations that share like author names are divided into different groups by clustering the citations that are highly similar to each other. Citations within each group are then classified as belonging to the same author.
This should be interesting to try out… author disambiguation is a tricky business.
Since most people tend to publish in their own area of expertise this should be helpful. The only thing you have to do is make sure you account for those times where they publish outside of their usual field.
Ebook publishing is often linked to value depletion for the entire food chain. Ebooks obey the other digital law: low price, high volumes. In this case, extremely low prices. But evidence shows professional authors can find their way in the new world.