noun 1. a decorative design or small illustration used on the titlepage of a book, or at the beginning or end of a chapter. Macquarie Dictionary Publishers, 2019
I recently presented a session on The Well Crafted eBook as part of a workshop on How To Publish an eBook with Ken Vickery at the Bassendean Library. As part of my session I addressed the question of including Vignettes in an eBook. Vignettes can be obtained at a reasonable price from Shutterstock.com.
The problem with including a picture in an eBook, however, is that it must be able to be viewed on a variety of screens: from phones, to tablets, to computers, as well as on eBook Readers.
As a result we have now standardised on the image required for the printed version (300 dpi) for the Title Page (which is 590 x 270 pixels). The image for Chapter Titles is half that size (ie 295 x 135). For printed books each image has to be separately set.
When including the vignette in an eBook the following specifications are used (unfortunately this is slightly more technical and requires a little more understanding of the html/css interface/. What we are defining however, is as follows:
Width – this is the percentage of the page that is to be taken up by the image.
Minimum Width – this overrides the width and sets the minimum number of pixels, as the picture may be unrecognisable if it is too small.
Maximum Width – this ensures that the image doesn’t pixelate by getting viewed beyond up its original size.
For an eBook the picture only has to be included the once, and then linked to its location below the chapter number on each chapter page.
I have to admit to finding it a bit difficult to understand how an increase in eBook sales of 12.3% (from 2013 to 2014) is being peddled as signally the end of the ebook, particularly when sales of the physical book fell by 1.7% over the same period.
Well, actually I can understand it – it’s called wishful thinking. What’s happening is that the rate of e-book growth has started to slow, and coupled with a slowing in decline of physical book sale the traditionalists are hoping it signals a return to the printed book. Just remember though, according to Nielsen Bookscan, we bought 237 million books back in 2008. In 2013, this had fallen to 184 million, a pretty drastic fall of 22 per cent!
So yes, it appears the book market might be starting to reach some sort of equilibrium, with about one in three books being a digital one, and the rest being physical books. And yes, there is good news for booksellers with Waterstones reporting that sales of physical books has increased by 5 per cent during December, compared with the same month in 2013. A picture echoed by Sam Husain, the chief executive of Foyles, who said sales at his chain of bookshops had jumped by 8.1 per cent, compared with December the year before.
Bottom line, however, the eBook market continues to expand, and even if its growth slowed further to 9% it will only take five years before eBook sales constitute 50% of the total market.
You can read the full article from the Telegraph here.
I hope this doesn’t read as too much of an endorsement for Amazon, as its not intended to be, and certainly other eBook sellers such as Kobo and B&N will probably roll this out shortly, but the bottom line is that this is a significant upgrade.
You have always been able to share books from your Amazon account with someone else by linking multiple eReaders to the same account. The latest software release, however, allows you to load multiple accounts to the same reader. So presumably the idea is to have two eRreaders (one for each account), but allow each to share each others accounts without having to physically swapping the readers. So it is bringing the flexibility of just lending an paper to eBooks, at least within the family.
And yes, you still need two eReaders if you’re reading the same book at the same time, but its better than having to have four eReaders (think about it).
The two paired accounts can also jointly supervise and control up to four child’s accounts, too.
In my last blog I discussed a poll conducted by USA TODAY and Bookish, a website designed to help people find and buy books. The poll found that a majority of those surveyed (57%) cited their own opinion of the writer’s previous work as the major factor in creating interest in a particular book for them. Opinions of a relative and friend (publishers call that “word of mouth”) came in second at 43%. Lower on the list of major factors: professional reviewers and other writers (each 17%), the book cover (16%) and Internet opinions by non-professionals (10%).
This week I wanted to share with you the results of another recent survey by ebookfairies which confirms many of the USA today survey’s results. The ebookfairies survey was conducted from June 1-30, 2013, via Survey Monkey, and as many as 2,951 people replied to most of the 44 questions formulated by more than a dozen authors.
The availability of online bookstores, and particularly the arrival of eBooks is starting to transform how people discover the books they may want to read. The traditional place to do that was bookstores. You’d go in to buy one book and discover another.
Officials at Amazon and other book websites argue that clicking can replace browsing, but is that just a vague and nebulous hope, or are people actually selecting the books they’ll read in different ways? A recent poll conducted for USAToday and Bookish, a website designed to help people find and buy books, asked readers what factors create interest in a particular book for them. Continue reading →
Following on from last week’s blog where I asked the question, ‘Just how many eReaders do I need’ I thought this week I’d turn my attention to ‘Just how many eReaders does the world have?’. To answer this question I’ll be looking at:
How many (and what type) of eReaders are getting sold globally?
What is the market for eReaders compared to the traditional paperback?
How are tablets impacting on ‘traditional’ eReader sales?
What’s happening in Australia?
Are our own sales at Hague Publishing typical of the wider picture?
How many (and what type) of eReaders are getting sold globally?
In November 2012 Digitimes Research estimated that global shipments for 2012 would reach 9.82 million e-book readers, down 57.3% from 2011. Digitimes suggested at that time that because of “increasing competition from 7-inch tablets and large-screen smartphones, global e-book reader shipments will continue falling to 8.2 million units in 2013, 6.5 million units in 2014 and five million units in 2015”. However recent figures put out by the Pew Research Centre paints a completely different picture of final 2012 sales, and I discuss this further below.
Once, a couple of years ago, I thought one would be enough, a couple of months ago it was six (although that was between two people), but then having seen the latest Amazon new Kindle Paperwhite it’s now definitely seven.
However, this is not so much a blog about why you should get the new Kindle Paperwhite, but rather why my wife and I ended up with six eReaders between us.
Firstly, a little bit of history. The first Nook came out on 30 November 2009 and my wife was immediately interested in it. Firstly as a way of prolonging the day before we’d have to get a bigger house to store all the books we have, and secondly to make it easier to read the enormous fantasy tomes she was starting to get into. One problem, however, they weren’t available in Australia.
On the other hand we were going to America so I got dragged into a couple of Barnes and Noble stores while she talked to the sales person about the Nook. I have to admit it wasn’t that much of a trial, a whole room of history books – I was in heaven.