Dec 7 2009
Heather is having a huge science fiction romance book giveaway. 12 bloggers teamed up with 17 authors to give away over 30 books. It’s called the SFR Holiday Blitz and visitors have until Friday midnight to enter.
News Corp (Rupert Murdoch and the owner of Harper Collins) is partnering with Time Inc, Conde Nast, Hearst and Meredith to create a competitive marketplace away from retailers like Amazon, Apple, and Sony.
The group is working on creating a reading application, a “robust” publishing platform, a digital storefront for consumers and a new line-up of “immersive advertising opportunities”, according to people familiar with the plan.
It looks like Sprint will be providing the 3G connectivity for a new digital publishing service from Hearst. Sprint will sell these digital devices in its stores and deliver the digital content over its cell phone network. Hearst is planning to be device agnostic, making its software available on PCs, phones and other devices. Just what we need, another format. (Not really). No, I don’t understand how Hearst is partnering with Newscorp on one digital venture and attacking Newscorp in a different digital venture.
There are two new sites to help readers find new books. The first is Book Drum and they are running a Tournament of sorts in which they will give $1,500 to the best profile created for a book. The profiles are in depth and contain hyperlinks and images that the submitter believes to help annotate the text. It’s an interesting idea but I wonder how Book Drum will monitor the copyright of images used on its site.
New site: http://www.bookdrum.com/
Another site is Advent Book Blog which is a blog that shares authors, publisher, agent, book blogger thoughts on their favorite book of 2009. I’m struggling with which book to blurb over there.
EReaders are being targeted in greater numbers toward kids. The first Nintendo Gameboy ereading game cartridge was launched last week.
Each games cartridge includes six to eight books by a popular children’s author. The first four titles will feature authors Enid Blyton and Cathy Cassidy, the Artemis Foul books and Too Ghoul for Cool series.
Thanks Tonda for the link.
Sesame Workshop is launching a line of digital books. Five free ones are being made available to whet the appetite of parents and children at http://sesamestreet.org/ebooks. The free books cannot be downloaded. Disney offers access to over 500 ebooks for $8.95 per month. If I had a tablet that showed color, I would totally dig these for my daughter.
There are reviews of the nook dribbling out on the web:
Silicon Alley Insider: It’s a battle between the nook and the Kindle and the nook’s LCD seems to be tipping the scales.
found the capacitive interface to be handy, but it also revealed the bugginess of the early software. Scrolling could be sticky, tapping the home button or the screen occasionally did nothing, and using the directional pad to navigate text made me yearn for the Kindle’s physical mini-joystick. The biggest disappointment was the page-turning swipe gesture. It failed to work half the time I tried it, and when it did work, I noticed that it responded slower than pressing the physical page-turn buttons.
I found it interesting that all the reviews note that there is some nonresponsiveness of the lcd/e ink combination yet everyone is convinced that BN will be rolling out some kind of software upgrade soon to respond to those issues.
Bezos is losing a lot of money on ebooks but he is also selling quite a few with 48 ebooks sold for every 100 print books. Because of the $9.99 pricing, Amazon takes a $1-$2 hit for each sale. How much longer can Amazon withstand this? The New York Times Magazine interview suggests that Amazon will be encouraging more authors to self publish through CreateSpace. We talked about this on the blog last year.
Kate G hosts a post from Moriah Jovan on why she decided to go the self publish route: creative control and profit. What she gives up? Respect and distribution.
Nat Sobel argues that because Robert Jordan’s latest book release sales were up 24% over previous releases, that ebooks should be held back for at least six months. Sobel doesn’t acknowledge that this is the long awaited series finale, nor does he acknowledge the pirated copy was floating around the web within the first week of its release; nor does it account for the lower sales when there was no ebook market. But, yes, publishers, go ahead and waste all your publicity dollars in hopes that the ebook reader will remember your title 6 months after the hardcover release.