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Tuesday Midday Tech Links: BN’s Reader Is Called Nook. Not...

nook_ebooks_f1

Barnes and Noble is launching its Nook today. Some people are saying it will be in stores this weekend for hands on fondling. It’s certainly one of the best of the latest crop of devices with its dual screen nature. The lower half appears to be a touchscreen LCD which will allow faster browsing of titles, input of notes, and color access. The price is $259.00.

Updated:

  • BN’s Nook has 3G connectivity and wifi.
  • You will be able to access an entire ebook for free while inside the BN store, just like a paper book.
  • The lending feature will allow readers to share their copy with another person using Nook or ereader. software for up to 14 days.   You will not be able to access the book during this period of time.
  • The device will begin shipping November 30 and is available only through BN stores and BN.com.
  • There is no  affiliate links for the nook, only for individual books and for the nook accessories.
  • Nook will accept DRMed versions of eReader and ePub.
  • You can load mp3s but not Audible books.

This video shows off an OLED display for a dedicated e-reader. Yeah, I am waiting for the next generation of ebook reader at this point which I believe will be a multi function device, perhaps a web tablet.

Patricia Cornwell is suing her financial advisors for losing some $40 million.

Cornwell accuses Snapper-’who once allegedly told her that Anchin would "do everything for its clients including buying and delivering their toilet paper"-’of a variety of misdeeds. These apparently include everything from purchasing goods and services on her behalf from favored Anchin clients, to mishandling rental properties, construction jobs, and tax returns, to cutting a check for $5,000 as a bat mitzvah gift for his daughter ("whom Ms. Cornwell has never met," the lawsuit notes dryly).

The Internet Archive has launched Bookserver, a webserver that will craw the internet looking for every bit of information about a book, index it, and regurgitate the results in a helpful manner. Imagine typing in the name of a book and having the search results show you that it is for sale in print, digital, and audio form; and the place where you can buy it along with all sorts of other interesting information such as blurbs, covers, excerpts, related reviews and blog postings. Sounds awesome. You can read more from Fran Toolan on this here. This article talks about accessibility and delivery of books to the underprivileged.

The print price war is on. Target joined the fray yesterday by reducing the price of select number of hardcovers to $8.99 (with free shipping no less). The product of this type of pricing can be reframing consumer expectations. If 20 hardcovers are priced at the $8.99 price, who is going to want to pay more? Retailers are more able to withstand the loss leader pricing than publishers can withstand consumer expectations. As a consumer, the low pricing makes me stand up and cheer. But as a reading advocate, I wonder whether this type of pricing will a) lead to the erosion of hardcovers altogether and b) whether that means a loss of valuable voices in the marketplace. There’s a lot to discuss and ponder here and as one independent bookseller noted to Shelf Awareness, it’s time to have a conversation about this. Right now, though, Kindred in Death is available for $8.99 with free shipping from just about everywhere.

Sears is offering you a gift card for $9 for every qualifying book you buy from Wal-mart, Amazon or Target online. The gift card is good toward a purchase of $45 or more (but only on line). So the book is free, sort of. I can’t remember the last time I bought anything from Sears.

Penguin Publishing has some good news:

At Penguin, headline sales were up 12% (CER sales down 4%) as the expected tough retail market conditions were largely offset by a good publishing performance, strong growth in eBook sales (up almost fourfold and with almost 12,000 eBooks now available) and good growth in international markets such as South Africa.

CER apparently means Constant Exchange Rate which I take to mean that if the exchange rate weren’t fluctuating, the sales would be down 4%. The press release notes that 60% of Pearson’s sales are in the U.S. I saw another link indicate that Pearson was selling strong in India and China in both educational and trade markets. (I can’t seem to locate the link now).

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

33 Comments

  1. Maili
    Oct 20, 2009 @ 10:08:23

    Some $40 million? Ouch. Gave them power of attorney to sign her cheques? Double ouch.

    ReplyReply

  2. Janine
    Oct 20, 2009 @ 10:12:14

    That OLED display looks amazing but what’s it like in terms of eyestrain?

    ReplyReply

  3. Cathy
    Oct 20, 2009 @ 10:29:19

    The Nook? Oof. Does it come with a free case called “the cranny?”
    (I agree, “Kindle” is a little goofy, but I would worry about being slapped if I asked someone how many books they can fit in their Nook.)

    ReplyReply

  4. Natalia
    Oct 20, 2009 @ 10:45:57

    The part that makes me the most excited is that the Nook is rumored to have book lending capability. Sharing books is a huge part of my book/reading experience, so I have been avoiding ebooks because that was not an option… Once they announce the extent of the sharing capability, this might be the device I finally go for.

    Also, I think the name is cute… though “nook e-book reader” sounds a lot like “nookie book reader” ;)

    ReplyReply

  5. maddie
    Oct 20, 2009 @ 10:59:28

    I think someone over at Barnes n Nobles should have researched “NOOK” a bit more just read difference definitions over at the urban Dictionary and scratching my head as to why they would name it a NOOK.

    Check it out.

    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=nook

    ReplyReply

  6. StephS
    Oct 20, 2009 @ 11:12:39

    “Barnes and Noble is launching its Nook today. Some people are saying it will be in stores this weekend for hands on fondling.”

    So you’re saying this weekend I can get a little Nookie? (yes I am ashamed of myself but I couldn’t resist!)

    ReplyReply

  7. Caligi
    Oct 20, 2009 @ 12:31:24

    Honestly, if hardcover went away for fiction, and especially genre fiction, I would be a very, very happy person. I won’t buy hardcover anyways – too expensive, doesn’t fit on the shelves with my MMPs, doesn’t fit in my purse, uncomfortable to read – so if it went away I would stop needing to wait a year for those schmancy books to go to MMP. I kind of hope this price war kills fiction hardcover.

    Now, non-fiction, reference, art books and the like I will happily buy in hardcover, since they will likely get reread, bookmarked and generally manhandled. Romance gets read in an afternoon then forgotten about 9 times out of 10. I don’t need a sturdy binding for that.

    ReplyReply

  8. joanne
    Oct 20, 2009 @ 12:59:55

    Can someone pleeeeeeeeeease explain the price-war with the Kindred In Death book? The same thing happened with the new Dan Brown pre-order and I just don’t get why publishers and/or distributors would do this kind of major discounting with books that were almost guaranteed to be bestsellers anyway. Is there something obvious that I’m missing or is it the New Math?

    Re Patricia Cornwell: It took enough time for the misappropriations to reach 40 million dollars? I’m sorry but my empathy button must be broken.

    ReplyReply

  9. S.
    Oct 20, 2009 @ 13:23:43

    Joanne, IIRC, Wal-mart recently started the current round by deciding to drop all of their top ten or maybe 20 online pre-orders down to $9 to beat Amazon’s Kindle prices. Amazon is price matching. Now Target is dropping those books all down to $8.99.

    I’m sure that the publishers aren’t very happy about it, but between Wal-mart and Amazon, I bet they’re being squeezed to play ball. More likely, the retailers are willing to sell the books at a loss since the idea is that you’ll buy other things at the same time (like to get Amazon’s free shipping for a $25+ order).

    ReplyReply

  10. Jess B.
    Oct 20, 2009 @ 13:27:27

    Some webmaster a B&N seems to have launched the site a little early for those that want to take a peek: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/nook/features/techspecs/

    I kind of like the name nook, but I’m strange. Absent from the site so far is a more comprehensive list of formats supported as well as any mention of partnering with OverDrive like Sony did. Those two points could really pull me away from a Sony and into a B&N fast.

    ReplyReply

  11. Becca
    Oct 20, 2009 @ 14:16:11

    I work at Borders, but the Nook looks very attractive to me. It’s got an expandable slot for a mini-SD card, which I like, and would have to pay more to get the Sony Touch – and I really don’t want the touch screen on the Sony. If it truly allows book sharing, and if it supports most of the good formats, I may just start saving my pennies for one.

    ReplyReply

  12. jmc
    Oct 20, 2009 @ 14:32:34

    The Nook? Well, I’m a dork and am seldom up slang until it is in extremely common usage, so the name doesn’t matter. But I’m not interested in yet another reader. My next tech purchase will likely not be an ebook reader.

    My sympathy for Cornwell is at zero. There’s trusting a professional and there’s stupidity. Signing an unlimited power of attorney and then (I’m guessing) not noticing where your money went? Is stupid. I can’t tell you how often clients would come in to rewrite their employee policies and management policies after having embezzlement problems — because the embezzler had the ability to sign the checks.

    ReplyReply

  13. Phyllis
    Oct 20, 2009 @ 14:38:52

    1) nookie
    2) Dr. Seuss – “But a Nook can’t read, so a Nook can’t cook. What use to a Nook is a hook cook book?” (From One Fish, Two Fish)
    3) Never heard the urban slang ones, but then I mostly haven’t when people say to look them up.

    ReplyReply

  14. katiebabs
    Oct 20, 2009 @ 14:42:29

    I think the Nook name is cute. Not many know of the Urban Dictionary. It would be hilarious if the B&N powers that be did find out the UF definition of Nook. LOL.

    ReplyReply

  15. Chrissy
    Oct 20, 2009 @ 15:42:20

    Borders is launching CREVICE next week.

    ReplyReply

  16. Jess B.
    Oct 20, 2009 @ 16:05:31

    @Chrissy: FTW!

    ReplyReply

  17. maddie
    Oct 20, 2009 @ 16:21:39

    @Chrissy:

    Glad I was not drinking when I read this too funny.

    ReplyReply

  18. Nonny Mouse
    Oct 20, 2009 @ 16:26:56

    Those who don’t know about Urban Dictionary will find out pretty soon once they google for ‘nook’, though.

    I can’t believe nobody at BN bothered to do that before deciding on the name.

    ReplyReply

  19. library addict
    Oct 20, 2009 @ 17:50:16

    As much as I want a Sony Touch, I have decided to wait to see what this next generation of ereaders brings. An E-ink screen (or something similar which won't cause eyestrain), expandable memory, and the ability to organize files are the most important factors to me. But I won't deny I want my ereading device to look nice and come in pretty colors – LOL. Plus the $250 – $300 or more price tag is still too high for me.

    I love hardcover books because they last longer. So I hope they don’t go away. I’m still bummed I can’t get all of the early In Death books or the JD Robb novellas from the various anthologies in hardcover. The mix of hc and pb makes that row on my bookshelf look silly.

    I would be more worried about the whole $9 hardcover/price war and its affect on the future of publishing if Wal-Mart and Target announced they were going to price match in their brick-and-mortar stores. When I am shopping on-line, it is much easier to stick with purchasing only those items for which I am specifically looking. I am much, much more inclined to impulse buy if I am in an actual store. So the whole “look only $9 come and buy me” doesn't work if the purpose is to get me to add other items into my virtual shopping cart.

    ReplyReply

  20. Caligi
    Oct 20, 2009 @ 18:02:48

    That Urban Dictionary definition is nowhere near common usage, come on.

    Most people think of a cozy space – a la “breakfast nook” – or that silly English muffin ad campaign with the “nooks and crannies.” Hardly anyone is going to see that word and think of puss. Please.

    If you do a Google search, a page full of knitting stores, coffee shops and book stores show up, with that UD entry well below the fold. UD has a filthy alternate meaning for everything.

    ReplyReply

  21. Elly Soar
    Oct 20, 2009 @ 18:35:04

    So wait, if the Nook accepts ereader and epub formats, does that mean it couldn’t read any of the Harlequin books?

    ReplyReply

  22. Jane
    Oct 20, 2009 @ 18:38:36

    @Elly Soar Yes, that’s right. It is based on Android so it’s possible a hack could be made.

    ReplyReply

  23. Miki
    Oct 20, 2009 @ 19:15:02

    Harlequin books are available in eReader – only not from eHarlequin, which makes no sense to me. eReader is the only DRM’d format I buy, and I buy HQN books at Fictionwise.

    ReplyReply

  24. Caligi
    Oct 20, 2009 @ 21:28:54

    I buy MS Reader books from Harlequin and convert them to epub. It’s easy peasy, if a teensy bit illegal. No idea how drm is actually legal, but this is the country that brought us “the internet is not a truck.”

    ReplyReply

  25. Grace Fonseca
    Oct 20, 2009 @ 22:51:38

    Wow. I just looked at this. I have a Kindle. I like it, but remember this is a new technology and is still evolving. I used Calibre if I need something converted to a file format that my e-reader can read. That’s what I do. This is nice and all, but in five years this technology will evolve into something even better than we have now, at least we hope.

    ReplyReply

  26. DS
    Oct 21, 2009 @ 04:54:25

    I adore gadgets, but there is nothing new and shiny about this one.

    I don’t know it if has a browser but my web book developed a boot problem while I was on a trip last week and I was able to use my Kindle for basic web tasks including accessing my bank accounts. That was a life saver. I hate to use technology center computers in hotels.

    And the name Nook does bring out my inner 12 year old boy.

    ReplyReply

  27. jmc
    Oct 21, 2009 @ 05:32:44

    Second (cynical) thought on Cornwell, even as I acknowledge that $40M is a lot of money to “lose”: doesn’t she have a new book out? No press is bad press at release time… Maybe people will take pity and buy?

    ReplyReply

  28. Becca
    Oct 21, 2009 @ 08:29:07

    what’s new and shiny about this one is that it has features of both the Sony Reader and the Kindle, so it’s the best of both of their worlds at a reasonable (more or less) price. I’ll be interested to see Amazon’s and Sony’s reactions to this.

    ReplyReply

  29. Lakaribane
    Oct 23, 2009 @ 21:12:35

    Speaking of the Nook and it’s accessories, the more crafty among might want to purchase this sewing pattern:

    ” wireless reading device cover”

    I guess just about everybody is getting onboard the ebook/ereader train, right?

    ReplyReply

  30. bob cob
    Feb 26, 2010 @ 14:41:27

    I Forsook the nook. Bought one. Jammed 3 times in the first 15 minutes of use. BN still wants to charge me a 10% restocking fee.

    The nook is ruining BN’s reputation.

    ReplyReply

  31. Olivia
    Feb 26, 2010 @ 15:21:25

    @bob cob: I’ve had mine for over a month now, and have had zero problems with it. I use it daily. I buy from various websites, not just BN. Only thing it’s lacking is a backlight.

    I’m surprised they just didn’t exchange it for you unless you gave up on it as it soured your experience. I’ve had that happen with things.

    I ALMOST bought a ebookwise reader due to it’s backlight and cheap price, but I couldn’t get a hold of their CS department on some questions I had.

    Good luck. I’d like to know what ereader you eventually purchase.

    ReplyReply

  32. Tuesday Midday Links Roundup: RWA Conference Faces Uncertainty with Nashville Flooding | Dear Author
    May 04, 2010 @ 11:04:32

    [...] a number of online retailers, prompted by Amazon, began selling the bestsellers for $9.99.  Even Sears got into the game by providing a $9.00 gift card for every qualifying book you bought online at Target, Wal-Mart, or [...]

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