eBooks

Ways To Read More In 2013 On Any Budget!

  I love books. I know I am slightly biased, being a former bookstore employee, but I like to think that most people like reading books. The hard part is finding books you want to read. Maybe you can’t find the right authors, or books have gotten too pricey, or you haven’t made the leap to ebooks yet…but don’t worry. No matter the obstacle, at Gear Diary we are here…


Byook Enhanced eBooks Review

Various developers have been trying since the original iPad to make enhanced and video eBooks a success. There seems to be this impression that books+tablet+video=profit! Yet plain old eBooks have managed to hold their ground quite nicely, leaving the question of whether there’s really a market for a book with video, music, and other bells and whistles. Byook think they can add to the eBook reading experience, and I had…


Barnes and Noble’s Very Clever eBook Gifting Promotion

I’ve said for a long time that Barnes and Noble’s key to success in the ebook world was through their retail channels. The more they find ways to leverage the advantage of being both the neighborhood store AND an instant gratification web presence, the better they will be able to compete with Amazon. It looks like they are looking for creative ways to do that, and their latest one is…


Are eTextbooks Fully Baked Yet?

Digital textbooks always sound like a great idea on paper. They save money! And children don’t struggle under the weight of giant books! What’s not to like? Well, there’s the medium for reading on them for starters. Kindles crashed and burned on the college level, and while iPads are great, they are also expensive and far more fragile than a spiral bound notebook. Some schools have managed to have pilot…


Barnes and Noble Finally Steps Up!

Looks like Barnes and Noble finally got the kinks worked out of their eReader/Fictionwise transition! A few days ago I saw reports that the transfer links were finally working properly, and sure enough, clicking through promised me a forthcoming email with more details. This time, the message didn’t come with a side of time travel, so I figured it had to be fairly accurate. Finally, yesterday, I received an email…


Barnes and Noble and the Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Fictionwise Shutdown

The Barnes and Noble transition of Fictionwise and eReader to NOOK has been steadily going from bad to worse. First, they had difficulties moving books to the NOOK platform. Then, a huge swath of customers (including both Judie and I) received an error message that our email addresses were not recognized. The Thanksgiving holiday intervened, but it doesn’t look like anyone has even attempted to fix these errors since last…


Barnes and Noble’s Epic Fictionwise and eReader Migration Failure

I am insanely disappointed in Barnes and Noble. Earlier this week, news broke that they were shutting down the long-running eReader.com and Fictionwise.com sites they purchased three years ago, and offering to transition as many books as eligible to matching NOOK accounts. So far, so good. Then, the day after it became big news, they sent out emails with instructions on the transition. Also good. Unfortunately, if you were to…


R.I.P., Fictionwise and eReader

This has been a long time coming, but Barnes and Noble is finally putting Fictionwise and eReader out to pasture. They purchased the sites three years ago, and from that purchase the NOOK was born. But now that the NOOK clearly outshines its older siblings, Barnes and Noble apparently feels there isn’t a benefit to maintaining the prior brands. Even though I’ve said for years this makes more sense, it’s…


Powell’s and Kobo Team Up

If you ever find yourself in Portland, Oregon, you must visit Powell's Books. Several years ago, my wife Sarah and I were out that way, and we visited Powell's. Two hours and a huge stack of books later, we finally left. It was just that awesome of a bookstore. Unfortunately, the book industry is moving swiftly towards an ebook future, and Powell's needed a reliable way to hitch on for…


Penguin and Random House to Form Franken-Publisher

Now that the Agency Model has been rendered toothless as a way to keep publishers afloat, we’re seeing the next phase in book publishing evolution: mergers! Random House, which was already the biggest publisher in the USA, is buying a controlling stake in Penguin, forming a super-publisher! According to the New York Times: PARIS — Two European media companies, Bertelsmann and Pearson, confirmed Monday that they planned to combine their…


Will Newsweek Succeed in Jumping to Digital?

We all know how much the digital change has impacted books, newspapers, and periodicals, but the latest canary in the printing press is a bit of a surprise. Newsweek, yes, the magazine you find in your doctor’s office waiting room, or grab on your way to boarding a plane, is going all digital. This is going to be a huge problem…for doctor’s offices everywhere. Seriously, though, this is big. Newsweek…


Amazon’s Brilliant Kindle Credit Email

If you purchased any eBooks published by a major publishing house in the last few years, you probably received an email from Amazon, or will receive one from your bookstore of choice shortly. As a result of the Department of Justice ruling on Agency Pricing, the publishers who agreed to the settlement owe us all some money. The exact formula isn’t clear, but according to the email from Amazon it’s…


Fastpencil Joins The Local Library

Here’s a question: when’s the last time you went to your local library? Maybe you dropped by and saw they had a promotion about ebooks. Or you stop by once in a while for audiobooks. The last few years, it seems like libraries have been playing catch up as books, movies, and media in general have gone digital. However, a new partnership with Fastpencil and Auto-Graphics is bringing a whole…


Why Did the NOOK HD Get Such a Quiet Announcement?

  Barnes and Noble have been busy this week. First they quietly announce NOOK Video, surprising everyone, and then quietly, in the dead of night, they announced the NOOK HD and NOOK HD+, two extremely well specc’d competitors to the Kindle Fire HD and Fire HD 8.9″. In fact, the hands on reports of the hardware and software indicate both devices are just as good, if not better than, the…


Thumbelina Magic Story for iPad Review

Type of app: Interactive Story Book Platform/where to buy: iPad (Universal); available in the App Store Developer: Oleksandr Pogrebniak Description: A miniature red-headed girl has suddenly appeared from a flower. Her enchanting beauty sways many hearts along her travels. She took a trip on a leaf of a water lily, flew on the back of a swallow, and made friends with the tiniest beings. Colorful montages reflect both joy and…


Barnes and Noble Goes Hollywood

Barnes and Noble needed something big to compete against the Kindle Fire, and today they announced one part of what that might be: NOOK Video. Details are light, but it sounds like this will be a streaming and pay for download service. In fact, it sounds an awful lot like Amazon Prime Streaming… The big question here is software and price. B&N says they plan to offer NOOK Video to…


When Book People Move

My wife Sarah and I are likely moving in a few months. As a result, we are in a hardcore “kick out the junk” phase, and that means finally dealing with the sheer number of books in our attic. So. Many. Books. My back is less than happy about all the carrying and sorting we did today! The thing about books is that they are really hard to give up….


Amazon’s New Kindles, a Video Gear Chat

Now that Amazon’s new Kindle announcements have had a few days to settle in, there’s a lot to consider for the future. Will the Kindle go from cheaper and cheaper to free? Will the iPad mini exist and unseat the Kindle Fire? And how will Barnes and Noble respond? Dan and I had a long chat today, and we covered all of the above and more! Check it out below,…


Amazon’s Hardware Announcements Showcase Their Software Advantage

Amazon may only release Kindles once a year, but when they do, it is worth noting. Last year, they rolled out the Kindle Fire, and this year they not only upgraded the Fire line, they also answered the NOOK with Glowlight, addressed head-on their hardware and software priorities, and basically nailed every expectation out there. So what does it all mean? What I found most interesting about yesterday’s announcements were…


A Sign of Our Increasingly Digital Times

My mom is a high school history teacher. Her students start this week, just in time for the Democratic National Convention, and right on the heels of the Republican National Convention this past week. As has been her custom in past elections, her students can earn extra credits by watching and writing about the conventions and the upcoming debates. She went through her lesson plans from four years ago, and…


Refunds Coming from the eBook Pricing Settlement

If you purchased an eBook in the last three years, I have some good news! There’s a shot that the publisher owes you a few cents if that title was priced according to the “agency model”. You’re rich! A whole shiny nickel just for you! According to Businessweek: States including Maryland, Ohio and Texas said they reached a $69 million settlement with three U.S. publishers over alleged price-fixing for electronic…