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Nate the greatest (2261802) writes "Can a crowd of booklovers collectively pick a book which is worth reading? Amazon wants to find out. The retailer is about to launch a new program which will have indie authors submit their new unpublished work for readers to rate and discuss. The best books will be picked up by Amazon under a publishing contract with strangely limited terms: Amazon is asking for digital and audio rights, but not paper.
The program is so new that it doesn't even have a name, but it is already drawing the attention of some indie authors, including one that said she would be "all over it with a stand-alone just to generate more name exposure, which could lead to sales of my other books."" Link to Original Source top
Nate the greatest (2261802) writes "If you only download free apps, you're not alone. A new survey from the UK shows that, with the majority of internet users get their content for free rather than paying for it. A third of the 1,000 respondents in the survey reported downloading free apps, while only 8% had bought apps. Over a quarter are streaming video online, but only 9% are buying said apps.And 24% were streaming music while only 4% paid for the service.
All in all this does not look good for anyone trying to sell content online, but there are a couple exceptions. The pollsters found that people were buying ebooks and music in greater numbers than those paying for streaming services.That suggests that consumers have transferred their buying habits fro books and CDs to ebooks and MP3s , and that makes sense. The streaming services are like broadcast TV and radio, which a lot of consumers are used to getting for free (BBC fees notwithstanding), while consumers are used to buying books and CDs." Link to Original Source top
Nate the greatest (2261802) writes "Amazon is in a bitter contract fight Hachette in the US and Bonnier in Germany, and now it seems the retail giant is also in conflict with publishers in the land of the rising sun. Amazon has launched a new rating system in Japan which gives publishers with larger ebook catalogs (and publishers that pay higher fees) preference, leading some to complain that Amazon is using its market power to blackmail publishers. Where have we heard that complaint before?
The retailer is also being boycotted by a handful of Japanese publishers which disagree with Amazon offering a rewards program to students. The retailer gives students 10 percent of a book's price as points which can be used to buy more books. This skirts Japanese fixed price book laws, and so several smaller publishers pulled their books from Amazon in protest in May.
I know that businesses are out to make money and not friends, but Amazon sure is a lightning rod for conflicts, isn't it?" Link to Original Source top
Nate the greatest (2261802) writes "Following only a couple months after a TechCrunch review of a waterproof Kindle Paperwhite, new leaks have revealed that Kobo is working on a waterproof ereader. The new Kobo Aura H2O is expected to go up for pre-order at the beginning of next month for $179, and while that's a high price it's not bad when you consider what you get with it.The Aura H2O will come certified to meet the IP67 standard, meaning that it will be dustproof and able to withstand being dunked in a meter of water for up to 30 minutes. The leaked specs tell us that it will have a larger screen than that waterproof Kindle — a 6.8" display, in fact. That's going to make the Aura H2O the best as well as one of the biggest ereaders on the market.
Would you buy one? I wouldn't. I don't have a problem with my electronics getting wet so i don't see a need to pay extra, and even if I did I wouldn't want a device which was tied to Kobo. If I were going to get a waterproof gadget it would probably be a tablet like the Xperia Z2 tablet from Sony. I might also pay for Waterfi to waterpoof a tablet as an aftermarket mod, but as I see it an ereader just isn't worth it." Link to Original Source top
Amazon launches a new Kindle with double the storage
Nate the greatest (2261802) writes "The launch of Kindle Unlimited last month has many questioning the value of public libraries, with one pundit on Forbes even going so far as to proclaim that the UK could save money by shuttering all its libraries and replacing them with Kindle Unlimited subscriptions. Luckily for libraries, they're safe for now because they still beat Kindle Unlimited and its competitors in at least one category: content you want to read. As several reviewers have noted, Kindle Unlimited is stocked almost entirely with indie titles, with a handful of major titles thrown in. Even Scribd and Oyster only have ebooks from two of the 5 major US publishers, while US public libraries can offer titles from all 5. They might be expensive and you might have to get on a waiting list, but as the Wall Street Journal points out public libraries are safe because they can still offer a better selection. That is true, but I think the WSJ missed a key point: that public libraries beat Amazon because they offer services Amazon cannot, including in-person tech support, internet access, and other basic assistance. The fact of the matter is, you can't use KU, Scribd, or Oyster if you don't know how to use your device, and your local public library is the best place to learn." Link to Original Source top
Why shop at Amazon when you can pirate ebooks there?
Nate the greatest (2261802) writes "Sony has revealed that it had decided to follow up closing its ebook stores in the US and Europe by getting out of the consumer ebook reader market entirely. (Yes, Sony was still making ereaders.) The current model (the Sony Reader PRS-T3) will be sold until stock runs out, and Sony won't be releasing a new model.
This is a sad end for what used to be a pioneering company. This gadget maker might not have made the first ebook reader but it was the first to use the paper-like E-ink screen. Having launched the Sony Librie in 2004, Sony literally invented the modern ebook reader and it then went on to release the only 7" models to grace the market as well as the first ereader to combine a touchscreen and frontlight ( the Sony Reader PRS-700). Unfortunately Sony couldn't come up with software or an ebook retail site which matched their hardware genius, so even though Sony released amazing hardware it had been losing ground to Amazon, B&N, and other retailers ever since the Kindle launched in 2007." Link to Original Source top
Apple Acqui-Hires "Pandora for Books" Booklamp for $15 million
Nate the greatest (2261802) writes "Apple stunned the tech world Friday night when news broke that the gadget maker had acquired a little known ebook company called Booklamp, a small Idaho-based ebook startup which is best known for the Book Genome Project. First shown off to the world in 2008, this project was conceived by Booklamp founder and CEO Aaron Stanton as a way of analyzing a book's pacing, dialog, perspective, genre, and other details in order to identify a book's unique DNA. Booklamp has been using the tech to sell various services to publishers, tech companies, and the like, but Booklamps's existing contracts were apparently cancelled earlier this year.
According to one industry insider the deal happened in April, but Apple managed to keep the news under wraps until just last night. No one knows for sure how Apple will use booklamp but there is speculation that Apple could launch an ebook subscription service similar to the week-old Kindle Unlimited, or they could just use Booklamp to drive ebook recommendations in what some are speculating is the world's second largest ebookstore." Link to Original Source top
Nate the greatest (2261802) writes "Apple thrilled investors earlier this week when they revealed that they had sold 13 million iPads to schools and claimed 85% of the educational tablet market, but that wasn't the whole story. It turns out that Apple has only sold 5 million iPads to schools since February 2013, or an average of less than a million tablets a quarter over 6 quarters. It turns out that instead of buying iPads, schools are buying Chromebooks. Google reported that a million Chromebooks were sold to schools last quarter, well over half of the 1.8 million units sold in the second quarter. With Android tablets getting better, Apple is losing market share in the consumer tablet market, and now it looks Apple is also losing the educational market to Google. Analysts are predicting that 5 million Chromebooks will be sold by the end of the year; how many of those will be sold to schools, do you think?" Link to Original Source top
Amazon is testing a $10 a month ebook service called Kindle Unlimited
Nate the greatest (2261802) writes "Details are still scarce but it looks like Amazon is going to be launching a competitor to Scribd and Oyster. Earlier today new pages leaked on the Amazon website which mentioned Kindle Unlimited, a new subscription ebook service. The pages were quickly removed, but not before we got some screenshots. If the screenshots are to be believed KU is going to offer a catalog of over 600,000 titles for $9.99 a month. The news hasn't been confirmed by Amazon but those pages were seen by any number of authors and bloggers, including indie authors who confirmed that the new service is mentioned in their sales reports." Link to Original Source top
Nate the greatest (2261802) writes "Tech startups like to keep secrets but some take the idea a little too far. Earlier this week a new ebook startup called Blloon revealed that they would be launching a Netflix-style ebook service later this summer. With a catalog of a million titles, Blloon is going to offer readers in the US and UK read on Android and iOS apps. But who, exactly, is behind Blloon? Reports from Germany said that it was txtr, a Berlin-based ebook company. Txtr denied the connection, but after being asked why txtr owned the German trademark for the term Blloon and the Blloon.de domain, txtr said that Blloon "emanates from txtr employees but Blloon is a separate company." I have heard of secretive companies, and I have heard of startup founders running several companies at once, but this is the first I have encountered a company which didn't want you to know that its founders were launching a new startup.Why do you suppose they were hiding the connection?" top
Nate the greatest (2261802) writes "Just over a year has passed since Google closed Google Reader; have your reading habits changed? When Google announced in March 2013 that Google Reader would close, a number of pundits saw it as a sign of the imminent death of RSS feeds as redundant tech. But 15 months has gone by and I can't see that very much has changed. Former Google Reader users fled to any number of smaller competitors, including Feedly, which as a result quadrupled its userbase from around 4 million users to around 15 million users and 24,000 paying customers in February 2014. I can't speak for you but I am still getting my news from RSS feeds, just like I did before the Readerpocalypse. Zite might be gone and Pulse might belong to LinkedIn but RSS feeds are still around." Link to Original Source top
Nate the greatest (2261802) writes "Here in the US it is legal to resell your MP3s on Redigi, and thanks to the UsedSoft decision you can resell downloaded software in Europe. But if you want to resell your ebooks you had better act fast. Tom Kabinet launched last week in the Netherlands to offer a marketplace for used ebooks, and it is already getting legal threats. The Dutch Trade Publishers Association (GAU) says that the site is committing piracy and if it doesn't shut down the GAU plans to take it to court. Citing a ruling from a German court, secretary general of the GAU Martijn David said that the question of legality had already been settled. Would anyone care to place a bet on whether the site is still in operation in 6 months?" Link to Original Source top
Barnes & Noble to spin off Nook Media, will take it public
Nate the greatest (2261802) writes "It looks like the recent rumors about B&N splitting up were true. Along with could-have-been-worse financial news, Barnes & Noble just announced that it's going to spin off its two year old ebook subsidiary into a new publicly traded company. The move won't be finalized until 2015, but when it happens the new company is expected to have both existing parts of Nook Media, including the less than successful ebook division and B&N College, which is still managing to turn a profit. Barnes & Noble hasn't revealed the price Nook Media stock will be selling for but I would bet that it will be valued at far under the $1.8 billion value B&N assigned when Nook Media was created in April 2012." Link to Original Source top
Midia InkPhone E-ink smartphone now up for pre-order
Nate the greatest (2261802) writes "If the $700 Yotaphone is too pricy for your tastes then you might want to look at the Midia InkPhone. The Poland-based ereader maker Arta Tech just put the Midia InkPhone up for pre-order. This smartphone sports a single 4.3" E-ink screen with frontlight and touchscreen. It runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread on a seriously underpowered 1GHz CPU with 512MB RAM and only 512MB storage. That's really not much of a smartphone, but compared to the Yotaphone the price tag isn't much either. The retail price for the InkPhone is 121 euros plus tax and shipping, and Arta Tech expects to ship in a couple weeks.
Anyone else a little disappointed in the InkPhone? It's been under development since 2012 and aside from improvements to the screen it doesn't look like the design has been changed since the first prototype. I would have thought they would at least add a dual-core CPU, and give it more power." Link to Original Source top
Amazon might announce a gaming controller alongside its media streamer
Nate the greatest (2261802) writes "The latest rumors are saying that Amazon is going to launch a media streamer on Wednesday, but I don't think that's the whole story. Digging through the FCC website has revealed that Amazon has a 4" square Roku-like box (with a remote) on the way, not the dongle that TechCrunch reported. What's more, that gaming controller which first showed up in Brazil has also shown up on the FCC website. That is a good sign that it too might also make an appearance on Wednesday. Amazon has been rumored to be working on a gaming console, and now it would appear that the one device is going to serve both purposes." Link to Original Source top
Microsoft building an 'Xbox Reading' app for Windows 8
Nate the greatest (2261802) writes "Microsoft has already sunk $600 million into Nook Media, the ebook division spun off from Barnes & Noble in 2012, but I guess that's not enough for the Redmond tech giant becasue news broke today that they have a 3rd ebook effort in the works.. A new job listing discovered by the Chinese tech blog LiveSino has revealed that Microsoft is hiring an ebook developer to work on "a groundbreaking interactive reading app on Windows, which incorporates books, magazines, and comics." The position was posted by the Xbox Music, Video, and Reading unit, which had already released 2 apps for Windows 8 (video, music) and is clearly going for a trifecta. This new app shows all the signs of being completely unrelated to the Office Reader app which leaked last year. That app reportedly focused more on PDFs, textbooks, and office docs, with the "Xbox Reading" app mentions magazines and digital comics." Link to Original Source top
Adobe's new ebook DRM will leave existing users out in the cold come July
In a video posted to Youtube, Adobe reps have stated that Adobe expects all of their ebook partners to start adopting the new DRM in March. This is the same DRM that was launched only a few weeks ago and is already causing problems, but that hasn't stopped Adobe. They also expect all the stores that use Adobe's DRM to sell ebooks (as well as the ebook app and ebook reader developers) to have fully adopted the new ebook DRM by July 2014. That's when Adobe plans to end support for the old DRM (which everyone is using now). Given the dozens and dozens of different ebook readers released over the past few years, including models from companies that have gone under, this is going to present a significant problem for a lot of readers. Few, if any, will be updated in time to meet Adobe's deadline, and that's going to leave many readers unable to buy DRMed ebooks." Link to Original Source