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In the future, Amazon.com’s Kindle e-book reader will display more book formats beyond its own. And you should also expect to see Kindle books on a lot more devices.
That was the clear implication of comments that Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s chief executive, made at a conference in New York Monday on disruptive business models.
Of course, Mr. Bezos didn’t release any details at the conference, which was sponsored by Wired magazine. (He’s just as secretive as Steve Jobs at Apple, but he laughs more.) Mr. Bezos, however, talked about the Kindle in a way he hasn’t before: He described the hardware business and the e-book store as separate.
Full story in the Bits blog at NYT.com
The New York Times reports that during a reading at the Strand bookstore in Manhattan by David Sedaris, whose most recent book is “When You Are Engulfed in Flames,” a man named Marty who had waited in the book-signing line presented him his Kindle for autographing. On the back of the Kindle, Mr. Sedaris, in mock(?) horror, wrote, “This bespells doom.” (The signed Kindle was photographed, but Marty's full name is unknown.)
I probably haven't said it enough to bother me hearing it (although most other people would disagree), but the.effing.librarian has books.
I keep saying that all the librarian bloggers should compile their blog posts and publish them, but no one seems to want to do it. But I did it. And I'll say it again, it cost me almost nothing. I had to pay for the proof ($10), but that was all. Except for the 12,000 copies I purchased to try to influence their populariy on Amazon's bestsellers list. But other than that, it was pretty much free.
I used CreateSpace, an Amazon company. They supplied the bar code and the ISBN. And now what's cool is that when the book appears on Amazon, it also includes the Look Inside! feature.
I always like to look inside a book before I put it in my Cart then get busy and forget to Checkout and never remember to buy it. I forget to buy tons of books. And now you can do the same with all the books in the effing librarian's huge library (of two books -- how many books make a library anyway?).
So I feel like an author now. An author who no one knows and who sells no books... but not one of those bestselling, dime a dozen, authors you find in all the libraries. A special, secret author.
Yesterday, Amazon launched AmazonEncore, "a new program whereby Amazon will use information such as customer reviews on Amazon.com to identify exceptional, overlooked books and authors with more potential than their sales may indicate. Amazon will then partner with the authors to re-introduce their books to readers through marketing support and distribution into multiple channels and formats."
The first AmazonEncore title (and only title announced as of this writing) is Cayla Kluver's Legacy, a YA fantasy book originally published by Forsooth Publishing in paperback in 2008. Amazon has bought the rights to Kluver's book and will be re-releasing Legacy in hardcover (August) and Kindle editions.
One of the neat little sub-features of Amazon's Kindle is being able to subscribe to blogs on it. You have to pay for the privilege, but for heavy Kindle users, it makes sense as you can get the content delivered to you wirelessly for your favorite blogs. You know, like TechCrunch.
But the biggest limiting factor of this so far is that only the big blogs have been included in the blog directory. Starting today, anyone can make their blogs available via the new Kindle Publishing for Blogs Beta program.
All you have to do is make your blog's feed available to the Kindle Store, and Amazon will do the rest, formatting your content for the device. According to the email from Amazon, after a few easy steps, your blog should be up and ready to go in the Kindle Store after about 12 to 48 hours of processing. Not bad.
Found via Twitter from @Hadrien: the Conversational Reading blog remarks on a Publishers Weekly article confirming that Amazon is, indeed, losing money on every $9.99 Kindle e-book that it sells.
As the articles point out, Amazon has to pay the same wholesale price to the publishers for e-books as for print editions of those books—more or less half of the print edition price. (So do other e-book vendors; this is why even Fictionwise must charge excessive rates for books from publishers such as Random House, though they do they best they can to bring the prices down with discounts.)
Amazon then can choose to sell it for however much Amazon wants: whether it comes out ahead on the deal is entirely up to it. Thus, Amazon sells it at below wholesale, as a “loss leader”—breaking even or losing money on the deal to promote sales of the Kindle and grow its share of the market. (Giving away the blades to sell the razor, as it were.)
Most electronic devices are getting smaller. Amazon’s Kindle electronic book reader is bucking the trend.
Amazon on Wednesday introduced a larger version of the Kindle, pitching it as a new way for people to read textbooks, newspapers and their personal documents.
The device, called the Kindle DX (for Deluxe), has a screen that is two and a half times the size of the screens on the two older versions of the Kindle, which were primarily aimed at displaying books. The price tag is also larger: the DX will sell for $489, or $130 more than the previous model, the Kindle 2, and will go on sale this summer.
CNET says 70% of Kindle owners are over 40. And half are over 50. So I guess technology isn't just for young whippersnappers. (Kindle is easier on arthritic hands.)
It's not based on a scientific survey, but it's all we got.
I didn't think I wanted a Kindle for my next birthday (soon), but numbers never lie: I'm destined to get one. Soon.
Seeking to strengthen its presence on the iPhone and iPod Touch, Amazon has acquired Lexcycle, the company behind Stanza, a popular free e-book application for the iPhone, according to Lexcycle’s blog.
Stanza allows users to browse a library of around 100,000 books and periodicals for the iPhone, many of them in the ePub format — a widely accepted standard for e-books that Amazon has yet to support with its proprietary Kindle platform.