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Archives: January 2010

The Making of An eBook: Part 3

Cradle Book.jpg

Quite frankly, I did’t get much done this week. All the iPad business kept me from thinking too much about the fate of my own book when it comes to digital. But I want to check in nonetheless, and let you know a few of the things I’m thinking about for upcoming weeks.

First, I should tell you that paper galleys of Cradle Book have just come in, so the most visible part of the pre-pub cycle is about to begin. Copies will go out to reviewers, and hopefully there will be a few reviews. I’ll also be planning a little book tour. While all this is going on, I’ve got to finish my eBook homework and make sure my eBook is good and ready for the book’s June 1 pub date.

So next week I’ll press on and look into some other ways one can create an eBook. One ancilary question I do want to look into is how to create eBooks of liniated poetry, which is most of what BOA, my publisher, specializes in (though my book is old-fashioned prose). My editor told me he didn’t know of a way to do liniated poetry such that the integrity of the line breaks was maintained in the digital version, but I know that, for instance, Yale University Press has published eBooks of its recent Younger Poetry Prize winners on Kinle, and Penguin has lots of its poetry up there too, and you can resize the text and still keep the line breaks. So I’m going to make some calls…

No iBooks on UK iPad


According to the gadget blog Pocket Lint, early iPad buyers won’t find the iBooks app on their new Apple tablets. The blog reports on a comparison first noticed by the UK Register–Apple’s UK page for the iPad and the US page are exactly the same except for the fact that the UK page is missing iBooks.

Pocket Lint contacted Apple for an explanation, and this is what an Apple spokesperson told them: “All I can confirm at present is what’s in the press release: iBookstore will be available in the US at launch. International availability will be announced at a later date.”

Pocket Lint attributes this to the time it takes to get international rights to sell titles, and the blog also speculates on the likelihood that iBooks won’t accept books not bought from Apple, with which we agree, and which we think is really bad.

Bloomberg Television Anchors Break In Twitter Accounts at Davos

BloombergTelevisionErikSchatzkerTwitter.jpgBloomberg Television anchors Erik Schatzker, Margaret Brennan, and Francine Lacqua broke in their respective Twitter accounts — @ErikSchatzker, @margbrennan, and @Flacqua — at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland, this week, mixing in news from the conference with observations about being in Davos.

Some tweets from Schatzker:

Davos 2010: This place always has a few surprises. Tonight’s: essence of pigeon consomme? I know, sounds awful. But it was delicious.

Why come to #Davos: Where else can you run into Cisco’s Chambers, AMAT’s Splinter and Teck’s Lindsay, all in less than 10 minutes.

It’s dumping in #Davos! How many #WEF delegates will ditch the sessions for the slopes? That fresh powder sure is tempting.

From Brennan:

#wef #davos #soros “the mistake of allowing lehman to go bust” made system break down and caused artificial life support to be used

Is banning the burqa going to help or hurt muslim women in france? and is the debate really about the burqa? http://bit.ly/9ovEi4

Just wrapped an interview w/the stunningly intelligent & beautiful Queen Rania – HM asking companies/govt to make good on aid

And from Lacqua:

Snowing very hard #wef #davos – set looks covered in sugar-ice

Almunia says there is ‘no chance’ Greece will leave euro zone

#wef #davos trying to get to Bill Gates at Congress Center

World Economic Forum Panel Examines The Growing Influence of Social Networks

Seesmic founder and CEO Loic Le Meur was the moderator of a Wednesday panel at the World Economic Forum meeting taking place in Davos, Switzerland, through Sunday.

The panel, The Growing Influence of Social Networks, also included Forrester Research CEO George Colony, Ning CEO Gina Bianchini, Wikinomics author Don Tapscott, Facebook director of market development Randi Zuckerberg, LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, MySpace CEO Owen Van Natta, and Twitter CEO Evan Williams.

Amazon’s Company Line on iPad


eBookNewser was curious as to whether Amazon would be putting its Kindle app on the iPad, given how directly Apple set iPad up as competition for the Kindle. We got a note back from Andrew Herdener, Amazon’s Director of Communications. It was clearly a cut-and-paste job with the company line in response to iPad:

“Thanks for your inquiry. Customers can read and sync their Kindle books on iPhones, iPod touches, PCs, and soon Blackberrys, Macs, and iPads. Kindle is purpose-built for reading. Weighing in at less than 0.64 pounds, Kindle fits comfortably in one hand for hours, has an e-ink display that is easy on the eyes even in bright daylight, two weeks of battery life, and 3G wireless with no monthly fees—all at a $259 price. Kindle editions of New York Times Bestsellers and most New Releases are only $9.99.”

So indeed Amazon will put the Kindle app on iPad. What’s interesting to note is how Amazon emphasizes what differentiates Kindle from iPad: that “Kindle is purpose-built for reading,” is “easy on the eyes” and offers “3G wireless with no monthy fees.” And it’ll even have Apps soon! Given yesterday’s revelation that “millions of people now own Kindles,” Amazon seems remarkably unthreatened by iPad.

We also contacted Lexcycle, the company behind the Stanza iPhone eReading app, which is owned by Amazon; Stanza referred us to Amazon, so see the above for their response.

Inside Social Apps 2010 Set for April 20

InsideSocialApps2010Logo.jpgInside Network will hold its Inside Social Apps 2010 conference at an as-yet-undetermined venue in San Francisco April 20.

The parent company of Inside Facebook set the date for one day before Facebook’s f8 developers’ conference, also in San Francisco, and it said Inside Social Apps 2010 is aimed at developers on Facebook, MySpace, and the iPhone, as well as senior executives and investors.

Confirmed speakers currently include:
Atul Bagga, vice president, equity research, games, ThinkEquity
Adam Caplan, VP, virtual currency, Super Rewards/Adknowledge
Renata Dionello, chief of staff to the CEO, eBay, and former director of consumer business development, PayPal
Eric Eldon, editor, Inside Facebook and Inside Social Games
George Garrick, CEO, Offerpal Media
Vikas Gupta, CEO, Jambool
Sebastien de Halleux, founder and chief executive officer, Playfish
Nick Lawler, managing director, Maverick Capital
Vish Makhijani, COO, Zynga
David Marcus, CEO, Zong
Dave McClure, investor, Founders Fund Angel and fbFund Incubator
Rex Ng, co-founder and CEO, 6waves
Jason Oberfest, VP, social applications, ngmoco
Mark Pincus, founder and CEO, Zynga
Shervin Pishevar, founder and executive chairman, SGN
John Pleasants, CEO, Playdom
Keith Rabois, VP, strategy and business development, Slide
Peter Relan, executive chairman, CrowdStar
Justin Smith, founder, Inside Network
Kavin Stewart, CEO, Lolapps
Jay Weintraub, founder, LeadsCon

mediabistro.com will be holding two related conferences, also in San Francisco: the Social Gaming Summit May 6-7 and the Social Developer Summit in June.

Sphere No Longer Here for AOL News

AOLNewsLogo.jpgAOL News is AOL News again, and Sphere was jettisoned into the stratosphere, as an AOL tipster told Silicon Alley Insider that CEO Tim Armstrong was no fan of branding the news site Sphere.

AOL announced in November that the name of its blog-content engine would change from Sphere to Surphace, and that the main page for AOL News would be rebranded as Sphere, but the Sphere URL is automatically redirecting Web surfers to AOL News.

As reported by Silicon Alley Insider, the official explanation, from the AOL News About Us page:

Welcome to AOL News. Over the last few months, we’ve overhauled our site and we’ve built a news operation that relies far less on wire reports and focuses on original reporting, analysis, and commentary.

We’ve been featuring those stories on Sphere.com, a site designed to showcase our exclusive stories. Our coverage on Sphere was received with such positive attention that we’ve decided to fold it all into AOL News, a site we hope will become the place you go for news, analysis and opinion.

Interview an SXSW Performer for $50 in Seed Money

AOLSeedLogo.jpgWho can’t use $50 these days? One way to collect that sum: Write a 1,000-word interview with one of the 2,000 or so bands and artists set to perform at the SXSW 2010 music festival in Austin, Texas, March-17-21, along with a biography of 300-500 words, for AOL’s Seed.com, according to GigaOM.

Former New York Times writer Saul Hansell, who was named head of programming at Seed in December, told GigaOM he is trying to learn how to “deploy human intelligence at scale,” adding that the goal of Seed.com is not just to aggregate “the lowest-common denominator of SEO-friendly pages.”

Hansell added that willing free-lancers would be provided with questions, and all submissions would be edited by AOL staff, telling GigaOM the goal was to “attract the people who are already excited about the process (and give them a) mix of financial and non-financial rewards.”

On the subject of Seed.com, TBI Research reports that its content-management system will not be ready until the end of 2010, adding that AOL’s acquisition of StudioNow will allow it to tap into a higher-quality video free-lance network.

Rick Sanchez Gets His Social Media Rock On


CNN anchor Rick Sanchez, who got his own CNN show based on his prolific use of social media, is going Hollywood.

Sanchez has been asked to moderate a panel at the Recording Academy’s Social Media Rock Starts Summit ahead of this weekend’s Grammy awards.

The panel includes Digg CEO Jay Adelson, Pete Cashmore, founder and CEO of Mashable, Courtney Holt, president of MySpace Music and Tumblr founder David Karp.

This afternoon’s conversation, held at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles, will spotlight the intersection of music and the digital space focusing on the evolution of social media and how it has radically changed the way music fans consume and share news and information about their favorite artists.

Actor Jared Leto, who will also participate on the panel, will be on Sanchez’s CNN show “Rick’s List” today. Leto spent part of his youth in Haiti — his parents were missionaries — so expect the two to talk about the situation there.

> Update: Leto won’t be on CNN, after all. But he is still part of the panel which is being streamed on CNN.com.

> Update 2: Turns out Leto did make it for his interview on Sanchez’s show. As did Jody Whatley.