eBooks

eBook Reading Options for Android

So you bought a shiny new Android phone or tablet, and now it’s on to the important stuff: How can you read your books on it? Admittedly, there aren’t the same number of ebook options for Android as there are for the iPhone, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have a decent selection of options! Rather than review each one individually, I thought it might be best to do a…


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…


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…


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…


Publishers, Pricing, and Pretensions

Friday afternoon The Consumerist reported on a comment made by Michael Cader on a publishing industry site. Essentially, he said that if you can afford an ebook reader, you can afford higher ebook prices. Needless to say, many of us at Gear Diary vehemently disagreed. Each of us had our own take on the publishing industry, high prices, and our general frustration with publisher’s attitudes towards ebooks.


eBook State of Confusion

(image courtesy banklawyersblog) I thought this week might be a good time to step back and just review a few big themes/ongoing news in the ebook world. Some of these have been covered before, but since it can get very confusing very quickly with the changing landscape and players in the ebook world. So bear with me, as we run through a few major ebook areas that have been in…


Is the Honor System a Failure for Books?

(image courtesy Smashwords) Smashwords today on their blog revealed some interesting statistical data; that people are cheapskates. I know, you’re shocked. Try to keep it together for the rest of this post. Apparently, in a wide-ranging study (353 people!) only 15% paid. Everyone else downloaded the book for free. Smashwords explained their take on this data:


Overdrive Audiobooks Come to Android

If you are an audiobook fan, you know how pricey they can get. Audiobooks usually cost around $30-$40 in a bookstore, though many libraries have decent selections on-hand. The best case scenario is when your library supports Overdrive, a company that supplies digital media to libraries, schools, etc. Overdrive audiobooks usually come in WMA and MP3 flavors, but of course, they are all coated with special DRM. Even digital files…


Bookeen Cybook Gen 3 Review

The Cybook Gen 3 is a few years old (it was released in 2007), but about six months ago it received an update allowing it to read Adobe ePUB files, giving it new relevance in an increasingly ePUB focused ebook world. Thomas sent me his Cybook to update with the new firmware and review, so let’s take a look! Does it stand up well against my Kindle? Is the Cybook…


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…


Random House Stands Alone With Amazon?

Random House has weighed in on the eBook price wars, and it looks like Macmillan, Hachette and Harper Collins won’t be sending them a fruit basket next Christmas. At the American Bookseller’s Association Winter Institute meeting, Random House made it clear they aren’t interested in pursuing the same “agency model” as their three colleagues. From the Mobileread forums: The only bright spot for Amazon, and Kindle owners, came from Madeline…


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…


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…


Did Apple Change the eBook Market?

(photo courtesy Engadget) Weeks of rumors and fevered speculation are finally over, and the iPad has been released. You can check out Gear Diary’s liveblog, and listen in as Judie, Dan, Larry and I discuss the iPad in our podcast. Of course, there was one area of the iPad announcement that, while rumored, is still a bit shocking: Apple will be opening an iBookstore on the iPad. But what does…


Txtr Brings ePUB to the iPhone

Earlier in the week, I ranted about my frustration with the lack of commercial ebookstores on Android. Chief among my frustrations was a lack of ePUB readers that could handle DRM, the one complaint that overlapped with the otherwise better stocked iPhone. Now the iPhone has gone and beaten Android on all ebook fronts, as txtr’s new app reads ePUBs with Adobe Digital Rights Management. Why does ePUB matter, specifically…


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!


Skiff Reader Announced; Magazine Publishers Want to Own the World

Yet another new player hit the eBook market this week, but this one is a bit different than the “e-ink, 6in screen, supports x, y, z file types” lather rinse repeat. Skiff has announced a monstrous 11.5in screen reader, designed for reading magazines and newspapers. Not only does it have a huge screen, but it also plays back audio. This is NOT just another eBook reader!


Que Publishing Releases Windows 7 Your Way by Michael Miller

Just published is Windows 7 Your Way: Speed Up and Customize Windows  by Michael Miller from Que Publishing. This book promises to help you make your Windows 7 experience “faster, smarter, easier, better.” They talk about removing bloatware, surfing the web safely, getting better performance and battery life out of your notebook, fixing some of the Windows 7 annoyances, and even finding alternatives to some of the built-in MS software.  Better…


Is Text to Speech Copyright Infringement or Accessibility?

Famously, the Kindle 2 debuted with Text to Speech enabled, only to see it yanked for many books after the publishing companies complained it violated audiobook copyrights. This debate is becoming an issue all over again because of devices like Intel’s Reader for the blind, which uses a scanner and text to speech to allow a visually impaired individual to “read” a written passage.


Text Input On The Camangi WebStation

Dan: Judie and I are continuing to play with, tweak and become familiar with our Camangi Webstations. There is no question that it excels as an e-book reader. Thanks to The Android version of eReader both of us have downloaded our libraries and had a number of sessions reading from the device. There is no question that it works quite well in this regard. It allows you to read both…