Amazon.com

Amazon to Introduce Web Based Book Previews

Continuing it’s e-books everywhere approach to digital reading, the company announced Wednesday in a blog post that it would soon offer a product called “Kindle Previewer for HTML 5? that will allow readers to view samples of books directly from within a Web browser.

In the past Amazon has required readers to send a sample section of a book to a device before it could be previewed.

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Paperback Kindle

Seth Godin at Wired.com

Steve Jobs reports today that Apple is selling an iPad every three seconds.

This is a pretty urgent moment for my friends on the Kindle team, so here are some bonus thoughts on pricing, business models and competition:

1. The paperback Kindle. Don't worry about touchscreens or color or even always available internet to download new books. Make a $49 Kindle. Not so hard if you use available wifi and simplify the device. Make it the only ebook reader in town.

2. The Kindle as razor. Buy any 8 bestselling books on the Kindle ($10 each) and get a paperback Kindle for free.

Full article here

ACLU threatens to join Amazon customer privacy fight

The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina is telling the state Department of Revenue to back off on a request for "constitutionally protected private information" of Amazon.com customers.

In a letter Thursday to Revenue Secretary Kenneth Lay, the group says it will join an existing lawsuit brought by the online retail giant if the department "persists in its demand" for North Carolina customers' names and addresses.

Full article here.

Amazon Top 100

As books enter the top 100 on Amazon they get tracked on this site. It is a good way to see what books the public is interested in. Site is updated daily.

Amazon Sues North Carolina

Amazon has filed a lawsuit in federal court in Seattle against the North Carolina Department of Revenue charging that its demand that Amazon turnover the names and addresses of all residents who bought anything from the e-tailer since 2003 is an invasion of privacy and a violation of the First Amendment. The request by North Carolina is part of that state's efforts to collect sales tax on items purchased by North Carolina residents from Amazon. In the complaint, Amazon also said North Carolina is demanding it turnover records of what each customer purchased and how much they paid.

When North Carolina first announced its plans to collect sales tax from online retailers, Amazon closed down the affiliates program in the state, arguing that without that program the state had no nexus to collect sales tax.

Publishers Weekly reports.

The professor, his wife, and the secret, savage book reviews on Amazon

The professor, his wife, and the secret, savage book reviews on Amazon
An extraordinary literary "whodunnit" over the identity of a mystery reviewer who savaged works by some of Britain's leading academics on the Amazon website has culminated in a top historian admitting that the culprit was, in fact, his wife.

Amazon reviewers think this masterpiece sucks

From "The Grapes of Wrath" to "1984" -- some amateur critics just can't stand the classics

Article at Salon.com

Only Branding Can Save the ebook Industry

Jay Garmon writes in The New Sleekness about ebooks, branding, authors and publishers. If only Marshall McLuhan were alive today...

"A solid brand is the only way anyone is going to make sustainable money, long term, directly from e-book sales. This is not to say that e-books will sell in the same numbers, or for the same prices, as physical books. This is also not to say that e-book publishing houses are going to look anything like physical book publishing houses. This is simply an argument that the only value that the consumer is going to consistently place on an e-book is its brand value.

e-book pricing is viewed by many consumers as wildly out of step with the perceived value of the product. No matter how you parse the numbers or sketch out production costs or trot out sob stories of how scandalously little money the average writer makes, consumers simply don’t perceive an intangible good as having the same value as a tangible good. Thus, if you want e-books to sell, you simply can’t price them the same as physical books. It doesn’t matter if it’s reasonable. It doesn’t matter if it’s fair. To turn a profit in a competitive market economy, a producer is obligated to deliver a product at a price lower than the perceived consumer value. If Producer A (in this case established publishing houses) can’t do it, Producer B (some new e-book publisher, like maybe Amazon itself ) will do so."

First Agency Model Casualty: Amazon Not Selling New Penguin e-Books

Truth is stranger than April Fools.

Following up on what was expressed in the Shelf-Awareness April 1st edition as the "buy or bye" button

...key among the changes: all book titles listed on Amazon will have "bye" buttons next to the "buy" buttons, only one of which can be activated at a time...

Penguin and Amazon have failed to reach an agreement over terms of sale. As a result, Penguin e-books released beginning today will not be available at the Kindle store. E-books released prior to April 1 are still for sale at the $9.99 price.

Penguin CEO David Shanks explained that Penguin has reached new terms of sale agreements with a number of e-booksellers, but not Amazon. "Our conversations with Amazon are ongoing and we do hope to continue our long-time relationship with them," Shanks said. Shanks noted that new Penguin e-books "are available through Barnes and Noble.com, Sony, Kobo, eBooks.com, reader applications on the iPhone and soon on the iBookstore for the iPad. Additionally, we're working with our digital delivery partners (Ingram, Overdrive, and Baker & Taylor) to make your eBooks even more widely available."

Publishers Weekly reports.

It's a New Month in the Book Trade

Shelf-Awareness on the first of the new month for your viewing pleasure:

Brave New Book World: Adapting to the Coup d'Etat/Apple Shines with iTie iNs/Borders' New Two-for-One Deal/Never-Ending Conference Becomes a Reality/Amazon Opens Northern Front

...also an ad for "Thin Thighs in Thirty Days", which claims NOT to be an April fool if you can believe it...

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