Missing from the announcment was the issue of digital rights management.
"Hi! What can I get for you?"
"You got any fresh de-caf?" It was 4 o'clock....I didn't need any more caffeine.
"No, but I can start some for you. Can you wait four minutes?"
"And what else?"
"I think I'll have one of these cookies here."
"Great. They're really good." Moments later....."Ok, that'll be $3.76."
I reached into my pocket and brought out the gift card that I'd gotten for Christmas.
"I'm sorry, you can't use that here."
"Whaaat? That's crazy. I mean folks get the card and give it to me for my enjoyment and then when I come in here, you've got some silly rule that says I can make book purchases with it but even though it's the same store, I can't buy a cup of coffee with it. I mean, really, do you see the logic in that?"
"Yeah, I think I do," she said. "You see, you've got a Barnes & Noble gift card........and this is a Border's Book Store.
"..........Are those pecans in that cookie?"
With nearly half of the population of Webb County, which includes Laredo, lacking basic literacy skills, this border town could soon become the first US city without a bookstore. Why is this important? Becasue without the ability to imagine and create we become a nation of pupits moving to the trends of the video-centric media.http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091216/ap_on_bi_ge/us_last_bookstore
Last week at the International Coach Federation conference in Orlando Florida I watched as hundreds of attendees waited in line to have books signed by key-note speakers and conference faculty. Where do you put the author’s autograph on an e-book and does a hand written note from Sarah Palin mean as much in a Kindle as it does in a hardback?
Today I waited in line at Borders to purchase an Eagles DVD. Yes, I could have grabbed a boot-leg copy online but I value Glen, Joe and Don’s music so I was willing to pay them for their art. However, most of the customers in line cradled books. Several in fact. I checked and almost all were being bought as gift. How do you give the latest Pat Conroy novel as e-book? Where does the bow, go?
My wife doesn’t buy books. She borrows them from the library. When publishers convert to e-books will libraries offer digital downloads and if so, how? Will my wife have to take her e-reader to the library to check out the book or will she download it from the library’s web site?
Now, a few comments in response to Michael Hyatt’s pronouncement that the book is dead.
“Consumer expectations are going to skyrocket.” - I agree. The evolving nature of consumer electronics and growing influence of the web drive expectations to dizzying heights. Disposable media, like the newspapers and magazines that end up in the recycle bucket, will migrate to the e-reader platform. Such products are ideal for e-readers. Text books, too.
But fiction and non-fiction books live beyond their publication date. Readers “participate” in a book. They paint their own scenes, adding the furniture of their lives to make the story their own. They pause mid-act to nap, exit the subway or board a plane. With non-fiction they highlight, underline and dog-ear pages for reference. E-books cluttered with hyperlinks, ads, video and sound do not enhance the reading experience. They detract from it.
"The cost of producing digital books will get more expensive." - Yes, hyperlinks, ads, embedded video and streaming audio will probably become part of the publication output of newspapers and magazines. Obviously, this adds to production costs. But consider the browser wars that have plagued the web since its birth. Will publishers spend money to create multiple versions of its product in order to reach all types of e-readers? Or will they pick a winner and hope for the best. Few know the brand of the printing press that publishes the morning paper but with e-publications technology will trump content.
“Digital content creation and distribution will become our primary focus. Physical books will become an afterthought.” - Don’t bet on it. From 1997 to 2001 the World Wide Web went from a fringe concept ( prior to 1996 most companies didn’t even have a web site) to the dominant fixture in our culture. In four years the web revolutionized the media, ( AOL purchased Time Warner ), the recording industry, (Napster provided easy, free and illegal access to music) and the way we get our news and stay in touch. ( You’ve got mail! )
Amazon released their first Kindle in November 19, 2007. Citi analyst Mark Mahaney estimates that Amazon sold 500,000 of its first e-reader. Amazon predicts it will sell 800,000 by the end of this year. In contrast, Sarah Palin's memoir, released this fall, has sold 1 million copies and HarperCollins plans to increase the print run to 2.8 million copies. That’s one book using old technology that doesn't requirea batteries, specialized formatting or training. The e-reader is not a trend. It’s a niche fad pushed with hype and hope. The e-reader may change the way we read periodicals, but not books.
“People will be reading more than ever.” - Yes, and they’ll use e-readers to keep abreast of news, current trends and culture gossip. When it comes time to pick a book for entertainment, though, they’ll choose paper. We always have. Odds are we will for a very long time.
Michael Hyatt is Chief Executive Officer of Thomas Nelson Publishers, the largest Christian publishing company in the world and the seventh largest trade book.
I kept my grandson for a couple of hours Wednesday while my daughter went shopping. The boy puked down my arm so I sat down and read him a story. (Daughter said it was just spit-up but if it comes flying out of your mouth......well) I love that kid.
I read him stories and he pays attention and tries to pick the pictures off the page. Wednesday's story had a moon on every page. The kind in the sky. I asked him if he'd ever seen a moon. Then I figured, no, he probably hasn't since he hasn't spent a lot of time outside at night in the past 6 months.
Put up our Christmas tree on Tuesday. We didn't decorate it that night. Then I realized that it wasn't taking on water so Wednesday I took it down and hauled it back outside where I sawed some more off the bottom of the trunk. Stuck it back in the tree stand. Last night, we were lying in bed.
Wife said, "Did you hear that?"
It was the Christmas tree slurping water downstairs. Success!
Anyway, we hung the lights on it last night, but not before checking all three strands before putting them on the tree. We went round and round and got the strands placed just so. Plugged that sucker up. Two strands wouldn't light up. So then we started wiggling in the dark....the dark bulbs. Nothing.....nada. Pulled all the lights off and threw them in the trashcan.
In addition to the above, our commode-seat foot fell off Tuesday morning about 9:30. I thought I was experiencing an inner ear problem. It was an oak seat which went with our tan commode. Home Depot and Lowe's didn't carry that item anymore so I had to buy a three-shade lighter plastic tan seat for $37! But......it is hydraulic. If the seats up, all you have to do is just touch it slightly and ever so slowly and gently, it lowers itself into position. Sounds good, but I've seen occasions when I simply didn't have time for a commode seat to lower itself. Anyway, now I'm so happy I could....
Today in our new Walmart. The aisles are wider, the floors are shinier and the people shopping there seem a little happy. I'm sure they're probably not, not deep down inside. Guess what? They have the trusty oak commode seat for $14.99. Too late.
While at the "Mart," I bought my wife a spray-can of fake snow. Here's my plan.....I think we can make a real neat Christmas scene on top of the commode jacket (tank). It's slick as glass. I picture little tiny sweater-clad folks skating around on tan ice, with snow extending almost over to the flush handle. Daminatia, does this not conjure up images straight out of Charles Dickens? Wife is going to be so excited. She knows she can count on me for creative and highly tasteful ideas.
Hope ya'll had a good week.
"Words are the new weapons; satellites are the new artillery. Caesar had his legions, Napoleon had his armies; I have my divisions: TV, newspapers, and magazines." -Eliot Carver, Bond, Tomorrow Never Dies
Don't forget the Web, Eliot. And don't forget books.
Words... The power of change.
"Honey, I've been thinking. Maybe it's time we start..." A family is born.
Words... The power to liberate.
"I have a dream..."
A people walk free.
Words... The power to convict.
"Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"
Words... We all have them. Get yours published!
www.writerscoach.us Our next Basic Writers Workshop begins in January., 2010. A great way to start the new year.
How far along is the turkey now? No gobbling coming from crock-pot, I suppose? If so, we have the beginnings of "Revenge of the Turkeys," a new holiday favorite now available in the DVD format, right? Eddie can write it when he has the time.