Tag Archives: kindle

Aluratek eBook Reader Pro

Priced at $149 check out this interesting device which comes with a 2GB card and offers 100 public domain books (including The Bible).

The device works with PDFs, ePubs and Mobi files. Although it it does not have all the cool features of Kindle, for that kind of a price it may work out to be an inexpensive solution for users who might want to read ebooks available online and not through the Kindle store.

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Another Author bows to ebook trend – John Grisham

John Grisham, one of the best known thriller author across the globe has finally decided to open up all his backlist of 23 novels in ebook format. Which means that owners of Kindle, Nook, Sony ereader and soon iPad will be able to read all his backlists on their device.

Is this just a small change in the direction of authors working directly working with ebook retailers like (Amazon, Apple, Google , B&N) to launch their books 🙂 My bets are that this is bound to happen in few Genre (Thriller, Romance), where the form factor of ebook readers and laptop give the end users a fine reading experience.

I personally believe that the true inflection point for the ebook industry would come the day J K Rowling decides to make her books available as ebooks 🙂

I have decided to create a list of Authors that decide to go the ebook way.

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3 Reasons Why E-Book Failed In 2000 And What It Means For 2010

There is no doubt that 2010 has a lot to gain from the e-book industry. There are six e-book devices (Kindle, Nook, iPad etc) in the market and more soon to be released. As per predictions from a major business magazine up to seven million of these devices will be offered for sale next year.

Moreover, one of the major consulting firms have predicted that e-book sales will account for close to 10 percent of the the publishing market in five years. Clearly that indicates the rate at which more and more publishers will switch to electronic book publishing.

But this was not the case in the year 2000. Here are a few reasons for what went wrong in 2000 for the e-book industry and how could those mistakes be avoided in2010.

1. Lack of sufficient e-books – One of the mindsets that users of e-book devices had and still have is that if they don’t get to read all the books (literally all books under the sun) on their device then the worth of the device starts losing its value. If voracious readers are asked how many books would they like to read on their e-book device they would just say all (else there is no point spending hundreds of dollars on the device).

But in 2000 there weren’t much e-books available. They were expensive to covert to an e-book format and publishers were too reluctant to think in those terms. Today, the scenario is different – far better (although much scope to improve). Almost all of the top 10 New York Time Bestsellers were available in e-book format. Although some issues around the availability is the timing. Barnes & Nobles had 15 books i its Coming Soon List but made only 6 out of those 15 were made available in eb–k format the same time as the print release. That still is and will continue to be a huge concern for users and this is somethig the ebook industry should be careful about.

Another concern that needs to be addressed is the gaps in the way the books are available. For example many of the books of popular authors are not available in the Kindle store but are available in Nook device. There needs to be some consistency here in order to increase the e-book adoption rate.

2. Pricing – In 2000 many of the ebooks were priced the same as their print versions. But the way a user percieves a hardcover book is different from the way he would look at an e-book. Hardcover  books gives a nice feeling, has more substance and they can keep it in their book shelves to show how tasteful they are. But all of this is missing in an e-book. Moreover, due to the same reason the cost of publishing an ebook is much lower as compared to  a paperback/hardcover.  So why not pass on that cost saving to the users. keeping the same price is definitely not justfiable.

Amazon had been trying to resolve this by pricing the ebooks much lower than their print versions but this arrangement could not be carried on due to challenges raised by Macmillan. And now Apple also in a way supporting what Macmillan had been asking for the industry is shifting towards agency model pricing (where the publisher and NOT the retailers decide the price of the ebook at which the retailers will have to sell to the end users).  Pricing still remains a big topic of debate in 2010.

3. Poor Marketing – One of the ways by which a market for tech prodcucts are created is by identifying a groups of users and some of the problems they are facing and then trying to solve their problem with the product. I am not sure if ebook had succeded in filling up this gap back in 2000. But even now I am not sure if that need for an ebook device/reader is felt very highly. I think most of the buzz and envestment in the ebook industry is still being driven a lot by strategy than by user needs. Its just that ebooks are considered to be a huge area of oportunity and so all publishers and electronic companies are jumping into making their own device just to be sure to take full benefits of the opportunity. I think the need/benefit for an ebook needs to be better pronounced. Check out Amazon’s announcement of why one should use kindle – Point to see is that it lists all the features but not the benefits to the users.

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Amazon Launches Kindle for Mac

Amazon today launched its kindle app for Mac in its endeavor to become a ebook platform that span across all the devices.

Amazon’s e-book application automatically saves and synchronizes bookmarks and last page read across devices.

Features that will be added to Kindle for Mac in the near future include full-text search and the ability to create and edit notes and highlights.

Full analysis here

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Ebook Pricing War Between Apple and Amazon – Who Will Win Publishers or Amazon

As we all know book publishing industry is going through one of the biggest industry defining change in last 100+ years. When the industry seemed all ready to go ahead with the ebooks (with Amazon successfully launching and selling kindle and kindle books) Apple decide to disrupt the party with its announcement of launch of iBook Store through iPad and by signing Agency model (a pricing mode were publishers decide at what price they want to sell their books to the end users contrary to the normal distribution deal that publishers had with Amazon where publishers sell these books to Amzon at normal discount on list price and Amazon can sell it to publisher at whatever price) deal with Top 5 publishers (all the top except Random House)

The ebook pricing model is going through an interesting time with Apple trying to talk to publisher (both small and big) to go for agency model (which means 70% for publisher & 30%  for retailer split) and get an assurance that they will not sell the same book at a lower price through any other retailer (read Amazon). Amazon on the other hand has made it clear that it is not going to sign Agency model deal with any one except the Top 5 Apple publishers. This has left Publishers in a dilemma.If they go for Agency model with Apple they will not be able to sell through Amazon because Apple deal will not allow them to sell the same ebook at a lower price anywhere else and if they do not sell through Apple then they are increasing the power of Amazon even more.

The solution to this stalemate is

1. Apple becomes more flexible and decides to have a mix of both Agency and normal wholesale model (offer similar revenue split for agency and normal wholesale model i.e. 70%/30%)

2. or Amazon is fine with Publishers doing Agency agreement for ebooks sales.

Next few months are going to be really interesting as Amazon will try its best to use its clout in print books to arm twist mid and small publishers in staying away from Agency model and Apple will try its best to make its ebook offering best by having as many publishers in the program as possible. The third big player in this game is Google. It will interesting to see which way will Google go with its Google Editions offering.

Lets wait and watch and enjoy the game. My bets are on Amazon 🙂

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Why Should I Buy An Apple iPad

I am sure many others are debating whether or not to buy an Apple Ipad (Apple is already taking pre-orders for April delivery). There are many features that we would have loved to have in the Apple Ipad but i still think there are several which can make this a good buy.

1. Pretty Robust ebook platform:

Ipad probably is the best and most robust option that you have for an ebook reader (others – Amazon Kindle, B&N Nook, Sony ebook reader etc). There can be three sources from which you can buy and read ebooks

a. Directly from IBook Store using IBook App : I am sure Apple biz dev folks are talking to all the top pubishers to include them in the book store

b. Using Other Apps (KIndle, Nook etc) : If a book is not available on Ibook you can download a Kindle or Nook App to buy the books

c. Access Books from cloud (Google Editions): There is a very high probability that many international books are not available through IBook, Kindle or Nook. Google has done a great job of working with thousands of publishers/libraries across the globe to make these books accessible to users (through Google Book Search program). I am sure Google will be talking to these publishers to include these books in Google Editions (Google’s cloud based ebook platform)

d. Read freely available ebooks (epub format): Apple Ibook app will allow you to upload any epub fomat ebook that you might have (many free ebook services like project Gutenberg provide book in epub format)

I dont belive any other Ebook device can provide you with such a robust solution. However, It will be intersting to check out other factors:

i. Size/Weight of the device: The device definitely is bigger than Kindle. Which might be good for a better Newpaper/magazine reading experience.

ii. Battery backup : The color screen will definitely use more battery as compared to Kindle so more frequent charging of your Ipad

iii. Reading experience: Apple Ipad will not use e-Ink format that Nook and Kindle use. E-Ink based devices are supposed to provide readers a better and more comfortable reading experience. Reading in sunlight might be problematic too.

It seems Apple will not support Flash. There are many rich media sites (Hulu etc.) that use flash. However, I believe that these companies anyway will have Iphone App.

2. Form factor:

Apple Ipad has a huge form factor advantage. This huge screen would be great for viewing TV episodes and movies on the device.  There are already various apps available on iphone App store to view your favorite TV shows on the move.

3. Access to thousands of Apps through Itunes:

Since the device can connect to internet and will have itune store available on the device there will not be any hassle of synching the device to your PC/Laptop. And you all of a sudden have access to thousands of Apps available through App store.

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Will Amazon Give Free Kindle to Amazon Prime Members

The book market is buzzed with news that Amazon might hand out free KIndle to all the Amazon Prime members.

I believe it will be a very interesting move by Amazon to capture market even before iPad comes as an option for the consumers. (Their should be substantial overlap between the potential iPad customers and Amazon prime member.)

I believe with this move Amazon is trying to capture the ebook market by locking in the customer eventhough it will mean that their chances of become profitable from e-book sales will become even longer. (Amazon though has been a master of that art: Taking initial hit to gain long term market share and hence revenue/profit)

I am waiting eagerly for the final announcement to come and then opting for a Amazon prime Membership. May be i will buy more from Amazon once i have that membership and Amazon will make more money from customers like me (hence compensating for the cost of free Kindle)

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