Ray Bradbury is coming to ebooks! Finally, after all these years we will be able to read the Illustrated Man on our Nooks, kindles, kobos and other e-readers. Release dates are shown below.

According to his daughter, Alexandra Bradbury:

The entire Bradbury family is excited to know that Dad’s work will finally be available to all readers: traditional print readers and the new generation of digital readers … We’re especially pleased that digital editions of Bradbury books will be available through libraries as well as e-retailers, as Ray Bradbury was an ardent supporter of our great public library system.

April 16th April 30th
Bradbury Speaks The Illustrated Man
Death Is a Lonely Business Quicker Than the Eye
A Graveyard for Lunatics Driving Blind
Now and Forever The October Country
One More for the Road The Cat’s Pajamas
Green Shadows, White Whale Let’s All Kill Constance
April 23rd A Medicine for Melancholy and Other Stories
Dandelion Wine
Something Wicked This Way Comes
We’ll Always Have Paris
And in more authors and e-books news:
The Pulitzer prize-winning playwright David Mamet is the latest famous name to turn to self-publishing, as the booming sector walked off this week with the top spot on America's ebook bestseller charts for the second time this year.

Mamet's most recent book The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Culture was released through Sentinel, a Penguin imprint, two years ago, but the award-winning playwright and film-maker has nonetheless decided to self-publish his next book, Three Stories. A collection of a novella and two short stories about war, Mamet told the New York Times that he was releasing it alone "because I am a curmudgeon, and because publishing is like Hollywood – nobody ever does the marketing they promise."

In his annual letter to his shareholders, Jeff Bezos discussed a new royalty payment schedule for authors, changing from the industry practice of semi-annual payment to every 60 days.
Amazon Publishing has just announced it will start paying authors their royalties monthly, sixty days in arrears. The industry standard is twice a year, and that has been the standard for a long time. Yet when we interview authors as customers, infrequent payment is a major dissatisfier. Imagine how you’d like it if you were paid twice a year. There isn’t competitive pressure to pay authors more than once every six months, but we’re proactively doing so.

People are buying more e-books

Ebooks accounted for 22.55 percent, or nearly a quarter, of U.S. book publishers’ sales in 2012, according to a full-year report released by the Association of American Publishers Thursday. That’s up from 17 percent of sales in 2011 and 3 percent in 2009. Ebook growth continued to plateau, however, suggesting that the industry is maturing.
And more people use e-books, as in 50,000,000 adults, but there may be a bit of a problem as a "user" is not the same as a "buyer" :
STAMFORD, CT--(Marketwired - Apr 18, 2013) - Simba Information, the market research firm specializing in publishing and media, has released the fifth edition of its Trade E-Book Publishing report series, which has closely followed the digital book market since 2009. While the fourth edition correctly predicted what is widely referred to as the '2012 slowdown' in e-book adoption, the data in Trade E-Book Publishing 2013 shows that the number of e-book users did climb in 2012 to pass 50 million adults, but how they use e-books, what devices are used, what extent they buy and how much money they spend on content has changed to make the industry a lot tougher to navigate.

"In the last edition, we noted the gap between e-book 'users' and e-book 'buyers' grew wider than expected, and that was the warning sign a lot of people ignored in 2011," said Michael Norris, senior analyst of Simba Information's Consumer Media & Technology division, commenting on the report. "Not only did the gap grow even wider in 2012, but the average amount of money spent by a given e-book buyer didn't rise [between 2011 and 2012], which makes what a lot of people think was a simple 'slowdown' in adoption a lot more complex."

Simon & Schuster is trying out a new program for libraries in the New York area:
In an interesting twist on the traditional model, patrons can buy books through the library online and the library will receive a portion of the sale. The New York Public Library and Brooklyn Public Library programs will start April 30th and the Queens Library program launches in May.
And related to that is an interesting article at DBW, Public Libraries, Corporate Publishers and eBooks, which includes a timeline of the events in the publisher/library interactions.
Currently, Random House, HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster allow access to all of their titles (although S&S is in a test with three libraries). Hachette has most of their backlist available, as does Penguin. Macmillan allows a select list of titles. There are also some key publishers not yet in. Included in this group are Scholastic and Norton.

Amazon created their own lending library although many publishers didn’t want to participate. Those that had Agency agreements (the Corporate 6) said “no” because that would have meant setting retail prices at zero. But publishers under Wholesale agreements (all other publishers including Scholastic and Norton), Amazon sets the price.  So those books were set at “free” but Amazon paid publishers on the DLP. Calvin Reid at PW covered this at the onset in NOV 2011.

There is some good news for ebook customers with print disabilities as the newest EPUB 3 format offers greater accessibility. All of the major ebook readers with the exception of the Kindle accept EPUB formats.
Publishers generate books, while nonprofit organizations and libraries generate accessible versions of some of those books. It is impossible to keep up with the volume. Offering a sense of context, Kerscher notes that nonprofit audiobook producer Learning Ally, where he serves as senior officer of accessible technology, converted about 7,000 books in a peak year. Yet more than 300,000 print titles are published each year in the United States alone.
The new EPUB 3 standard could promise a sea change, enabling publishers to integrate accessibility features into their ebook production workflows, creating ebooks that are immediately available to everyone, including customers with print disabilities.
But even Amazon is moving in the right direction:
Amazon uses proprietary file formats for its ebooks, and its devices have never supported EPUB. However, the Kindle Fire’s .kf8 ebook format does offer publishers similar support for HTML5 and CSS3, which could potentially allow functionality that aligns with EPUB 3.
And a new, next-generation ebook was introduced at the London Book Fair.
Fiction edged its way closer to a digital incarnation with the publication this week of an interactive visual version of John Buchan's classic thriller, The Thirty-Nine Steps.

Publisher Faber&Faber announced that it had up with two software publishers and a developer, The Story Mechanics, to create a "fully playable, fully immersive product" which it believes breask new ground in digital reading.

It said the app includes classic stop-frame animation and original silent film music. It would allow readers to "unlock dozens of achievements and items to collect on their reading journey, and explore hundreds of hand-painted digital environments and context from 1910s Britain."

And that has stirred up some controversy according to Mercy Pilkington writing for GoodEReader.
While supporters of the new digital format are intrigued by the visuals, archives of information that builds the back story, and the opportunity to revive older works of literature for a new audience, outspoken critics of the concept commented on the superfluous “bells and whistles” that interactive ebooks carry. The video game concept of a book was less than appealing to some, while others were not impressed with what they considered to be distractions that would pull the reader out of the book.
Harper Collins has set up a website for its Enhanced EBooks which contains this video:

(Apparently Harper Collins does not want just anyone to view their video, so you will have to go to the website linked above if you wish to see it.)

And finally, for some good news via Mashable:

Innovation in the mobile phone space, for many of us, means the latest smartphone or tablet from Apple or Samsung. But for millions of people in the developing world, simpler developments for feature phones — the type you probably haven't used in half a decade — can be an education game changer and a tool for empowerment.

Non-profit Worldreader has brought more than half a million e-books to children in Africa via the 10,000 Kindles it's distributed. After a one-year pilot program, the organization has launched Worldreader Mobile, a way for any feature phone user with a 2G connection to read more than 1,400 books for free.

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Originally posted to Readers and Book Lovers on Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 11:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Progressive Friends of the Library Newsletter.

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