Ebooks

Let e-Readers Be e-Readers

Despite the Kindle's continuing success, it's widely believed that the device cannot remain simply a terminal for Amazon's (AMZN) e-book sales if it is ever to become a true mass-market product. But what must it become? Some leading figures in the publishing business insist that sales growth in digital publishing will come only when e-books are incorporated into an all-purpose communications device like the iPhone.

Since February, however, the combination of unexpected sales growth for Kindles at Amazon, including the release of a larger, more versatile reader—the Kindle DX—has begun to suggest that we may be moving in the opposite direction, toward a highly specialized reading-centric device.

Full story here.

Kotobarabia’s Arabic E-Books Extend Borders

CAIRO: Most of the difficulties faced by Arabic-language book publishing stem from two basic problems: government censorship and very limited distribution. But with e-books, Ramy Habeeb, founder of the Egypt-based publisher Kotobarabia, has managed to bypass both seemingly intractable problems.

Read more about it at: http://publishingperspectives.com/?p=1420

Springer launches MyCopy service for eBook users

Following the successful completion of the MyCopy pilot project, the specialist publishing group Springer Science+Business Media has, with immediate effect, extended this eBook service to all academic libraries in the USA and Canada that have purchased Springer eBook Collections. All registered library patrons will be able to order a soft cover copy of a Springer eBook for their personal use by clicking on a button on the Springer platform.

Full piece here.

The Kindle and the Jewish Question

Excerpt:

Like my father and the Jewish doctoral student, a Chasidic master living at the turn of the 20th century looked at the world around him with an eye to Jewish life. One day, a disciple approached him and asked, "Rebbe, every time I turn around, I hear about new, modern devices in the world. Tell me, please, are they good or bad for us?"

"What kind of devices?" asked the Rebbe.

"Let me see. There's the telegraph, there's the telephone, and there's the locomotive."

The Rebbe replied, "All of them can be good if we learn the right lessons from them. From the telegraph, we learn to measure our words; if used indiscriminately, we will have to pay dearly. From the telephone, we learn that whatever you say here is heard there. From the locomotive, we learn that every second counts, and if we don’t use each one wisely, we may not reach our destination in life.”

So, what can we learn from the Kindle? Like the telegraph, telephone and locomotive, it offers us lessons - as I see it, at least three of them - for living life meaningfully.

Full piece here.

The Decline and Fall of Books

The article is from May, but the discussion about the 'demise of books' is far from over.

From Times Online UK, writer Nicholas Clee [joint editor of the book industry newsletter BookBrunch and the author of Eclipse (Bantam Press)] examines the recent phenomena (e-books, the Espresso Book Machine, the closing of many traditional bookstores, etc). that has lead to what some may consider to be 'the decline and fall of books' (or 'tree books' as I like to call them).

Kindle DRM Bites Users

Hypothetical situation.

You have a Kindle and you buy an e-book. How many times can you download that e-book? In other words can you download it to your Kindle once, but if you replace your Kindle can you download it again?

You don't know?

Well, turns out, Amazon doesn't either. And since the number of times that you can download varies from publisher to publisher and book to book, well, you can start to see the problem.

More from Gizmodo.

Jeff Bezos: Kindle Books and Readers Are Separate Businesses

In the future, Amazon.com’s Kindle e-book reader will display more book formats beyond its own. And you should also expect to see Kindle books on a lot more devices.

That was the clear implication of comments that Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s chief executive, made at a conference in New York Monday on disruptive business models.

Of course, Mr. Bezos didn’t release any details at the conference, which was sponsored by Wired magazine. (He’s just as secretive as Steve Jobs at Apple, but he laughs more.) Mr. Bezos, however, talked about the Kindle in a way he hasn’t before: He described the hardware business and the e-book store as separate.

Full story in the Bits blog at NYT.com

Jeff Bezos: Why the Kindle Is So Expensive

Nobody is likely to confuse a Kindle with a cellphone, but Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said Monday he considered the cellphone business model: undercharge for the device and make it up on content and service fees.

But, Bezos told Wired’s Steven Levy at Wired’s Disruptive by Design conference in New York, it’s cheaper in the long run for customers to pay something akin to the actual cost for hardware. And fees and minimum purchase requirements create friction.

“We did consider [the cellphone model] for Kindle,” Bezos said in an interview with Wired’s Steven Levy at Wired’s Disruptive by Design Conference in New York. “Instead of driving the cognitive complexity of a two-year commitment, [we] just tell people, ‘This is the actual cost of the device,’” he said.

Full story at Wired.com

Sedaris Autographs Kindle (and Artificial Limb, etc)

The New York Times reports that during a reading at the Strand bookstore in Manhattan by David Sedaris, whose most recent book is “When You Are Engulfed in Flames,” a man named Marty who had waited in the book-signing line presented him his Kindle for autographing. On the back of the Kindle, Mr. Sedaris, in mock(?) horror, wrote, “This bespells doom.” (The signed Kindle was photographed, but Marty's full name is unknown.)

Advertising in ebooks?

A Purina edition of "Marley and Me"?

Blog post here.

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