Monday, May 30, 2011

First $50 eReader Hits the Market | Bookbee Ebooks

First $50 eReader Hits the Market | Bookbee Ebooks:
" has the original Aluratek Libre on sale right now for $50,after a $20 mail-in rebate."

The real watershed moment will be when the standard retail price is $50.

Lousy quality control in ebooks - another reason to get the pirate version

Lousy quality control in ebooks |
"The short version, publishers, is this—somebody at your company is running a PDF or Word file or whatever through some kind of meatgrinder converter, and then failing to give it a final proof before slapping a full, non-discountable retail price on it. And what’s arriving in customer’s hot little e-hands are shoddy books with basic errors that are just appalling. As a customer, it is completely unacceptable to me to pay full sticker price and get an inferior product. And I don’t just mean inferior in the ‘I can’t re-sell it like I can with paper and it’s crippled by DRM’ sense. I mean ‘inferior’ as in my teenaged brother could spend twenty minutes reading it and run out of fingers on which to count the really obvious mistakes."

When are publishers gonna get with the program? Used to be you bought a pirated tape or DVD and you expected shoddy quality. These days when you get pirated ebooks you are usually getting a better version than retail.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Will Paperback Books Come in Shrink-wrap Soon?

Should Paperback Books Come with a Free eBook?:
"When you look at the movie industry you always get the digital version for free when you buy the hard copy. When you buy a Blu-ray Disk it normally comes with a free digital edition for your computer, ditto with DVD Disks. Considering that eBooks are so popular, why is it that the leather bound tomes we have come to love are not accompanied by the digital version?"

The sales pitch for ebooks/readers that annoys me the most these days is the one that glorifies the ability to buy a book when you are on a plane or the beach. How big is the plane/beach market? My belief is that most people who buy ebooks would like to plan a little ahead of time and try to shop for bargains. The impulse buy and the immediate purchase when their favourite authors come out with a new book is only part of the equation.

I suppose the mechanics of providing the electronic copy of the book could be problematic. Music and DVDs have the advantage of packaging and shrink-wrap protecting either a memory stick or a code for a free download. Books are sold as-is: I don't think that shrink-wrap, or even a sticker of some sort would be particularly effective in a brick-and-mortar book store.

I'd like to see some innovation in the marketing of e-books. Michael Koz has some good ideas in his article. One idea I would like to see explored is the use of cover art to up-sell or add value to an e-book purchase (making piracy less desirable). High quality color prints of book covers could be sold as artwork, trading cards, or stocked at bookstores with QR codes printed on the back.

Its a brand new publishing world out there and I'm sure that we'll see everything under the sun tried sooner or later.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Amazon waved a magic wand and doubled the Kindle’s battery life | The Digital Reader

Amazon waved a magic wand and doubled the Kindle’s battery life | The Digital Reader:
"A single charge lasts up to two months with wireless off based upon a half-hour of daily reading time. If you read for one hour a day, you will get battery life of up to one month."

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Aldiko Signs With BooksOnBoard - funding to keep the best e-reader going

Aldiko Signs With BooksOnBoard | Bookbee Ebooks:
"Aldiko, makers of the Aldiko reading app (for Android), has just signed a deal to add BooksOnBoard, an independent eBookstore, to its reading app. Aldiko users will now be able to choose from any of hundreds of thousands of titles sold in epub by BooksOnBoard, and then buy them and read them without leaving the app."

Aldiko is still the best Android reading app out there. Features aside, it has the truest rendering of CSS of the bunch. I'd like to think that the eBookstore deal will help keep Aldiko free and maintained into the future.

If you like indented paragraphs, non-indented chapter first lines, small caps, and all the other small formatting flourishes we expect from printed books then Aldiko is the most likely app to render an e-book the way it was intended.

the new Nook - simple one button reader for a complicated world

I was right about the new Nook | The Digital Reader:
"It is based on a 6″ Pearl E-ink screen and it does have a Neonode touch screen. It has only the one power button, Wifi, 2GB storage, a card slot (upper right edge), and 2 months battery life. Price is $139 and it ships in early June. Ooh, it has an onscreen keyboard, 6 fonts and 7 font sizes, and in general a better user interface."

A bit pricey for what you get (thought the Nook Wifi has now been discounted to $99). It looks a bit too square to be easily held in one hand. While there is talk of hacking the Android innards, this is probably a reader better left alone. People who have never heard of rooting and don't care if they can play Sudoku on their reader will be happy with this device.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Annoyances of eBooks - Megan McArdle - Business - The Atlantic

The Annoyances of eBooks - Megan McArdle - Business - The Atlantic:
"But I doubt that many of the kids starting school now will build up the same kind of personal reference system around print books, any more than most children of the 1920s bothered to learn how to hitch up a team properly. To them, print books will seem ponderous and slow--what we find serene and undistracting, they will find as annoying as making your own Jello out of calve's feet and eggshells. They will have their own mental information maps that revolve around search and keywords, not physical proximity. It won't be better for all things. But it doesn't have to be. It just has to be able to outrun the competition where it counts. If they are--and I think they are--it will eventually become un-economic for most firms to retain print divisions."

2011 Pulitzer Prize Winners | Bookbee Ebooks

2011 Pulitzer Prize Winners | Bookbee Ebooks

2011 Nebula Award Winners! | | Science fiction and fantasy | Blog posts

2011 Nebula Award Winners! | | Science fiction and fantasy | Blog posts:

WINNER Blackout / All Clear, Connie Willis (Spectra)"

Thursday, May 19, 2011

What's new? Alerting readers to ebook revisions - O'Reilly Radar

What's new? Alerting readers to ebook revisions - O'Reilly Radar:
"Ebooks, in theory, should be easy to change. After all, a huge print book drawback — stale text sitting on a shelf — no longer constrains digital editions of textbooks, fast-moving tech topics, or a biography of Charlie Sheen.

But between theory and reality stand two big challenges:

Getting the changes to readers who've already downloaded an ebook file
Spotlighting what's changed, so folks don't have to hunt for the meaningful fresh bits"

Amazon Now Sells More Kindle Books Than Hardcover and Paperback Combined - Techland -

Amazon Now Sells More Kindle Books Than Hardcover and Paperback Combined - Techland -
"In a press release sent out this morning, online mega-seller Amazon announced that Kindle books are now outselling both print and hardcover books combined. It took a little over two years since the Kindle launched in 2007 to have its e-books outpace hardcovers, but it happened in July of 2010 before overtaking paperbacks six months later as well."

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Kobo for Android Updated | more upsell, little qualty

Kobo for Android Updated | Bookbee Ebooks:
"Kobo released a new version of its Android app yesterday. The new app brings a number of tweaks and bug fixes as well as Reading Life™, Kobo’s social media platform."

All this work keeping track of what I read when they still can't present the page as it has been formatted by the author/editor. Implement full stylesheet formatting (like Aldiko) and better customization of the reading experience.
Obviously they are more concerned with gathering marketing data and selling the next book than they are providing the highest quality document.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Back to blogging

After an exhausting move I'm ready to get back to blogging again. Now that I've got a tablet my interest in reader and tablet hardware is waning. My focus may shift to (free) Android apps and ebook publishing.
I'm catching up on my reading so I should have some book reviews coming soon.