Microsoft, Amazon, and vampires.

Quite a bit of news this week.  Unfortunately, none of it is an update on when the developers will make the BookCyclone site an exemplar of sparkly, fully functional perfection.  Some of this isn't even new news; it was just new news to me.

1. Microsoft has just announced the continuation of Microsoft Reader, according to an e-mail I've just gotten from Ingram:

August 19, 2011

Dear Publisher:

Earlier this week Microsoft announced the discontinuation of the
Microsoft Reader effective August 30, 2012. This includes download
access of the Microsoft Reader application. Users can continue to use
the Microsoft Reader application and their .lit eBooks after full
discontinuation on August 30, 2012. Ingram and Microsoft will continue
to provide technical support until July 10, 2012.

At Microsoft's request, Ingram will cease making .lit eBooks
available for initial download on November 8, 2011. Users will still be
able to re-download .lit eBooks from original links through August 20,
2012, but no new purchases can be made after November 7, 2011 (US).

If .lit is the only format currently submitted to Ingram, we recommended replacing those files with industry standard EPUBs (http://idpf.org/epub

) or PDF's.

For questions or more information, please contact your Account Manager.

Sincerely,

Ingram Content Group

This will inevitably set the bookosphere ablaze with commentators all bragging about how they saw it coming from a mile off.  If you've been paying even a little bit of attention to the e-book market, you'd have to have been retarded not to see that one coming.  (We flirted with the idea of offering .lit, but dropped it.  The platform was struggling and we couldn't see the point.)  I actually also think Ingram is going to draw down its e-book distribution program, because its selection of parterns and platforms has been pretty hopeless.  More than one publisher has told me they tried Ingram's distribution service and withdrawn because the net result was a big fat ZERO sales.  What a shocker.  So… ePub, Kindle, and PDF.  We've made our mistakes along the way, but sticking with these three wasn't one of them.

2. Amazon's setting up shop in India.  They're opening a warehouse, setting up call centers (how pioneering of them, call centers in India!), and laying all the other groundwork.  This is fantastic for us.  Three words: Indian Kindle Store.  The Indian e-book retailers have been spectacularly non-responsive to our inquiries and even phone calls, and from next year, we'll be even freer to ignore them.  Granted, India's homegrown e-readers are great machines, very good for the domestic market, and India's publishers already have deep ties with those stores.  But still.  Amazon is Amazon.  The ground will shift fast.

3. This afternoon I made an offer on a terrific YA novel set in Hong Kong and based on the mythology of Chinese vampires.  Assuming nothing funky happens, look for this (via S8P) in mid-to-late 2012.

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