Posts Tagged ‘iPad’

So a publisher and an iPad walk into a bar…

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

NOT. Here’s the sad statistics, based on my shallow and incomplete survey:

Number of iPads sold by Apple in 28 days:  1,000,000

Number of iPads in the hands of book editors:            2

Wouldn’t you think that the most significant e-book reader; one that, weeks before release, caused Amazon to change it’s e-book strategy and is projected by most analysts to be the device that will save newspapers and magazines would be in the hands of the people who are on the front line of book publishing? It doesn’t seem to be the case. I admit to poor survey techniques. I simply called lots of editors we regularly work with and asked them: Do you have an iPad? Do you know anyone who does? Has the company any strategy regarding iPads? In almost all cases, the responses were: no, I saw someone in the office with one last week and no. Editors are largely so underpaid, that virtually none are buying them for their own use, and publishers are so cheap that we can’t expect the companies to outfit the whole staff overnight, but wouldn’t it make sense to have some pilot programs? I couldn’t find any. Every editor I spoke with is interested and curious but there’s a surprising undercurrent of “I don’t see what it means for me.” I attribute this to ongoing efforts of publishers to isolate their editors from the world.

Our agency has two. Our 16GB WiFi unit arrived at noon on the day of release. Our first 64GB 3G unit arrived last Friday. We will be blogging about what this product means for authors and editors, but initially we have little to say other than they work exactly as promised. What I can say is that no one can judge the iPad who has not held one for five minutes and tried to read something with the iBooks application. Getting your hands on one in an Apple store is actually harder than buying one. There’s about a five minute wait to get to the demo tables.

Help this survey be more accurate. If you are an editor and have an iPad, post a comment.

Directive 51 by John Barnes released today

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010
Directive 51 cover

Directive 51 by John Barnes (Ace)

Directive 51 is President George Bush’s directive that specifies how Executive Branch powers will be transferred in the event of a catastrophic event that kills or incapacitates the Constitutionally authorized successors to the office. Every administration has had such a plan, Directive 51 is just the most current. This techno-thriller novel envisions just such an event occurring and the efforts of the surviving Americans: government officials, military forces, and just plain folks to survive and rebuild. You can read a brief essay by John on the Penguin website, just click here. More than just a disaster novel, this is a political action thriller unlike anything we’ve seen before. There’s lots of neat, cutting edge issues in the book: the real danger of a fully open internet, an epidemic of both bacteria and nanotechnology, and the consequences of thoughtless extremism of all sides of the environmental questions.

If you are an aspiring author who wants to know what sort of novel appeals to our Agency, read Directive 51.

If you have a Bug Out Bag, or participate in the preparedness movement, or are uneasy about disasters like the recent earthquakes, read Directive 51. It will help you visualize what the conditions would be if there’s a complete collapse of the national infrastructure, and no matter what might happen to you: wildfire, earthquake, terrorist attack, you can smile and say, “I’ve seen worse” as you get on with saving yourself, your family and community.

Directive 51 is on sale today, at all online bookstores including Barnes and Noble, Borders and at their retail stores and independent bookshops as well. Check out Amazon.com, they are selling this first edition hardcover at the unbelievable price of $9.99, the same price as the Kindle edition, but we don’t know how long they will offer this discount. If you are a lucky iPad owner you can grab the Apple iBook edition from the iBookstore (only accessible via the iPad).

Order your Apple iPad tomorrow for delivery April 3 – UPDATE

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

Elizabeth Woyka, writing at Forbes.com, reports on a report that Apple has refined their e-book categories. Visit the Forbes site for the whole story, but the book specific information is this:

AppSlice’s findings point to a highly organized approach to bookselling. Apple has designated about 20 “top-level” categories for books, including “Fiction & Literature”, “Reference,” “Romance,” “Cookbooks” and “Comics & Graphic Novels.” Below those categories lie more than 150 sub-categories, including some very specific genres, such as “Manga” under “Comics & Graphic Novels,” “Special Ingredients” under “Cookbooks,” and “Etiquette” under “Reference.” Some sub-categories, such as “Fantasy” and “Science Fiction & Literature,” even have sub-sub-categories (“Historical” and “Paranormal,” for example.) There are also two sections for “Erotica” books; one under “Fiction & Literature” and one under “Romance.”

We don’t know if the iBookstore will become visible tomorrow or on April 3, when the actual iPads will be in Apple stores, but there’s lots of speculation and hand wringing. Commentators range from the enthusiasts (like me) who think the iPad will increase e-book sales to the Apple haters who assure us the device will flop. You can follow the flop predictors at iPad Death Watch. Great fun. One of the doom crieers, John Dvorak, has shown how great it is to be a writer. He’s almost always wrong, yet keeps getting paid for his opinions. My favorite was his column almost three years ago today, when he commented on the announced but not yet delivered, iPhone:

I’d advise you to cover your eyes. You’re not going to like what you’ll see.

Clearly people did like what they saw as Apple sold over 8 million iPhones in just the last quarter. Although Amazon won’t release sales numbers for the Kindle the most optimistic estimates are about 2 million sold to date. That means that in the three months over the holidays, Apple sold four times as many iPhones as Amazon sold Kindles in two years. Anyone going to buy an iPad?

UPDATE It’s Friday March 12. The Apple online store came online exactly at 8:30 EST and is taking pre-orders for all iPad models and Apple accessories.* Orders for the WiFi models are marked “for delivery on 4/3″ so we assume you will receive an iPad on that date. Some accessories are marked “ships on 4/3″ and others have less specific info, so they may come later. The 3G models peg delivery as “late April.”  All orders made at the Apple Online Store ship directly to you (free standard shipping). If you have an Apple ID or iTunes account, you can use that identity to order and everything happens instantly. If not, you can create an identity while placing an order. If you want to RESERVE an iPad for pickup on 4/3 at an Apple Retail Store, all you do is select that option from the main iPad page at the Apple web site. You can’t reserve from inside the online Store website. All reserving does is to add your name and information to a list, you must pay at the store like any walk-in purchase. Reserving should eliminate waiting in line on April 3. Since none of the WiFi models require any AT&T setup, delays should be minimum.

* The iPad Camera Kit,  which includes a USB connector and SD card reader is not available at the Online Store, but a VGA cable that allows connecting an iPad to an external monitor or TV has appeared. The other new item is the AppleCare extended warrantee (equivalent to the AppleCare for iPhone) at $99. Unlike dealer extended warrantees on electronics, AppleCare is a good investment since it includes unlimited phone support for two years from people who speak English (or your local language).