More digital book projects (to be continued)
March 3, 2008 by ruediger

Publishers Weekly writes that the US children classic Dr. Seuss is going digital, thanks to a partnership between Dr. Seuss Enterprises and kidthing, a new content distribution platform. The website kidthing is to go online later this month.

Sometimes, too quick is too late. Publishers Lunch informed us only the day before expiration of the offer about a free download of Charles Bock’s debut novel Beautiful Children. The online site closed the freeby as of February 29 – but still adds to an emerging pattern: Putting up free stuff for only some limited period of time.

Also writers are getting interesting in the new digital movements – only to realize that publishers charge for downloadable books usually roughly as much as for printed books, yet don’t have to pay for all the storage, printing and delivery. This brings Kate Pullinger to write in the British Guardian¬†which triggered some debate.

Writers can learn a lot from the Hollywood strike. We deserve a better deal from digital publishing.”

This is how the piece opens:

Writers of the world arise! It’s time to throw off the shackles of traditional publishing contracts and face a brand new digital future with a brand new set of priorities. Let’s copy or, should I say, learn from our brothers and sisters in Hollywood: don’t let the industry take our digital rights away! Give us our digital dues! In the shift from print to digital, writers are in danger of losing out big time.”¬†It will be interesting to see if all those fast written thrillers will be put on hold – and both publishers and us readers shivering.

And at the Leipziger Buchmesse (Leipzig book fair) of next week, there will be an open forum about new digital book communities in germany, with among the speakers Miriam Hofheinz (www.perry-rhodan.net), Janet Sunjic vom Hörspiellabel Lausch-Hörspiele (www.merlausch.de) und Jennifer Nikodem (www.lovelybooks.de).

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