Kobo Reader

Google Takes First Steps Towards Attacking Amazon

Looks like Google Books is taking some tentative steps towards being more than just a hobby. The folks at Google have fired a shot across the bow of Amazon, B&N, and Kobo by partnering with iRiver to offer an ebook reader with integrated Google Books access. According to the Google Blog: We built the Google eBooks platform to be open to all publishers, retailers and manufacturers. Manufacturers like iRiver can use Google Books APIs and services to connect their devices to the full Google eBooks catalog for out-of-the-box access to a complete ebookstore. You can also store your personal ebooks…


The Oberon Large eReader Sleeve Case Review

When I took the Oberon eReader Sleeve out of its packaging, Sarah exclaimed: “That’s not a case, it’s a work of art!” It is a work of art, but it’s also a very functional sleeve case that fits Kindle 2s, NOOKcolors, NOOKs, and any similarly sized eBook readers. From Oberon Designs: For those that like to use their E Reader without a cover, we’ve designed the Oberon E Reader Sleeve with extreme portability in mind. Lighter and thinner than our E Reader Corner Cover, our sleeve fits easily into a purse, backpack or briefcase. Our sleeve is leather lined and…


How to Spot an eBook Scam, or, How to Avoid MyPadMedia, TheReadingSite, and Their Friends

Around this time last year, the Gear Diary team tussled with the folks at MyPadMedia. They were less than thrilled with us blowing open their scam of $50 for “unlimited” eBooks that turned out to be free eBooks from Feedbooks and other sites. Unfortunately, either MyPadMedia or their cohorts have managed to spawn again, this time with “The Reading Site”, which sounds and looks suspiciously similar. Pay us up front, we promise you unlimited eBooks, and if you’re a website who wants to be an affiliate there’s a super fat paycheck for you. However, without even paying for the site…


The Danger of eBook Digital Rights Management

The most common complaints surrounding ebooks are probably digital rights management related. Either books aren’t cross-platform compatible, or there are arguments of fragmentation, and the biggest boogeyman of all fears that someone could flip a switch and deauthorize an entire library. That’s precisely what happened to one unlucky Teleread contributor. Douglas Cootey explains: My iPhone wouldn’t let me authorize any new apps that utilized Adobe’s DRM. I had run out of the allotted authorizations. By March of this year, I began to contact Adobe to fix the situation, but each web case was “withdrawn”, which is to say “dismissed without solving”. I called tech…


Wired Misses the Point on eBooks

Oh Wired. For a magazine based around technology, they really, really, missed the point in their latest article on ebooks. It’s chock full of ignorant statements and petty complaints, which is pretty disappointing. Not only did they spread misinformation and confusion, there are genuine drawbacks to ebooks that could (and should) have been addressed instead. Read on for Wired’s take, my rebuttal, and my list of eBook drawbacks instead. Wired says: 1) An unfinished e-book isn’t a constant reminder to finish reading it. My take: If you need a half-finished book to taunt you to finish it, you’re not reading the…


First Impressions: nook Simple Touch Reader

It is perhaps somewhat ironic that I have been reading eBooks of some sort or other on handheld devices for over 20 years, and yet have never owned a dedicated eReader. It is even more ironic that while I live in a house with two nook eReaders (wife and younger son), I have spent very little time with the devices. I attribute the former to my desire to always stay on the cutting edge of technology coupled with the relative newness of dedicated readers; the latter I attribute to a desire to allow others to learn and discover for themselves….


Borders eBookstore Moving to Kobo

If you’re one of the five people who purchased eBooks through Borders, I strongly recommend you log into your account and follow their instructions to port your library to Kobo. Teleread is reporting that Borders is no longer operating their own eBookstore, and any attempts at logging in or purchasing will lead you to instructions on how to move to Kobo instead. This should be fairly seamless since Kobo was doing all the behind the scenes work on Borders eBookstore. Any Borders eBooks you might have should work fine in Kobo’s desktop and smartphone applications, and of course, those books…


Is Barnes & Noble Gearing up to Completely Kill eReader and Fictionwise?

If you have a big eReader or Fictionwise library, I strongly encourage you to do two things. One, download any books in your library and archive them on a hard drive or SD card, and two, download and store the appropriate software to read them on your smartphone or computer. Here’s the eReader download page if you need to track down their reading software. So why am I sounding the alarm? According to Teleread, the new NOOK Simple Touch Reader does not support PDB, the eBook file format used by eReader and Fictionwise. But both of those stores are owned…


Apple Kills an eBookstore, Who’s Next?

Very ominous news from the iOS ebook world today. Teleread has reported that iFlowReader, a small ebook app, announced the 30% cut to Apple was too much for their tight margins and are closing their doors. Now, you might be thinking “I only use Kindle/NOOK/Kobo, why should I care?” Well, if you do any ebook reading at all on an iOS device, you should be extremely angry and concerned. iFlowReader has an open letter on their site explaining the situation, and here’s the most important part: Why Do We Have to Shutdown? The crux of the matter is that Apple…


iBooks to Be Carried by Lovereading.co.uk

Looking for a good book to read? Of course, you are. How are you going to find one? Well, you could hit a site like Goodreads, or you could bounce around to Amazon, B&N, Kobo, your local library…or if you could hit up Lovereading.co.uk for edited, curated recommendations AND books in every ebook format for purchase! Lovereading.co.uk was offering books in Kindle and ePUB formats for some time, and they’ve now added integration with the iBookstore! This is a UK-only deal, but it’s (as far as I know) the first time anyplace has been able to offer iBooks titles outside…


Is B&N’s Future a Digital One?

Now that Borders has one and a half feet in the grave, all eyes are on what B&N will do now. It seems like opinion is split between believing B&N will be ok and predictions that Borders fall is a precursor to the same fate at B&N. Fortune thinks the answer is simple: Kill off the bookstore business and go all digital. Specifically, here’s what Fortune thinks: The road ahead for Barnes & Noble will prove tough. Few brick and mortar companies have successfully negotiated the choppy waters to safe digital harbors. But Barnes & Noble, unlike Borders, has one…


Do Publishers Still Matter?

It all started when Doug mentioned this article on Idealog from Mike Shatzkin: Putting Books in Stores is a Subsidiary Right. This sparked a debate between us on the nature of publishing, and whether traditional publishers make sense if you’re a new author in today’s market. Doug: All I could think was, “Good work, publishers! You’ll alienate your writers even more than you already have, and *they’re the ones providing you with a product to sell*!” The ongoing stupidity of old media–music, magazines, newspapers, tv, books, you-name-it–continues to simply amaze. Carly: Very interesting. Honestly, this isn’t that surprising, and I…


The New York Times Paywall and the Death of eBook Reader Subscriptions

The New York Times paywall makes a decent effort to bridge app-based subscriptions with physical papers and online access, but there’s one glaring exception: eBookstores (except Amazon’s Kindle) are being cut out of the fun. It’s looking like Amazon was able to cut a special deal, but everyone else (mainly B&N and Kobo) are not included in any such offerings, which is a slap in the face to the users who have been voluntarily paying for an electronic version of the New York Times. It just boggles my mind, since there’s really no downside to allowing these subscribers to have…


Kobo’s “Spin to Win” Contest

The good folks at Kobo LOVE contests. It seems every month they have a new promotion out there, and they clearly have fun making each one more interesting than just clicking a link. This time it’s a spin-the-wheel type contest like at the Jersey shore, but without the grease and Axe Body Spray odor. You can win everything from discount coupons to ebook readers to the chance at staying in a super-nice hotel. Sure beats just clicking “like” on a Facebook page! Here are the full details from Kobo’s blog, and you can enter daily through March 20th. Good luck,…


European Union Investigating eBook Pricing

It’s a safe bet that if you aren’t a publisher you’re not happy with the agency model. It did more than just change the nature of publisher/seller relations; it actively changed how booksellers could sell ebooks. Suddenly everyone had to fall in line with the exact same prices, and discounts were banned. Needless to say, this raised some regulatory eyebrows, and according to the Guardian UK, there’s been some old-fashioned office raiding over it! According to the article: The European commission has launched morning raids on several publishing houses suspected of fixing the prices of ebooks, as a huge battle for the…


Is Apple Going to Boot eBook Apps? My Conspiracy Theory…

I might be seeing conspiracies where there aren’t any, but I think I see a pattern in many business decisions going on in the eBook market lately. We’re all sitting on the edge of our seats waiting for the outcome of the in-app purchasing drama, and so far no one’s (overtly) talking. But reading between the lines tells a very different story… 1) Apple can’t be happy with how iBooks has performed so far. 100 million books downloads is an empty number, especially since everyone who downloads iBooks gets one download to go with it. With a very low number…


State of the eBook: Good News/Bad News

It’s that time again! There’s a whole slew of exciting and disappointing news in the ebook world, so let’s jump right in and take a look! The exciting news: -Asus is rumored to be releasing the EEE Note reader soon, for a very reasonable $200. The biggest thing about the EEE Note isn’t the ebook reading,  but that it will include a Wacom digitizer for note-taking. Ebooks and digital textbooks have had an uphill battle in academics in large part due to the difficulty in taking notes while reading. No guarantees the EEE Note has cracked this, but the price…


ContentMatters Translates Borders CEO’s Email

Content Matters has taken the time to give a more honest interpretation of Mike Edwards’ email, and it does a great job of hitting the high (er…low) points in Borders’ history. My favorite bits: So around 3 years ago, Amazon came out with this Kindle e-reader. As my mama said – who the heck wants to read a book on a computer? So we did the smart thing and ignored it. Our friends at Barnes & Noble came out with their own version, called the Nook. And we ignored that one too. Then last year, our private equity investors told…


The Best iPad Commercial

Last night I met a lovely woman at a dinner party who demonstrated to me in a simple conversation why the iPad has been so successful. She commented that she was tired from being up past midnight, and someone else asked why she stayed up so late. The woman explained she was reading on her iPad, and playing “Words with Friends” with her daughter in San Diego. She then explained how much she loved reading on her iPad because she could “shop around” at Amazon, Kobo and B&N, plus she could leave the lights off so her husband could sleep….


eBook Readers for Valentine’s Day

If you’re considering getting your loved one an ebook reader for V-Day, you’re in luck! The fine folks behind many popular ebook readers clearly think a book for Valentine’s Day is better when it comes in electronic form, and they’ve thrown together some sweet deals! B&N Rumors that NOOKcolors were off the shelves have been greatly exaggerated. B&N is touting it as the perfect Valentine’s day gift, and they’re offering 30% off select cases if you buy between now and V-Day. Looking to buy a NOOK WiFi or 3G instead? B&N is also offering 50% select Kate Spade cases for those…


State of the eBook: The Winter Freeze

(if you’d like to vote, head to Gatekeeper’s Post now!) Welcome to another State of the eBook! Hopefully, you’ve had some good books to keep you warm this winter (and not in the book-burning way). Despite the quiet hardware cycle, we’ve had some big developments behind the scenes. What started as a sleepy winter may lead into a fairly explosive spring! Why is that? Read on to find out! Android: This is a bit of a mixed bag right now. On the upside, it’s looking like the Xoom will be hitting stores by the end of February, not to mention…