In the ereading category:
- Sony officially announced its two new ebook readers to be available at the end of the month. The more affordable device has a 5″ screen, no external memory card, 512 internal MB on board (that will allow you to load over 500 books depending on the format), and will come in colors of pink, cool blue and silver with a $199 price tag. This link from the LA Times blog has a picture of the pink one and it is cute. The upper end device is $299, has an external memory slot, a touchscreen, and the ability to take notes with a stylus. There is no light and no online connectivity. The prices of new releases and NYT Bestsellers will match Amazon’s pricing at $9.99. My advice if you buy a Sony Reader? Try to buy epub format. Sony reads it and so do other devices like the iPhone.
- Gizmodo has the likelihood of an Apple Tablet release at 90% with a September announcement date and a November release date. I’m saving my pennies (okay, more like my dollar coins, but yes, I am getting one if it is in the the $699-$799 unsubsidized range).
- Shortcovers has announced that its pricing for new release hardcovers and NYT bestsellers will be reduced to $9.99.
- Rupert Murdoch, who is losing money like its on tap at a college kegger, is going to charge for all its online content in 2010. Also, he might break with Amazon over its revenue sharing practices and Amazon’s refusal to provide the name of the subscribers.
- Speaking of HarperCollins, I have been super frustrated with the fact that EOS is pricing its digital books at a premium ($14.99) given the price of the same book in mass market ($7.99). I emailed HarperCollins about this and they said that they would need to hear more consumer feedback on the pricing issue so, please, readers email Eosbooks@harpercollins.com to let them know your pricing concerns. It’s helpful to provide examples. Pass this information along please.
- Jim Baen’s Universe will cease publication due to the lack of subscribers.
In the business category:
- HarperCollins announced that it had another dismal quarter to wrap up an equally dismal year. HC ended the fiscal year on a 20.6% decline in revenue which it blames on the weak market for book sales. HarperCollins is looking forward to the fall when most of the big books are supposed to be published. If the first quarter of the next fiscal year performs down as well, things could be very bad for Harper.
- Last January, I thought it would be neat if there were vending machines in malls for book buyers. Booktopia 2 apparently had this same idea and will be placing up to 200 book vending machines in shopping centres, hospitals and other places (which I can’t read because I don’t subscribe to Bookseller + Publisher). The kicker is that Booktopia 2 is doing this in Australia.
- An article in the NY Observer suggests that if you aren’t a big name author and your manuscript is late, your publisher might be asking for its money back. It’s a cautionary tale and one that wonders why being on time has been something of an anomaly.
From the blogworld: