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Sunday eBook News: Amazon to Bring 14 Day Lending to the...

Amazon used the Kindle boards to deliver two new announcements.   The first is that magazine and newspapers would soon be available for purchase using a Kindle App.   Currently magazines and newspapers are only available for Kindle device owners.   Second is Kindle will incorporate the “lending” feature.   This is a feature that Barnes and Noble launched with the nook.   The Kindle lending feature is the same as the nook.   It is for fourteen days and you can only lend a book once.   Lending can be turned on and off by the publisher and likely (although it is not for certain) will abide by geographical limitations.

What about those pesky geo restrictions?   The Bookseller gives instructions on how to bypass Kindle geographic restrictions.   All you need is a valid US address.

The Bookseller was able to crack Amazon’s territorial controls, buying 10 US Kindle editions, all of which have different UK publishers, with different rights deals in place. The purchases were made by inputting a valid US address, but with a credit card linked to a UK address.

I tested this for a US user with the UK Amazon catalog and it worked for me.   You just need a valid country address which you change in the Manage Your Kindle section (toward the bottom).   Obviously, this isn’t an ideal solution to no geographical limitations because you have to register/deregister your device or app every time you want to read a book bought in a different Amazon store and then re-download your content.   Tedious and probably not worth it but for occasional use.   (I bought Alexanda Potter book which is not available in the US.   Potter is one of Maili’s favorite chic lit authors).   The good thing is that readers can now use this to buy books that are only available to them via illegal means.

While many publishers think the iPad may save them from Amazon, there are curiously few digital magazines being sold for the iPad, a device that has sold over 7.5 million units. According to one report, digital magazines outside the tech field (like Wired or Popular Science) are selling less than 1% than the paper counterparts.   This may be in part due to the expensive nature of the apps or it may be that the magazine public isn’t interested in digital versions of the magazine or the lack of a subscription based app.   It will be interesting to see if the new magazine/newspaper access through the Kindle will increase subscription numbers.

Barnes and Noble isn’t throwing in the towel on ebook sales even though some people think that the nook is doomed for failure.   Next week it is anticipated that BN will announce a color eink reader in the price range of around $249.   There are a couple of problems for BN.   First, there is no global presence and one advantage of digital books is the global reach. (h/t Mike Cane although I couldn’t find his link on this). Take Jeannie Lin’s book, Butterfly Swords, for example.   She and her book were featured on the front page of the English insert of Vietnam’s largest newspaper.   Second, if agency pricing keeps up and digital sales grow while paper sales decrease, BN is seeing a loss of overall revenue as it is only getting 30% of a sale versus 50% of a sale (this is not an original thought of mine. I read this somewhere but failed to save the link).   Still, BN’s nook sales are strong and to ignore the digital movement in favor of just paper book sales seems foolish as well.

In anticipation of the holidays, the ereading vendors and Apple have been firming up distribution channel deals. The following physical retailers will carry the ereading devices.   Let me know if I have missed any and I will update this post.

  • Walmart: Kobo, nook, iPad, iTouch
  • Target: Kindle, iPad, iTouch
  • Best Buy: Kindle, iPad, iTouch, nook, Sony devices
  • Staples: Kindle

Will one of these devices be part of a Black Friday deal?

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


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    Oct 24, 2010 @ 10:26:06

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  2. library addict
    Oct 24, 2010 @ 11:52:24

    Target has the new Sonys on-line, but not in store. Whenever I ask if they will be getting them in the store I am told they don’t know.

  3. Hannah
    Oct 24, 2010 @ 12:04:28

    Borders has several e-readers fairly prominently displayed in their stores–Sony, Aluratek, Kobo, and Velocity Micro.
    @ library addict I’d love to see the new Sony readers as well and would be thrilled if they were at one of the above chains.

  4. Hanne
    Oct 24, 2010 @ 12:29:43

    About those pesky geographical restrictions: I tried this about a year ago. It worked as a dream at first, but after a couple of weeks of gorging myself on books previously not available to me, I got a notification from Amazon when trying to purchase a new book, telling me that I had bought too many books from a country that did not match the country I had listed on my Amazon account, and that I could not purchase any new books unless I either changed my settings to the country where I was purchasing the books from, or tried purchasing books from the US, where I claimed to be from. And thus, my era of no Amazon geographical restrictions had unfortunately come to an end.

  5. eggs
    Oct 24, 2010 @ 15:27:46

    I had the same situation as Hanne (I am based in Australia). If there are only a few geographically bound ebooks you have to have, then you can get them like this, but it’s not a viable way to buy more than a few books.

    I do have to wonder at the ethical distinction between lying to purchase a book (by fabricating your location and claiming that you are legally entitled to purchase a book when you know you are not) and committing theft by downloading a free copy from the internet when you know that the publisher has not authorized their books to be given away for free. Theft is bad but fraud is OK? I find it hard to get my head around the ethics of that one.

    I don’t know anything about the legalities of geographical distinctions, but I told myself it was OK because while the publisher had signed a contract promising not to sell to me, I had signed no contract promising not to buy. All of which left me feeling, ethically, a bit like the mistress of a married man claiming she was doing nothing wrong because it was he who was violating his marriage vows, not she. That being said, much like the mistress, I sure enjoyed the access while I had it!

  6. Chicklet
    Oct 24, 2010 @ 22:02:38

    Ethically, I figure it’s better to pay for an ebook with a fraudulent address rather than download a pirated copy; at least the publisher is getting paid. Of course, this wouldn’t be an issue if the publishers could figure out how to sell authors’ rights by language instead of by country/region. I guess they, like other media executives, still don’t understand that the Worldwide Web is, y’know, world-wide.

  7. Ursula
    Oct 25, 2010 @ 15:04:04

    I am really hoping for some black friday magic. I love our kindle, would be sweet to read mags on them, and want to get a second one for the house. Thanks for the update on the lending. Interesting times, these.

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