Category: Just For Fun

Valentine: The Digital, Device-Independent Comic Available Via Wireless In 14 Languages

By Alex de Campi Imagine a graphic novel series, released every month simultaneously in 14 languages and across all major wireless platforms (Kindle, EPUB, Android, iPhone), hopefully soon via the web and, eventually, in collected print editions. Every month, you pay 99 cents and get 70-75 screens of action, adventure and suspense. In its first fortnight after launch, in the difficult final weeks of December and with no marketing and without all our distributors yet on stream, the first episode had 5,000 downloads — of which English was in the minority. (There were over 100 downloads in Irish, which some call a “dead” language! And Latin is next…seriously.) So, what is this publication and what innovative publishing house is behind it, you might ask? It’s Valentine­ — an original supernatural thriller set during Napoleon’s retreat from Russia that I am co-writing with artist Christine Larsen — and, at the moment, none. It’s just two American girls who got in over their heads. Valentine became what it is today as a result of philosophizing about future models of publishing, and our real-life needs to have the book start paying for itself quickly. This was one of the reasons for choosing wireless distribution: it’s easier to sell downloads on phones and eReaders than charge for content on a website. We are a Creative Commons work, which means that we acknowledge that...

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Marking Up The Fab Four: Just Imagine What XML Could Do For Your Books

By Alan J. Porter Yesterday I posted on Twitter a couple of figures from the Association of American Publishers report of November 2009 book sales. The good news was that sales overall had in fact increased by 10.9%, but what really stood out was that in November of last year the sales of eBooks exploded showing a 199.9% increase and that they now account for about 2.5% of the revenue generated by book publishing. When you consider that most eBooks are cheaper than their paper equivalents, then the market share based on actual sales numbers is going to be even higher. I’m not sure why I was surprised as the industry figures in some way reflect my own recent experience. Back in September of last year I took the step of offering my biography of the Beatles’ teenage years, “Before They Were Beatles”, as an electronic book on the Kindle. As I no longer had to worry about covering print costs, carrying inventory, processing orders or shipping, I posted the book at a greatly reduced price. Sales of the electronic version have been growing each month, and on average in the last five months sales of the electronic version have out paced hard copy sales by a factor of 4:1. All this sounds great doesn’t it? – On the surface it is, BUT it could be so much more....

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