Tag Archives: Apple

The Apple Surprise!

New Photo w Logos


I just read the article on the dbw website by Jeremy Greenfield, Apple’s Big Move,  that talked about how the new operating system that’s being released by Apple is including iBooks and roughly 34 books for free. I took a look on my iPhone and iPad, because I had already downloaded the new operating system for both of them. Unfortunately I couldn’t really see a difference, and I’m not exactly sure how the apps are set up. I could not tell if there was anything different on either one of my devices.

What I do see in this turn of events is the possibility of Apple becoming a larger player in the e-book competition with Amazon. The devices are where the line is drawn. Every time Apple releases a new product in the realm of the iPhone six or the new generation of iPads, they immediately sell millions in a few weeks time. This ability to crush it with sales can have crossover effect once people realize that they can also use the iBooks app to quickly and efficiently purchase books and e-books. The ability to gain market share through hardware sales is one that Amazon has actually perfected.

Whereas Apple is selling a high-level technology device that everyone wants with an added bonus (iBooks), Amazon is selling a device that is not technically superior to the one that Apple produces, but the delivery of content through the KDP model is the preeminent sales structure within the competitive marketplace. This could actually turn into the heavyweight battle that was foreseen years ago between these two corporate giants. Overall I see this is a good thing.

Competition is something that keeps all corporations on their toes. If there is no competition than individual corporate structures are less likely to be on the cutting edge of innovation. Competition keeps people guessing. Competition makes research and development a needed function. Looking through the corporate history of the United States you can never have the Ying without the Yang. For Henry Ford there was Chrysler who was building cars at the same time. For Coke there was Pepsi. For Westinghouse there was GE. The best minds need to be pitted against each other to keep new products and new process innovations updating the given markets.

It will be interesting to see if this additional exposure through iBooks has an impact on e-book sales through Apple. The possibility exists that the iPhone 6 and iPad are too technologically advanced to steer large quantities of dollars in the e-book direction. There are so many different apps and things to do on these devices that reading may be something that is relegated very far down the list of functions for customers to use.

Whether Apple becomes the player that grabs more market share from Amazon has yet to be seen, but having the app and some free books could be a step in the right direction for customers yearning for another sales portal worthy of a challenge to Amazon.

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You Have to Get This Ebook From Amazon!

Don and Derek

The Book Kahuna and his Corgi, Derek!

The Book Kahuna

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The Electronic/Digital Revolution in Book Publishing:  History, Industry Perspective (Print and E-book) and “How To” Publish Your E-book for Amazon Kindle

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Enhanced Ebooks: Could This Be The Future of Ebook Publishing?

Don and Derek

The Book Kahuna and his Corgi, Derek!

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What is an Enhanced Ebook Anyway?

I recently read the article on the digital book world website by David Wilk: Giving Up On Enhanced Ebooks Too Soon, and decided that this type of article was worthy of a blogpost on exactly what an enhanced Ebook might look like, especially in the world of reference publishing.  I think Mr. Wilk makes some valid points that publishers are hesitant to invest in this latest innovation in publishing technology.  I personally do not think that publishers will be shelving this formatting process, but it may take longer to become the norm rather than the exception.

In reference publishing the ability to incorporate video into the content would be an incredible boon for accelerating the learning process.  Not only could students read a speech by Churchill or FDR or Jack Kennedy, they could also click on the URL or thumbnail inserted into the content that would allow them to see the actual speech verbatim.  Also, video and news clips of historical events could be inserted as well and give the student a more accessible sensory experience to completely heighten the learning experience.  For a very long time I have seen this as the wave of the future for Ebooks.  Making the Ebook a multi-technical formatted content platform could have a wide-ranging impact on how well students learn material.

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Move Fish?

Another area that would be hugely impacted by the advent of enhanced Ebooks would be the children’s book area.  If you can start producing electronic pop-up books where children can touch a character and an animated process would begin or make a character do certain movements, this modified touch-screen revolution would accelerate the learning process for those under five years old.  This children’s book technical revolution would be a leader into the learning process for the modified enhanced Ebooks referenced above.  Once children are comfortable with the process of touch-screen learning, this could be the foundation that will allow them to pick up information in a much faster and more reliable way.  The main thing about touch-screen learning would be that the element of fun would still be apparent as the child grows into an older student.  Any learning tool that can access more senses is pushing the envelope to a much broader and faster educational system.

If it sells, we will make it so…

The companies that produce the readers have not been moving in the direction of pushing E-books with enhanced features.  This may be due to the fact that Amazon’s Kindle Fire could handle enhanced Ebooks, the Apple iPad would be an amazing platform for enhanced Ebooks, but Barnes &Noble and the Nook do not have a platform that would support enhanced Ebooks very well.  As Mr. Wilk made clear in his article, Apple could lead the way in revolutionizing this technology that would fit well into an iPad environment.  These companies are the distributors for the Ebooks that the publishers produce.  If publishers started to produce a large volume of enhanced Ebooks the mindset might change with the device and distribution companies.  As with anything when dealing with large companies there will not be an impetus to move forward in this direction until there is a recognizable profit and revenue generating reason to make sure that these Ebooks can be used on these devices.

You have to get this book from Amazon:

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Carnac Says:…

My prediction: It is only a matter of time before enhanced Ebooks become the norm.  It only follows that the technology has surpassed the expectations of the mass consuming market.  I leave you with this question:  If we have electronic books in the marketplace why would we want them to be mirror images of the print product when technology can take them in so many other different directions?

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Questionable #Amazon Reviews: Do They Matter in the Larger Scheme?

Don and Derek

The Book Kahuna and his Corgi, Derek!


I read with interest the article on the digital book world website (Exploring the Murky Waters of Unreliable Consumer Book Reviews by Jack W. Perry) about the questionable reviews on Amazon.  The query that I had in my mind is whether these reviews are hurtful or helpful in the marketplace.  There are two distinct trains of thought on this question of reviews:

  1. The reviews must be at a rating level of three or above on this scale to engender more readers to look into a title.
  2. A bad book review is the death-knell for a new author who is trying to get a viral buzz in his chosen genre.

This begs the old philosophical question in marketing: Does a bad review still engender people to look into the possibility of buying a book even though others may think it is not worth the cost?  I tend to think that any publicity can be good publicity whether it is critical or complimentary.  There have been plenty of instances in the recent past where books and movies have been panned by critics and also by critical audiences, and still the book or movie was a success in the marketplace based on consumers’ purchasing preferences.  The more insidious part of the review process is where people are buying reviews to prop up their numbers and make it look like their book is actually critically acclaimed in the marketplace.  This would border on cheating, and even worse a fraud on the book buying public.

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I think the consuming public has come to the point where they realize they can’t believe everything they read or see on the Internet.  In many different ways, the Internet has become a great clearinghouse for information that can be deemed to be questionable.  The book buying public has to be aware already that when a book or Ebook comes out on Amazon or in the iBookstore for Apple the author has probably had many of his friends and family members read and write some of the reviews that are placed onto the web site.  There is a reverse psychology in the mentality of the purchasing public that tends to make them think “I need to find out for myself. “  It is this thought process that drives consumers to make purchases on books you would never think they would buy.

Another aspect to ponder is the relationship with the buying public and the reliability of the information contained on the Internet.  There have been many times in the recent past where I have seen the phrase “I saw it on the Internet so it has to be true” used as the punch-line of a joke.  If the Internet was looked upon as a reliable source of information, jokes of this sort would not be able to get a laugh when mentioned in TV commercials or on television shows.  The Internet is a repository of information that leaves everyone to ponder and wonder whether they have received the correct information when accessing websites on given topics.  There do not appear to be any plans to replace the present rating system with something else, and this question about the rating system will continue as long as there is anonymity in place behind those who are actually making the critical reviews.

In conclusion, be a smart consumer and read parts of the book before you make your purchase.  Product scanning can be done before downloading an Ebook for an Amazon Kindle by reading the 10% excerpt, but even more easily accomplished on a print title when visiting a bookstore or public library.  To give a great plug to the public library system, I suggest you go and take the book out of the library and either read it in total or read selected chapters to get a feel for whether the book is worth your spending dollars.  Being an educated consumer is always preferable to not having any information on a product for purchase.

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Follow me on Twitter at:  Donald Schmidt@thebookkahuna

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EPUB3: The Turn to a Universal E-book Format

Don and Derek

The Book Kahuna and his Corgi, Derek!


I read with great interest and joy the post on the Digital Book World website that there is a consortium of publishers working through the AAP to make EPUB3 the universal format for e-book file delivery to distribution. To this I say, “Hallelujah!”


This move toward a universal format will make the CMS (Content Management System) and Dam (Digital Asset Management system) much more streamlined and compact. Right now, publishers have to finalize e-book files based on the constraints of the final distributor (the file identifier and formats are dictated to publishers by the final portal). This leaves publishers with archives of files that have various and different naming conventions that take up an inordinately large amount of space on their servers.

You may ask the question, “Why would publishers have that many sets of files archived?” There could be errors in transmission to the final sales portal, there could be slight revisions that need to be made and rather than doing the revisions in the master files and re-sending to each and every vendor, the files are individually corrected for dissemination. Each publisher handles this variation in different ways. Clean-up on file archives is a long and laborious process that cannot be done completely with automation. You don’t want to have the good files wiped clean with the previous incarnations. So in effect, files stay on servers until manpower dictates a more thorough review of what constitutes final product can be conducted.

Bottom-line: Making one format the law of the land will help publishers internally build digital platforms that are more efficient and cost-effective in getting final product to their customer base. This can only be a win/win for publishers/distributors and the buying public who will get a format that is acceptable on any and all reading devices. This last point is a key. If Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Apple adopt the EPUB 3 format as the file transmission of choice, then a huge glut in the transmission process is alleviated and the prices may see a reduction due to the simplification of the formatting and transmission process. Man-hours will be cut out of the process in separate reviews on different staging platforms, and the “one-size fits all” will cut costs all along the distribution pipeline.

In effect, going with BLU-RAY in (this case EPUB3) will cause a ripple effect within the publishing world that could see book sales rocket into the heavens the next few years. Also, since we know that all format types are symbiotic in nature in the marketing process, the e-book renaissance would also impact sales of audiobooks, and print books as well. The rising tide will float all boats and ensure that the profits recouped from this change in process will be noteworthy and far-reaching. With the reductions in costs that publishers will see due to streamlined delivery processes, and the increased revenues that they will see due to the much easier transmission of format to devices, we may see an increase and improvement in the content that is released to the public as well. Wouldn’t that be a big kick: If you could get books where you want, when you want, on a device of your choosing through the portal that you want to use, AND the quality of the content is much better due to more $$ available for royalties to authors who can actually put words into sentences? I think the answer will be: PRICELESS!!

Some distributors are concerned that EPUB3 may be the start of a crumbling of “Garden Walls” between themselves and their customers. To this I say: “Mr. Distributor, Tear Down This Wall!”

Publishing like it Oughta Be!  (Homage to the ’86 Mets!)



Follow me on Twitter at:  Donald Schmidt@thebookkahuna

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Baseball, Hot Dogs, Apple (Fines) and Chevrolet…

Don and Derek

The Book Kahuna and his Corgi, Derek!

In thinking about topics for this blog post, I started looking at what is happening in the publishing industry.  Apple lost their collusion and price-fixing case, the Yankees are languishing in fourth place in the American League East, summer hours should be well in session on Fridays in the New York Publishing scene, and the mid-summer slow-down is well under way across the publishing business as a whole.  Nothing hit me as a topic that would really stand out from the crowd, until I thought about a conversation I had with my mother a few weeks ago.

Mom Knows Best

My mom had been going through some of my papers from when I was in elementary school and reminded me of one that I wrote when I was in the third grade.  I would imagine the assignment had to do with visualizing a storyline with plot build-up, characters, and a final conclusion.  My choice of story centered around 3 intrepid characters battling the forces arrayed against them to stop a flood that would ultimately prove fatal if allowed to occur without any incidence of prevention.  The title of my piece: “A Day in the Life of a Rice Krispie!”  Sheer brilliance at its core, the title tells you everything you need to know.  There will be laughter, remorse, vindictiveness, and then, of course, hunger leading to Snap, Crackle, and Pop.

Why is it so easy to come up with topics when we are young, and much harder to think of things we want to say when we are so much better equipped to say them?  Does imagination rest exclusively in the mind of an 8-year old who must have had a good breakfast that morning?  No, I think the reasoning is much deeper than that.  Someone who has a love of writing must enjoy reading their own writing and then they will have little or no personal defeat if someone else decides they do not like it.  Writing is an art, no different from painting, composing music, sculpting, or architecture.  Putting words to electronic medium is a canvas that needs to be fostered and nurtured throughout a life.

Blog, Blog and Blog Some More

The new medium of blogging has made the writing process all the more interesting in this day and age.  Now someone can riff on any topic they deem important, and find a niche audience immediately of like-minded individuals.  Forty-five years ago when I wrote that little story, there was no way to foretell that eventually I would be able to share a small slice of third grade, with a multitude of readers that I will never meet or see in the course of my daily travels.

I make this suggestion because blogging would seem to be a unique tool to see if there is an audience for your literary tome.  Instead of writing a book and going through all the motions to have it published as an e-book, or a print book, put excerpts on a blog as separate posts, and see if you get a response.  You can set up a survey page to see if there are questions on the topic, this would be a way to gauge the probable interest and future sales when you do publish.  Also, writings on a blog are copyrighted and cannot be pulled and re-used without express permission of the original writer.  Re-blogging leaves all of the original author information intact in the piece and does not infringe on the author’s copyrighted materials for usage.

Survey Suggestion to Save Publishing Money…

One suggested route for being published, write a blog and see if anyone picks up on it and finds you.  Watch the movie “Julie and Julia”, I have to admit that this movie had a big influence on me writing and moving forward with this blog.  It may work that way for you as well.  Find your passion, blog on it, and see if the followers come running.  It may save you some full-on publishing expenses in the long run!

I do not believe there will be a movie made based on my blog…

Follow me on Twitter at:  Donald Schmidt@thebookkahuna

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Ebook Sales: Marketing to Leisure Time Is Key

Don and Derek

The Book Kahuna and his Corgi, Derek!


In his article on the Digital Book World website: Ebook Revenue Growth Stalling Out?  Ebooks Flat in January, Jeremy Greenfield encapsulates all the numbers that give a surprising downturn in the sales figures from the meteoric run of 2011 and 2012.  I think there is an explanation for this change in revenue patterns which I will expound on now.

What Ever Happened to That Cute Couple?

A few years ago, the Kindle and the Kindle II were the unchallenged kings of the e-reader domain.  Amazon was the place to go if you wanted to get your favorite new title or many free backlist titles downloaded for your reading pleasure.  The television was rife with those cute ads with the couple in which the guy had all the answers and the girl was usually asking the questions.  You know the ones I mean…

Once the Kindle (and when I say Kindle I am referring to all iterations of the device) started to have some competition from the Nook, and then extreme competition from the Ipad, the playing field changed and the cutesy commercials disappeared.  This is an extremely regrettable phenomenon because I really wanted to find out what happened with their story.  Did the guy switch to an Ipad and dump her for someone who was a Gamer?  Did she leave him for a guy who was a B & N fan with a Nook?

Television and YouTube Marketing?

Herein lies part of the equation:  Although most people living in the United States have heard of an Ebook, without any Marketing strategy by the main Ebook distributors, there is no imprint in the consciousness of the buying public that any of the players are really pushing the sales.  I have not seen a commercial by Amazon, B & N, or Apple specifically aimed at the book-buying audience.

“In January, the latest month for which data is available, ebook revenue was up 0.7% to $130.2 million, according to the latest numbers from the Association of American Publishers. Adult trade across the board was down 1.5% to $503.1 million.”

Now, when I went onto YouTube to find these commercials, there were a gaggle of other commercials that I had never even seen before.  Where are these commercials playing?  And given the demise of the dedicated reader due to the incredible sales surge of tablets in the recent year (I own a Kindle II, but I bought an Ipad with retina display in April!), there is no wonder that the number of people actually seeing the commercials has dropped through the floor.

Leisure Time for Reading:  Buy and Download Now!

The next phase of the Electronic/Digital Revolution (part of the title of my Ebook, available for Kindle download at Amazon and through the Kindle App on the Ipad:

The Electronic/Digital Revolution in Book Publishing

Will be a marketing blitz, but will not rely solely on books to push the sales of the tablet.  The Ipad ad above just barely has a quick view of books you can read on the device in the beginning.  There are so many other things that you can do with the tablets, that the point must be driven home:

  1.  You can buy your favorite Ebooks and new Ebooks through the sales portal and read them LATER!  Having them is the key.  Do everything you need to do on your tablet, and then read your book at your leisure.  Leisure time for self-reflection and advancement through reading will increase future sales.

Time for me to continue reading on my Ipad, after I watch the Yankees/Dodgers game on the MLB App…

Follow me on Twitter at:  Donald Schmidt@thebookkahuna

Happy 71st Birthday Paul McCartney!


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