Ebooks

Dire Warning to Publishers: The End of Hardbacks

According to the French publishing group Hachette: Hardback books could be killed off if Amazon’s e-books and Google’s digital library force publishers to slash prices, warns Arnaud Nourry, Hachette's chief executive.

Mr Nourry said unilateral pricing by Google, Amazon and other e-book retailers such as Barnes & Noble could destroy publishers’ profits (not to mention what is happening to bookstores).

He said publishers were “very hostile” to Amazon’s pricing strategy – over which the online retailer failed to consult publishers – to charge $9.99 for all its e-books in the US. He also pointed to plans by Google to put millions of out-of-copyright books online for public use.

“On the one hand, you have millions of books for free where there is no longer an author to pay and, on the other hand, there are very recent books, bestsellers at $9.99, which means that all the rest will have to be sold at between zero and $9.99,” Mr Nourry said.

Mr Nourry’s comments come as analysts predict a growth spurt for the still-niche electronic reader market, with wireless devices from Sony, Plastic Logic and others due to compete with the Kindle.

Financial Times reports.

Penn is an ebook user

In this video clip Penn from Penn and Teller mentions going to a bookstore to look at books and he mentions that he reads on electronic readers. Clip is called Evangelical Kung Fu.

Your Kindle can't do this, local library ebooks now available on the Sony Reader

Your Kindle can't do this, local library ebooks now available on the Sony Reader. Blog post at The Mobile Gadgeteer.

Googlebooks: Innovation and the Future of the Book

Interesting question from Karen Coyle: The question surrounding the settlement is: are authors (as defined by the Author's Guild) served by the Google/AAP settlement -- yes or no? The bigger question, What is the future of the book in our civilization? is not on the table. Yet, in the end, that may be the question that is answered by this settlement, whether that outcome serves authors or not.

Sony Wireless E-Book Reader Proves Kindle Was On Target

Only a few weeks ago Sony took the electronic book reader market by storm with its announcement of two new devices which undercut the popular Amazon Kindle by $100, but lacked the wireless connectivity of the Kindle. Sony's latest announcement of a wireless-equipped ereader shows that the Kindle pricing is actually reasonable.

Sony unveiled the 3G ereader today. It will be available in December of this year at a retail price of $399- a price tag $100 higher than the equivalent Amazon Kindle. It seems that making a cheaper device than the Kindle is one thing, but that making a comparable device cheaper is a horse of a different color.

Full article here.

Sony Announces Indie Bookstores to Sell eContent, Sony Readers

At a press conference in New York City this morning, Sony announced that it is cooperating with the American Booksellers Association, other retailers, and a variety of traditional and digital publishers to make available a universe of reading material in EPUB format compatible with Sony Readers. Among the sites offering EPUB content for sale to consumers will be more than 200 independent bookstores participating in the American Booksellers Association's IndieCommerce site.

Beginning this Labor Day, ABA member stores on IndieCommerce's new Drupal platform will have the ability to sell e-content in several formats, including the EPUB format protected by Adobe's Content Server 4 (ACS4) digital rights management. In addition, Sony said that plans are underway to make its Reader devices available for purchase from all independent bookstores in time for this holiday season.

Sony announces Reader Daily Edition, free library ebook checkouts

Engadget Sony's just announced the Reader Daily Edition, as well as updated Mac-compatible eBook Library 3.0 software and a new library content service. The service is free through public libraries -- the New York Public Library will be the first to partner up for the service.

IFLA Conference paper on growth of ebooks in libraries

Story found at Teleread

Phones, PCs put e-book within reach of Kindle-less

A few weeks ago, Pasquale Castaldo was waiting at the Dallas-Fort Worth airport for a delayed flight, when a man sitting across from him pulled out an Amazon Kindle book-reading device.

"Gee, maybe I should think about e-books myself," Castaldo thought.
He didn't have a Kindle, but he did have a BlackBerry. He pulled it out and looked for available applications. Sure enough, Barnes & Noble Inc. had just put up an e-reading program. Castaldo, 54, downloaded it, and within a minute, began reading Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice."

As others are also discovering, the North Haven, Conn., banker found e-books quite accessible without a Kindle.

"The BlackBerry is always with me," Castaldo said. "Rather than just sitting there, if I can fill that time by reading a good book, I might do that, in addition to doing the other things I might do, like reading e-mail and Twittering."

Full story here.

Why does this e-book cost $14?!

Dear e-book publishers: stop gouging us.

Look, I'm your biggest fan. I've been reading digitally distributed fiction and non-fiction since the early days of the PalmPilot.

The most frequently used apps on my iPhone, bar none, are Kindle, eReader, and Stanza.

But I'm getting increasingly frustrated with e-book prices, which rarely represent a savings over their print (aka dead-tree) counterparts.

Full story here.

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