Tuesday Midday Links: New Readers, New Prices
Sony quietly launched its new ereaders with a strategy designed to capture a more global market. The three models have been revamped to all feature touch screens. The readers have the same Pearl Ink screen as the Kindle which means better, clearer, crisper text. They all have touch screens which allows on notetaking on the screen and highlighting. The price is still high which the lowest version, the Sony Reader Pocket Edition, coming in at $179. Only the highest end model, the Daily Edition, comes with connectivity (3G and Wifi). Nate at the Digital Reader notes that Sony is working on apps for Android and iThings for late fall release.
Sony has always manufactured a beautiful feeling product and I don’t doubt that these feel great. At $179, though, I think the Kindle is a much better deal particularly because the $139 one comes with the same screen (although no touch) and wifi connectivity. Even the nook at $149 comes with wifi and a small touchscreen.
Borders has cut the prices of the Kobo and Aluretek readers. The Kobo is now $129 and the Aluretek is $99. The Kobo at $129 is too high because it lacks any kind of connectivity, has content issues (not enough content compared to BN and Kindle), and has much lower refresh.
Borders is also going to sell Build a Bear accessories in its children’s section. BN has a large assortment of toys and stuffed animals as well.
After several quarters of struggle, Random House has seemingly turned its ship around with the help of sales by Stieg Larsson. Digital is also growing.
"In the past half year we have really embraced digital transition throughout our companies, replacing anxieties about the format with forward thinking and with well-executed action," Dohle said with Random on track to generate e-book sales of over $100 million (which will roughly be about 5% of worldwide sales). The majority of sales have come in the U.S., but the U.K. and Germany have also seen good gains. E-book publishing operations will soon start in Latin America and Spain.
Michelle sent me this link to an Amazon discussion regarding the bleeding of paranormal romance into urban fantasy. What I think is interesting is how proprietary readers are of their favorite genres and how much they dislike any “mislabeling.” I am the same way for romance. Some of these readers really dislike romance (which is perfectly fine) but I thought reading the thought processes of other readers was interesting.
Sarah Rees Brennan, author of the highly recommended Demon Lexicon books, talks about why she doesn’t write negative reviews. For various reasons from not wanting to unintentionally hurt someone’s feelings to understanding that her viewpoint might not be totally objective, Brennan talks about the books she loves but understands and appreciates those that write the negative reviews. Reviews, she concludes are primarily for readers. (I agree!).