TKC 105 Bob Stein

Photograph copyright James Duncan Davidson

News – 1: Amazon announces stunning new data showing the Kindle has done quite nicely during the first three months of the iPad Era. Mike Kane says Kindle is now the new standard for eBook formats. Also weighing in on the news are Stephen Windwalker, Andrys Basten, Bufo Calvin, and Abhi. 2: Literary Agent Andrew “The Jackal” Wylie makes good on his threat to create his own publishing arm, which makes an exclusive deal with Amazon for 20 $9.99 Kindle titles by modern literary giants.  Random House is not amused. Mike Kane says get over it, Amazon has won. Here’s a good Guardian piece on the row and Harvard Magazine’s profile tells how The Jackal got his name.  Andrys Basten suggests you back up these titles if you buy them, in case Random House succeeds in rolling this deal back somehow. 3: Amazon’s stock price recovers after opening sharply lower as a result of great earnings in the second quarter. Huh? 4: My video take on the new Borders e-reader, Aluratek’s Libre.

Tech Tip – With help from Joshua Tallent, listener Alan Morris completes his labor of love, turning a memoir by an RAF pilot, The Last Enemy by Richard Hillary, into a high-quality e-book.  He’s offering the e-book at no charge to publishers who own the rights to the book, in hopes it will survive into the digital age.  You can help by clicking here and then clicking on the “I’d Like to Read this Book on Kindle” button. Alan gives a very thorough account of how he did it in this blog post, which you might want to check out if you have a similar e-book project you’d like to undertake.

InterviewBob Stein, founder of the Institute for the Future of the Book, spoke with me from Portugal on July 13, 2010, about his vision of the book.  Also mentioned in our conversation: Craig Mod’s “Embracing the Digital Book,” Sophie, Commentpress, Eucalyptus reader, and Eastgate Systems. Click here for the “On the Media” NPR program on which Bob appeared on July 2, 2010. If his plans for a new publishing venture materialize, you’ll see information about it here.

Comments – From John C. Adamson, Mary Hundley, and Rick Askenase.

Next Week – To celebrate the second anniversary of the Kindle Chronicles, I plan to interview my very first guest, Baratunde Thurston, who appeared on TKC 1 on July 26, 2008.

Click here to download this episode.

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Comments 6

  1. Patrick wrote:

    Hello Len,

    All of your podcasts are outstanding; this one was outstandingly outstanding! One reason for my addiction to your podcast is that you are totally focused on the topic and have very little ‘fluff.’ They are jam-packed with pertinent news, interviews, tips and information. Many of the other podcasts that I listen to –or should I say used to listen to– spend a considerable amount of time on banter, weather, other non-related topics. Sometimes the other podcasts are most informative, often times they offer little of interest. It may be that in their attempt to be all things to all people, they offer little for topic-specific people like me.

    I greatly enjoyed this week’s podcast, particularly (1) Alan Morris’ labor of love and his blog post about converting The Last Enemy to Kindlelese, and (2) your interview with Bob Stein.

    Concerning ‘losing oneself,’ I find that I can lose myself in several formats –except video;I find video most distracting and limiting– if I am totally engrossed in topic/idea, etc. When I am reading something, if I see a new concept or even just a new word, I often research it briefly and then return to reading having a renewed focus for the subject at hand. We all have our own way of losing ourselves. I am focused as long as I am viewing text and related images –even though they may be on several different websites– but the younger generation may be just as focused using text, images, video and audio. (I have co-workers that listen to music all day long –I find music also distracting– and they tell me that it helps them to concentrate on the job at hand.)

    Lastly, I am dreaming of the day when the Kindle will easily allow us to (1) annotate our ebooks, and (2) research ebook topics and ideas.

    I am eagerly looking forward to your next podcast.

    Posted 25 Jul 2010 at 9:58 am
  2. Bill wrote:


    This episode is not appearing in your podcast feed at:

    so I’m not getting it on my mp3 player yet.

    Posted 26 Jul 2010 at 5:00 am
  3. Len Edgerly wrote:

    Bill, I think I fixed it. I can see TKC in the feedburner feed now. Please let me know if you’re still having trouble with it.

    Posted 26 Jul 2010 at 7:19 pm
  4. Bill wrote:

    Yep, all good now. Thanks, Len.

    Posted 26 Jul 2010 at 9:02 pm
  5. Bill wrote:

    Spoke too soon. The item showed, but the linked episode is showing up as a link to rather than an episode.

    The last (regular) episode that appears properly in the podcast feed is 102, with the link showing as:

    Posted 26 Jul 2010 at 9:08 pm
  6. Wayne wrote:

    Why do people with a bias in another medium always try to claim their new spanking medium will obliterate the other(s)? Why can’t they accept that it is more likely various media will exist along side each other just radio, TV, stage plays, operas, movies, books, do today? Am I the only one amazed that their entire institute consists all of non-book people, i.e., no bona fide writers of novels, of actual books. It is heavily biased toward multi-media people. Steins own background is in CD-ROMs, not books at all. And yet they have usurped the word “Book” for their institute. Stein says reading books existed for a short time. But that is only due to technology, education, progress, not because pre-book reading (group oral readings) was better in any way. It is a comment meant to seem profound yet rather superficial and unexamined and I would have challenged him on this if I were interviewed him. Staged plays have existed for many centuries compared with film. Does that make film inferior? Does that mean film won’t last? That’s simply because of technology, not because the former condition was necessarily superior in some way. The name of his institute was misleading. It should be the future of the CD-ROM or of multimedia because that seems to be the very obvious bias.

    Posted 13 Aug 2010 at 3:18 pm