Friday, Barnes & Noble announced an update for its Nook for Android app with specific enhancements for tablet users running the Honeycomb version of Android (which pretty much means owners of the Motorola Xoom, for now). The biggest news about the updated app is it offers access to the periodicals available through the Nook Newsstand, which features over 140 magazines. The most interesting aspect of this announcement is the fact that B&N is making periodicals available to tablet users which were previously only accessible to owners of a Nook Color. This move underscores the idea that e-reading isn’t ultimately about devices so much as it is about platforms.
Nook!: Personal Finance Bulletin analyzes how Nook is key to B&N’s success.
Apple’s In-App Purchase Clause: Apple’s In-App purchase clause may threaten e-book apps on iOS devices, according to TeleRead.
More Children’s Apps: Wired’s Geek Dad says the second Wave of iOS kids apps is coming!
E-Books in India: Reuters looks at the burgeoning e-book biz in India.
An Author on Indie Booksellers: Author Teyari Jones sounds off on why she’s committed to indies now more than ever.
The tablets are coming: Electronics manufacturers are planning to show off at least 70 tablet devices (likely to be potential reading devices) during the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
DIY book publishing: The WSJ looks at self-employed professionals who use POD to self-publish books and generate prestige, new clients and “invisible” income.
Amazon on the NookColor?: Intomobile.com shows how to hack the NookColor, install the Android Market app and read Amazon’s Kindle e-books on B&N’s color digital reader. Tricky but cool!
The giving spirit: The estate of the late and renowned cartoonist Will Eisner, author of the acclaimed graphic novel, A Contract With God, and creator of The Spirit, has donated $250,000 to the Cartoon Library and Museum at the Ohio State University.
Developing books to best exploit each medium: Let e-books be e-books and print books be print.
Pop culture meets class struggle: A Canadian academic publishing collective has released the first of a four-part comics adaptation of Karl Marx and Fredrich Engels’ The Communist Manifesto.
The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California has declined to dismiss a lawsuit filed against Barnes & Noble that claims the bookseller stole the design of the original Nook digital reading device. U.S. District Court Judge James Ware ruled that Spring Design, which produces the Alex eReader, a dual screen digital reader much like the original Nook, can pursue a suit charging B&N with misappropriating trade secrets, breach of contract and unfair competition.
In its suit, Spring Design says that it met with B&N prior to the release of the Nook to discuss a partnership with the retailer around the Alex eReader. However, after the release of the Nook in late 2009, Spring Design filed suit, claiming that B&N violated a nondisclosure agreement and copied the Alex eReader’s features for use in the Nook. Both devices feature a b&w e-ink screen and smaller color backlit screen and both run on Google’s Android operating system.
What is slightly surprising, however, is that in second place is the “other” option, which allowed respondents to enter their own text. Almost 24% picked this option, and the most popular responses among them were Kobo, iFlow Books and Books on Board.
Update: In response to a request, here are the other stores named more than once by respondents to the “Other” category: AllRomance, Ellora’s Cave, and publishers’ own Web sites and e-bookstores.
Nook came in 3rd, followed by iBooks, with Sony dead last, beaten even by the three-day-old Google Ebookstore.
Of course these results are by no means definitive, representing a random sampling of PWxyz readers who felt like responding over a 24-hour period. But this poll may point toward a few likely facts: B&N probably has less of a share of the market than it wants to (though that may change as the Nook Color takes hold); most likely, relatively few serious e-book readers use the iBookstore; and readers are interested in exploring the Google store and incorporating it into their reading and buying habits.
Guess what your kids will be getting for Christmas in 2011–give up? A color tablet e-reader targeted specifically at young readers. This morning, the Boston Globe reported on an upcoming product called The Fable, a tablet computer that will run android, feature lots of kids books (in partnership, so far, with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), and other iPad-like functionality targeted at kids, most likely with parental control over that content.
The Fable will be out next summer, brought to market by a company called Isabella. It’ll have a 7″ touch screen and a $149-$179 price tag. There will also be 3G wireless capability.
This news comes hot on the heels of Barnes & Noble’s unveiling of the Nook Color, also partially targeted at the kids’ books market.
Color Touchscreen Nook Coming Today?: Rumors are running rampant that Barnes & Noble will unveil a color Nook at its press event today.
Amazon’s Little Win: A federal judge agreed with Amazon that it’s unconstitutional for North Carolina to collect customer data in a tax dispute with the online retail giant. From Bloomberg.
Salem Loses An Indie Bookstore: Salem’s Cornerstone books is closing on Nov. 1. From the Gloucester Times.
And A Happy Bookstore Story: Poets & Writers profiles NY’s McNally Jackson books.
Apples vs. Oranges: PC Magazine says it’s time to stop comparing the Kindle and the iPad, which are made to do different things.
Dead Celebs Making Bank: IndyPosted runs down the top-earning dead celebs, including Dr. Seuss, J.R.R. Tolkien and Stieg Larsson.
Youthful Fiction By Wes Anderson:Turns out the acclaimed writer/ director of “Rushmore” and “The Royal Tenenbaums” wrote fiction as an undergrad, and his undergrad lit journal has just published a sample on its blog.
Who knew low-budget e-readers were for a sophisticated crowd? Now that the New Yorker’s writing them up, they certainly are. In a post for the New Yorker‘s books blog, Gregory Levey recounts attending a party hosted by Kobo, makers of what was previously the cheapest e-reader you could get, at $149. Now you can get a Wi Fi Kindle 3 (or at least you can order one) for ten bucks less than that, so suddenly Kobo’s bare bones device doesn’t seem so attractive.
…Unless they drop the price, which, as eBookNewser points out, is exactly what the New Yorker points out that they plan to do, though there has been no official announcement to this effect. Here’s more from the New Yorker:
Founded in Canada and now partially owned by Borders, Kobo is perhaps the scrappiest and most focussed player in the e-book war. Its online store has a vast and rapidly expanding catalogue of e-books that can be read on almost any mobile device (notable exception: the Kindle). And its own e-reader’s simplicity and affordability (it will reportedly be down to ninety-nine dollars in time for Christmas) has spawned a cult following. In Amazon’s rear-view mirror, Kobo is quickly gaining ground.
Don’t know about that ground-gaining comment–this blogger hasn’t seen too many Kobo e-readers in the wild–but the price drop by Christmas certainly makes sense.
If you could have one of these for $99 or a Wi-Fi Kindle 3 or Nook for $139 and $149 respectively, which would you pick?
In a smart, Amazon-like, branding move, Barnes & Noble has renamed its e-reader app for iPad and other Apple iOS devices “Nook for iPad” (or iPhone). This brings all their e-reading platforms under one banner–the Nook device itself, the Nookstudy academic platform, and now the mobile device apps–making it clear to users that Nook means e-books from Barnes & Noble. This is also in line with the upcoming push through which the company will put Nook boutiques in every store.
Barnes & Noble is taking a page out of Scroodge McDuck’s book (those of you who watched the cartoon Ducktales will get this) with the slogan for its just-launched NookStudy service: “Study smarter, not harder.” NookStudy, which we reported on last month, is live today in preparation for back-to-school. NookStudy is a free, downloadable platform that allows college students to organize their e-textbooks, take notes, and communicate with professors and classmates. A partnership with the popular Blackboard platform used by many colleges puts B&N content almost automatically in lots of students’ hands.
This is B&N using its already considerable reach in the college textbook market to put its e-bookstore places its competitors don’t have a foothold. Though whether and how students will use the free software remains to be seen. Though, doubtlessly, whether through this or other means, e-books are going to play a bigger and bigger role in the lives of college students.