Apps or HTML5?

1 Apr

There are 2+ billion people online. This sounds like A lot but it is only 1/3 of the global population. Yet, 21% of a publishers total revenue is now coming from digital sources.

Last year PC sales stalled, but smartphone sales surpassed past PC sales and now tablets are driving all the growth in the PC market. However, U.S and other smartphone markets are past halfway and so we must look to other markets such as China, which counts for about 25% of the global smartphone market.

Apple, Amazon an Samsung are the most prominent brands for tablets,reaping the marketshare – with 85% of all tablet users loyal to one of these brands. Most publishers develop their own apps to run on these devices with the most dominating operating systems being andriod and iOS. However there are costs with publishers creating their own apps, such as: maintaining updates, paying development fees and issuing new features.

App downloads are set to hit 60 billion by mid-2013 but while app revenue is growing it is still relatively small, even though smartphone users spend more time on apps than websites, due to the fact that most downloads are free. ‘Freemium’ is the dominant model – free download with in-app purchases. In the past 3 years we have seen a rise in dedicated apps, apps that offer a singular eBook experience, instead of buying an eBook from a bookshop like Amazon or Kobo the customer purchases the eBook as a stand-alone app.

However, could HTML5 be the future? It seems to be the next generation of web-content BUT it’s not yet standardised making it hard to adapt. A couple of HTML5 reading apps that have been launched are the Kindle Cloud Reader and the Kobo Clour Reader, which were originally developed for Safari and Chrome so Apple users have a way to purchase content on the web – without Apple getting a percentage of every sale.

HTML5 seems to be the emerging Internet platform which is being more widely used by the publishing industry. End consumers are preferring platforms that host interactive and multimedia features, such as animation, video and audio – and HTML5 allows for me embedding music and videos without the need for a third party plug-in.

Moreover, HTML5 is compatible with nearly all browsers found on tablets, smartphones and computers.

so which do you think will be the future? Apps? Or HTML5?


World Book Night: April 23rd 2013

31 Mar

With more than 23,000 people volunteering to hand out books in their communities, worked book night 2013 has seen a record number of givers sign up!

World Book Night c.e.o. Julia Kingsford said: “World Book Night is all about making connections—between authors and readers, between readers and emerging readers, between bookshops, libraries and the communities they share and between everyone with great books and stories.”

Taking place on April 23rd, World Book Night will see delivery service Yodel distribute 400,000 books to giver collection points, while a further 100,000 books will be sent directly to hospitals, prisons and care homes in an attempt to reach communities with low literacy levels.

Neil Lloyd, Yodel c.e.o. commented; “Yodel makes nearly 3.5 million book deliveries each year across the UK, both to independent booksellers and retail chains as well as direct to consumers. We are delighted to be playing a role in this year’s World Book Night, helping more people to discover the joy of reading.”

For more information about World Book Night please visit:

Gipps to Publish Uncle!

17 Mar

ImageMarcus Gipps, Editor at Gollancz, has decided to do a personal project and publish the complete Uncle series by J P Martin. There are 6 books in the series: Uncle (1964), Uncle Cleans Up (1965), Uncle and His Detective (1966), Uncle and the Treacle Trouble (1967), Uncle and Claudius the Camel (1970), Uncle and the Battle for Badgertown (1973). 

Marcus Gipps plans on using the site Kickstarter, a crowdfunding site, and his project aims for a target of £8,000 to fund a 400-copy print run of The Complete Uncle – priced at £30 each. One fan has already promised £2,000 and if the fundraising goes well the print run will increase and will be distributed by Matador Press. 

A Facebook page for the initiative has been set up here


In Other Words….

14 Mar



Well, how happy was I today when I read about Liverpool’s plan for a month-long literary festival! 

The festival begins with a World Book Night event on 23 April and ends 19th May (the end of National Children’s Book Week). The event is also to correspond with the reopening of the central library which has been closed for 2 years to undergo a £50 million refurbishment! The city council has worked in partnership with community writing organisation Writing On The Wall, the Merseyside Literature Partnership and other local groups (Arts Council England, Liverpool Philharmonic, European Union Social Fund, to name a few) to put the festival together. 

Madeline Heneghan, Writing on the Wall Festival Director, says:

‘We are delighted to have been asked to help curate this festival and be associated with the reopening of the Central Library. We are already developing a programme featuring the best of Liverpool writing and work with the City Council to ensure communities across the city are engaged and represented in what should be a fabulous month.’

James Herbert, Kevin Sampson, Melvyn Bragg, Janet Street-Porter, Maureen Lee and Ramsey Campbell are among the line-up. More than 350 events – including almost 200 specially-created for the festival – are planned, with the majority of them free. 

Mersey Sound poets Roger McGough and Brian Patten will appear together when they take part in The Beat Goes On at St George’s Hall on April 26. They will be joined by Adrian Henri’s widow Catherine Marcangeli.

Meanwhile chick-lit and romance best-selling authors Jane Costello and Erica James will join forces in a Here Come the Girls event on April 24.

And between the two is Terror in the Tunnels, on April 25, with thriller writer James Herbert coming to Liverpool for a rare public appearance. He will take part in a special event in the Williamson Tunnels, talking about his craft, his inspirations and the paranormal.

I urge anyone who is interested to go and experience this incredible opportunity and see some of what Liverpool has to offer!


Ben Purdy’s Minecraft in Real Life

13 Mar

Ben Purdy, a creative technologist in Portland Ohio, has created an extremely geeky and fun example of projection mapping!

There is a piezo element (handy for detecting a vibration or a knock) taped to the box which he has connected to an arduino which senses the physical impact and sends serial data to his computer. Processing finds the serial signal and corresponds the projection and interaction!

It’s fantastic!

Open Access or Shut Down?

13 Mar


Interning at a journal publisher, I feel the pressure of open access. Open access is requiring a whole new business model – one where the author pays. Following the Finch Report, at the NUJ (National Union of Journalists) seminar on the 6th February 2013, publishers have been worried that the importance of the editorial process is being overlooked.

The editorial process is behind the scenes and often authors don’t see it. There are peer reviews, copy editors, proof readers, fact checkers and designers to create layouts in various formats, to name a few. I cannot be the only one who sees value in this process? As a student I know how hard it can be to research without access to articles and not having the money to buy access, so why shouldn’t the authors pay? Someone has to. In the academic world having your work published is a form of validation, increases reputation and gives their work a global appeal.

Moreover without the editorial process, what integrity and value will an article have? I know academics and students will not base work and reference from articles that have not been proof read, fact checked and peer reviewed – that’s why students are not allowed to reference Wikipedia! Because, while people who actually know what they are talking about may write appropriate entries, you could not trust the integrity of the content. 

So while I am willing to open the gate for open access, people need to remember how important a publisher is, they add quality, reliability and integrity to content. Yet publishing is also a business, which people need to remember, so if subscription fees go – fees need to applied elsewhere.