Archive for March, 2010

Kobo Celebrating the End of Pre-Agency Days   no comments

Posted at 9:11 am in eBook Stores,Kobo,Other eReaders,Random

The agency ebook pricing pricing model should start to take effect at midnight tonight.  Ebooks of three large publishers will be affected from midnight ET tonight and prices of titles from two more publishers are due to change on Saturday, April 3rd.

Kobobooks.comis having a “Party Like It’s $9.99” pre-agency party and says that yesterday was their best sales day ever.  Kobo recommends purchasing as many ebooks as you can before the new pricing model goes into effect, and to that end they are offering a $2 off coupon good for as many ebooks as you like.  The coupon code is 2party.

Kobo also has a demo video of the Kobo eReader up on YouTube.  The new ereader is due out in the early part of May and Kobo announced yesterday that they were beginning to take pre-orders.


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Written by Richard on March 31st, 2010

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Gorld 600TW – eReader with Phone   no comments

Posted at 9:21 am in Other eReaders,Random

The Beijing Gorld company has announced a new ereader for the ChineseGorld 600TW-eReader-With-Phone market.  What makes this one a little different is that the Gorld 600TW has the dubious distinction of being the first ereader with a built-in cell phone.

Other than the phone this is pretty standard fare:  a 6-inch e-ink screen with 16 grayscales, 6,000 page turns per charge, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, MP3 playback.  There also appears to be a voice recording function.

It doesn’t make a lot of sense to me having a phone built into an ereader – I can just imagine holding this up to my ear in the middle of a business meeting – but I guess someone had to do it.  The Gorld 600TW ereader also does text messaging, and I could see this as being possibly useful.

Via Cloned In China


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Written by Richard on March 30th, 2010

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iPad at Best Buy Very Limited on Launch Day   no comments

Posted at 12:23 pm in Random,Tablets

TUAW reports that while many Best Buy stores will have iPads in stock on launch day, each store will have only 15 units to sell which also includes the not-for-sale demo units.  This from a leaked Best Buy internal memo.


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Written by Richard on March 29th, 2010

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BeBook Neo Firmware Update Available   no comments

Posted at 11:55 am in Bebook,Random

BeBook has just announced that they have a new firmware update for the Neo.  Some of the fixes are:

  • Wi-Fi compatibility: Neo will now be able to connect with WEP/WPA/WPA2 encryption – formerly WEP was not supported.
  • MP3 playback.
  • Shortcut added to manually pull up the virtual keyboard.
  • Power management improved.
  • "Over the air"  fulfillment of transactions using the (on device) Adobe Reader has been improved.
  • Memory usage has been optimized.
  • Touch screen response improved.
  • Page turning speed improved.
  • Java Script compatibility has been improved.

Too bad I have not got my Neo ereader back yet so that I can try this out.  The update can be downloaded from BeBook’s Neo support section, where you will also find instructions on how to do the install.

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Written by Richard on March 29th, 2010

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iPad vs eReaders – Surveys Predicting Usage and Purchase Intent   no comments

Posted at 11:40 am in Random,Tablets

A survey performed by ChangeWave a few weeks ago seemed to indicate that amongst potential buyers of ereaders more were planning to buy the Ipad rather than the Kindle or another dedicated ereading device.  Also according to this survey a little over a quarter of those who had recently purchased an ereader would have bought an iPad instead if it had been available.  The ChangeWave survey was of 3,171 consumers and came out the week after the iPad announcement. 

One of the questions on the survey “From the list of possible uses, please tell us which ones you’re most interested in using on the iPad. (Check No More Than Three)”  resulted in:

  1. Surfing the Internet came in first place at 68%.
  2. Checking email at second place with 44%.
  3. Reading books came in third at 37%.
  4. Reading newspapers and periodicals came in third place with 28%.
  5. Watching video came in fifth at 24%. 

This same survey also found that 27% of recent ereader purchasers would have opted for the iPad if it had been available at the time of their purchase, and that 40% of those planning to buy an ereader in the next 90 days would opt of the iPad.

Last week the results of a survey by comScore were released.  This comes almost a month after the initial iPad announcement by Steve Jobs.  By this time there had been a lot of scrutiny of the iPad and comparisons between it and other competing tablets coming to market.  This survey was of 2,176 internet users.

ComScore’s survey results predict purchase intent of customers who plan on purchasing an ereader within three months as follows:

  1. Apple iPad comes in first at 15%.
  2. Amazon Kindle gets 14%.
  3. Barnes and Noble nook at 10%.
  4. Sony ereaders get 9%.

Curiously, the Samsung Papyrus came in at fifth place with 8% of respondents planning to buy this ereader.  This even though the Papyrus is not available in the US.  Perhaps this is a result of confusion with the Samsung E6 ereader, which will be available soon at B & N.

As for usage intentions, this survey found that the top four intended uses were:

  1. 50% of iPad owners will use it for surfing the Web.
  2. 48% will use the iPad for email.
  3. 38% will use the iPad for listening to music.
  4. 37% will use the iPad for reading books. (tied in fourth place with maintaining a contact list/address book).

ComScore also found that:

Younger consumers indicated a high willingness to pay for news and magazines specially formatted for e-readers. 68 percent of 25-34 year olds and 59 percent of 35-44 year olds said they were willing to pay for this content, representing substantially higher percentages than people age 45 and older.

This is a bit surprising.

Another study by Morpace (also last week) found that 47% of purchasers intending to purchase netbooks and 49% of those intending to purchase ereaders would wait until seeing an iPad before making their purchasing decisions.  For those planning to purchase laptops 28% were waiting to see the iPad before making their purchase.  This survey was of 1,000 consumers aged 18 and over.

The usage intent shown by the surveys seems to fit in with my expectations of how people will use iPads based on what I’ve been told by people I’ve talked to who have ordered Apple’s new tablet.  I think we are going to see a massive wave of iPad enabled couch-based Web surfing.  I would also expect that in the first few months after the iPad ships there will be a lot of ebooks sold for it as new owners stock up their tablets.  In the long term though I would expect that iPad owners will account for fewer ebook sales per user than users of dedicated ereaders.

Of course we will not know how exactly the iPad will be used and how good it will be as an ereader until it has been out for awhile.  Surveys can be and often are misleading.  Obviously the iPad is a cool, sexy device and has the potential to be disruptive to a number of other devices.

I just bought a new netbook a few months ago.  Do I regret not waiting for the iPad?  Well, not really – I needed the netbook then.  I also think that there are other tablets coming out with more capabilities than iPad Version 1 and I will be comparing these with the iPad before I buy a tablet.

Incidentally, Craigmod has an interesting post today about reading on the iPad and backlit displays.  He makes some good points about why reading on the iPad’s backlit screen is not the same as reading on your desktop’s backlit screen.

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Written by Richard on March 29th, 2010

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Indie Book Publisher Signs Deal With Amazon   1 comment

Posted at 10:11 am in eBook Stores,Random

Author Solutions today announced that it has entered an agreement with Amazon to publish all new black-and-white AuthorHouse, iUniverse, Trafford Publishing and Xlibris titles for the Kindle ereader.

A default price of $9.99 will be set for every ASI title made available through the Kindle, but each author will have the opportunity to set his or her own price. E-book distribution through the Kindle will be included as a free service for all new black-and-white ASI titles.

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Written by Richard on March 29th, 2010

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eReader Sales and Free eBooks 3/28/2010   no comments

Newegghas the Jetbook in graphite color with a free leather case and book light for $159.99 + $1.99 shipping until 3/31.

Only one new free Kindle ebook to report today.  Update: Oops! I missed a couple, I’ve added them below.

The Twelve Sacred Traditions of Magnificent Mothers-in-Law by Haywood Smith (5 stars/6 reviews) Lifestyle.

A Gift of Grace: A Novel by Amy Clipston (4 1/2 stars/23 reviews) Amish fiction.

The Homeplace by Gilbert Morris (4 1/2 stars/5 reviews) Religious fiction.

For other ereaders check out free ebooks at Kobowhere in addition to a few of the free titles from my Free and Cheap Kindle Books page you will find:

  • Comic Laruse Is A Slut by Stephanie Piercy
  • Fear of Fighting by Stacey May Fowles
  • The Art of Clubbing by Mike Banton

At the Barnes and Noble eBook Store you will find a few different freebies as well:

  • The Unsuspecting Mage (Morcyth Saga Series #1) by Brian S. Pratt
  • Final Passage by Timothy Frost
  • Black Silk by Jan Gordon
  • Ransom X by I. B. Holder
  • The Blood That Bonds by Christopher Buecheler
  • Cain’s Apples by Bryan L. Lee

and quite a few others.

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Written by Richard on March 28th, 2010

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Apple Running Short of Pre-Order iPad Stock?   1 comment

Posted at 10:07 am in Tablets

The Apple Store is now showing shipping dates for new iPad Wi-Fi pre-orders as being by April 12th rather than the initial April 3rd ship-by date.  The iPad should still be available at Best Buy stores that have dedicated Apple sections on April 3rd, but might sell out pretty quick.

The 3G version of the iPad is still showing a shipping time of late April.

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Written by Richard on March 27th, 2010

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Kobo Demos iPad App   no comments

Kobo has a preliminary video of their iPad app, though they will need to test it on actual iPads at launch time and make any necessary adjustments.  Also it remains to be seen whether or not Apple will indeed let other book reading apps onto the iPad.

Kobo says that on the iPad their ebooks will be presented  “as intended by the author, editor and publisher” and indicates that fonts and images from the original pbook will be preserved. 

It appears from the video that the screen brightness can be adjusted from within the reading app, and a night reading mode with white characters on a black background is available.

No word yet on what study tools such as note taking, annotating, etc. might be included in Kobo’s iPad app.

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Written by Richard on March 26th, 2010

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Best Buy Preparing for iPad Launch   no comments

Posted at 8:39 am in Random,Tablets

MacRumors reports that approximately 675 of the over 1000 Best Buy locations in the US will carry the iPad on April 3rd, which is the iPad’s launch date.  Only stores with dedicated Apple Shop departments will carry the iPad when it is launched.

Amazon also already has a page for the Apple iPad Tabletthat was found by 9 to 5 Mac.

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Written by Richard on March 26th, 2010

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