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The Apple Tablet Event?

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Anyone know what the January 27, 2010 event at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco is about? The big rumor is that Apple is announcing their iTablet. Of course rumors of this "announcement" go back to the last millennium.

 

Steve, are you going?

 

Curious,

- Thoth.

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Anyone know what the January 27, 2010 event at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco is about? The big rumor is that Apple is announcing their iTablet. Of course rumors of this "announcement" go back to the last millennium.

 

Steve, are you going?

 

Curious,

- Thoth.

 

And more importantly, will there be a tablet friendly version of Storyist ever? :P

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And more importantly, will there be a tablet friendly version of Storyist ever? :)

If the iTablet is running Mac OS X then I would certainly expect so.

:P

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If the iTablet is running Mac OS X then I would certainly expect so.

:P

 

I don't expect it to be running full blown OSX, I'm think another custom version like the iPhone.

 

The tablet won't be running a intel cpu prob, it'll be an arm variant.

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I don't expect it to be running full blown OSX, I'm think another custom version like the iPhone.

 

The tablet won't be running a intel cpu prob, it'll be an arm variant.

 

That seems to be the consensus of the readers of tea leaves. Makes sense, though. If you got 30% of every app sold on one OS and 0% on the other, which would you choose to launch a new computing platform?

 

As for Storyist on the tablet? I'm waiting to see. I think Dan Moren nailed it: the text is the thing.

 

And, I don't have the star power (or readership) to warrant an invite for the event, so alas, I'll be watching from my desk like most of the world. :P

 

-Steve

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Thanks for the link to the Dan Moren MacUser article. (My own squadron of death robots not included? Bummer.) But we'll be watching from our desks with you come the 27th.

 

I bet seven quatloos at 20-to-1 on nose-based text entry (whatever happened to Angelique Pettyjohn?).

- Thoth.

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Yes, I admit, I can handle typing the odd note on my Kindle, but I didn't put all those years into learning 10-finger touch typing to sit back and type my novel hunt and peck, two keys at a time. And even the Kindle keyboard is better than the virtual keyboard on Sir Percy's iPhone, which he loves but which drives me completely round the bend. The tablet's probably out of my price range anyway, although I suspect it will be really enticing. But unless it has at least the option to connect to a Bluetooth keyboard when I want to type, forget it. I have a TV for watching movies and an iPod/stereo for music, so I don't need another $700-1,000 device unless it can substitute for the Macbook that I still need to replace my G4.

 

Look forward to seeing what Apple comes up with, though! :P

M

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That seems to be the consensus of the readers of tea leaves. Makes sense, though. If you got 30% of every app sold on one OS and 0% on the other, which would you choose to launch a new computing platform?

 

As for Storyist on the tablet? I'm waiting to see. I think Dan Moren nailed it: the text is the thing.

 

And, I don't have the star power (or readership) to warrant an invite for the event, so alas, I'll be watching from my desk like most of the world. :P

 

-Steve

 

Yeah that was a great article, the main thing I'm wondering is, how WILL you get text onto it. Being able to use the apple BT keyboard (Which I love and is small) would work for me. And I think they have 95% of any kind of mobile app sold, it's staggering.

 

http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2010/01/...les-in-2009.ars

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And speaking of tablets...

 

Did anyone notice that Active Content is Heading to the Kindle This Year.

 

I think the popular e-reader wants to become a tablet computer.

- Thoth

I did see that. I await the results with some skepticism. The Kindle already has a minimally functional web browser and can play MP3 files if one is not fussy about sound quality, but it's really built to do one thing well, as far as I can see. That is to provide a non-paper-based alternative to text-heavy books and personal documents. After two months, I can say that it's great for reading novels, including my own, and nonfiction that has been derived from word-processing files rather than PDFs (or has had significant user intervention to remove the page headers and rationalize the note placement of PDFs). The eInk screen gets out of the way (although mine is a bit gray-on-gray for my taste). It's a wonderful alternative to printing files for reading or markup.

 

It doesn't do so well with scanned materials, even the Project Gutenberg files, without that user intervention (I'm currently struggling through an 18th-century book in which every old-fashioned s has been rendered as f and every st pair as fl (it mufl have cofl fomeone loll of time to fcan in). Unaltered PDFs can appear minuscule on screen (although turning them sideways helps). So I'm not sure how well suited the device is for apps. We'll see, I guess.

Best,

M

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Everyone keeps making up these names for the product, and no one stops to think that maybe Apple intentionally dropped the "iBook" line so that they could reapply the name elsewhere....

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Yes, I'd thought of that, too. The new iWhatever sounds much more multimedia oriented, though. And $700-1,000 is a long way from the $50 that is supposedly the sweet spot for ebook readers....

 

Maybe iBook will become the latest subset of the iTunes Store, soon to be locked in a tussle with Google to take over the universe (try staying intermittently out of phase with that juggernaut, SP). :lol:

 

Nice signature line.

M

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Will we be exporting Storyist files wirelessly to the Kindle one day, Steve? Now there's an app I could love. :lol:

M

Me too. But we may be doing it through the iTablet device. I think Steakpirate has a point about Apple (perhaps) wanting to recycle the name iBook. And, as you suggest, the iTunes Store could be a good fit for books.

 

I guess we'll all just have to wait and see.

(Looking forward to your next Kindle review, M)

- Thoth.

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The tablet's probably out of my price range anyway, although I suspect it will be really enticing.

 

Rob Sheridan, art director for rock group Nine Inch Nails, I think said it best: the more rumors I read about the Apple Tablet, the more I realize that I don't need it...but the more I realize that I want it.

 

That's Apple's gift (or curse, depending how you look at it). They make us want things that we didn't know we wanted until they developed it!

 

That said, if it gets people reading, it is a good thing!

 

Orren

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It's a good time to be owning Apple stock. A single share went up $9.11 today.

 

Don't put too much hope on that sustaining (sadly for me, as an Apple stockholder...). Stock prices aren't based on anything actual they're based on emotional impulse. Right now, the anticipation of the Apple Tablet is driving up stock prices. But I'm certain that once the tablet is released, stocks will fall—maybe drastically. Why? Because the rumors are that the Apple Tablet will stop global warming, end poverty, create international peace, feed the hungry, and make stale cookies taste fresh again. If it doesn't deliver on any one of those items (especially the cookie freshness!) it will be hailed as a disappointment. Crazy levels of anticipation are great for building excitement and demand, but it can also backfire after the reveal...

 

Or maybe the iTablet/iPad/iSlate/iGottahaveit will really be all that and a bag of chips...we'll see.

 

Orren

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Of course, all this assumes that Apple even has a tablet computer to announce on the 27th. We've been burned by speculator's speculative speculations before. As for Apple stock, it dropped 10.48 points today and then rallied up 7.19 points after hours (in Japan, etc). The East seems to have more faith in Apple's future than the West does, at least for today.

 

Reading tea leaves through a crystal ball.

- Thoth.

 

P.S. Wasn't the iPhone supposed to keep our cookies fresh? Perhaps the app is still in development.

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This article from the LA Times is one of the more thoughtful explorations I've seen of the potential impact an iTablet (or any equivalent thereof) might have on book writing and publishing. I like it because the author doesn't focus on unknowable tech specs but makes an effort to consider how changes in the technology by which we read will affect the book business in general.

 

Curious to see what others think,

Marguerite

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This article from the LA Times is one of the more thoughtful explorations I've seen of the potential impact an iTablet (or any equivalent thereof) might have on book writing and publishing. I like it because the author doesn't focus on unknowable tech specs but makes an effort to consider how changes in the technology by which we read will affect the book business in general.

 

Curious to see what others think,

Marguerite

 

Great article! Interesting comparison to the music industry and "self-publishing." In a sense, most music (quantity-wise) today is self-published, but of course the major labels still hold a monopoly on multi-million dollar marketing budgets. I imagine that even as digital self-publishing becomes commonplace, that will be true in this art as well; word of mouth is free, but adverts and endcaps (even "online" endcaps as featured products in Amazon) and sending books to reviewers is not...

 

I do hope the tablet is a major boon to self-publishers though! I'd love to be able to pay the bills writing fiction, even if I don't have Simon & Schuster (or whomever) putting tens of thousands of dollars into marketing it...

 

Orren

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What's interesting is that the majority of the bestsellers in the Kindle store are free—or at most 99¢. The New York Times picked that up yesterday in a front-page article (I won't link to it, because the Times charges for articles after a week). But you can see the phenomenon for yourself, either in the Kindle Store or through one of the blogs, like Kindle Nation Daily, a large portion of which is devoted to finding free content for your Kindle. Much of this is public domain stuff like the Project Gutenberg files, but what the Times article notes is that more authors and publishers are distributing books free of charge as a way of attracting attention. And anyone can actually sign up with Amazon.com to distribute Kindle content. I think the author sets the pricing and Amazon.com takes a cut, but I haven't explored it in depth. For more information, check out the Digital Text Platform site.

 

I don't know what this does to Amazon's business model for the Kindle, let alone authors' and publishers' business models, but it certainly is an unexpected development. And for those of us who have a snowball's chance in Inferno of attracting an agent, it's quite promising!

Best,

M

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What's interesting is that the majority of the bestsellers in the Kindle store are free—or at most 99¢. And anyone can actually sign up with Amazon.com to distribute Kindle content. I think the author sets the pricing and Amazon.com takes a cut, but I haven't explored it in depth.

 

It was just reported in the news (and is on Amazon's press site) that starting June 2010, their deal with direct authors is a 70/30 split (they take the 30). Obviously, they did this in anticipation of Apple's Tablet; Apple's iTunes split has always been 70/30, but the Kindle, until now, has been 35/65 (they took the 65%...).

 

There is an irony about using the term "best-seller" for free, no? Apple uses the distinction "top downloads" which is far more accurate.

 

I don't know what this does to ... authors' and publishers' business models, but it certainly is an unexpected development. And for those of us who have a snowball's chance in Inferno of attracting an agent, it's quite promising!

 

It is...but it isn't.

 

I can tell you that as a musician, probably the worst thing that happened as far as making any money producing music was that the marketplace decided that recorded music should be free. In other words, it's not that nobody buys music anymore, but among the "great masses" there is an expectation that it should be free, and that only music that is really special should be paid for.

 

To some extent, it's due to people wanting a free lunch, but it's just as much the fault of artists/producers who give their product away, because they are so desperate for an audience that they're more than happy to devalue themselves in the hopes of being praised by others. Of course, I don't begrudge anyone trying to seek attention/audience/emotional support by giving away their output for nothing, but an unfortunate side effect is that soon, the music community begins to expect it. After all, if critically acclaimed Radiohead will let you download their award-winning art-rock album that cost them tens of thousands to produce for free, what right do the Garage Banshees from Hell have to charge money for their music?*

 

So it distresses me that authors would devalue themselves this way, because it raises the expectation that I, as an "unsigned" fictionalist, would do the same. I, on the other hand, would like to make money from what I write. I fully intend to give half of my book away as a demo, read-before-you-buy, viral marketing handout, but I'd rather make at least a few pence from the full deal.

 

In a sense, it makes even less sense for authors to do this, if they have any illusions of a sustainable career; musicians who give their music away can at least then go on tour, hoping to sell tickets for $35+ to see the live show. An author can't really expect to sell "concert tickets" or t-shirts or whatever, text is the thing. A musician may give away some music to try and spur sales of previous/future releases, but that too is harder for a writer.

 

For example, in my case, my published works are all music software tutorials. Few will read a free work of fiction from me, and decide on that basis that I can help them with their music software, and it's unlikely that someone who has purchased my music software books has an interest in my fiction.

 

But outside of my own case, novels tend to be "standalone" works, so unless you're giving away part one of a series of novels, if you give away a crime novel and then write a young adult novel, I'm not sure you'll get a lot of traction...unless your crime readers happen to have teenagers! :lol:

 

So anyway, while I'm extremely hopeful that the growth of digital reading will be a boon for literature, I am wary that the democratization of distribution will lead many to give their stuff away, and thereby create an expectation of self-published works to be free.

 

But I am hopeful. :)

 

Orren

 

* Radiohead had a slightly different reason for their "pay what you want" experiment with giving away their album "In Rainbows." The record deal from which they had just been released took 100% of their digital download money, so they'd not earned one penny from any piece of music anyone ever bought from them. They wanted to put the new music out there, before it could be leaked by the pressing plant that was reproducing the CDs, and just see, as an experiment, if they could earn money from it. They didn't do very well, estimates are that out of some 2+ million downloads, less than 80,000 paid, but as they said, that was more than they'd ever made on digital music before, so it was all "free money" as far as they were concerned. And for a band as big as Radiohead, it doesn't matter anyway—since the CDs release in Oct. 2008 it has sold more than 3 million copies.

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