The best deal today is $139 for a Refurbished Kindle Fire. This is sold by Amazon and comes with the same customer service.
Onto the News:
CBS Corporation Reports Record First Quarter 2012 Results – MarketWatch – “Publishing (Simon & Schuster) Publishing revenues for the first quarter of 2012 increased 14% to $176 million from $155 million for the same prior-year period, reflecting strong growth in the sales of more profitable digital content as well as higher print book sales. Sales of digital content increased 64% in the quarter and represented approximately 26% of Publishing’s total revenues, the highest to date. Best selling titles in the first quarter included Kill Shot by Vince Flynn and Lone Wolf by Jodi Picoult. The first quarter of 2012 also benefited from the continued success of fourth quarter releases Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson and 11/22/63 by Stephen King. Publishing OIBDA for the first quarter of 2012 increased 43% to $10 million from $7 million for the same prior-year period. This increase was primarily driven by growth in digital and print book sales, which was partially offset by higher costs related to legal matters.“ MarketWatch. No wonder S&S wanted to settle.
Amanda Hocking’s Blog: How Am I Doing Now? – “Switched came out January 3, 2012 with an initial print run of about 200,000 books in the US, and it’s in its fifth printing. Torn came out February 28, 2012, and I’m actually not sure of its initial print run, but it’s in its third printing. In a recent email from editor, she said that books in series tend to lose momentum as the series goes on with sequels doing slightly worse than the original, but she said that has not been the case with my books. Torn was outselling Switched and doing really well. Ascend came out last week, and my editor told me that my first week sales are already double that of Torn.” Amanda Hocking’s Blog. Trad publishing still serves a large role for many authors. It’s a great post and Hocking goes on to note she feels that her books are stronger due to the editing input. She also notes that Amazon rankings don’t reflect her sales because she had tapped out the market there before going to NY. I don’t see her going back to self publishing soon. She clearly enjoys the support she gets in terms of editing, marketing, and publicity.
Target to stop carrying Amazon Kindle hardware due to ‘conflict of interest’? | The Verge – “According to an internal Target memo we’ve received, the company will be removing Amazon hardware from its locations starting this month. Certain accessories will remain in stock, but shipments of Kindles themselves will cease as of May 13th. While several brick-and-mortar stores we contacted still had the devices in stock, a quick search through Target’s online store reveals that Amazon’s e-readers have already vanished, and the Kindle-branded online store comes up entirely empty. As of this writing, it’s unclear what the nature of the cited conflict of interest is, but it should be noted that Apple recently partnered with the retailer for a small number of “mini-stores” earlier this year. Whether the Kindle move is related — or has implications for Target’s own e-reader ambitions — still remains to be seen” The Verge This is really interesting and I have no idea how it will play out.
Huge rise in ebook sales offsets decline in printed titles | Books | guardian.co.uk – “This is a 366% increase on the previous year, the Publishers Association said, and consumer ebooks are now equivalent to 6% of consumer physical book sales by value. But the strong digital sales come at the expense of print, the yearbook reveals: consumer print sales were down by about 7% in 2011 to £1.579bn. And last year’s decline in print sales is continuing in 2012: £313.6m was spent on printed titles in the first quarter of this year, according to the Bookseller, the lowest first-quarter figure since 2003. Physical book sales in the first three months of 2012 were down 11%, or £39m, compared with the same period in 2011, the Bookseller says, with fiction down 18%, non-fiction down 9% and children’s down 2%.” Guardian UK This is the same pattern for digital books in the US.
Marius Milner, Google Wi-Fi snooping: Assessing the disturbing FCC report on the company’s Street View program. – Slate Magazine – “But Google, unlike other companies, wasn’t just recording the location of people’s Wi-Fi routers. When a Street View car encountered an open Wi-Fi network—that is, a router that was not protected by a password—it recorded all the digital traffic traveling across that router. As long as the car was within the vicinity, it sucked up a flood of personal data: login names, passwords, the full text of emails, Web histories, details of people’s medical conditions, online dating searches, and streaming music and movies. Imagine a postal worker who opens and copies one letter from every mailbox along his route. Google’s sniffing was pretty much the same thing, except instead of one guy on one route it was a whole company operating around the world. The FCC report says that when French investigators looked at the data Google collected, they found “an exchange of emails between a married woman and man, both seeking an extra-marital relationship” and “Web addresses that revealed the sexual preferences of consumers at specific residences.” In the United States, Google’s cars collected 200 gigabytes of such data between 2008 and 2010, and they stopped only when regulators discovered the practice.” Slate Seriously Google, this is awful.
Soon you’ll be able to use your Nook to buy books in Barnes & Noble stores — Tech News and Analysis – “On the heels of yesterday’s news that Microsoft is investing $300 million in Barnes & Noble’s Nook and college businesses, B&N CEO William Lynch says that the company plans to embed NFC (near field communication) chips into Nooks. Users could take their Nook into a Barnes & Noble store and wave it near a print book to get info on it or buy it.” GigaOM Not interested. Give me the option on my phone, yes. Waving my nook around? No.
Race in YA Lit: Wake Up & Smell the Coffee-Colored Skin, White Authors! « Sarah Ockler, Author – “White authors, white characters, white faces, white girls. The scenario isn’t entirely unlike my high school graduation, but it’s no longer the world I see (or want to see) when I look out the window. So why the disconnect? Plenty of YA authors of color are writing about diverse characters, often struggling to get those books out into the world and into the hands of readers. Discussions about the issue focus on a trifecta of economic challenges doused in racial politics: consumers aren’t demanding and buying diverse fiction. So booksellers aren’t stocking and promoting it. So the publishing industry isn’t actively seeking, acquiring, and publishing it (with covers and flap copy that appropriately reflect the characters and story). So consumers aren’t demanding and buying it…” Sara Hockler Such a good read.