Will citing the Kindle location, and not the page number, become the norm?

Nate Silver’s book The Signal and the Noise contains an interesting bibliographic twist: he sometimes cites Kindle locations, not page numbers. Here is an example: footnote 42 in Chapter 8.

McGrayne, The Theory That Would Not Die, Kindle location 46.

Silver doesn’t do this for every book though he does sometimes say a book is the Kindle edition if he is giving the full citation. Is Silver on to a new trend? Will readers and scholars want Kindle locations?

I think we’re probably a long ways from this becoming standard. The problem is that it requires having all of your books in Kindle form. Ebooks are popular but I’m not sure how far people are willing to go to replace all of their older books with Kindle editions. (Particularly if you are dealing with more esoteric published material.) I could see this happening more for new books which are more likely to be purchased in Kindle form. Or perhaps we are headed for a world where everyone has Kindle access to all major books (a subscription service? An expanded Project Gutenberg?) on their phone, tablet, or computer and looking up a Kindle location becomes really easy.

Perhaps this won’t really matter until I see it in a student research paper…

Ebooks looking for a class (action) of their own

Ars Technica is reporting a new class action lawsuit in the ebook market:

The essence of the claim is that these publishers [HarperCollins, Hachette Book Group, Macmillan, Penguin Group Inc., and Simon & Schuster Inc.], in coordination with Apple, conspired to nix the low price e-books that Amazon launched in 2007.…

The accusation is that the publishers and Apple fixed prices via two means. First, the publishers embraced an "agency model" arrangement with Apple in which Apple would act as an agent for the publishers, accepting their pricing and simply taking a cut of the proceeds. (Compare this to a model where a company agrees to "buy" each e-book at a set price, but it can then offer those e-books at any price it chooses. Amazon, in fact, was widely believed to be taking a loss on many e-books in order to encourage adoption of e-readers like the Kindle and e-books at the $9.99 price.)

Second, the publishers allegedly agreed not to sell books to any other online venue (like Amazon) at prices lower than those offered to Apple (a "most favored nation" agreement).

It’s far too early to tell whether the Hagens Berman litigation group will able to prove any of this.  Each publisher had the incentive to raise their own prices, and that’s not illegal.  The question thus becomes whether they colluded with Apple and/or the other publishers to do so.  Only time (and very expensive discovery) will tell…

Companies still willing to pay for product placement, even in a film criticizing product placement

Watch television or movies and it is not hard to find examples of product placement (some more obvious than others). But even with the negative attention this draws, companies are still willing to pay for it even when their placement is in a film criticizing product placement:

Though the film takes an all-out jab at this advertising trend, advertisers are on board. Morgan Spurlock’s “POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold,” opens Friday, and it’s the real deal.

Among the companies that participated, Chicago-based Hyatt Hotels Corp. paid $700,000 to “sponsor” the film, knowing it was buying into a documentary devoted to how stupid and awkward product placement can be. (Nearly every interview in the movie takes place at a Sheetz gas station where every beverage other than POM Wonderful is blurred.)…

“There are more and more attempts to avoid the commercial break,” said James Pokrywczynski, associate professor at the Diederich College of Communication at Marquette University in Milwaukee. “We use the remote control to change channels, we DVR shows or edit out the commercials or fast-forward through them.”

As a result, spending for product placements in TV, film, Internet and video games more than tripled between 2004 and 2009, from $1.1 billion to $3.6 billion, according to Stamford, Conn.-based media research firm PQ Media.

In the long run, the companies will take the negative attention as long as a media outlet puts their product in front of people. This seems to go along with the idea that “all publicity is good publicity.” And with more organizations looking for money, like Chicago being willing to have corporate sponsors for CTA stops, even this new film won’t be able to stop the trend.

Just out of curiosity, I would be interested in knowing the sales figures of the new Kindle with a cheaper price due to “special offers.”

Selling more e-books than hardcovers

According to the Wall Street Journal, Amazon reports it has sold more e-books than hardcover books over the last three months.

This may seem impressive…but I’ve always thought hardcover books were a terrible deal anyway. In what other market are you offered the product initially and then months later consistently offered the same product at half-price?

Also, I still don’t feel compelled to buy a Kindle or a Nook or an e-reader.