Ebooks

More and more books digitally published

A shrinking economy and rising technology have transformed how, and how many, books are being published. But the number of "on-demand" books, a category featuring works with tiny, digitally stored print runs, topped 285,000 in 2008, the first time they outnumbered traditional texts. In 2006, there were fewer than 22,000 on-demand titles, which have become an increasingly popular way to bring old books back in print or keep recent releases from going out of print.

Steal This Book (for $9.99)

David Baldacci, the best-selling thriller author, learned what some of his fans think when “First Family,” his latest novel, went on sale last month. Amazon initially charged a little over $15 for a version for its Kindle reading device, and readers revolted.

Several posted reviews objecting that the electronic edition of the book wasn’t selling for $9.99, the price Amazon has promoted as its target for the majority of e-books in the Kindle store. Hundreds more have joined an informal boycott of digital books priced at more than $9.99.

Full piece in the New York Times.

Contrasted with this story: Amazon losing money on $9.99 e-books and this one: Amazon Enters Publishing with AmazonEncore it will interesting to see how things shake out.

If we Really Read Bradbury, Orwell [et.al]...

The following thoughts come in the afternath of reading the article entitled New Look for Bradbury's 'Fahrenheit 451' from Publisher's Weekly http://www.publishersweekly.com/article/CA6654436.html?industryid=47140/. As a lover of Ray Bradbury's work, as well as that of George Orwell and other futuristic authors, I pose a few questions.

If we really read Bradbury, Orwell [et.al]...

Would we be so quick to put our words into an electronic format which is so easily changeable.

Would we be so quick to weed children's books because of a "lead paint" problem.

Would we forsake our personal reading time for time with social media.

Would we continue to call ourselves information technologists, rather than the noble term of librarian.

I hate to be a bother, but I just had to ask.

Amazon Unveils a Big-Screen Kindle

Most electronic devices are getting smaller. Amazon’s Kindle electronic book reader is bucking the trend.

Amazon on Wednesday introduced a larger version of the Kindle, pitching it as a new way for people to read textbooks, newspapers and their personal documents.

The device, called the Kindle DX (for Deluxe), has a screen that is two and a half times the size of the screens on the two older versions of the Kindle, which were primarily aimed at displaying books. The price tag is also larger: the DX will sell for $489, or $130 more than the previous model, the Kindle 2, and will go on sale this summer.

Full article here.

Photos, details leaked on expected Kindle

Thanks to an apparently surreptitious cameraphone photographer, Engadget has posted some blurry photos of what looks to be the dry run of tomorrow's presentation.

Story here.

This story links to an article in the WSJ titled: Amazon to Launch Kindle for Textbooks

Looking to Big-Screen E-Readers to Help Save the Daily Press

The iPod stemmed losses in the music industry. The Kindle gave beleaguered book publishers a reason for optimism.

Now the recession-ravaged newspaper and magazine industries are hoping for their own knight in shining digital armor, in the form of portable reading devices with big screens.

Unlike tiny mobile phones and devices like the Kindle that are made to display text from books, these new gadgets, with screens roughly the size of a standard sheet of paper, could present much of the editorial and advertising content of traditional periodicals in generally the same format as they appear in print. And they might be a way to get readers to pay for those periodicals — something they have been reluctant to do on the Web.

Full article in the New York Times

Reinventing the Book in the Age of the Web

Tim O'Reilly: "The web has changed the nature of how we read and learn. Most books still use the old model of a sustained narrative as their organizational principle. Here, we've used a web-like model of standalone pages, each of which can be read alone (or at most in a group of two or three), to impart key points, highlight interesting techniques or the best applications for a given task. Because the basics are so easy, there's no need to repeat them, as so many technical books do. Instead, we can rely on the reader to provide (much of) the implicit narrative framework, and jump right to points that they might not have thought about."

There's a Kindle in your (and my) future.

CNET says 70% of Kindle owners are over 40. And half are over 50. So I guess technology isn't just for young whippersnappers. (Kindle is easier on arthritic hands.)

It's not based on a scientific survey, but it's all we got.

I didn't think I wanted a Kindle for my next birthday (soon), but numbers never lie: I'm destined to get one. Soon.

The Complete eBook Reader Line Up

As most ebook readers promise to get bigger some new e-book readers plan to get smaller. The new machine will be smaller, and of course, cheaper. The price will certainly be more attractive but by the screen size they automatically reduce the cost so its yet another eink reader albeit smaller.
So who are the eInk and ebook reading devices out there today?
Amazon, Sony, iRex, Samsung, Fujitsu, Plastic logic, Brother, Foxit, and Onyx.

This list is growing with many stalling or failing and rumours of a Barnes and Noble reader, a Murdoch Newscorp one, a Hearst one etc. This is without the iPhone and mobile apps, online readers and of course the ultimate reader - the book.

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