It’s going to be a big week for tablets. On Wednesday, March 2, Apple will hold its iPad 2 event, at which the company will show us what it’s got in store for the next model of the iPad. There’s lots of speculation. The image above, from the Web site BGR, is circulating around the tech blogs: it was hoped to be an illustration of the actual iPad 2, but seems, instead, to be an Apple’s fan’s imagining, according to TUAW (I frankly doubt Apple would design anything this square). There’s murmurs, too, that Apple will release this next iPad in both black and white models (see this post from MacRumors); ooooh.
Whatever Apple brings to the next iPad (a camera, better display, can opener), for the first time, the world’s most popular tablet has some actual competition: David Pogue of the NYT favorably reviewed Motorola’s entry into the tablet game, the Xoom, and he says that its operating system, a tablet-specific version of Google Android called Honeycomb, is “the real iPad competitor,” though he also notes its in some ways too complicated and counter-intuitive. But this is the OS that will power the throngs of tablets soon to hit the market.
We’ll have to wait and see whether Apple has anticipated Honeycomb’s advances and shortcomings. But whatever happens, this is going to be the year that the tablet becomes a product category, not just another name for the iPad. And that should mean more e-books, and e-books becoming more a part of readers’ way of life. And it’s likely to really get underway this week. Whoa…
New Markets: The NYT looks at the new venues in which publishers are hoping to sell books.
Profitable Pearson: Pearson’s numbers are looking good this quarter. From the WSJ.
Pearson vs. Apple: But, in the same earnings call, the Pearson chief says the company might take the Financial Times elsewhere if Apple isn’t flexible on its new subscription terms.
The UK Gets E-Booked: Bloomsbury predicts 2011 will be a big year for e-books. From the Bookseller.
Xoom Reviewed: The first real iPad competitor, the Motorola Xoom, has landed, and here’s Pogue’s review for the NYT.
Dear Pynchon: A series of satirical letters written to Thomas Pynchon and other non-blurbers, asking for a blurb for a book. From Salon.
Weird Al on Growing Up: The beloved parodist has written a children’s book and tells NPR all about it.
HarperCollins has announced a 26 loan limit on e-book lending for libraries, reports Library Journal. This means that new e-books licensed to libraries from vendors can only be loaned 26 times before the license expires and a new one must be purchased.
According to LJ, libraries first got wind of this development in a note from OverDrive last week, in which CEO Steve Potash wrote “Next week, OverDrive will communicate a licensing change from a publisher that, while still operating under the one-copy/one-user model, will include a checkout limit for each eBook licensed.” HarperCollins confirmed that it was the publisher Potash was referring to in a communication with LJ today.
LJ goes on to report libraries’ frustration with these new terms, which are not specific to OverDrive clients:
For librarians—many of whom are already frustrated with ebooks lending policies and user interface issues—further license restrictions seem to come at a particularly bad time, given strained budgets nationwide. It may also disproportionately affect libraries that set shorter loan periods for ebook circulation.
For more detail, check out the full LJ story. PW will follow up with a fuller report soon.
Google Expands E-Book Reach: Google has started selling e-books in its online Android Marketplace. From PC Magazine.
Borders Realty: A Q&A with the realty firm retained to handle the closing of 200 Borders stores. From Chain Store Age.
Gender Bender: The Millions contemplates writing across gender.
Regan/ Kerik: The front page NYT story about whether Roger Ailes encouraged Judith Regan to lie to Kerik investigators when he was being vetted for the homeland security secretary job.
iPad Next Week: More rumors about what we’ll see at Apple’s March 2 event. From MacRumors.
Fake Pitches: To publishers from Boston Politicians.
New British Fiction: The Guardian looks at new British fiction.
Circulating around the literary Web today is this image of a handwritten draft of the first page of David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest. Look at how unbelievably small his handwriting was. This image comes from the Atlantic, which in turn got it from a very cool new journal called Draft, which, among other things, shows off early drafts of literary works. Check it out.
Also for a fun blast from the past, check out our original review of Infinite Jest, which we called a “brilliant but somewhat bloated dirigible of a second novel.” Oy.
Checking In: The Daily Beast checks in with the Strand to see how the New York used bookselling giant is doing.
O’Reilly’s E-Book Numbers: O’Reilly details its e-book sales numbers–they’re high!–in a blog post.
Vertical Integration: Kodansha and Dai Nippon are buying the small press Vertical books. From Anime New Network.
Can Scandinavian Crime Fiction Teach Us Socialism: That’s the headline of this Guardian article, and also the question it seeks to answer.
Katie Couric To Publish Book of Essays: Random House will publish Couric’s book called ‘The Best Advice I Ever Got.’ From the NYT.
iPad 2?: Images have surfaced of what is claimed to be the iPad 2. From Pocket-Lint.
Writers of the Future: Excerpts from a book of essays imagining the future of being a writer. From the Millions.
Apple has sent out a none-too-subtle invitation to a March 2 press event at which, as you can see above from the iPad peeking out from behind the iCal icon, the company is almost certain to unveil its next iteration of the iPad. Note, too, the slogan, a riff on the media tag that 2010 and 11 would each be the year of the tablet. Looks like Apple is pretty confident it won’t be the year of other companies’ tablets.
Rumors have been going around that the iPad 2 will be thinner, have an improved display, a camera, a faster processor and other enhancements–Apple’s always got some surprises, so we’ll keep you posted.
[via The Loop and TUAW.]
Borders–No Big Deal: Canadian publishers say Borders’ bankruptcy won’t affect them all that much. From Quill & Quire.
Borders Ground Zero: One author recounts where she was when Borders declared filed for chapter 11: on her book tour. From HuffPo.
Borders Bargain Hunters: The LA Times reports on how the closing sales at Borders stores are drawing lots of customers.
OverDrive Demo’d: AllThingsDigital demonstrates, in a video, how OverDrive lets you check out e-books from the library and read them on your iPad or other mobile device.
There’s A New Digital Library In Town: The Internet Archive has partnered with 150 libraries to enable e-book lending. From ReadWriteWeb.
Funny: Comedian Michael Showalter explains comedy memoirs in Salon.
Saving A Bookstore: Residents of Ithaca are working to raise money to save the imperiled indie Buffalo Street Books. From the Cornell Daily Sun.
An Indie’s Last Chapter: Cover to Cover Books in Sonoma County is closing.
The LA Times has announced the finalists for its annual book prizes in 10 categories (current interest, fiction, first fiction, biography, history, mystery-thriller, science and technology, graphic novel, poetry and young adult literature). Jonathan Franzen and Patti Smith are among the authors named, as are Lauren Hillenbrand, Jennifer Egan and the poet Maxine Kumin.
Click after the break for the complete list of finalists. The winners will be announced on April 29.
It’s time to check in with book and tech blogger Mike Cane, who, from time to time, weighs in on the digital publishing future. In a recent post, he offers his take on the 30% cut Apple is taking for all things sold in the App Store. According to Cane, content creators ain’t getting much in trade for the 30% they’re giving up. In terms of apps, which Cane says Apple promised to market in exchange for its cut, here’s what Cane has to say:
Do some math here. Let’s just say there are a nice round 300,000 apps to deal with (and “app” is anything in the App Store).
Over the course of one year, Apple would have to market about 822 apps per day.
In the course of a 24-hour period, that’d mean 34 apps per hour would have to be marketed.
So that means each app would get less than half a minute of marketing from Apple in the course of a year.
And that is worth 30%?
He goes on to rail against Amazon for the 30% cut it takes on Kindle books, nothing that Amazon spends its most of its marketing energy on the mainstream books that are likely to sell anyway, without Amazon’s help.
What do you think? Are Apple and Amazon earning their cut by simply supplying the platform, or are they being greedy and unfair?