Some interesting news from last week.
This first one could have a big impact on book sales and the entire industry. The German cabinet’s law on fixed book prices will be extended to include electronic books.
“The law on the pricing of German language books, under which publishers must determine a price for every title they sell, traces its roots to the late 19th century.
“It is aimed at protecting small bookshops from being priced out of the market and at allowing publishers to make enough money via sales of bestsellers that they can afford to print more niche but culturally valuable publications in smaller runs.
“Germany's highest court last year ruled that certain discounts U.S. online retailer Amazon offered had breached the law.”
While the law covers German language books, the spread of such a law to other countries could have an impact on book sales.
It’s also ironic that Amazon is the one in trouble after the whole fiasco with ITunes and publishers setting their own prices. Don’t you think?
From The Guardian:
“We’re trying to make books that are delightful, surprising and completely unprintable,” Gerber says. “They’re not games and they’re not apps – they’re all built out of HTML – but each one is impossible to envisage on paper.”
“The first two titles are The Truth About Cats and Dogs, a Janus-faced account of a collaborative poetry project that flips between chapters by authors Sam Riviere and Joe Dunthorne; and Entrances & Exits, a love story from Reif Larsen where a key discovered in an abandoned bookshop unlocks a journey that the reader can follow using Google Street View.”
Books as apps with interactive features aren’t new. But it is really fascinating to see where developers are taking this technology.
What elements could be featured in our books? The sky’s the limit. Instead of just background music, a character could attend a concert or play and the reader could experience it with the character. Google Street View also gives rise to all sorts of possibilities. Wouldn’t it be exciting to write a book that features such a unique experience? What story would you write?