Do you know Dagny Taggart? She's a character in Atlas Shrugged. She's also a best selling author of language learning ebooks on Amazon. According to her bio, she speaks 15 languages, which she picked up in her life of traveling the world. There's just one problem: the author Dagny Taggart doesn't exist. She is the pen name for a group of anonymous authors who were hired by an Argentine "Amazon entrepreneur" and a follower of k(indle) money get rich schemes. [more inside]
You may enjoy the schadenfreudic artwork at Kindle Ebook Disasters (previously), but did you ever wonder if the writing is as inept as the covers would suggest? In the case of Tender Kiss of the Russian Werewolf, the answer is an unsurprising and unqualified “yes.” Sextrap Dungeon, on the other hand, is not good exactly, but according to one reviewer, seems “entirely aware of how stupid it is and actually has fun with the fact.” [more inside]
The University of Michigan Library, the University of Oxford's Bodleian Libraries and ProQuest have made public more than 25,000 manually transcribed texts from 1473-1700 — the first 200 years of the printed book. Full text access. Multiple format downloads, including ePUB. Or just download the entire corpus. [more inside]
Yes, yes—We live in the Gibsonian tomorrow, the grim meathook future, the ever-weirder cyberpunk dystopia. But it won't be that way forever. Well, it might get weirder. But good-weird. To that end, the latest anthology from The Sockdolager, You Gotta Wear Shades, contains an astonishing seven tales of brighter futures. Because we happen to think things are in fact gonna get better.[more inside]
“The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth comes again.” -- Robert Jordan [more inside]
The Boy Who Grew Up by Christopher Barzak is a Peter Pan story featured in the first issue of Uncanny Magazine, a kickstarter funded SF/F magazine co-edited by Hugo Award-winner Lynne M. Thomas and Hugo Award-nominee Michael Damian Thomas. Issue One contains fiction by Kat Howard and Max Gladstone (Gladstone previously) as well as non-fiction essays including "The Best Science Fiction & Fantasy Short Films On The Web".
Pratchett's Women: nine essays (by Australian fantasy author Tansy Rayner Roberts) on the portrayal of women in the Discworld books [more inside]
There are numerous ways that bands reach out to potential and current fans, and you can add a few more to the list with Noisetrade, Stageit and Concert Window. Noisetrade allows artists and bands to give away music, like a few tracks and covers from Dr. Dog and Saint Rich, to the whole First Album Live from They Might Be Giants, and now e/audio books, too, in trade for an email address and zip code. If you prefer live music, Stageit and Concert Window allow fans to watch unrecorded, streaming shows from bands anywhere in the world, for whatever price fans see fit. [more inside]
The Navy has developed its own stripped down eReader for use on ships and submarines called NeRD (Navy eReader Device). It will have no ports, no removable storage and no wireless connectivity to assist with security concerns. While it will only hold a static collection of 300 books, it will take up much less space than the current minimalist library on board submarines today. [more inside]
Jorge Luis Borges called the stories of Craig Strete “shattered chains of brilliance.” Salvador Dali said, “like a new dream, his writings seizes the mind.” First published in1974 and then again in 1977, [The Bleeding Man] has its foreward written by none other than the great Virginia Hamilton who dubs him “the first American Indian to become a successful Science Fiction writer” and says that “the writing is smooth and unassuming, and yet the fabric of it is always richly textured.” The Bleeding Man and many other out-of-print titles by Strete are available in eBook format[s (PDF, PRC, ePUB)] for free. [more inside]
The book on Wood-Frame House Construction (with diagrams) is brought to you by the USDA Forest Service. Here is the full online index of USDA Agriculture Handbooks. They're public domain. [more inside]
Amazon has announced that "MatchBook" will launch in October, allowing you to buy Kindle versions of select physical books you've purchased from Amazon, for $2.99 or less. The service will be retroactive to 1995. Reactions from TechHive, Time, and Engadget.
CARPENTRY FOR BOYS WITH 250 ORIGINAL ILLUSTRATIONS By J. S. ZERBE, M.E. Copyright, 1914.
What Is the Business of Literature?
Publishing is a word that, like the book, is almost but not quite a proxy for the “business of literature.” Current accounts of publishing have the industry about as imperiled as the book, and the presumption is that if we lose publishing, we lose good books. Yet what we have right now is a system that produces great literature in spite of itself. We have come to believe that the taste-making, genius-discerning editorial activity attached to the selection, packaging, printing, and distribution of books to retailers is central to the value of literature. We believe it protects us from the shameful indulgence of too many books by insisting on a rigorous, abstemious diet. Critiques of publishing often focus on its corporate or capitalist nature, arguing that the profit motive retards decisions that would otherwise be based on pure literary merit. But capitalism per se and the market forces that both animate and pre-suppose it aren’t the problem. They are, in fact, what brought literature and the author into being.[more inside]
Storyboard was born of my insane desire to consume videos without actually having to watch them. Normally that would involve putting the TV on in the background and ignoring the video while listening to the audio, but what about the reverse? All visual without the audio. On my kindle. via waxy [more inside]
The author Samuel Langhorne Clemens, a popular MetaFilter topic, was born 177 years ago today (November 30th 1835) in Missouri. The printer, riverboat pilot, game designer, journalist, lecturer, technology investor, gold miner, publisher and patent holder wrote short stories, essays, novels and non-fiction under the pen name Mark Twain. This included The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (recently adapted into a musical), one of the top five challenged books of the 1990s, published in 1884-85 to a mixed reception and with an ending that still causes debate. [more inside]
My 6,128 Favorite Books - "Joe Queenan on how a harmless juvenile pastime turned into a lifelong personality disorder."
The new Humble Bundle (multipreviously) has been released. This time it's not games or music on pay-what-you-will offer, but DRM-free eBooks (in multiple formats including PDF, MOBI, and ePub). Featuring work by Kelly Link, Mercedes Lackey, Lauren Beukes, Paolo Bacigalupi, Cory Doctorow, and bonus works by MeFi's Own John Scalzi, and Neil Gaiman & Dave McKean should you pay more than the average. Books, hooray!
Books on the Knob, Pixel of Ink, and iReader Review are three blogs that feature free & bargain ebooks daily. If you want to start simple there's OpenCulture's 375 Free eBooks list but if you don't mind doing some footwork then there's this very comprehensive 614 Places for Free eBooks Online post (with divisions of content by genre) on Gizmo's Freeware. [more inside]
The American Library Association fires the latest response in its tussle with publishers over e-books in public libraries, while in England, a government review of e-books in public libraries is announced.
Elektrobiblioteka / Electric Book (video). Inspired by El Lissitzky's manifesto published in 1923. Background. Full-text (Polish).
... a new EPUB export feature has been enabled on English Wikipedia. You can use it to collate your personal collection of Wikipedia articles and generate free ebooks. These can be read on a broad range of devices, like mobile phones, tablets and e-ink based e-book readers. ... Collections can be exported in a variety of formats like PDF, EPUB, or OpenOffice.
Some ebook buyers are getting refunds. Pending approval by the court, a group of publishers (Simon & Schuster, the Hachette Book Group, and HarperCollins) have settled and agreed to pay back close to $70 million to consumers. They've also agreed to end Agency Model agreements with publishers. The lawsuit against the others continues and one company finds this settlement unfair.
Your e-book is reading you. How publishers are using e-books to gain valuable information about consumers.
Set on the stage of current book buying and reading habits, where bookbuyers browse local shops then buy online and universities move the books out of their libraries (prev), Tony Sanfilippo (MetaFilter's Toekneesan) imagines book stores of a different sort, part bookstore with new and used books, part lending library, part something more. (via) [more inside]
What’s a Readlist? A group of web pages—articles, recipes, course materials, anything—bundled into an e-book you can send to your Kindle, iPad, or iPhone.
Last week, small press distributor Independent Publishers Group (IPG) announced that Amazon has decided to stop selling Kindle editions for the publishers IPG represents. The decision impacts over 500 small publishers and almost 5,000 Kindle titles. Neither party has offered much in the way of specifics, but other publishers have been reporting that Amazon has been pressuring them to offer higher discounts and/or pay a “co-op” fee of an additional 3%-4% on all sales to cover the cost of offering “automation and personalization” services (i.e. Customers who bought x also bought y). Authors and publishers have been reacting to the development.
Daily deals sites have sprung up all over, with even Microsoft and Australia's Channel 9 TV operating one called CUDO. Last Thursday's bargain (still on sale) is an ebook reader complete with 4000 books. The listing originally included a link to the 4000 titles, which has since been removed. The title list includes many best seller books from authors such as J.K. Rowling, Douglas Adams, Stephen King, Bill Bryson and Jack Kerouac amongst others. The list originally had the heading: 4001_ibooks_for_iphone_and_ipad_epub. 5832264.TPB.torrent Which corresponds to files on the Pirate Bay, and other torrent sites. [more inside]
"rip lnu". So ends 13 months of the greatest pirate ebook site the world has ever known. [more inside]
Why Might A Publisher Pull Its eBooks From Libraries? PaidContent takes a look at Penguin's recent move to pull all of its titles from Overdrive's public library ebook program, a program that even some librarians are upset about.
"Footnotes are the finer-suckered surfaces that allow testicular paragraphs to hold fast to the wider reality of the library." ~Nicholson Baker
Will the E-Book Kill the Footnote? [NYTimes.com] 1. Short answer: "Yes" with an "If," long answer: "No" -- with a "But."
Byliner and The Atavist might be heralding a change in how and how much longform article authors are paid.
Most of us know and love Dailylit. But, if you want to have more current book snippets emailed to you every day, you can upload your own ebooks to Dripread. [more inside]
Like the death of Mark Twain, the demise of the printed book is greatly exaggerated, although the latest news from Amazon – which announced that it is selling more ebooks in America than print books for the first time – might suggest the nails are being readied for the coffin. [more inside]
With the success of the Kindle and iPad e-book piracy accelerates.
A book store is in trouble. But you'll never guess which one. Barnes and Noble, under increased competition, especially in the ebook market, is thinking about putting itself on the market.
Noted literary agent Andrew Wylie has made a deal with several of his authors - including Saul Bellow, John Updike and Phillip Roth - to release their e-books exclusively on Amazon. Macmillan's John Sargent and Tyler Cowen react.
Rudy Rucker's Ware Tetralogy is now available online under a Creative Commons license. [via Futurismic]
Wow. I was going to say something witty and clever, and I got nothin, so: "The new Web-based Sony Library Finder tool can be used to find e-books in the local library that can be checked out, downloaded onto a desktop computer and then loaded onto a Sony Reader device -- all without charge." [Note - Probably USian] [more inside]
Amazon's Kindle 2 was debuted on Monday at the Morgan Library (as speculated), where Stephen King read (and read) from his kindle-exclusive story. If you couldn't be there, read some live-blogging accounts. The interface and refresh rate is improved, now features text-to-speach (which upse the Author's Guild, who claim this feature is "an audio right, which is derivative under copyright law.") But Kindle isn't the only the only e-book device. Going farther from the more book-shaped e-readers, you can read ebooks on iPhones or iPods (the latter has a DIY option), Gameboy Advances, or even the Mattel's Juice Box.
A 4-star rated book on CSS: The Art & Science of CSS is a FREE DOWNLOAD for 14 days from the folks at Sitepoint. Reader reviews give it 4 stars at Amazon. 208 pages. [more inside]
Some are calling it the "Kindle Killer". (Demo launch video at engadget.) Plastic Logic's new e-reader, expected to be out in the first half of 2009, does promise to offer a lot that Kindle and most other other popular e-readers don't, like a larger display, big enough to provide a newspaper or magazine layout; touch-based markup and annotation; the ability to read standard documents and other file types without conversion; (promised) Wi-Fi connectivity (including the ability to transfer documents between readers); and last but not least, a screen display that you can hit with a shoe, and isn't that something we've all been waiting for during these tense times? [more inside]
Online Encyclopedia of Mathematics Edited by Michiel Hazewinkel (CWI, Amsterdam), and originaly published in dead tree form in 2002, now free to browse and poke into. [more inside]
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