苹果或将在iPad Mini发布会上推iBooks 3.0

北京时间10月21日消息,据国外媒体报道,尽管市场普遍认为苹果新iPad将是本月23日苹果发布会的主角,但是来自法国博客网站iGen.fr的最新消息称,苹果在此次发布会上还有可能同时推出自主电子图书应用iBooks的升级版iBooks 3.0。

网站iGen.fr发现,苹果数字图书商店里的部分图书明确要求使用iBooks 3.0软件,包括在法国漫画小说《豪门生死恋》的工具栏描述中就是如此要求的。

苹果的确给了开发者和媒体出版商在iTunes商店里对其产品进行说明的一些控制权,但是正如网站The Next Web指出的那样,一般要求部分是自动生成的,无法改变。这就是说,所提及的iBooks 3.0并不是排版错误,特别是在当前距离苹果下周发布会如此临近之时更是如此。

市场人士预计,iBooks 3.0可能会在视觉为导向方面更进一步,就苹果的销售策略来说,这一点非常有意义。今年2月,苹果为其iBooks书店添加了漫画小说专区。此外,苹果还希望通过iBooks销售更多教科书。

在iBooks书店里,没有发现其他漫画小说有同样提及要求使用iBooks 3.0的描述,不过,这并不意味着苹果不会推iBooks 3.0。具体情况如何,只能等到下周苹果举行发布会时才能揭晓。(清雨)

Via 腾讯科技

提供电子书消费新模式,不限量订阅而非一本本购买

你可能听说过电子杂志可以订阅,但是你想过没有,原本需要一本本购买的电子书或许也可以订阅。现在,一家创业公司Oyster率先将这种模式引入了电子书行业。用户只需每月支付固定费用,就可以不限量地从Oyster日益增长的书库中挑选并阅读各类好书。Oyster称,他们要打造用户在移动设备上阅读电子书的最佳模式。

这家公司在今天宣布,他们已经获得了由Founders Fund领投的300万美元的投资,另外,SV Angel, Founder Collective, Advancit Capital等投资方,以及Chris Dixon, Sam Altman等著名投资人也参与了投资。

Oyster的模式很简单:他们会推出一款简单的iPhone应用,这个应用就相当于一个阅读器,用户在付费之后,就可以在应用内挑选各类电子书直接阅读,不会再涉及应用内支付环节。尽管Amazon也有一个行业领先的、专门服务于Kindle读者的电子图书馆,但是用户每次只能借一本书,而且书目也不全。而对付费书而言,Kindle的读者也需要先购买才能阅读。相比之下,Oyster的这个订阅模式更方便也更有吸引力。

另外,Oyster不仅会提供各类书籍,还会帮你去筛选好书。这些书将根据算法+人工筛选的方式被展示出来,而这也意味着,他们不会把出版商的所有图书都带到平台上来,而是引入一部分书,并根据一本书的阅读次数来向出版商支付费用。“我们会说,看啊,这些书非常好,所以我们愿意把它们拿到平台上来。” Oyster的联合创始人这样说道。可以看出,他们要做的不是出版,而是阅读。

最后,他们还会在应用中增加相应的社区功能,提高用户粘性。

Oyster团队认为,从实体书到电子书的变革目前还处在最早期的阶段。而说到电子书的未来,团队认为产品的三个元素对公司来说非常重要:

  • 阅读权限

当你每月只需支付一定的费用,就可以畅所欲“读”的时候,你就会思考要“读什么书”,而不是“买什么书”。这种变化或许很微妙,但却很重要,因为这正是实体书店和图书馆自然吸引读者的地方——在那些地方,有偌大一个书籍的世界等待你去发现和探索,这种快感是无可比拟的。

而现在,图书购买都是以交易为中心,而非以发现为中心,人们在线购买图书的经历也跟他们购买台灯、厨房用品的经历无异。但实际上,一个人购买一本图书的过程和购买一把小刀的过程是非常不同的,这种不同也应该被还原出来。

所以,通过订阅模式将图书购买原本涉及的各类交易行为移除,就可以让大家更自由畅快地找书、读书,这种体验更像是你在街上拐角的一个实体书店的买书经验。

  • 图书发现

很多人都有这样的经历,他们往往是没有刻意要去寻找一本好书,就跟某本好书的推荐不期而遇。比如说,在饭局上,你的朋友不经意地跟你谈起一本好书,甚至当时手里就拿着这样一本书;又或者,一个你很喜欢的作家在他的书中突然谈起对他本人影响很深的一本书。这类图书推荐可以包含各种来源:你的朋友、电视节目、思想领袖,又或者…算法(图书推荐引擎)。

而Oyster现在将“图书消费”和“图书发现”集成在一个应用中。而且,在Oyster团队看来,那些最好的产品可以自然地将内容发现跟内容消费捆绑在一起,既不会让用户觉得突兀,又自然地补充并完善了用户的消费体验。

另外,Oyster认为他们的社区功能也有一个重要优势:当所有人都享有同一个图书库、并且对这些图书触手可及时,他们更有可能读到同一本书并由此展开互动,而不会因为需要额外寻找、购买某本书而抑制、延后了这种互动。

  • 手机

很多读者都喜欢在移动设备上阅读图书,因为他们可以随身携带,并充分利用他们的碎片化时间…这里不再赘述优点,而Oyster的产品是专门面向手机的(暂时还没有推出平板应用的计划)。

不过,现在摆在Oyste面前最大的困难,还是在于内容的获取。因为尽管Oyste强调了他们是在做阅读,但它的这种内容消费模式,除了在革传统出版业的命以外,也在革电子出版业的命。所以,最终会有多少内容方愿意跟Oyster合作,我们不得而知。但Oyste的联合创始人Stromberg回应说:“我们已经跟几大出版商谈成了交易。”

Oyster的服务目前还没有正式推出,感兴趣的读者可以在这里注册获得消息更新。

Via:TechCrunch/36氪

Google Books Deal Bolsters Dream of Universal Bookstore

Google’s deal to settle a seven-year conflict with five major publishers over the search giant’s book-scanning initiative is a milestone in the publishing industry’s grinding transition from print books to e-books. The pact, struck by Google and the Association of American Publishers (AAP), does not address the underlying question of whether Google violated copyright law by scanning millions of books over the last several years. Both sides, apparently weary of legal wrangling, have agreed to disagree on that point. The deal also doesn’t affect an ongoing lawsuit filed against Google by the Authors Guild, which represents thousands of authors.

Nevertheless, this landmark agreement is an important step toward the ultimate end-game in this conflict: a system in which Google works together with the publishing community to make millions of hard-to-find books accessible to consumers. That’s the bottom-line: Google’s book-scanning project — now known as the Google Library Project – holds out the promise of a giant Internet library and bookstore, but that outcome is only possible if Google and the publishing community work together.

“In the last few years, Google and the publishers have made their peace; this is just the treaty-signing ceremony,” James Grimmelmann, a copyright expert at New York Law School who has closely followed the case, wrote on his blog. “The publishers have embraced the digital transition in books; Google is now a player and partner in that ecosystem, rather than a dangerous disruptive presence.” The five major publishers included in the settlement are McGraw-Hill, John Wiley, Simon & Schuster, Pearson Education and Penguin Group (also owned by Pearson).

(MOREExplaining the Google Books Case Saga)

When Google announced its book-scanning project in 2004, the concept captured the imagination of many in the tech world. What if millions of books — including rare and out-of-print books — were made available on the Web? At the time, Google, which had just gone public and was the toast of the tech world, seemed like the only entity with the resources and resolve to undertake such a massive and ambitious project. Google Books was a signature project for company co-founder Larry Page, who made the effort a top priority.

To kick off the initiative, Google announced partnerships with several important academic and cultural libraries including Harvard, Stanford, Oxford, and the New York Public Library, to digitize their collections. This meant a time-consuming effort to scan thousands of print books, page-by-page, using sophisticated robotic cameras, some capable of digitizing 1,000 pages per hour. To date, Google has scanned over 20 million books.

Finally, it seemed, the dream of a universal library — a mythical goal that has existed for two millennia since the destruction of the Library of Alexandria, the classical world’s central repository of knowledge — could be within reach, or at least somewhat closer to becoming a reality. (Harvard has since withdrawn from the project in favor of an academic effort called the Digital Public Library of America — but not until after Google had already scanned some 850,000 books from its collection.)

Not so fast, said major publishers and the Authors Guild, which filed a lawsuit in 2005 claiming that the project violated copyright law, and didn’t adequately provide for compensation to rights-holders and authors. Since then, the two sides have waged an epic and closely watched legal battle that’s come to be viewed as a central front in the larger struggle between legacy pre-Internet industries, including publishing, music and movies, and new digital upstarts, led by Google, who aimed to bring those industries into the digital age.

The two sides have tried to settle the dispute before, but failed, including last year, when U.S. federal judge Denny Chin rejected a proposed $125 million settlement, saying it violated the “property rights” of people without their consent, particularly in the case of “orphan works,” out-of-print books whose authors can’t be located to obtain their consent. Google maintained that its project was protected by “fair use,” a legal concept that allows for certain types of reproduction, when used for criticism, journalism, teaching, and academic research. After last year’s deal was rejected, the publishers and authors split, which is why the former were able to strike a new accord with Google, while the latter continue their lawsuit.

(MORENew ‘Google Play’ Puts Music, Movies, Books and Apps in the Cloud)

The settlement gives publishers the choice to make their books available to Google for its project. Those who participate will have the option to receive a digital copy for their use, including to sell online. In Google’s model, users can browse up to 20% of books and then purchase digital versions through the Google Play online store, with rights-holders receiving an unspecified cut of the proceeds of the sale. (Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. As a settlement between private parties, the pact is not subject to court approval, according to the AAP and Google.)

“We are pleased that this settlement addresses the issues that led to the litigation,” Tom Allen, President and CEO of the AAP, said in a statement. “It shows that digital services can provide innovative means to discover content while still respecting the rights of copyright-holders.” David Drummond, Google’s Chief Legal Officer, said: “By putting this litigation with the publishers behind us, we can stay focused on our core mission and work to increase the number of books available to educate, excite, and entertain our users via Google Play.”

Michael J. Boni, a lawyer for the Authors Guild, told the Associated Press that he was “cautiously optimistic” about the potential for a settlement with authors. ”We’re delighted that Google and the publishers forged an agreement,” he said. “We see that as a sign of Google’s willingness (to be open) to the concept of settlement. And we hope we can get to the bargaining table as soon as we can.”

Google’s deal with publishers is a welcome step in the right direction, after seven years of litigation. Now, if Google can come to agreement with authors, the dream of a universally accessible digital book database may finally have the chance to become a reality. Consumers will always have to buy books, of course, but the Google Library Project holds out the promise of dramatically increasing the number of books that are available for purchase, particularly rare and out-of-print books. This will be good for Google, publishers, authors, consumers, journalists, scholars, and society at large. If we can increase the amount of knowledge available to all, we all win.

via Time

Readmill:社交电子书阅读平台

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Readmill为用户提供了一个社交数字阅读平台。位于柏林的创业公司Readmill近日升级了其社交电子书阅读平台,为供书商和读者提供了一些基于云服务的应用体验。具体说来,这家公司为Readmill阅读器增加了两个新的特点,可以让那些从独立出版商和零售商那里购买图书的读者获得和从亚马逊、苹果购买图书一样的用户体验。同时,该公司还表示目前已经募集到一大笔资金。

作为一款提供社交数字阅读体验的产品,Readmill可以让用户高亮电子书的某些部分。通过评论和转发与朋友分享讨论,同时可以为想同步高亮章节的Kindle用户提供书签功能。当用户看到一本想读的书时,还可以将其标记为“想读”。新特征包括“书库”功能,可以让用户上传电子书到云服务器,随时随地下载到应用程序中进行阅读。另外,“发送到Readmill”功能可以让用户把已购买的电子书发送到他们的账号。除了这两个新特征,Readmill同时还宣布和一系列的独立电子书书店包括Leanpub、Readlists、Free-ebook、Publit等达成了合作协议。

Readmill的创始人亨利克•贝尔格伦(Henrik Berggren)与大卫•谢尔克鲁德(David Kjelkerud)都是书虫,他们对书籍的看法却不尽相同。谢尔克鲁德觉得:书本不管怎么说是冷漠且非社会化的,人们总是独自阅读;而当我们想要和别人谈论某本书时,首先得合上书本。贝尔格伦认为:即使通过电子书,以及连接到互联网的电子书和其它阅读工具似乎也并没改变什么,网上有很多的电子书服务,但却没有一个是做到了社交化的,而Readmill就是如何将书本与读者联网化的创意。

Readmill iPad版下载地址(美国区)、视频演示


社交电子书Subtext融资300万美元 阅读体验融入iPad

Subtext融资300万美元
据科技博客Techcrunch2011年10月报道,社交电子书新创企业Subtext从谷歌风险投资基金融资300万美元,将新的社交电子书阅读体验融入iPad中。Subtext是一家尝试将用户在笔记本边缘所做的尖锐犀利的评论注解或是用户最喜欢的在线小说实现社交化互动和分享的新创企业。

如果你为一场完整的音乐聆听体验额外加付了成本,一位幕后人看到乐队、DVD高清影像等等,这样你就能感知到Subtext所提供的社交阅读体验服务。除此之外,这家新创企业还希望向用户提供优化升级的阅读体验,增加详细清晰地注解、作者评论和供用户免费享用的网络相关内容的互通性,这些不会分散用户阅读体验的注意力。

实际上,Subtext是提供一种在iPad上的阅读体验,用户可以与朋友、网络社区成员、作者和专家进行那个畅通无阻的沟通交流,即使他们阅读的不是同一页,阅读速度也不一样。读者可以从作者、专家和网络社区那里获得信息,提供他们自己的观点和想法以供分享,并且增添挖掘相关文章、图片和网络多媒体内容的链接。总而言之,Subtext是通过社交网络和网络相关内容收集的方式给电子书阅读体验增加了新的内容。Subtext以自动增添信息、提供反映回馈、评论等方式为电子书阅读体验增加相关内容,同时不会影响到实际阅读的过程。

一些硅谷著名的风险投资机构有意愿参与投资,支持这家新创企业所做的努力。参与投资的风投机构包括:谷歌风险投资基金、梅菲尔德基金(Mayfield Fund)、创业投资基金新企业联合会(New Enterprise Associates )和Omidyar Network,他们总共向这家新创企业注入300万美元的种子资金,以期这种新型的富有创意的阅读体验能够改善电子书的面貌。

作为这项新服务的一部分,Subtext还宣布公司正在与一系列著名出版商力挺的畅销书作者合作更有效地实现读者和这些知名作者之间的互动,这些图书出版商包括哈珀柯林斯公司(HarperCollins)、法国著名图书出版商Hachette、企鹅出版集团(Penguin)、全球最大图书出版商Random House、西蒙舒斯特出版集团(Simon & Schuster)等等。

尽管Subtext书架上的第一批书单至今为止仅有18本,但并不包括Nathaniel West、Amy Stewart和 Max Barry所提供的知名插画作品。很快Subtext会有更多的图书上架。(网易科技报道  董珊珊)

来源:投资界

云中谁寄锦书来?

盛大的锦书(BAMBOOK)发布了,内测价998元,让手持电子书阅读器第一次降到了千元以下。

总体来说不错,尽管还有一些不足,无论工业设计,还是硬件软件。埋头弄了两年,开发也有一年多,到这个程度可以了。用了一下,有些细节甚至比行业里做了几年的前辈略胜一筹。第一次做这个领域的终端,刚出生的娃娃的确丑丑的、皱皱的,但相信不需要很久就会“吾家有女初长成”。

还是那句话,任何努力都不会白费,任何努力做事的人都值得尊敬。功不唐捐。

锦书这名字的取义很好——云中谁寄锦书来? 嗯,后半句是:“雁字回时,月满西楼”。

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