Not only that -- after slowly typing a few things on Google's blogger.com, with a wildly malfunctioning cursor on my 10" tablet, Blogger.com was itself down for over an hour and nothing I wrote had been saved or saveable. [End of sob story, AKA the Power Dog ate my homework]
SOMEwhat undaunted, here's a bit of it anyway, that I could remember. My power is still not back, so these are the stories I remember finding. [Later: I went to sleep without completing it as I wanted to add some detail, and finished the entry this morning on an old-fashioned computer.]
TechRadar leads off with the following headline about their new textbook authoring program:
Apple iBooks Author ties your book to iBookstore You can't sell it anywhere else
It may not be as bad as some fear though, because the authors' "work" that can't ever be distributed except by Apple is defined as the "software" package completed by the author using the Author program and it doesn't appear to refer to the basic Content of the book.
The larger story is Apple's attempt to bring sweeping changes to textbook publishing and the costs involved for students. Basically, it could be seen as a good thing, as textbook costs have been outrageous for a long time. Apple's pricing will generally be $14.99~ But as with everything else, a suspicion remains that Apple makes plans that are wholly Apple-centric.
Current example: Apple iBookStore books can't be read on anything but Apple devices. As a result the language in the Agreement for Author software authors is disconcerting to some because of the reality of how closed Apple's system can be for its own books. Since Apple's focus is on Apple hardware, it's of more interest to them that you be interested in buying more of that.
E-Books sold at Amazon, B&N, Kobe, etc., are readable on Apple devices, Android, webOS, Windows Phone 7, BlackBerry Mac and Windows machines. In these cases, the book's the thing.
Per several stories yesterday, the actual wording by Apple for Author-generated interactive ebooks::
' IMPORTANT NOTE: If you charge a fee for any book or other work you generate using this software (a “Work”), you may only sell or distribute such Work through Apple (e.g., through the iBookstore) and such distribution will be subject to a separate agreement with Apple. ... 'Today, all the google news stories on first reactions to this clause are seen in this google-news search on the clause.
So, it actually seems, to me, to mean the package 'generated by their software' and not the contents of the basic book, and if you put your book into another e-format elsewhere, it's fine as long as you don't use one generated by iAuthor, That makes sense, if I'm reading that right.
I do think though that Apple's more-than-savvy lawyers were aware it could be interpreted the other way by some and probably felt that if an author chooses to not publish the book elsewhere in a form generated by another venduor's publishing mechanism, that would be fine by them.
Update - I just read Appside's take from the news-list link I gave, and it's one of the better ones, from his initial thoughts to another opinion he quotes after that. [End of Update]
"The Truth about Apple's Textbooks Announcement"
That's the Business Insider's headline, or part of it. They found the announcement "underwhelming" with the new items being an area for downloading textbooks and the iBooks Author software that makes it easy to make interactive textbooks. Their take is that it's just a start.
"Apple Kindles Textbook War" - Wall Street Journal's Rolfe Winkler writes:
"Electronic textbooks may look cool on Apple's iPad, but they are likely to end up selling more Amazon Kindles."
His reasons? iTunes Store has "only a handful available to start" and publishers may limit supply because they're used to selling textbooks at more like $100+. Amazon, Winkler argues, has the Kindle Fire at 60% less than an iPad 2 and there are "already far more textbook titles available for the Fire, direct from Amazon" or through CourseSmart. He ends with, "The cool factor may mean kids prefer iPads. The price factor likely means more will be sent to class with Kindles."
AMENDED Lawsuit against Apple and the Big6 publishers
AppleInsider headlines: "Class-action lawsuit alleges Apple, publishers engaged in 'price-fixing conspiracy."
Hagens Berman modified the lawsuit to include new allegations as well as information that could support their case, including Walter Isaacson's description of Steve Jobs boasting about his known and reported leadership part in the Gentlemen's Agreement to raise ebook prices to fixed amounts that would be required to be the same between all -- to thwart Amazon's strategic low-ball pricing. The interesting changes to the lawsuit include this wording:
' "The information we’ve included in this new filing shows the deep antagonism that publishers had toward Amazon for its consumer-friendly pricing," said Steve W. Berman, managing partner at the firm and lead counsel on the case. "Since we began the action last August we’ve uncovered statements from executives at several publishers that demonstrate they viewed Amazon as a significant threat to the long-term survival of their profitability.” 'In Steve Jobs' own words:
' Amazon screwed it up. It paid the wholesale price for some books, but started selling them below cost at $9.99. The publishers hated that -- they thought it would trash their ability to sell hard-cover books at $28. So before Apple even got on the scene, some booksellers were starting to withhold their books from Amazon.
So we told the publishers, "We'll go to the agency model, where you set the price, and we get our 30%, and yes, the customer pays a little more, but that's what you want anyway." But we also asked for a guarantee that if anybody else is selling the books cheaper than we are, then we can sell them at the lower price too. So they went to Amazon and said, "You're going to sign an agency contract or we're not going to give you the books."
Given the situation that existed, what was best for us was to do this aikido move and end up with the agency model. And we pulled it off. '
As we've seen, the complaint's alleged increase in pricing, as a result, by 30 to 50 percent, is not exaggerated and, the Complaiint continues, "completely changed the competitive pricing landscape that had existed for decades in the industry." to the point that often the e-book price exceeds the sales price of the print book.
Also see: History of the Pricing Wars in News Articles, with Sourcing for details and sources
Kindle Touch 3G Kindle Touch WiFi Kindle Basic (UK: KBasic) Kindle Fire
Kindle Keybd 3G (UK: Kindle Keybd 3G) K3 Special Offers K3-3G Special Offers DX
Check often: Temporarily-free recently published ones
Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources. Top 100 free bestsellers. Liked-books under $1
UK-Only: recently published free books, bestsellers, or £5 Max ones
Also, UK customers should see the UK store's Top 100 free bestsellers.
*Click* to Return to the HOME PAGE. Or click on the web browser's BACK button Below are ways to Share this post if you'd like others to see it.
-- The Send to Kindle button works well only on Firefox currently.
(Older posts have older Kindle model info. For latest models, see CURRENT KINDLES page. )
If interested, you can also follow my add'l blog-related news at Facebook and Twitter
Questions & feedback are welcome in the Comment areas (tho' spam is deleted). Thanks!