Kindle and eBooks Keep Popping Up
Lately I’ve been so busy when I run across something I want to read I just open it in a Firefox tab and then save it until I have time to go back and read it. I’m not sure if it was tunnel vision or there has just been a ton of news in the eBook and Kindle area. Not to mention a little bit of controversy. Sorry for the somewhat rambling thoughts.
Since I know everyone loves controversy let’s hit that part first. In a strange bit of coincidence there was a hullaboo (is that a word?) over Amazon erasing copies of George Orwell’s “1984″ and “Animal Farm” from the Kindles of people who had purchased them. You can read the full article on NYTimes.com. According to an Amazon spokesman the books were provided by a company that did not have rights to them. I’m kind of curious that Amazon did not research this before accepting the content from that company. I also wonder if any other ebook stores like for the Sony Reader had the same problem or if Amazon was the biggest (only) offender? It also makes one nervous about the fact that Amazon was basically able to “reach into” people’s libraries and delete a book and the Kindle owner had no way of preventing this. Granted Amazon admitted this was not the smartest of plans but you never know what may happen in the future. I really liked the quote in this other NYTimes.com article (Some E-Books Are More Equal Than Others) “it’s like Barnes & Noble sneaking into our homes in the middle of the night, taking some books that we’ve been reading off our nightstands, and leaving us a check on the coffee table.”
This kind of thing adds one more argument against the idea of e-books (along side with you can’t “loan” your copy to a friend or sell your copy to a “used” bookstore).
Another interesting blog post I came across was at Presenting Lenore.
She listed some pros and cons about eReaders and listed one of the factors that made her rethink getting an eReader was the NetGalley service. From their site they say it’s where publishers can invite readers to request galleys in print or digitally. I browsed the titles available and there were a few interesting one. I requested one in print and the other two were only available digitally. This will be interesting to see how I can schedule it in among my print copies of books to review. Maybe it’s the whole out of sight out of mind but I notice I take longer to review digital books.
She also mentioned HarperCollins starting a pilot eARC program. I wish I could find information about that because it sounds really interesting and seems like a good chance to really utilize my Kindle. I would also love to get onto their young adult reviewers list. Something I have not managed to do yet to my extreme sorrow(come on HarperTeen, pretty please)
And a couple interesting things about eBook sales and pricing…
Black Plastic Sunglasses wrote “Demand Pricing for Ebooks” that mentioned a couple things I did not know. Apparently there was a stir caused by an announcement that Sourcebooks would be delaying the ebook version of some new titles in fear of cannibalizing print sales. The thing I didn’t know is that Amazon pays based on the list price and not the $9.99 they are charging for the ebook. So Amazon is actually usually selling at a loss. Here I thought the publisher was taking a loss and that was why they were upset. So still not positive on why publishers are sometimes so negative. Although this does raise the concern of when is the other shoe going to drop and Amazon raises the prices about the $9.99 price tag?
Not being an avid hardback book purchaser I can’t really say if delaying the ebook version would affect my purchasing. One thing I can say is if they offered the hardback along with the ebook version for a small additional price I might be tempted. That way I can read the hardback copy at home and the digital version during my commute.
One last interesting note about this is I saw in Shelf Awareness’s July 15 issue that E-books have increased by 196.6%. I’m not sure if this was just during the month of May or for the year to date but that seems like a phenomenal growth rate and in this economy publishers should really target that area (granted it’s small now but seems to be growing fast.)
Last tidbit of news I came across…
Barnes and Noble jumps on the eBook bandwagon. TUAW The Unofficial Apple Weblog posted that Barnes and Noble has launched a free eBook reader for the iPhone and are they thinking of launching a rival device to the Kindle? Sounds like there are some frustrations in using the free app but might be worth checking out if I ever get an iPhone.