Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

Wednesday Midday Links: BN Is All About the EBook

This was initially entitled Tuesday’s Midday Links but alas things went astray so I apologize in advance for this post’s length. I know it’s harder to consume the longer it is.

Buried in a blog post by the Editors at the New York Times about the search for a new editor for The New York Times Magazine was the note that NYT would be debuting an ebook bestseller list: “Among the things in the works, a best-seller list for e-books.”

Interesting, isn’t it? What could be on that list? Well, for starters maybe some self published books. Amazon rolled out its new royalty scheme which pays 70% royalties to books sold through its digital self publishing platform. There are some catches. The 70% applies only to books sold in the US (otherwise the royalty is 35%) and if Amazon catches you selling your book lower somewhere else, you are knocked down to the 35% of the lower selling price. Author Moira Rogers has more on this at her blog.

In other Amazon news, the Android App has been released and Kindles will be sold in select airports.


Nate the Great really likes the look of the Blio App. I’ve seen Blio in person and it looks like it is directed more toward non fiction, how-to, textbooks, and children’s illustrated books than long form narrative. However, Blio uses ADE encryption and thus that will be one more App on which you can read ADE books (think Harlequin books in ePub) on your iThings.


Barnes and Noble executives sallied forth to talk to the press to explain why BN will continue to show financial losses. BN plans to expend more money on the digital side of things as well as trying to push educational toys, games and electronic products (Leapfrog perhaps?) and textbooks. William Lynch, CEO, stated “in just a brief 12 months since we launched the Barnes and Noble ebookstore, our share of the digital market already exceeds our share of the retail book market.”

This is in line with what I was talking about on Sunday in that physical retailers are going to be pushing more of their money into digital book selling which will reduce the space that was given over to selling paper books. With an increased focus on selling electronics, games and other devices that are not books, more and more books will be sold online, not just in the digital format.

One analysts predicts that BN will begin closing stores, the more successful their digital book business is.

Of note to us romance readers, (paid link) Riggio said that they have “only a two percent share” of the market for printed romance, but they “project that we already have over 18 percent” of the romance ebook market.”


The Internet Archive is combining forces with libraries to scan in copies of books that the libraries own and then lend that book digitally. The libraries (and IA) argue that this is permissible under Fair Use as it would allow the lending of the book to only one person at a time in either print or digital form. This is a take off of the time shifting decision by the Supreme Court in which the court held that consumers could tape record shows to be viewed later. I’m not certain where this court would come down on the issue of format shifting.


Fictionwise has ended its Micropay program and it is forcing customers to use whatever Micropay that is left in their account whenever they are checking out. I think this signals the end of Fictionwise. I’d recommend downloading all your purchases soon.


Copia, a new entrant into the ebook market, announced pricing for its ebook readers. Guess what? They are no longer eink but LCD instead. I have to say the Copia devices look fairly hideous. Is design no longer important to anyone but Apple? Publishers’ Weekly has the new pricing and details. It doesn’t show on the Copia site. Copia says it is still selling eink devices. Via Teleread.

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


  1. gwen hayes
    Jun 30, 2010 @ 10:26:57

    That is too bad about Fictionwise. I’d hoped they’d figure out how to get the Agency 5 books back at some point.

  2. Erastes Author
    Jun 30, 2010 @ 11:01:57

    Cripes you frightened me. I had to check my computer day. If it’s thursday, I’ve missed a damned important meeting! :D

  3. Jayne
    Jun 30, 2010 @ 11:39:42

    @gwen hayes: I just went and used up what little is left in my Micropay account. Look at how few new ebooks there are listed.

  4. Jane
    Jun 30, 2010 @ 12:32:59

    @Erastes Author It’s obviously thursday in my world. whoops

  5. MaryK
    Jun 30, 2010 @ 13:28:57

    slightly OT, but ebook related:

    Ever since the SBTB discussion about the differences in HP Extra and M&B Modern, I’ve been wanting to read M&B Moderns. Last night I was all set to place an order from M&B, but was able to talk myself out of it b/c of the shipping fee. [did you know they’ll bundle the ebook for an extra pound]

    I really need to find a way to read HQN/M&B ebooks that’s easy and doesn’t compromise my ability to read them in the future. I’ve been looking for a copy of India Grey’s Spanish Aristocrat, and I have three options – an overpriced paper copy, a crippled ebook, or the “shared” copy on the first page of Google results.

  6. Carly
    Jun 30, 2010 @ 13:55:04

    @gwen hayes:
    I agree. It looks like BooksonBoard negotiated with some of the Agency 5 publishers to bring their books back. I want independent ebookstores to succeed, but it feels that hope is out of consumers hands.

  7. library addict
    Jun 30, 2010 @ 13:59:14

    I will miss Fictionwise. Micropay was a great thing while it lasted.

    I blame the B&N buyout more so than the Agency 5 fiasco for their downfall though.

  8. sao
    Jun 30, 2010 @ 14:06:06

    Does the 35% royalty for overseas mean my price is lower if I buy them overseas instead of in the US? Or does this just mean that the books will be unavailable?

  9. Julia Rachel Barrett
    Jun 30, 2010 @ 14:59:48

    Well damn! Just my luck! One step forward two steps back! Two of my books are selling well on Fictionwise! You really think they’ll go under? However, the Amazon self-pup deal sounds outstanding!

  10. Jane
    Jun 30, 2010 @ 15:22:12

    @sao To be part of this program, the author has to sell it in every geographic region it owns the rights to.

  11. Courtney Milan
    Jul 01, 2010 @ 06:32:11

    Jane, re: library digitization and lending.

    The libraries don’t have to rely on fair use; the activity in question, if set up properly, is explicitly authorized as an exception to the exclusive rights of authors under 17 USC 108, in particular (a) and (g).

    You don’t need to fall back on timeshifting/fair use arguments to justify this.

  12. Sheryl Nantus
    Jul 01, 2010 @ 06:43:40

    I’ll admit that I’m a Nook whore.

    What sold me and continues to sell me is the freebies – I can go into a B&N and get a free pastry, or coffee, or 10% off my purchases with my Nook. Different free ebook every Friday plus bonuses for me to go INTO the store, where it’s inevitable that I spend money.

    B&N is doing it right, IMO. They’re managing to intergrate the bookstore and ebookstore and making it work.


  13. DianeN
    Jul 01, 2010 @ 07:50:38

    @Sheryl Nantus:

    I really like the “read in the store” option. Seems like I’m always looking for some book that isn’t physically on the shelves of my B & N store. With the nook, I can grab a comfy chair and a latte and read it for up to an hour online. That’s more than enough time to decide if I really want to buy it–or I can just go back to the store and keep on reading!

  14. brooksse
    Jul 03, 2010 @ 10:24:55

    It’s ironic reading about B&N wanting to grow their digital business followed by the Fictionwise piece.

    Up until recently, FW was one of my favorite places to buy ebooks. I liked their 100% rebates and their buywise club (which I bought during a 100% rebate special). Their first week discounts used to be pretty good, and they had some good sales every now and then. And I really like their multi-format ebooks for non-DRM ebooks.

    But considering what’s been going on recently at FW, it seems to me that B&N doesn’t care about their FW customers. And for that reason I won’t purchase ebooks from B&N. I have the B&N ereader on my iPod Touch, but that’s only for free ebooks & for sampling. I won’t buy anything from them.

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