Weekend News Round Up
All the links I should have posted this week but didn’t:
Kovid has released Calibre 0.6, a major upgrade to the best software program in existence for digital book readers. This program allows you to manage, rate, sort, tag, convert your ebooks. If you don’t have it, you should. Calibre is available for Windows, MAC, and Linux users. Kovid even has demo videos available for those new and confused users of Calibre. It never ceases to astound me when free products are better than the pay products. It’s a sad state of things, frankly. (If you are a user of Calibre, please consider donating to Kovid because this product is just so outstanding).
Amazon media sales, which includes books, DVDs, music, video games and video game consoles, was “flat” in the second quarter. Sales of the Kindles were purportedly strong but those sales fall within the electronics segment.
Sales for the entire company increased 14%, to $4.65 billion, but net income fell 10%, to $142 million. Unfavorable exchange rates lowered sales and earnings at the corporate level. One-time items also lowered earnings. The company said it expects total sales to rise between 11% and 23% in the third quarter, a projection that excludes the online shoe retailer Zappos.com that Amazon bought yesterday.
Via Publishers Weekly.
According to a new study, “71 per cent of consumers would be happy to look elsewhere if they encountered poor customer service.” The recession is creating a “hypersensitive consumer” which means if a customer has a poor retail experience, the customer will simply leave and not return.
For publishers who are looking to convert their books into epub, Shortcovers is offering a new program:
Shortcovers by Indigo Books & Music, Inc. ….announced its Publisher Conversion Program, a cost-effective service allowing any publisher to convert documents to EPUB format compatible with multiple eReading devices and services.
At no cost to publishers, Shortcovers will convert selected files into EPUB format and exclusively distribute the digital content and determine pricing in the Shortcovers store;
For a fee that can be 50 percent less than other conversion options available to small and mid-sized publishers, Shortcovers will translate documents into EPUB format, make them available through the Shortcovers web and mobile storefronts and return the EPUB files to the publisher to distribute to other third parties.
Apple is coming out with a tablet priced somewhere in the $700 range according to Apple Insider. The screen size is purportedly 10 inches and there are also rumors that the tablet will be subsidized by a data plan available through Verizon. I will be foregoing any purchases, including food (okay, that’s probably a lie as I love to eat), until I can afford the Apple Tablet.