The Future of the Ebook

Macmillian Finally Gives In to Ebook Subscription Services Oyster and Scribd

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About a month ago, John Sargent, CEO of Macmillan Publishers, complained in a blog post that Amazon had an unfair stranglehold on their distribution channels, and that Macmillan might consider subscription ebook services like Oyster and Scribd. As of today, Macmillan’s finally signed on to start offering their books with the two top ebook subscription startups.

The first is Oyster, the company commonly labelled the “Netflix for books,” regardless of whether they like the label or not. The other is Scribd, which could be better described as the YouTube for books, given their mix of professionally published books and a vast library of user generated content. Read More

The Future of the Ebook

Macmillan Surrenders in Ebook Suit, Leaving Apple to Fight on Alone

Macmillan's HQ. (Photo: flickr.com/-jvl-)

When four of the biggest publishers in the U.S. worked with Apple to create a new model of book sales, one that allowed them to set a minimum price on ebook sales, it was clearly meant to buck Amazon’s stubbon insistence on charging $9.99 even for the newest releases. What wasn’t so clear was the legality of the move. Matters settled into an uneasy truce until April, when the Justice Department accused them all of colluding to fix prices.

Now Macmillan, the last of the book businesses still fighting, has finally caved. As part of the settlement, the company has agreed to let booksellers (i.e. Amazon) resume their previous cost-cutting.

But just because you settle doesn’t mean you have to say you’re sorry. Read More

Linkages

Booting Up: Is Facebook Serving Users, or Stiffing Brands?

Facebook says: Vote vote vote, like a baby stoat. (Photo:  Cute Overload)

Brands are seeing clickthroughs from Facebook drop precipitously–just as the social network debuts the moneymaking Promoted Posts. Facebook, on the other hand, maintains its merely trying to keep from clogging up users’ news feeds with irrelevant information. [Ars Technica]

Lest you think the social network is completely neglecting its civic duties, Facebook will reportedly remind everyone to vote on Tuesday. [CNET]

“This is the modern version of someone falsely screaming ‘Fire!’ in a crowded theater.” That’s probably the last thing Twitter troll @ComfortablySmug, caught spreading false information for the lulz during Hurricane Sandy, wanted to hear. [Wall Street Journal]

Macmillan Dictionaries are going online only, a decision sure to make sense to all but the most fiercely nostalgic. [TheNextWeb]

As connectivity is increasingly important in cars, the automaker GM is staffing up in IT. [MIT Technology Review]