Briefly Noted: Instant eBooks, and Small Demons (?)

The L.A. Times has an article (“E-books push deeper into interactive territory”) which provides a cursory look at the state of ebooks and tablets. Two casually mentioned items in that article did however catch my attention.

The first was the joint venture between Random House and Politico to produce a series of — what GalleyCat calls “instant ebooks” — based upon the upcoming 2012 presidential election. This made me pause and wonder: what exactly is the difference between an ‘instant ebook” and, say, a really long essay which is published online? Is there necessarily a difference? Jon Meacham from Random House has this interesting remark: ““An impetus here is to encourage people to think of book publishers in a more periodical way.”

More on this, from The New York Times: “Politico Enters E-Book Venture With Random House” —

“Their model is untested in political journalism. Typically, lengthy, detailed accounts from inside presidential campaigns come long after the election has been decided. But Politico and Random House hope they can pull together definitive, if somewhat incomplete, accounts of the campaign in real time.”

The second item that caught my attention from the LA Times was a mention of something called Small Demons. Hmm. Not a lot of information that I could find, other than they appear to be a California-based startup that has *something* to do with books. Also not much to see on the Small Demons website, at least for now.

Also, a fairly cryptic blog entry from the L.A. Times: “Get ready for Small Demons” — “It was bookish. It will work on a computer and a tablet. It is also fascinating and fun.” Yeah, thanks a lot for that. But, I am somewhat more curious. Something to keep an eye on?


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I run the ThinkLab at the University of Cambridge, and research digital habits, productivity, and wellbeing.

tyler shores cambridge

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