Kindle

Numbers Take on the eBook Fiction Section

(image courtesy Readymade) It’s time for another “State of the eBook”! This time there’s some quickie news, and then an examination of numbers. What’s for real, and what’s a smokescreen? More on that in a bit. Kindle: -The Kindle app for PC has been updated! Apparently, it adds a few interface improvements. Hopefully, the next step is going to be releasing some new Kindle apps (cough, Android, cough). -In addition, it looks like Amazon will be offering commissions to affiliates for Kindle books. B&N nook: -The nook may/may not have outsold the Kindle in the first quarter. The actual results…


Don’t Mess with Amazon

Lately, book pricing is a better drama than daytime soap operas. While the publishers have thrown their undying love and affection towards Apple, Amazon has been quietly maintaining their dominant position. Time and again, the publishers complain bitterly about ebook and book pricing, but the reality is they need Amazon far, far, more than they need Apple. And Amazon knows it. Reason one why you shouldn’t cross Amazon: Penguin has been a holdout on the agency pricing for ebooks, so they’ve been MIA in the Kindle store. Amazon has clearly learned from the disastrous showdown with Macmillan, and they found…


The Case for eBook Readers

It’s been a big week for dedicated ebook readers! Sure, everyone wants to talk about the iPad, but the Kindle, nook, and their comrades have been generating some headlines of their own this week. Barnes and Noble nook: The nook has had a busy, busy week. First, it hit Best Buy shelves, so if you have a craving for an ebook reader but an aversion to bookstores, you’re all set. To go along with this new retail takeover, B&N is airing a series of commercials about the nook during primetime. It’s actually a very effective commercial and plays on the…


Review: Speck Products Kindle 2 Cases

Speck Products was kind enough to send me one of each of the new cases that they just released for the Kindle 2.  While I have heard of Speck from Dan’s review and Judie sharing her thoughts on some of Speck’s line, this is my first hands on experience with a Speck case.  Will the cases match up to what I have been using? Since I received a Tom Bihn pouch from Judie, I have been using it to hold my Kindle 2 while commuting to work.  While the pouch is perfect in size in most every way, it does nothing to…


Hey Amazon, Where’s Kindle for Android?

Amazon, it’s time to release a Kindle for Android app. Maybe you’re working on one in secret, but why not let people know? You had a coming soon sign hung for the Blackberry and Mac apps for months before those appeared, but not a peep about Android support. And Amazon MP3 is heavily featured on many Android phones, so it’s not like you’re fighting with Google. This is a subject I’ve ranted on before, but in light of the ebook market changing with the entry of the iPad, it bears a second view. What really perplexes me is that you’re…


eBook Competition Gets Fierce

The iPad has landed! But that’s far from the only bit of ebook news this week. Things are really heating up, so let’s dive right in! First, the Association of American Publishers released their estimates for 2009 book sales. The bad news is that overall book sales declined 1.8%…but the silver lining is that ebook sales GREW 176.6%!!! It’s very exciting stuff, but ebooks still aren’t big enough to carry the whole book industry. Overall book sales were $23.8 billion, and ebook sales only made up $313.2 million. It’s a start, but a small one. If you’re comparison shopping for…


GearChat: Are iBooks a NY Times Bestseller, or a Publisher Reject?

image courtesy CNET Here at Gear Diary, we love ebooks. We also love to debate all manner of gadgetry, so of course, we had to share our thoughts on what Apple’s foray into ebooks would mean for the world… Doug: I’m wondering how much shaking out we’re going to see in the next 6 months or so. Carly, do you think Apple is going to yank the non-Apple eBook readers? Carly: No. What’s the point? iBooks seems like a “oh yea, let’s get in on this too” project, rather than a serious effort. Unless they have a plan for coordinated…


Agency Model Cometh; Be Prepared for Speedbumps

(underlying image courtesy Amazon) The agency model is slowly kicking in, and it’s causing some disruption across the ebook world. Unfortunately, there’s really no way to dodge it; if you want to buy ebooks, you are at the mercy of the publishers. Even worse, the retailers who sell ebooks are also in the same position, and in the span of less than three months, they have been attempting to completely overhaul their method of doing business. So what kind of changes should we be expecting? We already know that Kobo and Fictionwise have been forced to give up their incentive…



Where Is the Dedicated eBook Reader Market Headed?

(photo courtesy Engadget) Kobo today announced they will be selling a lower-end, dedicated ebook reader for $149 at Indigo in Canada and Borders in the USA. The unit itself is pretty basic; you transfer your books via USB, and it has some nice UI flourishes, but that’s about it. All day various websites have crowed that this is the start of the slide to a magic $99 ebook reader, and I agree. The bigger question, though, is what market does a cheap ebook reader serve? Kids: This is a fairly easy one; you wouldn’t necessarily expect a child to take…


Amazon Is 1-2; Exclusive Deal with Another Author, but Rebuffed by a Publisher

(underlying image courtesy Pittsburgh Peas) Amazon is still pounding out exclusive deals with various authors (the better to thumb their nose at Apple, presumably). This time it is with science fiction author F. Paul Wilson, who is apparently well-known for The LaNague Federation Series. If you aren’t familiar with the series (I wasn’t), the author describes it as: “Galactic Empires are a joke. At least I’ve always thought so. So when I started writing science fiction I looked for something different. I wanted to set my stories against a single consistent coherent background–my own Future History. I based the socioeconomic…


Amazon, the iPad, and Why iBooks Might Not Be So Great

Amazon has been proudly showing off their iPad app today and made it clear they’re looking to develop for tablets as a category. Since there’s really only one category of Apple tablet-esque devices, it’s safe to assume devices like the HP Slate, and possibly, hopefully, Android tablets, will also be blessed with a big-screen and finger friendly version of the Kindle. Compare this to the iBooks app, which, if it has any portability at all, will most likely only move between the iPhone and the iPad, and possible on Macs. If you had to tie your data up in a…


Ides of March eBook Edition

Welcome to this week’s “State of the ebook”. As usual, we’re diving in with news, then looking at a few major stories that have been floating around the ebook world. Apparently the eInk/Android mashup is becoming very attractive these days, as on the heels of the Entourage Edge and the Alex Reader we have yet ANOTHER similar device. This one is the 1Cross Tech MIDHybrid, and it has an LCD screen with Android and a QWERTY on one side, and an eInk on the other. Sort of like the cousin of the Entourage Edge. There’s no info on pricing, but…


eBook Readers Ahoy!

While the last few months have been dominated by publisher drama, it looks like things are quieting down, and we’re starting to hear more about upcoming readers (hardware and software). We have a lot to cover, including the (supposed) upcoming release of a much-anticipated reader, so let’s get started! First, let’s start with the big picture. eBook sales increased 176.6% in 2009, showing they are easily the fastest growing segment of the publishing market. Not to be outdone by Amazon’s constant crowing about the Kindle being their best-selling item ever, Barnes and Noble is making the same claims about the…


eInk, LCD, Paper Smackdown: The Results Show

As you may recall, I threw down the gauntlet and vowed to engage paper, e-ink and LCD in a battle to the end. It has been tough, but I’ve forced myself to carve out time to read three books from my favorite author, all in the name of this review. Hopefully you all appreciate the sacrifices I made. 😉 To review, here were the ground rules: Readability: • How long can I read comfortably without my eyes needing a break? • Are the font and margins acceptable for reading? • Is it formatted correctly and without error? Navigation: • Are…


Review: Kindle for BlackBerry

Since last week’s official release of the Kindle App for BlackBerry, I’ve been putting it through its paces — and, quite honestly, comparing it to the other Kindle mobile app.  You know, the one for the iPhone.   How does the BlackBerry version stack up?  Is it good enough on its own merits to catch a quick read when you don’t have your dedicated eReader with you?  Can it substitute a full-size eReader?  Most importantly, are you be willing to read an entire eBook from your ‘Berry?  Don’t let that image above fool you, the screens on newer BlackBerry smartphones are…


Amazon Scores Another Exclusive

Looks like Ian McEwan and Stephen Covey have company in the Amazon exclusives club! Gavin De Becker, author of “The Gift of Fear”, has an exclusive with the Kindle Store for one year. This is probably Amazon’s best defense against the agency model that’s all the rage among scared publishers; Amazon guarantees themselves great content, the author gets a raise, and the consumer wins too! And if you don’t know who Gavin de Becker is (I didn’t!), Amazon’s press release has some details: “The nationally bestselling ‘The Gift of Fear’ is a perennial bestseller in its category, and de Becker’s…


Alternative eBook Sources for Your Kindle, Plus Bonus Book Review!

(image courtesy Motherinchief) I mentioned in my post about Macmillan, Hachette and HarperCollins pushing new agency model pricing on Amazon that there are alternatives outside the Kindle store. Since these aren’t as easy as just “flip on your wireless and go”, I thought I would give a quick rundown on a few of these options, along with how you can have them on your Kindle (or ebook reader of your choice).


eBook Copyrights, DRM, and Amazon Versus Macmillan

Well, it’s time for another State of the eBook. Of course, this week was under the iPad shadow, but-gasp!-there’s other news out there too! Plus, with Apple landing smack in the ebook game, plus the final “Google Books” settlement, it has led to some interesting discussion about the nature of ebook digital rights management and how we, as consumers, can either accept or challenge the status quo. Not to mention the argument between Amazon and Macmillan books! All of these really touch upon many of the issues surrounding ebooks; as their popularity increases, questions about how they should be treated…


Oh eBook(stores), Where Art Thou?

CES proved there’s an onslaught of Android tablets headed our way this year, from the Entourage Edge to the Dell Mini 5 to the Notion Ink Adam. And of course, Judie and Dan have been familiarizing themselves with the Camangi Web Tablet. But something’s missing from this Android tablet equation: Where are the big eBook stores on Android?


CES eBooks News and Analysis

Welcome to the special CES Edition of State of the eBook! As everyone has reported, there was a huge onslaught of eBook reading devices this year, from dedicated e-ink devices to tablets! What does this mean for the eBook market? Let’s find out!