Tag Archives: e-books

Live-Blogging the Amazon Press Event

Craig Morgan Teicher -- September 28th, 2011

10:51: Kindle Fire will cost $199.  Ships November 15.

Bezos keeps stressing the notion of “premium products and non-premium prices.”

10: 44: The browser on Kindle fire will be something new:

Bezos says Amazon asked how it could use its server power to improve the speed of mobile Web browsing.  A new product called Amazon Silk, a split browser that lives half on Amazon’s cloud computing systems, half on Kindle Fire.

10:43: This won’t kill the iPad, but it will be the first device to compete…

10:37: Bezos takes aim at Apple, saying the model of backing up content is “broken” as is the idea of syncing.  All content on Kindle Fire is backed up in the cloud.

Whispersync works with all content on Kindle Fire.  Pause a movie on the device, pick up where you left off at home on another device.

10:34: “Is there some way we can bring all of these things together into a remarkable product offering that customers would love?” -Bezos

“The answer is yes: It’s called Kindle fire.”

7″ IPS display, duel core processor.  14.6 oz, all the content.

10:29: Now Bezos is running down the various facets of Amazon’s media businesses: Amazon Prime, streaming video, MP3 store, cloud player.  Lead-up to a tablet that synthesizes all of these?

10:27: Now Bezos is talking about how Amazon has spent 15 years building its media business.

Customers who don’t want touch can get a $79 Kindle!  This devices ships today.

Pre-order starts today and ships 11/21.  “We’re going to sell many millions of these,” says Bezos.

Also announcing Kindle Touch 3G.  Same but with 3G.  $99 was the wi-fi.  3G is $149.

Kindle touch will cost $99!  The fabled $99 e-reader arrives.

10:18: New feature called “x-ray” that lets you look at “the bones of the book,” by which Bezos means looking up various historical references and real characters mentioned on a particular page.  Amazon has “pre-calculated all of the interesting phrases” in a book, so along with the book comes a “side-file” with all of this information included.

10:14: Unveils Kindle Touch with infra-red touch display.  This is a surprise, sort of…no tablet yet. But this is very cool.  New kind of touch display that, Bezos says, enables readers to switch hands.  With infra-red touch, Amazon has revised the tap zones so it’s easier to turn pages no matter how it’s held.

Bezos is running down all the things Amazon has enabled the Kindle e-reader to do: e-ink, real page numbers, Kindle singles,

10:05: Jeff Bezos takes the stage…

10:03: The event opens with a video of cool professionals touting the virtues of the old-fashioned Kindle.

10:01: Nuthin’ doing yet.  Some speculation: I think we’re likely to see an inexpensive, lightweight tablet that will be, like the Kindle, a pipeline into Amazon’s various content stores and fairly low-powered in terms of other functions. Not expecting, for instance, a fancy Web-browsing experience.  This will be the t

Someone’s coming on stage and taking a cover off of something on the podium…

9:50: Things haven’t started yet, but we’re seated in front of a stage with a big Amazon logo projected on the screen.  The conversation here is all about whether and what kind of a big deal this announcement might be.  Also, lots of complaining about the cold and the heat while waiting to get in.  Things are supposed to start at 10.

9:25: I’m here with a whole lot of other journalists waiting to get in to the Amazon event where we are expecting to see the unveiling of Amazon’s tablet offering, rumored to be called the Kindle Fire.


‘Atlas Shrugged’ Comes to iPads

Gabe Habash -- September 14th, 2011

Hitting the iPad App Store this week is Atlas Shrugged in an “Amplified Edition,” which means all types of bells and whistles for the tech-minded Objectivist out there. Ayn Rand’s magnum opus joins the small group of literary titles getting an electronic makeover: Pillars of the Earth was the first, and not so successful; then came The Waste land, which was crammed with additional content and received great reviews; then Kerouac’s On the Road became Penguin’s second foray into the amplified books market.

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The Article Everyone Who Loves Books Should Read

Gabe Habash -- September 8th, 2011

Keith Gessen’s new Vanity Fair e-book, How a Book Is Born: The Making of “The Art of Fielding” (available for Kindle and Nook), is a thorough and riveting study of books and their business, and anyone with an interest in writing should do themselves a great favor by buying it right now. It’s $1.99 well spent.

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The PW Morning Report: Friday, March 4, 2011

Craig Morgan Teicher -- March 4th, 2011

Today’s links!

Lit Out Loud: The NYT runs down literary reading series in New York.

Happy National Grammar Day: It’s today.  Here are some details from the official Web site.

Price Points: British consumers expect to pay less for e-books than print books, according to Internet Retailing.

Bad Borders: The Consumerist outlines the bad deals that closing Borders have to offer.

New Tenants: Four Michigan cities say their closing Borders will find new tenants.

Advertising Nook: In order to get consumers to associate its e-reader with subway travel, Barnes & Noble will promote the Nook on subway locator app HopStop. From AdWeek.

Visual Writing: The Millions looks at how writers give visual cues to readers.

Printing Press: A story about HP’s new high-volume printing technology being used by book publishers.

HarperCollins Announces 26 Loan Limit on E-book Circulation for Libraries

Craig Morgan Teicher -- February 25th, 2011

HarperCollins has announced a 26 loan limit on e-book lending for libraries, reports Library Journal. This means that new e-books licensed to libraries from vendors can only be loaned 26 times before the license expires and a new one must be purchased.

According to LJ, libraries first got wind of this development in a note from OverDrive last week, in which CEO Steve Potash wrote “Next week, OverDrive will communicate a licensing change from a publisher that, while still operating under the one-copy/one-user model, will include a checkout limit for each eBook licensed.” HarperCollins confirmed that it was the publisher Potash was referring to in a communication with LJ today.

LJ goes on to report libraries’ frustration with these new terms, which are not specific to OverDrive clients:

For librarians—many of whom are already frustrated with ebooks lending policies and user interface issues—further license restrictions seem to come at a particularly bad time, given strained budgets nationwide. It may also disproportionately affect libraries that set shorter loan periods for ebook circulation.

For more detail, check out the full LJ story.  PW will follow up with a fuller report soon.

The PW Morning Report, Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2011

Craig Morgan Teicher -- January 5th, 2011

Today’s links!

Borders Begins Talks with Publishers: NYT DealBook reports on Borders’ talks with publishers, in which the company is trying to convert late payments into interest-bearing debt.

A Graphical Remembrance of the New Yorker: Artist James Stevenson recalls his summer spent working at the New Yorker in  1945. Also from the NYT.

Amazon Pulls Amazon-Cheating E-Book: The Guardian reports on a Kindle book about how to cheat Amazon’s Kindle book rankings, which Amazon has pulled from the Kindle store.

The Digital Wake of the Holidays: USA Today reports that e-books outsold print in the week after the holidays.

To Digital and Beyond!: Brett Sandusky of Kaplan tells UX Magazine about his company’s transition from mostly print to mostly digital products.

The ‘N’ Word Belongs in ‘Huck Finn‘: So says a Salon columnist who takes off from our story about a sanitized ‘Huck.’

The PW Morning Report: December 20, 2010

Craig Morgan Teicher -- December 20th, 2010

Today’s links!

Random Recommendations: Random House has put together a free holiday e-book buying guide to spur the Christmas buying rush. From the NYT.

Bad Buying in the UK: The Bookseller reports that UK booksellers could be facing the worst holiday shopping season since 2005.

The Cat on the iPad: The WSJ says iPad is especially good at children’s books.

Booksellers Say Goodbye: The staffers at Joseph-Beth booksellers in Cleveland said goodbye to their store last night.

Books by Their Covers: CBS news examines book covers and their designers. [Video]

The Poetry E-book Discussion Continues

Craig Morgan Teicher -- November 10th, 2010

Art via The Poetry Foundation

A few weeks ago on this blog and then in the pages of PW, we had some discussion about the issues facing poetry publishers as they move into the digital arena.  Since then, this blogger talked to Alizah Salario at the Poetry Foundation–she also talked to a host of other poetry folks, including folks at publishers BOA Editions, Copper Canyon Press, Coffee House, as well as distributor Consortium. She also checked in with Bud Parr, one of the techies we spoke to for our article. In the resulting story, Salario goes into great depth and includes some helpful illustrations that explain why poetry is so hard to turn into e-books, and also lets publishers and poets sound off on why it’s worth doing anyway.

Here’s a little excerpt, and then you should go read the whole article:

All the aspects of the poem—including irregular line breaks, indentations, and spaces (essentially, all the nuances that make a poem a poem)—must be described in a language the e-reader understands. So the markup language describes what the text is—the title, the epigraph, the text body of the poem, and so on—and the cascading style sheet (otherwise known as the CSS) tells the e-reader how to display what the markup language describes. The problem for ePub, the Kindle, and poetry is that the markup language doesn’t have the vocabulary to describe the minutiae of poetry.

The PW Morning Report: Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010

Craig Morgan Teicher -- November 2nd, 2010

Today’s links!

The Smell of Books vs. the E-reader: Ars Technica pits the Kindle 3 against a booksmeller. You’ll see…

Potter Redux: Bloomsbury UK has launched a cool new Harry Potter Web site. From the Bookseller.

An Indie Bookstore Making It: Here’s a piece about Bridge Street Books, of Georgetown, Washington D.C.

Borders Won’t Be Undersold: Borders has announced a price-matching program. From Businessweek.

An Alternate Top Ten: The Millions has its own way of using Amazon stats to tabulate its readers’ top ten books for October, though you won’t find the list entirely surprising.

ISBNs and E-Books: We were just talking about this around the PW office the other day, and now Publishing Perspectives has taken up the question: should e-books get their own ISBNs?

It’s the Year of the Print Book: Results of Our Holiday Gift Poll

Craig Morgan Teicher -- November 1st, 2010

At the end of last week, we asked you what reading devices you’d be buying this holiday season, meaning e-readers, print books, iPads, whatever.  As you can see from the pie chart above, more than half our respondents said they’d be giving dead tree books as holiday gifts this year.  Then there were a few iPads, some Nooks, and some Kindles, but, by far, print books were the most popular gifts.

So what’s this mean?  Well, obviously, print books are cheaper than iPads and they’re easier to fit in stockings.  So there’s that.  But perhaps, too, there’s also the notion that print books aren’t going to disappear any time soon, and that readers aren’t rushing to embrace e-reading as fast as we might think/ wish/ fear.

How do you interpret these poll results?  Good news?