Fear & Dread, or One Parent’s Thoughts Over a Tablet in the Hands of a 5-Year-Old

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With the holidays recently passed, many parents are coping with the a new situation. Their young children have been given a tablet or other mobile device even though, frankly, not all kids are mature enough to handle the responsibility. Last week the WP published a column by the mother one such child. A close fried had ...

Amazon’s Echo Chamber, Redux (Or What Happens When Pundits Don’t Understand Consumers)

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A post on Amazon crossed my desk today, and have to take issue with it. It was written by Dustin Curtis of Svbtle, and while it is a good read I think it also shows that Curtis doesn't understand consumers. Curtis takes issue with Amazon's hardware strategy, and starts his argument with: I used to give Amazon’s ...

The Future of Books is the Device You Have With You – Which Might Not be Your Phone

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The Verge posted an interview yesterday of Oyster founder Willem Van Lancker. He makes some bold claims about the future of books, including that the phone is the future of ebooks: Where are people reading more, tablets, phones, or on the web? We've always been really big believers that the device of the future for books is the phone. ...

Breaking News: Streitfeld Admits That Amazon “Might” Not be Guilty of Censorship

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If you were hoping that a public rebuke from the NY Times' public editor would restore some degree of balance to that august publication's coverage of Amazon, I'm sorry but that hasn't happened. The media spokesperson for Authors United, David Streitfeld, is mixing it up again. He has a new post up on Sunday on the NY ...

Should Authors Disappear Controversial Books?

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A story crossed my desk last night (and ended up in the morning coffee post this morning) which I think deserves additional attention. Last Thursday Digiday asked the question "Should publishers take down controversial posts?": To unpublish — or not to unpublish. That’s the question for publishers that really step in it with regrettable content that sets ...

If you write nonfiction, and cannot command mega-advances, you should think about self-pub

Editor's Note:  When discussing self-pub, few pundits consider nonfiction books. In his guest posts on The Digital Reader, William D. O'Neil will help to correct that oversight. The great majority of indie self-pubs are genre fiction, and a large proportion of nonfiction in self-pub is about how to write and sell genre fiction. Some say self-pub ...

Mike Shatzkin Encounters Socially-Aware Indie Authors, is Confused

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Mike Shatzkin is a noted pundit in the publishing industry, but there are times that he truly misses the point. A couple days ago Mike posted a new screed in which he questions the motivations of indie authors who bash the legacy publishing industry. While Mike can see how advocates of the legacy industry are fighting for their ...