Monday Midday News Roundup: UK eBook Price War
It’s a quiet newsday but I had to post this article. Amazon UK has opened and the prices were low because the publishers decided not to impose Agency pricing. The low Amazon prices has spurred a price war and now all ebooks at WH Smith are 50% off. Even with the exchange rate, the prices for many books are cheaper at WH Smith than they are in the Amazon US store. You can tell which books are available to you by the convenient badges that say “Limited Availability” and “Available Everywhere”.
I’m trying to figure out how to convince WH Smith website that I am not a US buyer. Haven’t quite figured this out yet.
Debbie Stier, Director of Digital Marketing at HarperCollins, posted about a great website that helps parents with homework of their children. Ever have a problem in math or grammar and are not sure what the correct answer is? Apparently Kahn Academy videos can help you out. I’m bookmarking this for the future because I often am not smarter than a fifth grader.
After robust sales in hardcovers for the first quarter, recently released numbers show a slight decline in book sales from last year (which was a pretty sucky year).
Compared to the first half of 2008, just before the recession kicked into high gear, bookstore sales in the first six months of 2010 were down 3.6%.
A new ebookstore, Weightless Books, has opened offering DRM free ebooks. The site has a very clean interface but I haven’t bought anything and thus can’t offer any judgments on the ease of use, etc. (I will mention that when I first saw the name of the store, I thought it said Weightloss Books and thus were a bunch of books on dieting).
A professor gets ejected from Starbucks because she doesn’t like the gramatically improper names of the drinks. Ms. Professor sounds like she is a joy to be around.
“I just wanted a multigrain bagel,” Rosenthal told The Post. “I refused to say ‘without butter or cheese.’ When you go to Burger King, you don’t have to list the six things you don’t want.
“Linguistically, it’s stupid, and I’m a stickler for correct English.”
The Professor also does not like using the words “Venti” or “Grande”.
And, apparently, RWA is promoting the RITAs by buying adwords. I recall that RWA authorized the expenditure of some amount of money to promote the RITAs, but I don’t recall how much. Interesting, definitely. Worthwhile? I don’t know. There are several arguments against ad words and most have to do without getting return for your investment but the ad showed up in my gmail box today.