Friday, February 4, 2011

Apple's Deadline for In-App $. European publishers alarmed. Booker Prize Judges to use Kindles.

WSJ quotes March 31 Apple deadline for newspaper and magazine apps to take payments through the iTunes store

The latest WSJ article, By Yukari Iwatani Kane and Jessica E. Vascellaro, is about a deadline that Apple has set for some digital editions.

People are wondering if the following will pertain to e-books as well, as seems to have happened with Sony this past week.

' ... Yudu, a U.K. developer of digital editions for publishers, said it recently was informed by Apple that newspaper and magazine apps that don't take payments through the iTunes store will be rejected, beginning March 31.

  The company was alerted to the impending change when it applied for a new app and received an email outlining Apple's plans, Yudu Chief Executive Richard Stephenson said. '

  Stephenson's company already meets the conditions and won't be affected but he said that others could be affected and that "The implications are fairly serious."

"European Publishers Plan London Summit To Discuss Apple’s New Subscription Rules"
The Cult of Mac website's John Brownlee wrote yesterday that several publishers across Europe are planning a summit in London to discuss "the threat."
' Describing themselves as feeling “betrayed”, the head of the International Newsmedia Marketing Association (a body which represents almost 5,000 members in 80 countries worldwide) are planning to meet with the European Online Publishers Association to “compare notes” on Apple’s new rules.

Why are they so upset? Simple: they have already set up their magazine and newsreader apps to go through their websites, because Apple was refusing to offer an iTunes in-app subscription service. Now, Apple’s introducing such a service… while simultaneously threatening to kick out anyone who doesn’t use it. '
Gregorz Piechota, European resident of the INMA, explained that "Some say they feel betrayed.  They believed that it would be a great way to access content from newspapers and magazines. So they hyped the iPad, and many of them invested in apps for it.”

“By promoting these apps, they promoted the device.  Publishers in fact helped to make the iPad successful on the market.”

Brownlee can see their point.  When all along, they'd clamored for an iOS subscription service but Apple wouldn’t comply, they built their digital businesses around external website payment options.  "Now Apple has changed everything and is playing hardball with these same publishers who embraced the iPad and iOS despite some of the operating system’s drawbacks.  It'll be interesting to see how this shakes out."

Booker Prize Judges will Test Drive Kindle
I found this an interesting development.
  The Independent's Arifa Akbar writes today that this year's Booker Prize judges will be given the Amazon Kindle, to help them read the ~130 titles they'll be judging for the Fall awards.  They'll get the paper copies also.
' Ion Trewin, literary director of the Booker prizes, who had the idea to send out Kindles along with a physical copy of the submitted books, does not dispute that the e-read will be different from a paper one.

"I want to help the judges who have an awful lot to read.  If it helps that they want to read the entries electronically, we should make that possible for them.  I will be very interested once the judges start using them, whether they like them or don't like them," says Trewin.

The article examines the many possible pitfalls of using an e-reader this time.

Trewin and others feel that the look and feel of a book has an important impact on the reading experience and that a book loses a certain allure when it's in digital format.

"The judges will receive their books in both forms this year, but there is a fear that the Booker's hailing of electronic reading might set the ground, in years to come, for an eventual replacement."

Book-prize administrators, Akbar writes, are
' not leading the way in reading habits. They are responding to the sea-change which has seen Amazon sell more books for its Kindle (UK: K3) device in America than paperbacks in the last three months of 2010.

"E-readers are being spawned every day and only a Luddite would suggest that Kindles are detrimental to literary culture: it is a great thing to have people reading books – in whatever form.  Yet a convenient read does not necessarily equate to a better, more thoughtful one, as this year's judges may discover. '

  It always amazes me how little faith many who are wary of the trend toward digital editions have in the WORDS of the author.  The distractions of a nice cover, the type of paper, and the smell of ink seem to take on more importance for them than what the author was thinking and hoped to convey while writing the book.

  That doesn't mean I don't prize paper books; I do, for the books that mean the most to me.  It's natural to want to touch a book that has so much to say to you, but I don't see why paper and digital versions can't co-exist, though there'll be relatively fewer print versions than we have now.

Kindle 3's   (UK: Kindle 3's),   DX Graphite

Check often: Temporarily-free late-listed non-classics or recently published ones
  Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources.  Top 100 free bestsellers.
UK-Only: recently published non-classics, bestsellers, or highest-rated ones
    Also, UK customers should see the UK store's Top 100 free bestsellers. 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.

Send to Kindle

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1 comment:

  1. Prediction: while initially Apple conditions will pass, and prices will increase because of Apple's additional 30% cut. As soon as Android tablets will displace Apple's temporary market dominance, monopolistic practices like this will crash & burn. I'm currently ashamed of using Apple products...


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