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Do you remember that odd day in 2009 when Kindle users awoke to discover that Amazon had deleted certain titles from their machines? Almost deliciously, they were works by the prescient George Orwell.

Joe thought back to that lesson recently when contemplating HipType, a tracking service for ereaders that lets publishers know which chapters folks skipped, where they might have lingered, and other personal user details.

He wonders whether retailers might be able to pull HipType's tracking codes when they see fit. Say the content is critical of the retailer. Say that it doesn't fit the retailer's code of ethics.

Should retailers, he asks, be able to alter content?

We'd love to learn your thoughts. Please climb over to our shiny new community site, read the entirety of Joe's piece, and let us know what your take is.

Kat Meyer Joe Wikert
Kat Meyer and Joe Wikert
Chairs, Tools of Change

Last Chance: Join Us at TOC 2012

TOC 2013 Speaking Proposals Due Thursday, Sept. 6

(That's today.)

We're looking for a few great proposals for TOC 2013.
Themes we'd love to see include:

Margaret Atwood

  • All things open: Platforms, standards, and systems
  • Crafting the ultimate quality user experience
  • Collaboration and connection
  • Advanced publishing-related technologies
  • The latest research from industry experts
  • In-depth explorations of successful experimental publishing models

Find successful proposal tips, complete resources, and a link to submit a proposal here.

Hot Type

Kat & Joe's Must-Reads

Black and White
Amicus ComicWhen RoyaltyShare founder Bob Kohn was told to reduce his 55-page DOJ brief to just five pages, he naturally enough did so in comic strip format.

If iOS is where the money is, why should publishers care about Android? Joe set out to learn the answer in a new TOC Podcast with MAKE books editor Brian Jepson.

Urgent Acronyms
The TPP should scare the pants off you. RWW has the skinny. The EFF has you covered.

'L' Is for 'Lazy'?
Self-published authors were recently characterized as being "lazy" by industrious mystery novelist Sue Grafton, who has been very busy herself of late backpedalling from the publicity.

Something Completely Different
Book: A Futurist's Manifesto just published in hard copy after an experimental year as the main product of a new book-making software system.

Sign Up Sing Out
David Carr's Own CardRex Sorgatz has advice for the New York Times: Memberships can help save publishing. Book publishers take note.

Adapt or Die
Elisabeth Murdoch is talking to the TV industry, but her admonitions about the importance of collaboration are relevant to us all.

Show Me the Money
The big idea behind Pinterest is that it monetizes social media better than Twitter or Facebook. Turns out, that's not the case. DNA of a Successful Book

Free Kindles?
Amazon hosts a press conference tomorrow and Farhad Manjoo at Slate thinks a free Kindle (with caveats) may be on deck.

Access vs. Ownership
Why own when you can stream? Exactly. What do you think? Tell us and we'll valiantly find a way to give you free ebook swag.

Best-Selling DNA
The DNA of a Successful Book graphic by the hipsters at HipType analyzes what makes or breaks an ebook. Hint: Books with a female protagonist are 40% more likely to hit the best-seller list.

Watch and Learn: Free TOC Video

September's theme is formats. In that vein, this month we offer "Amanda Gomm & Tom McCluskeyDown & Dirty EPUB3, Part 1" as a free video download exclusive to newsletter readers.

Watch as Digital Bindery's Amanda Gomm and Tom McCluskey take apart an EPUB and reconstruct it using the newest standards, techniques, and features to see what is possible with EPUB3.

This workshop from TOC 2012 should have something for everyone, no matter what your level of tech savvy.

The Final Bit

Our Weekly Nod to Romantic Nostalgia

Message in a Bottle If you thought a message in a bottle was just romantic film fodder or a horribly compelling pop song riff, think again.

Sailing on his vessel Copious, fisherman Andrew Leaper recently hauled in a 98-year-old message in a bottle from the waters off the northern coast of Scotland.

The bottle was one of 1,890 that Scottish Captain C.H. Brown of the Glasgow School of Navigation had dispatched in 1914 in order to map undercurrents.

But there's more than antiquities and nostalgia to this tale. Not only did the Guinness World Records confirm it to be the oldest message in a bottle ever found, it was the second such bottle plucked by a fisherman from the very same vessel, Copious.

According to the message inside, the reward for finding the bottle is sixpence, which no longer exists.

But reward money aside, if you're itching to set a Guinness World Record, it might be time to start fishing around Scotland. It's estimated that 1,540 of Captain Brown's bottles are still floating around out there.

Maybe you can even charter Copious.

Looking for more? Visit toc/oreilly.com.

In This Issue:

  • Poof! The Content Kerfuffle
  • Last Chance - TOC CFP ends TODAY
  • Black and White and Read All Over
  • Free Video: 'Down and Dirty ePUB3'
  • Message in a Bottle

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