eBooks

Audiobooks.com Gets Download Friendly

Sarah swears by audiobooks as a way to get through her daily commute, but I mainly use them when we are on long road trips. We have flirted with the idea of an audible.com membership, but the library gives us plenty of access for free, and Audible has never struck me as such a great deal. Audiobooks.com, however, has a new service that has me somewhat intrigued. According to Techhive,…


Babbel (and others) and the Advancement of Foreign Language eBooks

A lot has happened in the past few years in foreign language instruction. It’s a global world and thanks to the Internet, you can be taught a foreign language by native speakers from anywhere in the world. You can converse with them and other learners from the comfort of your own home with just a minimal investment in hardware and software. For a number of years there have been computer…


Abbey Road to Ziggy Stardust, Book Review of Ken Scott’s Memoir

What is it that you want from reading a music industry legend’s memoir? If what you are looking for is basically an expanded Wikipedia entry with a more detailed listing of events and characters … then stop reading now and just stay away from Ken Scott’s Abbey Road to Ziggy Stardust. If on the other hand you are looking for something that has you diving for your vinyl record collection,…


The Magic Bullet Against Showrooming Is in Running Shoes

Everyone in retail wants to bemoan “show rooming” or the tendency of shoppers to check products out in store, only to buy online. It’s a huge problem, and I am not the only person to point out that customer service can often make the difference between someone shopping in store versus hitting Amazon on their iPhone as they walk out the door. Runner’s World took a closer look at the…


Seven Poets and the Assassin’s Secret Is a New Kind of Novel

When I heard about the iOS app Seven Poets and the Assassin’s Secret, I couldn’t help but be intrigued. It is a unique, real-time serialized novel centered around a fictional terrorist attack on the Olympic Stadium in London during the closing ceremony. Content runs from August through October, when real-time serialization will end. Seven Poets tells the story of seven children who are able to escape the terrorists and their…


Publishing Is under Attack from a “New” Technology … Paperbacks!

Publishing is under attack! It’s an economic downturn, and someone is selling books for much cheaper than they used to be! It’s an unsustainable market situation, and books will go down in flames if someone doesn’t do something! I’m not talking about the terror eBooks has placed into the hearts of publishers. I’m talking about … paperbacks. No, publishing wasn’t all too warm on paperbacks when they were first introduced…


The Value, Or Lack Thereof, In A DVD Collection

Sarah and I are trying to downsize our personal belongings. I have amassed a ton of random movies and television shows thanks to my time at Borders, and Sarah has a bunch that have accumulated over time. However, we both realized last weekend that we haven’t touched our DVD player in months, we have no interest in a blu ray player, and most of our movie and television watching is…


Storybundle Brings Indie eBooks, Readers, and “Pay What You Want” Bundles Together

When I was a kid I was a voracious reader. Obviously I still am, but when I was 11 my parents had a harder time keeping up with my reading habits. I distinctly remember being over the moon with excitement the day my mom signed me up for “The Science Fiction Book Club”, a discount mail order service that got me several free books as gifts with membership, plus a…


In Apple’s World, “Amazon” Might As Well Be a Four Letter World

Someone at Apple needs to keep their finger off the big red button. No, not the nuclear codes, the one that rejects anything related to Amazon. Yes, Apple has been relatively quiet lately, but they once again angered the ebook world with another head scratcher of a rejection, this time for a guide to self-publishing. Pretty hard to discuss self publishing and NOT discuss Amazon, but that’s how Apple’s reviewers…


NOOK Goes Web Based

Good news, if you care deeply about reading ebooks on every possible device-B&N has released a web version of the NOOK platform. This is one of those features that every ebook store has felt compelled to offer but frankly, it’s a bit of a yawner. It’s helpful if you want to read on a computer and you can’t install software, but is that a common occurrence? Is it something we…


How Much Do You Weigh? A Book About Women and Their Weight

“You never ask a woman how old she is or how much she weighs.”- I’ve heard this my entire life. When I was a child, getting weighed was exciting. Up until I was in 6th grade or so, I felt like I was in a race to finally weigh 100 pounds; I was a tall girl, and I was excited about “growing up and getting big.” 100 seemed like a…


Bookstore(s) Live!

(for those who don’t get the image, here is the Wikipedia entry) The subject of the future of bookstores is one that always hovers at the edge of the ebook conversation. The demise of Borders bookstore may have cast a long, ominous shadow on physical retailers, but not all bookstores are struggling. While I have discussed the future- and challenges- of independent bookstores here on the site, Forbes has actually…


Writing, Self-Publishing, and Self-Editing

Self-publishing has been the great equalizer in writing. Suddenly authors who weren’t getting the time of day from traditional publishing could package their books and other collected works without a middleman, and sell right to the masses. However, as anyone who has shopped around for ebooks has noticed, self published titles are a mixed bag. Some are great, and some are…not so great. Forbes has noticed that too. They shared…


Should eBooks and Privacy Be a Concern for Us?

Here’s another reason for eBook haters to complain about the digitization of the written word — your reading habits are no longer secret. While it is not surprising to assume Amazon, B&N and Kobo are watching what you read, the Wall Street Journal has a very detailed account of just how much is being watched. From the Journal: Publishing has lagged far behind the rest of the entertainment industry when…


Will The Nexus 7 Tablet Impact the Kindle Fire and NOOK Tablet?

When Google announced the Nexus tablet, I was surprised to see they didn’t seem to be aiming for the iPad. With a $199 starting price and a 7 inch form factor, Google is clearly taking aim at the devices that have defined the Android tablet market thus far; e-reading based tablets like the Kindle Fire and the NOOK Tablet both run off Android, but use their own proprietary app and content…


Geoff Morrison’s “Undersea” Only .99 On Kindle!

I am always on the hunt for a good book, especially during the summertime. Once on a week’s vacation to the beach I blew through 12 books! Needless to say, I try to bargain hunt for new titles. So Geoffrey Morrison’s book “Undersea”, for only .99 on Kindle, has caught my eye! Here’s the description: In a world flooded and irradiated by a nearly forgotten cataclysm generations passed, all that…


Extra, Extra! Zinio To Sell Themselves Instead of Magazines!

If you are a regular reader of Gear Diary, you probably know about Zinio, the digital magazine people. If you do, you might be surprised to hear they are for sale; and if you haven’t, you probably buy digital magazines from B&N or Amazon, if you buy any at all. CNN has the scoop on the sale: FORTUNE — Zinio, a digital magazine reading platform that competes with Amazon’s (AMZN)…


Microsoft Surface: The Trojan Tablet For Digital Textbooks?

Just about two months ago, Barnes and Noble and Microsoft announced that B&N would spin off their NOOK and college bookstore businesses into “Newco”, to be jointly owned by both companies. Obviously this has been good news for B&N’s finances, but aside from the press release both sides have been very quiet. There were rumors that B&N would be part of Microsoft’s Surface tablet event, but that was proved wrong….


The Worst Solution Ever for “Show Rooming”

If you listen to traditional retailers, online websites like Amazon are hurting them through what’s called “showrooming”, where the retail store becomes a place for consumers to check out items, but buy them online instead. There’s a lot of debate over the solutions (Target pulled all their Kindles, for example) but Rich Adin at The Digital Reader has the worst suggestion I have ever seen: Of course, there is no…


Search and Replace Meets the Kindle, the NOOK, and Tolstoy

Public domain titles are a tricky area for ebooks. On the one hand, a bit of digging can get you a free copy of a title easily. But paying a nominal amount sometimes means a better quality copy, with typos and other issues properly corrected. Unless, of course, you bought “War and Peace” for your NOOK. According to Poynter, a company named “Superior Formatting Publishing” put out a copy of…


RIP Author Ray Bradbury at 91

Late last year Ray Bradbury reluctantly allowed his classic novel Fahrenheit 451 to be published in ebook form, which was initially problematic but later resolved nicely. Today we learn that the famed author has died at age 91 after decades of creating amazing stories and characters and visions of potential futures based on the human-technology interaction. He is best known for Fahrenheit 451, but through his short stories and collections…