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Monday Midday Links: New Nook Tablet

Barnes and Noble held its press conference today to announce the new Nook tablet and price reductions for the Nook Color and Nook Touch WiFi.  The details were actually leaked last week but there are a few new details.  Physically, it looks exactly the same as a NookColor.  For the Nook Tablet, the battery usage was underreported and that there will be up to nine hours of use time with video and 11.5 hours for reading (presume that the wifi must be off for this).  Tim Carmody with Wired says that the specs for the NookTablet are similar to the iPad 2.

The Nook Cloud will also allow users to store video, music and books.  I wasn’t able to find out more information about the Nook Cloud.

You can buy the Nook Tablet at Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, Target, Walmart, RadioShack, OfficeMax, Staples, and others.

It is not an open plan and you will have to either use the apps BN has selected for you or root the device.  To get video onto the Tablet, you’ll need to either stream it from NetFlix or HuluPlus or rip your own video using programs like Handbrake.  I think BN really needs to start offering digital music and movies to make the Tablet truly useable.

According to B&N CEO William Lynch, the Nook Tablet is a better device even at the higher price because it is faster, longer battery life, more memory and has a better screen.  While both the Fire and the Tablet have an IPS screen, according to the commenters at Engadget, the Nook Tablet’s screen is fully laminated which can reduce glare and increase contrast.  The increased memory is a big deal, particularly when you are talking movies.  I think it comes down to this.  Do you want more memory  or do you want more content?  The Kindle Fire’s advantage is the free video and that comes with a price of $79 for a Prime membership.  It’s really a battle of $250 v. $279.  Memory v. Content.

For the Nook Touch, it will receive a software upgrade that allows for 25% faster page turns and an updated screen for crisper rendering.  The Verge hopes that this update brings the quality of the eink screen up to match that of the new Kindle devices.

Take a look at the tablet comparison table here and our updated “What (and When) to Buy”.

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GoodReader is reporting problems with the Kobo Vox.  I don’t know whether I should be glad or sad that mine has not shipped.  While I love every Kobo person I have ever met, the company’s customer service leaves a lot to be desired.  I don’t know of even one person who pre ordered the device who has received their shipment.  I’ve sent two CS complaints, the first the day the item was supposed to be shipped and another on November 2.  Neither have received a response from Kobo. There are plenty of Kobo Vox devices on sale in bookstores in Canada, but to not fulfill pre orders seems crazy to me.  From GoodReader:

Many  users are asking us via email and in comments on our reviews of the Vox if they should return it. It is a matter of perspective, it just hit the market and they should fix most of the major problems in short order. There is no getting around the the 512 MB of RAM and 800 MHZ single core processor. There are faster and more robust devices in the market right now but the Vox is a great device for international users. I would suggest to exercise a bit of patience with this new gadget and wait for some updates to fix some problems.

The lack of response from Kobo’s CS makes me worry.  I’ll be at BN today picking up the Nook Tablet and reporting back to the DA readership.

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Paid Content reviews the financial reports of the publishers and have made up a handy chart here to indicate how much of the current revenue is related to digital products.

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Amazon isn’t taking no as an answer to participation in its Kindle Owner’s Library.  According to an article by PublishersMarketplace, some of the titles in Amazon’s new Kindle Owner’s Library are not included with the permission of the author or the publisher.  (Reg Req’d) Instead, Amazon is buying a new copy at its wholesale discount and lending the book to the Prime users.  This would be akin to me buying a bunch of physical books and then lending them to subscribers to my lending library, only on a much broader scale.  PM suggests that this may cost Amazon $40 million a year.  This doesn’t adversely impact the royalty statements of authors, as some (not PM) has suggested as the author still gets the royalty because Amazon buys a copy of the book.  It may serve to drive discovery of backlist titles. I saw several Harlequin Treasury titles in the library, for example.  Teleread indicates that there are 330 titles in the Romance category.

The issue about how the author gets compensated if the publisher has agreed to a flat fee is a little more thorny.  Any agreement that the publisher and the retailer has is between them.  What controls how authors are paid is the contract that the author has with the publisher.  At least one organization has suggested that there is nothing in current contracts which would allow for a license.  If this were true, Agency publishers would be actually engaging in a sale to consumers ratThat may mean that the publisher will be absorbing a loss by paying out royalties for a sale every time a book is lent.

However, the Kindle Owner’s Library may decrease actual library support.

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Overdrive is reporting that digital lending at libraries is experiencing huge growth:

Circulation statistics through September 30, 2011 at OverDrive’s 15,000 libraries and schools worldwide:

  • eBook checkouts already up 200% versus all of 2010 to more than 12 million and on pace to exceed 16 million
  • Nearly 2 million new users signed up with libraries in the OverDrive network (on pace to nearly double in 2011 vs. 2010)
  • Readers browsing on their smartphones and tablets grew significantly, as mobile checkouts increased to 21 percent of overall checkouts
  • Installs of the free OverDrive Media Console application for eBook and audiobook reading and listening have passed 9 million, including more than 2 million on smartphones and tablets such as iPhone®, iPad® and Android™
My library has a terrible digital program and I’ve not used it because of that.  I’m looking forward to them getting on board with Overdrive or 3M or some other company that will allow ease of digital lending.
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J.D. Bauer is a YA author and a serial killer.  Does the latter bother you?  Bauer purportedly donates all the profits of his book sales to World Food Programme.  But in real life, he killed his wife, his mistress, his friend, and his stepdaughter. More at Jezebel.  It’s kind of a fascinating conundrum.  Do you buy the book, knowing it was written by someone who has taken the lives of four people while the profits go to a good cause?  After all, he’s not the only person who has purportedly killed someone and still gone on to authorial fame.  Anne Perry, for example, was convicted of murder as well.  Oscar Wilde was known to have liaisons with young men, some under the age of 18.    I think it is much harder to ignore the actions of authors / performers / entertainers who are still alive versus those who are deceased.
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For those readers who have been sending gift packages abroad, the US postal service will stop accepting packages to Iraq as of November 17, 2011.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She 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

31 Comments

  1. Becca
    Nov 07, 2011 @ 12:11:50

    much harder to what? your second to last paragraph is cut off.

    but I don’t read or buy Anne Perry for exactly that reason – I won’t support a murderer.

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  2. library addict
    Nov 07, 2011 @ 12:33:47

    My library finally started loaning digital books via Overdrive in July. They have only 1668 epub titles so far (slightly less for Kindle and PDF) but are adding books pretty regularly. So while there are not that many books I’m actually interested in checking out yet I am glad they are offering the service and have actually checked out a few books I had already purchased in digital just so they know the service is appreciated.

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  3. Kim in Hawaii
    Nov 07, 2011 @ 12:39:56

    Thanks, Jane, for the update on mailing packages to Iraq. I’d like to add that “pen pals” should find out where the soldiers they support are located – the troops elsewhere will still be in place (Afghanistan, Qatar, etc).

    It is good news that our troops are leaving Iraq … but many units will simply relocate to Kuwait. Although safer, they ware still away from home.

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  4. Brian
    Nov 07, 2011 @ 12:47:16

    My county library finally added ebooks to their Overdrive lineup last year (they’d had audiobooks for a few years before that) starting with under 1,000 titles. They now offer over 21,000 titles which is great. The only unfortunate thing is they usually only get one or two copies of most titles so wait lists are long (they have 41 B&M locations so it’s a big library system to be served by so few copies).

    The nook tablet looks promising on the hardware end, as long as lack of content doesn’t hurt it. An $8 a month Netflix or Hulu Plus subscription is fine, but that all adds up. B&N also needs to beef up their appstore.

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  5. Hannah
    Nov 07, 2011 @ 13:02:10

    Jane,I just got a notice that my Kobo Vox shipped–and it was delivered today to my home in Minneapolis! (I’m still at work so won’t be able to open it for a few more hours). It’s a nice surprise but a bit annoying that they didn’t send the notification until today.

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  6. Brian
    Nov 07, 2011 @ 13:10:08

    @Hannah: Good to know you got yours. I’m in the Twin Cities area too, it makes me hopeful I’ll see mine soon (ordered 10/19, charged 10/31).

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  7. Christine
    Nov 07, 2011 @ 13:12:19

    I’m not surprised the number of people using ebooks from libraries and Overdrive has jumped. Not only has the price of ereaders gone down dramatically but with Amazon finally rolling out library lending and the excellent Overdrive app (I use it on my iPad and love it) it is easier than ever for people to access ebooks from the library. For me it has been a godsend, no overdue fees, no trips back and forth to pick up and return books. Additionally Overdrive has a great little built in calendar on every book which counts down how many days you have left.

    @Jane- I’m looking forward to the new color Nook review and here’s hoping your library gets it’s ebook situation squared away.

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  8. Amy
    Nov 07, 2011 @ 13:20:15

    My library offers digital lending, however, it’s usually one or two copies and the waiting lists are about 30 deep. I have better luck going to the library to snag the latest books then online.

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  9. Renda
    Nov 07, 2011 @ 13:21:13

    My library (DeKalb County, GA) does only audiobooks for e-lending. When the Kindle lending hit, I called the main office to ask if they planned to join in. I got transferred to many nice people, including the nice person who put me in a dead mailbox, twice.
    So then I went to the library and asked about Kindle lending. After explaining what it was, they got on the phone and asked the questions for me, finally getting a person who said, no, they wouldn’t be doing it because they didn’t want to deal with eBay financing. Yes, I, too was curious what eBay had to do with it and I was told “that is what the paper told me to say when asked about Kindle lending.”
    And this is why I pay Free Library of Philadelphia to supply me with my e-books.

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  10. LG
    Nov 07, 2011 @ 13:26:44

    @Renda: Ouch. At least if someone came to my library and asked why we don’t have downloadable e-books, I or someone else at my library could explain why and have that explanation not sound like we don’t have a clue what we’re talking about. Also, I wonder why your library asked the paper about Kindle lending, and not whatever service (I’m assuming OverDrive) they already lend their audiobooks through?

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  11. Lynne Connolly
    Nov 07, 2011 @ 13:39:22

    Anne Perry served her time and paid for the crime. But it squicks me out reading a book written by a murderer about murder.

    It’s Nook Color all the way for me, and I live in the UK, so I don’t have access to Barnes and Noble, so I can’t use their extras. The reason is simple, it’s that SD card slot. I have my NC rooted through the card, which means that if I take the card out, I go back to the original Nook software. It’s simple and it works seamlessly. If you don’t want to do the work yourself, then you can buy a card pre-rooted. It makes the NC into a full rooted tablet, which gives me much more control over it. I tend to use Moon+ reader on the rooted Nook. You can even set up a library of SD cards if you want to. You can watch films on it, too, which is lovely on a long journey.
    The only thing I’d like to see improved is the battery life, but the Kindle Fire isn’t any better.

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  12. Kris
    Nov 07, 2011 @ 13:42:48

    I actually use Overdrive, and I have to say that it is NOT my favourite. It only does ePub and audiobook, which is problematic. If I want to read a PDF eBook, I still need to go to my computer to check out, download and transfer the book to a different program on my iPhone. As well, because it does audiobook, it automatically turns off any music I have playing when it is opened.

    The only reason I use it is convenience. It’s nice being able to check out and download a new book to read while I’m lazing about in bed, or when on the bus. YMMV, etc.

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  13. Lynne Connolly
    Nov 07, 2011 @ 13:44:46

    Oh, and there is no proof about the Oscar Wilde stories. None. He was convicted of sodomy with Lord Alfred Douglass, who wasn’t underage. Besides, the young men would not have been considered as underage under British law of the time, and they weren’t prepubescent – that’s if it wasn’t hearsay and name-calling and he actually did it. So the only crime he was guilty of was sodomy, so most of today’s homosexuals would be guilty of breaking the law, had it not been rescinded.
    I’m a big Wilde fan!

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  14. Sarah Frantz
    Nov 07, 2011 @ 13:46:57

    I hardly feel that comparing Oscar Wilde’s liaisons with 17 year olds with Anne Perry’s murder of her friend’s mother and Bauer’s murders is fair. Murder and sexual affairs are slightly different. If you want to get into that, what about Shelley’s relationship with the 16 year old Mary Godwin started when his first wife was pregnant?

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  15. Brian
    Nov 07, 2011 @ 14:01:34

    @Kris: FYI, the iThing Bluefire app should work with library books (not sure if you can do it on device, without using ADE and iTunes on a computer or not).

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  16. Hannah
    Nov 07, 2011 @ 14:06:59

    @Kris: I have the Overdrive app on my 3G Ipod touch and it doesn’t work well at all. Audiobooks tend to crash every few minutes (and lose your place to boot) and epub books are slow to load, especially when you change page orientation/font size/background.

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  17. Carin
    Nov 07, 2011 @ 14:16:14

    @Brian and @Kris- I use the Bluefire app to read library books on my iPad. I don’t have the Overdrive app. I check out books on my computer and them email them to myself. I open the email on the iPad and load the book onto Bluefire that way.

    It still won’t read PDFs though.

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  18. Kris
    Nov 07, 2011 @ 14:20:09

    @Brian: My library is set to only open links on the iPhone with Overdrive. So if I want to use Bluefire, I have to download the books on my computer and transfer them to my device… Rather annoying, but hey! Library eBooks! I use Overdrive for convenience, but usually use Bluefire.

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  19. Jessica
    Nov 07, 2011 @ 16:07:17

    On the YA book written by a murderer: I have no idea what the book itself is about, so I couldn’t judge on whether it’s something I’d recommend people reading. However…

    On Twitter the general guidelines for reviewing books is “Review the book, not the author.” Folks can say whatever they want about the book’s content (and it doesn’t even have to be nice and in praise of the book) as long as they do not drag the author’s personal life/appearance/religion/other non-book related sentiment out. According to this idea, it doesn’t matter that the man is a murderer when it comes to reviewing the book because the focus of a review should be on the book’s content. Now, if he had written a book “Step by Step Guide to Murder” then it would make more sense to mention “Hey folks, this man knows what he’s talking about because…” but apparently this book he’s written is a general YA novel.

    What we end up with is this: After all this good advice to future/new reviewers about focusing on the book, not the person, some reviewers are up in arms over the man, not the content of the book.

    Other interesting discoveries: That link to the Jezebel article has a good chunk of comments in support of judging the book for its literary merit or lack of as opposed to judging the person who wrote it. Also, folks were debating over whether the term “serial killer” was appropriate since the man killed four family members as opposed to killing a large number of random folks.

    Sorry for the length of this post. I had no idea I found this topic so rant-worthy.

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  20. DS
    Nov 07, 2011 @ 16:09:12

    @Lynne Connolly: Have you read Giles Brandeth’s Oscar Wilde novels? Any opinion about their authenticity? I mean aside from the murders.

    I didn’t know much about Wilde’s life until I started reading these books although I had read his plays, Dorian Gray and the usual. It looks like Brandeth has a fifth one coming out next year.

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  21. jody
    Nov 07, 2011 @ 16:24:59

    I have a hard time believing libraries will be hurt by Amazon Prime lending for Kindle. It’s only possible to borrow one book per month which is hardly enough to supply a voracious reader with reading material. It’s simply a nice little perk for Prime members in accessing books that physical libraries may not have. The free 2 day shipping plus the Netflix comparable streaming content are much more attractive inducements to join Prime than access to one book per month.

    Amazon may yet rule the world, but it won’t be through Kindle lending.

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  22. Nikki
    Nov 07, 2011 @ 16:34:21

    I sampled the power of the Kindle Lending library today. I tried Frost Moon by Anthony Francis and got the second book immediately after. I would not have invested in the first book because of the price point on a new author, and I was entranced enough to overcome my personal price limit.

    I think the author as murderer is separate from the book. However, I as a reader can choose not to provide financial support.

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  23. lisabookworm
    Nov 07, 2011 @ 16:49:49

    According to Bufo Calvin on amazon’s kindle forum:

    “While the NOOK Tablet has 16GB onboard and the Fire has 8GB onboard, the Fire has more memory available for your stuff (not for content purchased from the respective stores).

    The Fire has 6GB for user content.

    The NOOK Tablet has 1GB.

    If you are using “their store” content downloaded to the device, the NOOK Tablet has more. If you are using your content (say, books you got from the Baen library, or music you’ve ripped from your CDs), the Fire has a lot more.”

    Very sneaky on B&N’s part.

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  24. Tammy
    Nov 07, 2011 @ 17:15:20

    “I think it comes down to this. Do you want more memory or do you want more content? The Kindle Fire’s advantage is the free video and that comes with a price of $79 for a Prime membership. It’s really a battle of $250 v. $279. Memory v. Content.”

    I pay $80 a year for shipping. Anything else that Amazon offers its Prime members I think of as just nice gestures that make me happy to be an Amazon customer. Amazon won this “battle” a long time ago by acting like they value me as a customer. Something B&N has never done (just the opposite in fact) so I would never consider buying something from them that wasn’t a one-off type of thing.

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  25. Brian
    Nov 07, 2011 @ 17:40:51

    @lisabookworm:

    The Fire has 6GB for user content.

    The NOOK Tablet has 1GB.

    Of course the Nook Tab can also take a microSD card (up to 32GB), the Fire has no expansion at all.

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  26. Brian
    Nov 07, 2011 @ 17:45:03

    The Kindle Fire’s advantage is the free video and that comes with a price of $79 for a Prime membership.

    You can also buy or rent a lot of content from Amazon as well (like newer TV shows/movies) if it’s not available as part of Prime. Of course to get streaming content for the Nook you’re looking at $96 a year for Netflix. Both can also be played on other devices as well if you have the equipment for it.

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  27. Geert
    Nov 07, 2011 @ 18:27:27

    @lisabookworm
    This is not “sneaky” on B&N’s part. It is clearly mentioned in the specs.
    The reason for this is that Android only allows apps in a special partition. On the original Nook Color this partition was only 1GB, because of this people ran out of apps space. Because all those large multimedia books, childrens books and comics are apps. So on newer NC’s this hidden partition is 5 GB. And larger on the Nook Tablet.
    But do not forget that the NC has a Micro-SD card slot. For $10 you can buy an 8GB card, for $20 and 16GB card. Which is more room for sideloaded content than the Fire will ever have. And do not forget that any Amazon content you do not want to stream but want to store locally also needs to be stored in the 6GB of the Fire.

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  28. Andrea
    Nov 07, 2011 @ 20:02:58

    @Jessica: “Review the book not the author” is a fine suggestion for writing reviews. For choosing whether or not to buy the book in the first place, it’s not unreasonable to take the actions of the author into account if those actions are abhorrent.

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  29. Jody W.
    Nov 07, 2011 @ 20:03:57

    I have enjoyed several Kindle via Overdrive books through my local library. There is definitely a waiting list for popular titles! I’d say about half the time I can’t get them read in two weeks for whatever reason and end up buying them.

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  30. Rosario
    Nov 08, 2011 @ 04:26:23

    I started reading Anne Perry years before I found out about her history. I think I probably would have been reluctant to try her books if I’d known, not out of moral outrage (she served her time, and I believe in redemption), but out of squeamishness, because they’re mysteries. I’m very glad I did try them, because they’re fantastic. They might be mysteries, but I’ve never got any kind of squeakiness from them… no glorifying of murderers, or anything of that sort. In fact, one of the reasons I like her books is that she doesn’t completely ignore the victim and make the mystery all about the puzzle. The victim is always front and centre.

    Now, with Bauer, I’m not too sure I’d read him. The fact that he’s still in jail makes a difference to me.

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  31. SHZ
    Nov 08, 2011 @ 05:27:18

    I don’t have to buy a murder’s book in order to donate money to charity. There’re more than enough fantastic books written by people who aren’t murderers.

    What if was your mother who’d been murdered? Where does redemption come into it there? Enough to buy the killer’s books? Or is it okay so long as the author didn’t kill anyone you cared for?

    I know a review is about the book, not the author, and I hope I do this. But I’d have a bloody hard time putting the importance of a book review over a human life – or lives, as it is here.

    We live in a society that gives far too much leniency – and even celebrity – to criminals, and I believe a book reviewer is correct in warning readers whose book they might purchase. Was he thinking about Twitter etiquette when he murdered four people? Why should we give him the same rights as others in this case?

    Then there’s Anne Perry. The nature of the crime speaks volumes. It wasn’t a conviction that can be questioned, and it wasn’t fast. It was a premeditated, gruesome murder, and I don’t care if she’s done her time, there’s still no bloody way she’s getting any money from me.

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