Ebooks

The New Yorker Reviews the Kindle: “Buy an iPod Touch”

Novelist Nicholson Baker tackles the Kindle in this week’s New Yorker.
The takeaway is that he’s not very impressed with Amazon’s (AMZN) device, and that all things being equal, he thinks Apple’s e-reader is at least as good. He’s not talking about the yet-to-appear iTablet, of course. Like a lot of other people, he’s fond of Apple’s (AAPL) current iPhone/iPod touch line.

See: Apple iPod touch 8 GB vs. Kindle

Full story here.

For those that have an iPod Touch/iPhone and use or have tried the Kindle app, what do you think of it? Anyone have both the Kindle and the iPod Touch/iPhone? Any feedback on that experience?

eBook Pricing, what's fair?

Right now, the price point for a best seller in the e-format is generally $9.99. Is that too much or too little? In April, best-selling author David Baldacci’s book “First Family,” was released at a $15 e-Book price at Amazon, and the comments about the price were scathing. The book is now priced at $9.99 for the Kindle version. Purchasers aren’t the only ones vocal about the pricing structure; it has been a topic of heated debate in the publishing community.

Article here.

Apple eBook Store Run By...Amazon?

The Apple iTablet will use the iPhone OS, which means Amazon's extensive eBook library will be available on it. Apple may decide to let Amazon continue to deal with the licensing hassle that an eBook market would necessitate.

Full story here.

Book v. Kindle Smackdown

From San Francisco's Green Apple Books Blog (video piece), Pete writes:

"People keep asking me, as an owner of an old-fashioned brick-and-mortar independent bookstore, what I think of the Amazon Kindle, one of the many “e-readers” available. So I bought one.

I admit, I was curious. The buzz is nearly screeching; and there must be a reason we don’t sell as many John Grisham novels as we did when I started 16 years ago; and who can resist the appeal of a new gadget dedicated to one of life’s necessary pleasures: reading.

Sure, I had heard some bad stories: there’s the class-action lawsuit against Amazon concerning screens that crack. And the recent brouhaha about Amazon silently removing 1984, Animal Farm, and other titles from Kindles (albeit for a good reason—they had sold pirated copies). And having seen Amazon founder Jeff Bezos laughing on Jon Stewart's Daily Show is enough to make anyone scared.

And while there are some thoughtful, balanced articles out there, like Nicholson Baker’s piece in the current New Yorker, I wanted to see for myself.

So Green Apple's crack video crew came at it with an open mind, pitting “The Book” against the Kindle in a smack-down of the most literary sort. We had plenty of help from some, um, "talented" folks, as you'll see."

Apple And Book Publishers Plot Kindle-Killer

One of the most anticipated uses for Apple's (AAPL) forthcoming tablet device is as an e-book reader: With a bright, color touchscreen, it could be an awesome device to read books and magazines on. (And a formidable rival for Amazon's Kindle and other reader devices.)

So what is Apple talking about with the publishing industry?

Buyer's E-Morse: 'Owning' Digital Books

Article in the WSJ: Purchasing Electronic Tomes Online Gives Readers Fewer Legal Rights to Share and Resell Than Hard-Copy Customers Enjoy

Battle of the E-Readers

From Channel Web: Plastic Logic, the maker of Barnes & Noble's new e-reader said that the book retailer has no intention of challenging Amazon's widely popular Kindle device. (and what if they were? ...can/should Amazon have a monopoly on e-readers?)

The new device will be aimed at an entirely different audience, said Daren Benzi, vice president of business development at Plastic Logic, in an interview with Fox Business News /Battle of the E-Readers.

"We're actually targeting a different type of customer, the business professional, while Amazon has been targeting the leisure book reading customers," Benzi said. Holding up a model of the Plastic Logic e-reader Barnes & Noble will be selling, Benzi pointed out that the size of the device is larger than Amazon Kindle's DX model so that business executives can more easily read newspapers, magazines and other content.

It appears...we're being targeted.

B&N Hopping on the E-Bandwagon

The new Barnes & Noble eBookstore is the latest swipe taken at Amazon.com Inc. and its lead position in electronic books through its Kindle ebook reading device.

Barnes & Noble, the largest U.S. bookstore chain by revenue, said it will be the exclusive eBookstore provider on the Plastic Logic eReader device, aimed at business professionals. The ultra-thin 8.5 x 11 inch wireless eReader is set to make its debut early next year.

Amazon Erases Orwell Books From Kindle

In George Orwell’s “1984,” government censors erase all traces of news articles embarrassing to Big Brother by sending them down an incineration chute called the “memory hole.”

On Friday, it was “1984” and another Orwell book, “Animal Farm,” that were dropped down the memory hole — by Amazon.com.

In a move that angered customers and generated waves of online pique, Amazon remotely deleted some digital editions of the books from the Kindle devices of readers who had bought them.

An Amazon spokesman, Drew Herdener, said in an e-mail message that the books were added to the Kindle store by a company that did not have rights to them, using a self-service function. “When we were notified of this by the rights holder, we removed the illegal copies from our systems and from customers’ devices, and refunded customers,” he said.

Story in the NYT

Bits of Destruction...Part Two

More on the current wave of digitization...by Bernard Lunn.

"Readers will be able to order any book in the universe and have it sent to them in print wherever they want or sent digitally to whatever device they have. Readers have grown accustomed to getting their online content for free, so they will expect to get at least a degraded experience via the regular browser (the "free" in freemium). This will take a while to play out. We live in a world today of bilateral negotiations, so different titles are available for different devices and in different bookstores. But play out it will.

Here is my free review of my free copy of "Free."

Chris Anderson, author of The Long Tail, recently came out with the book "Free: The Future of a Radical Price." So the question of whether books will be free in the future is a natural one to ask. The short answer is, No. If books became free, authors would stop writing, printers would stop printing, and electronics factories would stop churning out e-book readers. In other words, there would be nothing to read... except...free excerpts and promotional stuff.

The kicker: How much does Chris Anderson's "Free" book cost on Amazon? List price: $26.99, discounted to $16.19. Not free.

But Free on Scribd.

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