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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.
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.
The Utah State University Press is cutting out the printer for some books now available online.
The publishing house began using Digital Editions last month to release a line of e-books, which customers can purchase and download. USU Press plans to offer 110 titles, most of them already published in the traditional form.
USU Press director Michael Spooner says several other schools are experimenting with the emerging market and interest is growing -- particularly among young people.
Kindle patents lay out plan for ads
Amazon.com has filed for a number of patents that hint at ad-supported books for its Kindle e-reader--more specifically, a free or discounted ad-supported e-book for customers who buy the physical version.
Dan Brown’s fans have waited six long years for "The Lost Symbol",
his follow-up to the megablockbuster novel “The Da Vinci Code” that is being published in hardcover on Sept. 15.
Will those who want to read it in e-book form wait a little longer?
It is a question that Mr. Brown’s publisher, the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, is weighing as it plans the rollout of what it hopes will be a book-selling sensation. The publisher has announced a first hardcover run of five million copies, but Suzanne Herz, a spokeswoman for Knopf Doubleday, said the publisher had not decided when to release an electronic version.
Article looks at how publishers are timing the release of their ebook editions so they don't cannibalize hardcover sales.
Some influential members of the Democratic party want to give electronic reading devices to every student in the country.
Amazon.com should like the name of their proposal: “A Kindle in Every Backpack: A Proposal for eTextbooks in American Schools,” by the Democratic Leadership Council, a left-leaning think tank, was published on the group’s Web site Tuesday.
Its authors argue that government should furnish each student in the country with a digital reading device, which would allow textbooks to be cheaply distributed and updated, and allow teachers to tailor an interactive curriculum that effectively competes for the attention of their students in the digital age.
Amazon has lowered the price of the Kindle 2 e-book reader by $60. The Kindle 2 will now sell for $300 instead of the $360 it was introduced at earlier this year.
Amazon’s move has put Kindle in a better position to compete with its rivals by bridging the price gap. Sony’s basic e-book reader costs $280, while lesser known brands such as the Cool-er will set you back by $250.
More at Wired.com
I took my daughter to the dentist yesterday. As I was waiting I overheard two of the dental hygienist talking.
Topic of discussion? The Amazon Kindle.
One dental hygienist was telling the other that her husband had an Amazon Kindle and really loved it. Was mentioning that it was great when he travelled. Just found it interesting to hear discussion of the Kindle out in the real world. Also interesting to hear discussion about reading.
Blog post by Mike Shatzkin, publishing industry consulatant:
I did a panel yesterday at NYU as part of the summer publishing program on “New Visions” for publishing. The group was put together by Leslie Schnur. I shared the stage with four very articulate co-presenters who gave very diverse views of the future. Our audience was a full room of about 50-100 (I wasn’t counting; I didn’t know I’d be writing this piece) very attentive 20-somethings with a serious interest in publishing.
Blog post continued here.
Purists take note: Amazon has applied for a patent that could allow it to embed advertising on the screen of its Kindle e-book reader.
Christian Science Monitor reports that the internet retailer recently filed two applications with the US Patent and Trademark Office. One is for "providing fixed computer-displayable content in response to a consumer request for content" - effectively putting content onto a website or mobile device.
While the prospect of seeing Twilight related merchandise advertised while reading Stephenie Meyer may alarm some, other bloggers have appealed for calm. Elizabeath Clifford-Marsh, at Revolution Magazine, noted: "According to the patent, ads will be served on an opt-in basis, but it is unclear whether Amazon interprets opt-in as a specific request or the simple act of downloading content." Bookseller.UK.