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.

Utah State University Press selling e-books

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

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.


A New World: Scheduling E-Books

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.

Full story in the NYT

Democratic Group’s Proposal: Give Each Student a Kindle

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.

Full blog entry at NYT


Amazon Shaves $60 Off Kindle 2 Price

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

$299 Kindle on Amazon


Conversation at the dentist

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.

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