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European Union and e-Books

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When it comes to currency, the EC is borderless; when it comes to e-books — not so much. Could this change? You will be surprised – it might be the European Commission that makes it happen:

European publishers and a member of the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF) responsible for the e-book standard ePub, met with the Vice-President of the European Commission, Ms Kroes to discuss the future of e-books.

Publishers called for reduced rates of VAT for e-books and Ms Kroes has reassured them that she was standing behind them on this issue. The goodwill has to come from the Finance Ministers.

The publishers also insisted that they are signing licences with authors allowing them to distribute the books in a said language on a pan-European basis. There is no obstacle in the contract between publishers and retailers which prevent these retailers to sell a German e-book to Greece or a Spanish e-book to the United Kingdom for example and to make sure that as many readers have access to as many books as possible, this is an issue of cultural diversity.

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Hyper Smash

 

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KOBO Takes On Amazon with KOBO “Writing Life”

Digital reading company KOBO is launching a competitor to Amazon’s KDP and B&N’s PubIt: KOBO “Writing Life”, a free self-publishing platform for independent authors and publishers.

Writing Life is in beta tests with 50 authors now and will launch in English by the end of June. Authors who were asked what they felt was most important in a self-publishing platform, wanted: openness, control, great royalties, clear and instant reporting and global reach. Powerful but simple.

KOBO takes on Amazon’s KDP program on its website: “Unlike some self-publishing portals, KOBO doesn’t bind you to us. Publish to KOBO and take your ePub to your adoring fans, no matter where they might be. You’re free to sell your eBook the way you want.”

KOBO allows authors to set their book price to “FREE” at any time without restrictive exclusive agreements, in addition, KOBO pays 10% higher royalties on sales in many growing international markets and allows authors much more freedom on pricing. “Writing Life” also gives authors an analytics dashboard showing real-time sales stats, including sales by country.

From their press release:
E-book downloads up 400%, e-reader device sales up 160 % and the number of people reading internationally with KOBO up 280% and 8 million users in 190 countries.

KOBO was acquired by Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten for $315 million in November 2011 and will be launching in Japan, with subsequent launches planned for Portugal, Spain, Italy, with more launches to follow. These markets have distinct needs for digital reading and KOBO intends to provide access in regions where printed books are inaccessible and where electronic devices can be more easily obtained.

KOBO’s “Writing Life” launch seems to be good news for authors and publishers alike who don’t want to put their “eggs in one basket only”.  

Read more:

http://www.kobobooks.com/KoboWritingLIfe

http://www.sacbee.com/2012/06/05/4539143/kobo-writing-life-delivers-best.html

http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/digital/retailing/article/52275-kobo-to-launch-kobo-writing-life-self-publishing-portal.html
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Hyper Smash

 

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Amazon and epub? Hopefully soon

Amazon and ePub Format

The Amazon Kindle has exclusively sold books on its Amazon Bookstore in the Mobi format. Publishers have been told by the company that in the near-future, they should be submitting their books to Amazon in ePub format and not exclusively MOBI.

Soon the Kindle eReader will have the full capability to read ePub books. Amazon steps in the right direction. It also opens up a world of opportunities for publishers beyond the restrictions of the mobi format. The ePub format is the industry standard for e-book formats and almost every other online ebook store aside from Amazon sells their books in that format. With Amazon embracing ePub technology it confirms that ePub is by far the most popular format to read e-books.

Thanks to Amazon from us e-book designers!
And also thanks from every author.  In the future this will save them headaches and money.

 

 

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