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eBooks

“He who refuses to learn deserves extinction” – Guardian Changing Media Summit 2013

5 Apr, 13 | by Claire Bower, Digital Comms Manager, @clairebower

There were a number of key themes at this year’s Guardian Changing Media Summit — an annual conference which brings together a mixture of CEO and director level executives responsible for commercial, creative and digital strategies.

Most significantly, it was clear that publishers are beginning to see more opportunities than threats from digital technologies and much time was spent discussing the innovative monetisation of digital products.

Death of Journalism

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Inkling Habitat: reinventing the print press?

16 Mar, 12 | by Claire Bower, Digital Comms Manager, @clairebower

Online publishing startup Inkling (who featured at this week’s HighWire Press Conference in Palo Alto, CA) has created a new tool that it says will appeal to professional, large-scale publishers. The software, known as Habitat, will use XML and HTML5 that can be read on a variety of platforms, including an upcoming Inkling web reader. In theory, it sounds pretty similar to Apple’s iBooks Author, but Habitat is specifically designed for large teams of collaborators with sharing and collaboration tools.

If anyone has insight into Apple’s educational efforts, it would be Inkling Co-founder and CEO, Matthew MacInnis, who was responsible for Apple’s expansion into educational markets in Asia and later a senior manager of all Apple’s international education efforts. MacInnis told us that the Inkling team set out to build a publishing platform that would redefine digital media, starting with reinventing the textbook. But in doing so, they’ve discovered that to reinvent books, they’ve had to go back to ground zero and re-imagine the entire printing process itself. more…

40 years of the ebook: from Project Gutenberg to market domination

9 Sep, 11 | by Claire Bower, Digital Comms Manager, @clairebower

Project Gutenberg founder Michael Hart, who created the first ever ebook, has died aged 64. Launched in 1971 when Hart decided on a whim to type the US Declaration of Independence into a computer, Project Gutenberg is now one of the largest collections of free ebooks in the world. In 1998 he told Wired magazine that “20 or 30 years from now, there’s going to be some gizmo that kids carry around in their back pocket that has everything in it – including our books, if they want”. How right he was, though the rate of progress has been considerably quicker.

Amazon’s latest financial results reported that so far in 2011 its US wing had sold 120 Kindle ebooks for every 100 paperbacks. “Additionally, during this same time period the company has sold three times as many Kindle books as hardcover books,” the company said in a statement. But is the ebook movement really a “ferocious advance upon the bastions of literary culture“? Is it worthy of comparison with Johannes Gutenberg’s 15th century printing press in terms of milestone status?

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More content available on Kindle: specialist blogs and Online First articles

17 Jun, 11 | by Claire Bower, Digital Comms Manager, @clairebower

Following the release of the BJSM blog on Kindle, BMJ Group has now published content from a number of other specialist blogs and journals on the Kindle platform. Actual journal content is now fed through to Kindle from our ‘Online First’ sections. These articles have been peer reviewed, accepted for publication, published online and indexed by PubMed but have not yet been assigned to a journal issue.

Amazon recently announced that it now sells more copies of its Kindle ebooks than traditional paperbacks. The online retailer revealed that paid-for sales of the electronic format outstrip its total sales of paperbacks.

Since the beginning of the year, for every 100 paperback books Amazon has sold, the company has sold 115 Kindle books. Additionally, during this same time period the company has sold three times as many Kindle books as hardcover books.

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