Publishing/Writing: Insights, News, Intrigue

01/21/2010

If You Publish on Kindle Your Content Can be Read on Other E-Readers…Maybe


This unnoticed change in Amazon’s DRM (Digital Rights Management)policy is big and may signal bigger changes in the future for clients who use DTP (Digital Text Platform) to self-publish on Amazon’s Kindle.

Frederic Lardinois, who writes for ReadWriteWeb.com, posted this today about Amazon’s changing DRM policy:

Amazon quietly made a major change to its Digital Text Platform last week that went largely unnoticed: small publishers and individual authors who use the Digital Text Platform can now opt out of the Kindle’s digital rights management (DRM) program. While this change only affects a relatively small number of publishers and authors for now, this move could hint at a larger change in Amazon’s DRM policy. Right now, Amazon’s DRM policy means that its customers can’t transfer their books to a non-Kindle e-reader.

Update: Amazon just contacted us to let us know that a DRM-free option always existed for publishers using the Digital Text Platform. Amazon just added new functionality that makes it easier for publishers to set these options.

For Amazon, it makes sense to experiment with this new option on the Digital Text Platform. Given that this is a self-publishing tool, the company doesn’t have to explain this change to its partners in the publishing industry while allowing the company to experiment with a DRM-free solution. Most publishing houses tend to be very conservative when it comes to DRM-free e-book solutions. In the self-publishing world, however, DRM-free books are very common. Self-publishing platform Smashwords, for example, doesn’t even offer a DRM solution.

Right now, you can’t take your Kindle e-books to a Sony Reader, for example. While the Kindle is a huge success for Amazon, the current DRM solution is surely holding quite a few potential customers back from making the jump to e-books.

The Beginning of the End for E-Book DRM?
If the e-book world follows the same path as the music industry, however, chances are that restrictive DRM solutions will disappear over the next few years. At least for Amazon, giving its self-published authors and small publishing houses this option is a first step in the right direction. For O’Reilly, publishing DRM-free e-book has turned out to be an advantage. Hopefully, other publishing houses will also realize that DRMed e-books do very little

Tip of the hat to Nieman Lab’s Joshua Benton for noticing this change first.

01/16/2010

Amazon Rolls Out Kindle Self-publishing Platform Worldwide


Kindle is debuting it’s self-publishing component, Digital Text Platform (DTP), worldwide… Authors can now publish their own content almost instantaneously.

Desire Athow, writing for ITProPortal, puts it this way:

Amazon has announced the expansion of its Kindle self publishing solution, otherwise known as Digital Text Platform, that will allow authors to push out their own content.

The scheme, which was only available in the US previously, will support English, German and French languages, but neither Mandarin or Spanish, two more popular languages. Amazon has confirmed that it will be adding more languages to the Kindle in the forthcoming months.

Published works can then be sold through Kindle store to customers across the world who can download them to their Kindle devices over the air for a fee of which Amazon will keep 65 percent (ed: that is shocking).

However, the DTP is not without flaws, as reported by Betanews’ Tim Conneally, Kindle supports only Latin-1 ASCII alphabet and ignores the nine other ISO 8859 8-bit alphabet sets.

The Kindle DX e-reader is expected to be launched over the next few days in the UK and in more than 100 other countries for around £350.

Observers anticipate that DTP might lead to a significant increase in the number of litigation as right holders dispute ownership of titles across various territories.

Amazon hasn’t described the details of its vetting process but it is likely to have a simple, but effective one to cope with the massive amount of publications the system is expected to receive at launch

Our Comments
This is essential if Amazon is to make a head start in big-gadget consuming markets in Asian countries. Furthermore, Apple’s forthcoming tablet is likely to be very adept at supporting the more complex and intricate Asian character sets.

Read more: http://www.itproportal.com/portal/news/article/2010/1/16/amazon-rolls-out-kindle-self-publishing-platform-worldwide/2/#ixzz0cnpzQOaD

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