Tuesday, December 28, 2010

8 Publishing Trends of 2010

This blog runs about 2 posts a month on Publishing, and here are trends I've noticed from my research:
  1. Amazon sells more eBooks than Hardcover books:  This was one of the earliest trends this year, based on Amazon's Q1 results. This trend accelerated in the later part of the year, selling 3 times as many books in the first half of the year, compared to 2009. Bringing me to..
  2. Ebooks sales doubled from 5% of the overall books sold to closer to 10% of the books sold (Association of American Publishers). Ereader owners also read on average 3 more books each month than before.
  3. E-readers Proliferated:       New e-readers entering India and Multiplying like Rabbits. Some estimated Christmas Day Kindle sales to be around a million units (Jeff Bezos said that this day sales was the largest ever in Kindle history). Kindle now is the #1 best-selling product on Amazon, surpassing Harry Potter #7. 
  4. Reading on Mobiles and other Devices:       Reports from Apple iStore show that iBooks is one of their top downloads. B&N Nook has a desktop reading device, and of course several other great independent Mobile/notebook readers like Stanza are widely used.On Christmas, Apple's iBooks e-reader is the #1 most-downloaded free iPad app, while Amazon's Kindle app is #9.
  5. Censorship: Several times this year, Amazon was in trouble for deleting books from Kindles, and for (perhaps accidentally) dropping GLBT books from their listings. 
  6. Closing of indie bookstores: While my favorite bookstore in Bangalore still exists, news reports suggest a struggle to survive elsewhere. While Independent stores are probably the hardest hit, we should remember that Borders and other mainstream stores shut several outlets this year. Google eBooks launched with options for local retailers to sell, hopefully this helps keep folks in business.
  7. Rise of YA: Inevitable, sustained for over two years and massive - this trend has resulted in more teens reading, and also a rise in adults reading Young Adult books.
  8. An Aptara Survey of 600 publishers does a great dive into the impact of ebooks on Publishing: The main eBook production challenge facing publishers is eReader/content format compatibility issues, the same as in our first survey. Even with a nearly universal eBook format standard (EPUB), today's highly fragmented eReader market makes quality eBook production a moving target.

I referenced this list in parts, to flesh out some of my points, from Julie's Book Hooked Blog.

2011 Trend Spotting: Content is King: View
What do you think? Do you have any you would like to add?

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    Thursday, December 23, 2010

    Two important Words: "You" and "Because"

    This is my first article about blogging - I don't know if this would be a regular feature here (That depends on you!)
    Most of us want to be better bloggers and keep readers interested, and here are two ways how:
    • Use "You" in the title: Keeping more "you"s than "I" in your blog post makes it more interesting, because then the reader is the focus of the post
    • "Because" is another word that research indicates is a 'trigger' for readers/listeners. The reason why is not as important as making sure that there is a reason given.

    Oh hey, one last thing - a study of 150,000 blogs discovered (to no surprise) that the most commented on blogs had two words in common:
    'Giveaway' and 'Jobs'
    What are the blogposts you comment on?
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    Wednesday, December 22, 2010

    Review: The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

    My Summary: The story begins with the bartering of a young orphan theif - Locke Lamora. Trained as a thief before he is 5, the boy couldn't remain circumspect and stick to small, regular-paying thieving routines. Having pisssed off the wrong people, Locke now faces being sold or killed.
    Luckily for us all, he is sold to Chains,his eventual father-figure and teacher with a grudge against the Nobility of Camarra. Locke begins working as a Gentleman Bastard, a tiny group with a Robin Hood-esque sensibility against the rich crime lords in the city. 
    Plus:  A couple of great characters, lots of intricate plots and good buildup towards how and why Locke and the GBs exist. This is a truly swash-buckling tale, and it reads very differently from most of the Fantasy out there.
    Minus: The story does tend to get very tangled towards the  middle, and the plot wanders. Give yourself some time and patience here, it all comes together at the end! A lot of cursing is used, however.

    I first read the The Lies of Locke Lamora last year and I was taken aback by the almost European 18th century world and Locke's audacity. As we move through time and back again, we see Locke's training develop and him grow into a mastermind of disguises. Re-reading this book unveils forgotten tidbits and layers of mystery in the storyline, a great set up for Book #2:Red Seas Under Red Skies.

    I would recommend this to: Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind) fans, Malazan fans, Brandon Sanderson readers, Jim Butcher readers. Folks who enjoy fantasy - the kind that emulates another society, with great characters.
    Buy: The Lies of Locke Lamora from Amazon
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    Tuesday, December 21, 2010

    Teaser Tuesday #23 - Red Seas under Red Skies by Scott Lynch

    Red Seas Under Red SkiesToday's rather long teaser is from the page I'm reading, about 30% into the book:
    'You convinced the nobles of Camorr to throw away a fortune on your schemes,' said Stragos without a hint of anger. 'They love their money, yet you shook it out of them like ripe fruit from a tree. You outwitted a Bondsmage. You evaded the trap that caught your Capa Barsavi and his entire court.'

    'Only some of us,' whispered Locke. 'Only some of got away, arsehole.'
    -from Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch.
    This is the second book in the Gentleman Bastards series (Read about The Lies of Locke Lamora here at e-Volving Books tomorrow)

    Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.
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    Friday, December 17, 2010

    Blogger Spotlight - Julie from Book Hooked Blog

    Introducing: Julie from Book Hooked Blog
    Fav Recent Read: Falling Home by Karen White
    What e-reader do you own and how did you get it?

    Falling Home
    I have a basic Nook.  I did some last minute edits on a book for my pastor.  As a thank you, he gave me a very nice gift card to Barnes and Noble and I made a quick decision to purchase a Nook!

    Julie's Favorite thing about the Nook?
    It is so easy to travel with!  In the past I've been the person trudging through the airport with a 20 lb carry-on full of books.  I never know what I'll be in the mood for, so even for overnight trips I'll end up bringing 3-5 books just in case.  Having the Nook makes it MUCH easier to have a variety of books in my purse at all times.
    Click to read on about Julie and her reading habits! Mail me if you want a spotlight of your own!

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    Book Blogger Hop #15 - Dec17 to 19

    Book Blogger Hop
    This is a weekly PARThosted by Jen at Crazy For Books. It's a chance to discover new blogs and to garner new readers for your blog as well.
    Thanks for visiting!

    "What do you consider more important: plot or character?"
    For the most part, I would take character any given day. I've felt that most of the experience of reading depends on the experience you have in your head while you are reading a book. I'm more able to enjoy the story if I relate to or like the character. Otherwise, the story becomes secondary to the voice in my head which is grumbling about what I dislike in the book's hero/heroine.

    That usually does not end well.
    There are some exceptions of course - Epic novels like Lord of the Rings, books with vast plot structures like The Malazan books of the Fallen, these are so plot-driven that it is almost irrelevant if you enjoy the character narrative. These authors have also created strong evil characters, multi-dimensional heroines, brave souls - and the storyline lives up to the promise.
    What do you think? Is it an either/or situation? Could it be a good character makes a sketchy plot come to life, but a poor plot can sink anyone?
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    Thursday, December 16, 2010

    What does your bookcase look like? Here's Mine!

    Being installed by the carpenter
    The big event of my day is getting bookshelves installed in our apartment.
    To answer some of the questions you might have:

    • Yes, we had NO bookcases
    • Yes, some people do live like that (i.e. my husband)
    My books being stacked!

    A Close Peek into what I buy

    I have a fairly small collection - a lot of books had to be given away when I moved to the US and back again. Got to get some more books to fill these up, right?

    I've also turned to my Kindle for newer books.

    I've shown you mine, now show me yours!

    Link to photos of your books, bookshelves, or write a post about your bookcases and let me know. I will add links at the bottom of this post to you!
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    Tuesday, December 14, 2010

    Teaser Tuesday #22 - FREE BOOK - March Upcountry by David Weber

    The David Weber and John Ringo series about Prince Roger and his army numbers highly amongst my favorite space / military fiction books. 
    From Chapter 12 of the March Upcountry ebook:
    "If, on the other hand, we do a steep reentry—which, by the way, is what we're planning—and run out of fuel, we'll just pancake."

    I'm still reading Foucault's Pendulum, but March Upcountry is a welcome break while I struggle through the former! You can read this for FREE here at Baen Free Library or buy it at Amazon. Practically the entire series is available here, thanks to the generosity of its authors.To find out about Baen and its Free Book Philosophy, read this post.

    Recent Popular Posts:
    Mail me if you want to be featured as a Spotlight Blogger 
    Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should be Reading.
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    Sunday, December 12, 2010

    Blogger Hop #14 - I enjoy reading bloggers' book recommendations

    The question this week was 'What do you like about bloggers and blogging? Is it the giveaways or the book reviews, etc.
    I enjoy meeting people who are THIS passionate about reading and books! Comment on any post you like, I will follow back and comment.
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    Publishing News: Amazon gives larger share of revenue on ebooks

    News: Ebooks can now make more money for Publishers!
    There are some qualifiers to this edict:
    • Customers should be able to read the title on all Kindle devices and applications.
    • Customers can read the title in all geographies for which the publisher has rights.
    If your ebook falls under these rules (amongst others), then up to 70% of the income now goes to the publisher.
    While ebook growth in sales has been phenomenal (the report stated 180% for the year) the total market share works out to $120 Million, Q3 2010 (IDPF Website).
    This is still just under 10% for a Publisher, but the profit per ebook going up will bring some additional focus on this channel for sales and promotions.
    (More on that later)
    Read on:
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    Thursday, December 9, 2010

    Review: Calico Pennants by David A. Ross

    Grade: B+
    Pages: Approx 275 (ebook ARC from Publisher)
    Calico Pennants: A NovelIn this award-winning novel, a weekend sailor shipwrecked in the South Seas eventually discovers the island's only other human inhabitant—a woman who bears an uncanny resemblance to 1930s lost flying ace Amelia Earhart.
    Summary: The scenes shift between a newly minted sailor in Hawaii and the famous Amelia Earhart's cross-pacific journey for the first half of the book. After closely following her adventure across south-east Asia, Britain and other islands, she crash lands onto a  strange island in the middle of the ocean. Julian and Amelia meet here, across time and space, facilitated by a kooky and talkative parrot.
    Overall: The primary driver of the tale is the well-scripted characterization - the action is fairly slow to start off. It does pick up as you keep reading, and draws one into a beautifully described sybaritic island-world. The run to the ending is strong and pretty fantastic!!
    Plus: The scenes are very authentic in their emotions and reactions. I loved some of the lines in the book - I've quoted one of many I liked at the end of the post. The entire last around-the-world trip Amelia makes is stunningly researched, authentic and gripping. I would almost skim over the Julian bits to get back to her flight. The island scenes between the survivors are completely plausible, and the unveiling of the island's strangeness is a lot of fun to read. 
    Minus: Initially, I didn't take to Julian's character - he didn't seem very much of a strong protagonist to me. However, the interaction between Amie and Julian is real and key to the rest of the book.
    I would recommend it to: Alternate history buffs, Purdue graduates (Amelia and Purdue university had lots of ties - trivia: Purdue also was the first university to get an airport)
    My fav Line:
    "Perhaps there are no accidents", Amie speculated. "What if events and situations manifest out of our deepest feelings and desires?"
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    Tuesday, December 7, 2010

    Teaser Tuesday #21 - Foucault's Pendulum by Eco

    The most mind-whirling book I've read this year - Foucault's pendulum by Umberto Eco beats Da Vinci code for the sheer depth of mystery and tension around the Templars.
    From Pg 75 of the old library edition I'm reading:
    "The Crusaders were terrible screwups. They marched off without any idea of where they were going or what they would find when they got there."'
    Really having trouble understanding this book fully.
    I can't help but walk around bewildered - is that I am the wrong audience for the book, is there some pre-knowledge required to be able to grasp its concept, is it only for academics and high-brow folks?? - please help me out!
    I'm keeping at it, but it is a heavy read. I'm averaging 40 pages every morning on my commute to work.

    Meanwhile, do check out my most popular latest posts:
    The Most Beautiful Public Libraries in the US
    Why I love the internet today
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    Monday, December 6, 2010

    Oddest Title of the Year?

    If You Want Closure in Your Relationship, Start with Your LegsSo I just heard of something called the "Diagram Prize for Oddest Title of the Year"
    It is a humorous literary award given to - yes, you guessed it - the book with the oddest title that was published that year.
    Some of my favorites from the list of past winners include:
    • Last Chance at Love - Terminal Romances
    • The Book of Marmalade: Its Antecedents, Its History, and Its Role in the World Today 
    • How to Avoid Huge Ships (wtf?)
    • Greek Rural Postmen and Their Cancellation Numbers
    • Living with Crazy Buttocks
    • If You Want Closure in Your Relationship, Start with Your Legs (rofl)
    • Proceedings of the Second International Workshop on Nude Mice (Nude mice??)
    The Book of Marmalade: Its Antecedents, Its History and Its Role in the World Today, Together With a Collection of Recipes for Marmalades & MarmaladeI believe some books actually get published with this prize in mind! 
    Have you any submissions for this year's Oddest Title prize?

    More info:
    Wiki on Diagram Prize
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    Tuesday, November 30, 2010

    Teaser Tuesday #20 - Eve Dallas (JD Robb)

    The book I'm reading right now is by the hugely popular and NYT bestselling author Nora Roberts under the pseudonym J.D. Robb. Lieutenant Eve Dallas is the heroine, as always, in this particular book. 
    While the series is 30+ books long, you can pick any to start with. The story is fairly easy to pick up.

    From Page 2227 in my Kindle Pagecount (probably Pg 200 in a paperbook):
    "He blends, and he blends. Mr. Smooth, Mr. Nice Guy, Mr. Harmless"
    Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should be Reading.
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    Monday, November 29, 2010

    Black Friday Sale Roundup: Gone in 60 seconds

    How many of you are getting/giving ereaders for Christmas or other occassions?

    The Black Friday Sale on Amazon listed the older, Amazon Kindle 2 (for $89 ) - and sold out within Seconds!

    Barnes & Noble had a similar sale on the Nook - the refurbished Wi-Fi Nooks were listed on eBay for $79, and later $99. The sale also included the refurbished 3G models for $119. The sale ended after a couple of days, having sold 6,777 Nooks in total.

    Some reasons for the difference in the speed of sales (seconds vs. days) was the Amazon Kindle 2 Sale was on Black Friday, when buyers are madly refreshing their browsers for deals!
    Still, gone in seconds?? My theories why -
    • It was hugely publicized, and word spread via facebook, twitter, before blogs and newsfeeds could pick it up.
    • The estimate is that half a million folks saw the update through these sites.
    Let me mention here that we tried to buy a $139 WiFi Kindle for a friend 2 weeks ago, and Best Buy was out of stock, both the times we went. 
    Tuesday (November 23rd) Amazon reported on their Facebook wall: “We had our biggest sales day ever for Kindle devices yesterday. Thank you, customers!”
    What I want to know now is:  
    How many readers are gifting/getting ereaders this season?

    More info:
    Kindle sale results in the news
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    Saturday, November 27, 2010

    Blogger Spotlight #2: Tina!

    Introducing: Tina from onemorepage.tinamats.com


    What e-reader do you own and how did you get it?
    - I own a Kindle! :) I got it by ordering through Amazon and having it sent to my dad who works in Northern Marianas Islands. My mom, who was visiting him then, carried it home to me (I live in the Philippines btw). Funny thing was, I ordered a Kindle two days before the announcement for Kindle 3 arrived. Talk about timing.

    Did you consider other readers in the market? Why did you pick this one?
    - At first I really didn't want this because I thought my Kindle for iPod and Stanza (an ebook reading app in the iPod) were enough. Then a friend told me she got a Kindle and she loves it, and I finally started thinking about it. I thought about getting a B&N nook, too, since other people swear by it...but then I have already bought some books from Amazon for my iPod and I realized that I have always been an Amazon girl. 

    When do you read a paper book and when do you pick up an ebook?

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    Friday, November 26, 2010

    Book Blogger Hop #13 - Nov 26-28

    Book Blogger HopThis is a weekly PARThosted by Jen at Crazy For Books. It's a chance to discover new blogs and to garner new readers for your blog as well. 

    Thanks for visiting!
    "What is your favorite book cover?"
    A fav book cover? Can I say that this question stumped me a little?

    Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl (Mass Market Paperback)A whole bunch of books I read are ebooks, and the cover doesn't get too much attention from me, I'm sorry to say. I do appreciate the posts bloggers I follow make on cover art, and fan covers!!
    So after thinking for a LOONG time (3 minutes), I've come up with an old childhood friend of a cover -> The Dairy of Anne Frank, and this edition here is one I got from my grandmother! I'm sure there are newer covers, but I love this one. I remember spending time gazing at her face, and those expressive eyes, each time I read the book.

    Come back Saturday for a new blogger spotlight!!
    Hope you stay and check out a few posts, link back to your blog on comments.
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    Thursday, November 25, 2010

    The Most Beautiful Public Libraries in the US

    Dear World: Thank You For Libraries!
    Here are a few of my favorites from a recent Flavorwire list of Top 10 "most-beautiful-from-the-outside public" libraries in the US:
    The renovation shown above is so different from anything the government can afford in India!
    Chicago Public Library - My one-time haunt while I lived in Chicago..Pure pleasure to see it and its gargoyles! Well-beloved gargoyles standing guard over your books, how reassuring.

    This Salt Lake city public library seems super inviting - that wall of windows just draws people in, I'd think.
    For all 10 libraries that made the cut, go to Flavorwire
    What do you like best?
    Next time, I'll look for gorgeous libraries in Europe and across the world. 
    Do you have a picture of your local library? Do share it with me @ deepalipratap@gmail.com - I will feature a post on this if we have enough libraries!
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    Tuesday, November 23, 2010

    Why I love the internet today

    I can safely assume, dear blogger and reader, that you are fairly used to the online world.
    There are naturally levels of familiarity and usage, but I spend about 80% of my awake time online, thanks to work and fun - I stream TV episodes online, read books online, play my music from on-demand sites or radio. This isn't unusual for some of you, I bet!
    So why today to express my net-love?
    Well, I'm am simply amazed at how much easier it has become to get the book I want, when I want it!
    How have you used the internet today?
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    Saturday, November 20, 2010

    Book Blogger Hop #12 - Nov19-21

    Book Blogger HopThis is a weekly PARThosted by Jen at Crazy For Books. It's a chance to discover new blogs and to garner new readers for your blog as well. 

    Thanks for visiting!

    "Let's use this week's Hop to share what we are most thankful for and what our holiday traditions are!"
    I'm Indian, and we have a HOST of holidays every year, depending on the flavor of your religion/credo. My family celebrates 'Ganesh Chaturthi' every year, honoring Ganesha, the fun-loving God of Wisdom, Luck and several other qualities. We have special food that we make on this day - rice cakes, sweet rice balls, sticky jaggery kadubus, coconut milk - it is Yum! Traditionally, Ganesha's idol is lowered into water at the end of the festival, but we choose to not pollute the water bodies. For us, it really is all about the food.

    I am super thankful for a loving family, and for living in Bangalore, my favorite city!

    With last week's Hop, I launched a new feature at e-Volving Books - featuring Bloggers with eReaders! I'll be posting a second interview later today too. Contact me if you would like to be featured - reading on a phone counts as e-reader! *wink*

    Good posts:
    Some of the most popular ebooks in the world (FREE!)
     Review of NYT Bestseller book - Towers of Midnight 

    If you like it, do follow, and leave me a message about it. I will follow you back, and be a happy little commenter on your blog.
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    Wednesday, November 17, 2010

    Review: The Sweep series by Cate Tiernan

    Grade: B+/A-
    Pages: Approx 200 in each book
    Summary: Morgan thinks witchcraft is laughable when her best friend Bree drags her to a meeting of the Cirrus Coven. But during a cermony led by Cal, Morgan's long-time crush, Morgan feels a shock. Suddenly everything looks brighter, clearer. Morgan doesn't want to get involved with witchcraft-but she feels like witchcraft is choosing her. 

    Overall: The Sweep series by Cate is a light read, yet still really interesting. I felt like this was the sorbet course, a hiatus, amidst my reading of George RR Martin's much weightier tomes. Every novel covers Magick, young love and fitting in (or not!).
    However, a novel in the Sweep series is so short that it is almost a chapter in the lives of the characters.
    Plus: The Wiccan research is pretty intense, and the books give an authentic feel to being in a coven and the troubles/challenges a young witch (Morgan) might encounter. The first few books all deal with Morgan, and her first two loves. She slowly begins to learn about her abilities, and her heritage, and has to make touch choices in order to grow in power and understanding.
    Minus: Please read as many books together as possible, the story feels very abrupt if you don't.

    I would recommend it to: All YA readers, ages 10 and up. Adults will also enjoy this series - there is enough depth in the story to entertain a more discerning reader. Also: P.C. Cast readers, Lili St. Crow and Rachel Vincent fans.
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    Tuesday, November 16, 2010

    Teaser Tuesday #19 - Black Powder War by Naomi

    Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should be Reading.
     From Page 94:
    "When  you are very hungry, my dear, it is hard for your ambitions to rise above your belly", Laurence said.
    Black Powder War is the third book in the Tremeraire series, which is about the Napoleonic wars (an alternate history with Dragons). A lot of historical research in this book makes for intelligent, but slow reading. I find it easier to read in spurts, between other novels.

    ANNOUNCEMENT: E-Volving Books launches the Blogger Spotlight showcasing a blogger and their ereaders! 
    We begin with Charlotte at Lit Addicted Brit in the post below. Mail me at
      deepalipratap@gmail.com for your spotlight!
    Don't forget to enter below for a chance at winning a Kindle DX!
    E-volution? By Author Scott Nicholson & Kindle Giveaway
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