wha yu mean
when yu say half-caste
yu mean when picasso
mix red an green
is a half-caste canvas/
wha u mean
when yu say half-caste
yu mean when light an shadow
mix in de sky
is a half-caste weather/
well in dat case
nearly always half-caste
in fact some o dem cloud
half-caste till dem overcast
so spiteful dem dont want de sun pass
wha yu mean
when yu say half-caste
While we are all used to it’s current definition as “a written work or composition that has been published (printed on pages bound together)”, advances in technology and increasing expectations from readers may converge to ensure that that definition no longer holds or, at best, is only partially true.
There’s no denying that customers want to be in charge and have a say in all interactions they are a part of. One-way communication is just too passe. They want their foods tweaked a little, decide which channels to watch on TV, even decide who wins the next edition of American Idol. It’d be pretty dumb to assume, therefore, that they would be content reading a book without a part to play.
So imagine a situation where Snow White is warned that the apple may contain some poison. Or one where Thomas Friedman is grilled on his notions of a Flat World. All while reading the book.
Technology may just make that possible. Discussions are already happening through instant messaging and other collaborative software. With the emergence of the broadband and improvements in content delivery, it won’t be too far away when the book is not just a static collection of words and pages but a dynamic discussion forum. Real time collaboration may make it possible for authors and readers to communicate and offer stories, plots and explanations tailored for the reader. If the book is indeed a source of knowledge, then such an incarnation of the book might indeed allow people to communicate and collaborate and put their minds together in the pursuit of knowledge. Ideas can be debated and discussed threadbare. Nuances can be emphasized.
Interactivity will be key. The book will indeed be a social lubricant.
There is much debate on whether the printed book will survive the onslaught of its electronic counterpart. With newer devices being produced almost everyday that make e-books easy to access, it seems like e-books are here to stay. While many publishers are apprehensive of the impact of e-books on their business models, it will be, nonetheless, interesting to see how things pan out here in India.
Even today, many Indian villages remain inaccessible because of the poor quality of roads and last mile delivery of goods remains a huge challenge. Primarily because of this, and because literacy levels associated with the rural hinterland are considered abysmal, books hardly make it to the villages in the numbers that it should. This means that those who actually want a good book to read cannot get one. The Government has made a feeble attempt to introduce libraries but barring that and a few mobile libraries that are introduced by well-meaning individuals, finding a good book to read is long shot off.
It is in this context that the impact of e-books must be examined. Mobile connections cover almost half of the country’s population and a huge perecentage of the rural populace. The average screen size of the mobile has also increased. That means books, if transmitted electronically, can be easily downloaded and conveniently read. In order to cater to the needs of the vernacular market, innovations will be important. Important strides are already being taken in this direction although more work is needed.
At an important time such as this, the correct steps must be taken. It is important to realise that this need not be a zero-sum game and that e-books and printed books can co-exist. In fact it has been proposed that e-books might actually prop up the demand for the printed versions. Careful thought must be therefore applied before publishers yield to the temptation of enforcing DRM rights and other such controls on the sale and dissemination of e-books.
What are your thoughts on this? How do you think the e-book wave will play itself out in India? Or is it too early to speculate? Are e-books going to change the way publishing is perceived and books delivered? Your comments are invited.
It was already about e-books. From the Kindle to the Nook to the very unimaginatively named Sony Reader, e-book Readers were fast to come by and offer those on the move a new way to read books. e-book Readers offered a truckload of choices – from the ability to carry more than a 1000 books at once to the ability to make annotations and notes on the book as you read it.
The iPad has raised the stakes even further. It was always possible to read e-books on smartphones thanks to the likes of the Stanza app on iphones and Aldiko on Google Android phones. With everyone who is someone preferring an electronic version of the book to read, having an e-presence has now become a necessity.
Making your book available in an electronic form also has an economic aspect to it. With more than half of the world’s readers of English books concentrated in North America and Western Europe, it makes sense to cater to these readers, who now increasingly prefer the convenience of e-books. There is also the cost factor. With e-book development being a one-time charge, every additional “e-book” costs nothing to produce. You are earning from each sale and spending nothing.
At CinnamonTeal, we are doing our best to help our authors leverage this channel. We have tied up with myebooks.com and Smashwords™, both respected book channels in their own right. Our association with them allows our authors access to a large number of platforms thus making their books accessible on most devices whether on mobiles or on dedicated e-book readers. To know more about this service, click here.We also offer an e-book development service for a variety of formats.
Many authors seem perplexed when faced with the question of whether they prefer an ISBN for their book. They are not sure whether an ISBN is required, what are its benefits and how it should be obtained. Here is an attempt to answer these questions.
Much of this is borrowed from Joel Friedlander’s blog, which every person wishing to self-publish must visit.
1. What is an ISBN?
ISBN stands for International Standard Book Number. It is a 13-digit number that is assigned to one title and one title only (it is actually a bit more complicated than that). It is accepted universally.
2. Why does a book need an ISBN?
An ISBN is required to identify a book uniquely, irrespective of where that book originates from. It is also used to differentiate one edition of a book from another. The ISBN also serves the purpose of being able to identify the publisher of each edition of a book. Booksellers, distributors and libraries the world over rely on the ISBN to accurately catalogue and retrieve each book.
3. Does my book need an ISBN?
The short answer is that it is a good idea to have an ISBN assigned to your book. If you plan to have your book distributed and sold, more often than not your book will be expected to have an ISBN.
4. Does the ISBN have to be assigned by a publisher alone?
This rule differs from country to country. In India, ISBNs are assigned to publishers who then assign it to books. They are also assigned to authors. You simply need to contact the ISBN issuing authority in India.
Note that an ISBN is issued to a publisher (or author). Whoever “owns” the ISBN is recognized as the publisher of the book.
5. Does the presence of an ISBN guarantee a copyright on the ideas included in the book?
It does not. An ISBN is not a registration of copyright, it is a unique number by which your book can be identified and tracked down during trade. That said, an idea once penned down into a book is automatically protected by copyright law, whether or not a copyright is filed for. Hence filing for copyright may not be necessary unless in some unique cases.
6. How much does an ISBN cost?
In India, it costs nothing. Any publisher offering you an ISBN must also do it free of cost. In some other countries, an ISBN must be purchased. In India, ISBNs are issued (to authors and publishers) by the Ministry of HRD, The Ministry has now begun issuing separately to educational and research institutions to encourage them to issue ISBNs for their publications, including conferences/seminar proceedings.
7. Can I reuse an ISBN?
No, you cannot. Once assigned to a book, an ISBN cannot be reused. This is a very important point to keep in mind. The same ISBN cannot be used for different formats of the book, whether the book is in printed or electronic form. That means hardcover and softcover versions of the book have to be assigned separate ISBNs. Similarly, the epub, mobi and pdf versions have to be assigned separate ISBNs.
We recently encountered a case where a publisher had licensed a book to another publisher for a different geographical market. Both books used the same ISBN. If the publisher of the book changes (even if nothing else about the book has changed), the ISBN must also change.
8. Where do I put the ISBN in the book?
You’ll print it on the copyright page (sometimes called the imprint page), and it’s included in the Cataloging-in-Publication (CIP) data block, if you use one. Otherwise, just print it on the copyright page and on the back cover as part of the bar code.
9. So does there have to be a bar code too?
Again, a matter of choice. However, if you plan to have your book distributed through physical book stores, your book might be expected to have a bar code. You can have your bar code generated here.
10. I am publishing a paperback and hardcover version of my book. Do I need two ISBNs or can I use the same one?
You need a separate ISBN for each type, to identify them for anyone who might want to find them in directories, catalogs and databases.
The jury is still out on whether an e-book needs a separate ISBN. While the book sellers are asking that an e-book be assigned its own ISBN, many publishers don’t see why that is needed. However, it is good practice to issue separate ISBNs to e-books in each format (eg. EPUB and MOBI).
11. If I revise my book, do I need to give it a new ISBN?
If you only correct minor typographical errors, and don’t make any substantial changes to the text, you don’t need a new ISBN because it’s considered a reprint and not a new edition. A new edition would contain substantially new material, a major revision, or the addition of completely new elements. Anything that makes it a new book is likely to create a new edition and, therefore, will need a new ISBN. The jury is still out on what constitutes a “major revision” but significant additions or deletions might warrant a new ISBN.
A change in the cover of the book alone does not require that a new ISBN be assigned.
12. I had self-published my book and now an established publisher has picked it up for publishing. Will the book need a new ISBN?
Yes, it will. Since the ISBN identifies, among other things, the publisher of the book, it is necessary for the next publisher to issue you a new ISBN. Please note that the first ISBN cannot be reused.
On the 29th of March, 2010, Mira Koreth’s bookpad at Banerghatta Road, Bangalore registered its first sales. For us at fivex5, it was a vindication of our belief that fivex5 was a concept whose time had come.
First some background. fivex5 was conceptualized as an alternate channel for selling books not because the other channels had dried up but because they were proving to be inefficient and expensive. Those familiar with the brick-and-mortar supply chain will tell you why it is expensive. Publishers get only a small pie of book sales and the money is realized after many days. More importantly the supply chain is hardly efficient. Only a tiny fraction of books make it to the large bookstore chains. The situation gets even worse as one moves away from the cities and towns.
The online store was supposed to change all that. Online stores do provide a much larger catalogue to choose from and offer large discounts that benefit the buyer. But publishers still gain little and the low Internet penetration in India is not helping matters. Websites can support Indian languages to a very limited extent so displaying titles in languages other than English remains a challenge. Besides, customers are still, albeit to a lesser degree, reluctant to pay for the books using their credit cards. Finally, many customers would still rather hold and feel a book before buying it.
If there was ever a possibility of marrying the catalogue-rich feature of online bookstores with the personal attention and rural reach that only brick-and-mortar stores can provide, fivex5 can make that happen. While there is a large online catalogue to choose from (and at the rate publishers are joining in, it can only get better), customers still get a chance to hold a book and view it before buying it.
With fivex5, we hope to develop many small bookstores instead of a few large ones. These will be scattered across villages and towns thus providing publishers with channels to the remotest of areas. What we have also observed is that people in many cities have also expressed a desire to own a bookpad. This can only mean that the presence of bookstores in large cities still leave an unsatisfied need for books.