Publishing/Writing: Insights, News, Intrigue

02/20/2011

Popularity of Digital Publishing Increases Piracy…Damn!


Damn is right. Is there no damn, damn, damn justice in this world?

As Ms. Digital becomes the homecoming queen of publishing, pirates are swarming for dates! 

While researching this topic I learned a few new terms and concepts (I must admit I’m a few notches below a newbie techie…not to mention my brain damage).

For instance::

A Torrent (or Bit Torrent) is a file distribution system used for transferring files (one or many) across a network of people. As you do…http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/B/BitTorrent.html

 Seeder. A seeder is a peer that has an entire copy of the torrent and offers it for upload. The more seeders there are, the better the chances of getting a higher download speed. If the seeder seeds the whole copy of the download, they should get faster downloads.

Leech. A leech is a term with two meanings. Usually it is used to refer a peer who has a negative effect on the swarm by having a very poor share ratio (downloading much more than they upload). Most leeches are users on asymmetric internet connections and do not leave their BitTorrent client open to seed the file after their download has completed. However, some leeches intentionally avoid uploading by using modified clients or excessively limiting their upload speed.                                                                                                                                                                     The often used second meaning of leech is synonymous with downloader (see above): used simply to describe a peer or any client that does not have 100% of the data. This alternative meaning was mainly introduced by most BitTorrent tracker sites.

A Torrent file of 2500 e-books is about 3.4 GB and can be downloaded in pretty much of a zip.

A single DVD movie and PC games are larger than the 2500 book file, usually b/t 4 to 7.5 GB’s.

So, at this time, it’s pretty damn easy (and fast) to steal others’ intellectual property!

You must read this revealing article by David Carnoy of CNET.com :

Kindle E-book Piracy Accelerates

Several months ago I set up a Google alert for my book, “Knife Music,” to keep abreast of anything anybody was saying–good or bad–about the thing. Over the months I’ve received news of the occasional blog post and tweets, but more recently I popped open an alert to learn that my book was being pirated–both as a separate file and part of two larger Torrents called 2,500 Retail Quality Ebooks (iPod, iPad, Nook, Sony Reader) and 2,500 Retail Quality Ebooks for Kindle (MOBI).

I had the strange reaction of being both dismayed and weirdly honored that someone had selected my book to strip free of its copy-protection (DRM) and include as part of a collection of “quality” e-books, many of which were from very good authors.

OK, so the use of the term “quality” was a reference to the formatting of the e-books and not the quality of the actual work, but for a moment I wasn’t too bothered. After all, if someone downloads 2500 books, what are the odds he or she is going to even bother looking at yours? I was probably only losing a few bucks, especially considering my e-book is currently priced at $3.99, which only leaves me with about 50 cents a book after the publisher, e-book seller, and agent, take their cuts. (John’s Note: I thought many e-retailers (like iPad) let the publishers keep 70% of sale!) Even if I missed out on selling 200 e-books, that’s a mere $100. No big deal, right?

Well, obviously, for big authors, this whole pirating thing presents a bigger problem–and a bigger loss. But that isn’t what dismayed me so much (sorry, but when you’re a little guy, you don’t care so much about how much the big guys are losing). Rather, what’s shocking, and what the publishers should be most concerned about, is the fact that a library of 2,500 books can be downloaded in a matter of hours. E-books are small files and 2,500 of them can be packed into a single download (Torrent) that’s only about 3.4GB. If you set the average price per book at a measly $2, the worth of said download would be $5,000. Bring it up to $4 a book and you’re at $10,000. (In fact, publishers charges much more for some of these books).

By comparison, a single DVD movie is usually larger than that, as well as many retail PC games, which tend to run in the 4GB to 7.5GB range. A “major” PSP title is about 1GB, sometimes a bit larger (yes, the PSP has been severely impacted by piracy).

I probably don’t need to point this out but I will. I have about 600 books in my paper book collection, which took me years to gather and prune during various moves. Digitally, that same collection could be downloaded in around 30 minutes and stored on a cheap 1GB thumb drive, which could then be copied in a matter of seconds and passed on to someone else.

A lot of people think moving away from paper is a good thing. Maybe it is. But what should also be alarming to publishers is that the number of people pirating books is growing along with the number of titles that are available for download. As I’ve written in the past, the rise of the iPad has spurred some of the pirating, but now the huge success of the Kindle is also leading to increased pirating. Yes some companies, such as Attributor, have done some studies about the issue, and seen increases. But for my evidence one only need glance at Pirate Bay and see what people are downloading and how many of them are doing it.

Read and learn more

 

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09/08/2010

What’s Up With Wattpad? Interesting!


Wattpad was launched in 2006…AND, I never really heard of it (or if I did I forgot about it) until yesterday! But, I miss a lot sometimes, maybe even more than sometimes…

This revealing report comes from Publishing Perspectives by Edward Nawotka:

In August, Wattpad published usage analytics for downloads and readers of the company’s ebooks. The report covers desktop usage, as well as some 1,000 different phone models from 600 carriers in 160 countries (excluding China).

• While English-language books and readers using smartphones remains the strongest segment, growth among Southeast Asian readers using Java-based feature phones is nearly as good and, argues Wattpad co-founder Allen Lau, has even more potential.

Canadian e-publisher Wattpad “aspires to be the YouTube of ebooks,” and has some 600,000 stories or e-book chapters available on its site, says company co-founder Allen Lau. In late August, Lau released statistics analyzing which devices its readers use to read Wattpad’s self-published ebooks, covering usage on desktops and some 1,000 different phone models from 600 carriers in 160 countries (excluding China, where traffic to the company’s site is blocked). The report covers traffic through the second quarter of this year, from April through June.

“We know it’s not 100% representative of the market,” said Lau, “but is an interesting snapshot, particularly for the younger demographic. We have users from teenagers to writers in their 70s, but 80% are under 25 and most of them are female.”

What is Wattpad?

Wattpad offers ebooks via it’s website http://www.wattpad.com, a mobile site (http://m.wattpad.com) and through Wattpad’s proprietary application that can run on Apple iPhone/iPad, Android, BlackBerry, Nokia, and Java-enabled phones. According to its own data, the company delivers approximately one million downloads per month and has amassed nearly half a million readers since its launch in 2006.

The majority of Wattpad titles are downloadable as single chapters, typically of between two to twenty pages in length. The majority are written by self-published authors, though some traditional publishers have also begun experimenting with distribution through the site, which now include Macmillan’s sci-fi imprint Tor (available for the Android app) and Choose Your Own Adventure publisher Chooseco, among others.

The company is also in partnership with Smashwords.com and Lulu.com to provide marketing solutions to their authors in the US, and with Bubok.es, to do the same for its Spanish-speaking contributors.

To date, the most popular single title on the site has Dinner with a Vampire by Abigail Gibbs, which is available in more 50 chapters, which have been read in aggregate some eight million times (representing approximately a half a million total readers).

A majority of titles are in English, though there are hundreds of titles available in languages including French, Italian, Spanish, German, Portuguese, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Russian, Chinese, Korean, Arabic, Malaysian, Romanian, Turkish, Czech, Polish, Dutch, Korean, Japanese and several others. The company is ad-support and advertising, through agreements with partner companies in the relevant countries, appears in the language native to where the book is being downloaded or read.

Read more http://alturl.com/9buch

06/09/2010

Apple Gobbles eBook Share; Amazon Needs to Go Cheap to Compete

Filed under: Apple iPad,eBook market share,eReaders,Kindle,Kindle cost — gator1965 @ 7:42 pm


Apple is devouring the eBook market and the strictly eReading devices need to cheapen-up to remain in the game…At least that’s my opinion, as well as others like Geoffrey A. Fowler of the Wall Street Journal:

Fowler writes:

At Steve Jobs’ Apple Worldwide Developers Conference keynote on Monday, he dropped a stat that’s become the buzz of the publishing business. In the first 65 days that the iPad has been on the market with Apple’s new iBookstore, Apple customers have downloaded some 5 million e-books — and the company has captured a 22% share of the e-book market, he said. Presumably that count will go up when Apple releases its iBooks app for the iPhone later this month, too.

There’s plenty of room for debate on what those sales statistics mean, exactly. Apple, like other e-book retailers, “sells” a lot of free e-books that would pad the tally. Also, there are many different ways to count the size of the publishing industry, depending on the sorts of books one includes. Gartner analyst Allen Weiner said it must have been based on “some sort of voodoo algorithm”, given the secrecy that surrounds sales figures in the publishing industry. Jobs said only that he got the market share figure from “five of the six biggest publishers in the US.”

Nonetheless, the stats have renewed speculation about what this means for Amazon’s Kindle, which has led the market both in e-reader and e-book sales. Last month, Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos told investors that the Kindle wouldn’t have color for some time, and that the company was focused on making the device serve hard-core readers.

Amazon introduced its current-generation Kindle device in February of last year, and dropped the price to $259 last October.

Writer Seth Godin had a modest proposal for Amazon: Amazon should cut the price of its Kindle dramatically.

Godin dubs a $49 device the “paperback Kindle.” It wouldn’t be hard to hit that price “if you use available wifi and simplify the device,” he wrote. Or even, he suggests, make a “Kindle of the month club,” whereby people who sign up to get a Kindle book each month would get the device for free. The impact could be that the Kindle could quickly blow away some of its competition from companies that depend on gadget sales, not e-book sales, to make a profit.

“You can’t out-Apple Apple,” Godin said in an interview. “If all Amazon does is try to come up with something sort of like an iPad but less colorful, they are going to fail.”

Moreover, he said the current Kindle isn’t cheap enough, and doesn’t contain the social reading functions — call it a virtual book club — that would really differentiate it as a reading device from the iPad.

Already, other single-purpose e-reading devices are playing in the sub-$200 market. Sony has offered discounts that drop the price of its entry-level reader to $169. And Kobo’s basic e-reader sells for $150.

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