05 September 2013
Sony are still at it. Delivering regular updates to their line of Reader digital book gadgets. Considering how often they release new versions they don't seem that bothered about promoting the damn things. According to Endgadet.com, Sony pushed their new gadget off into the furthest corner of their stand at IFA 2013.
From the looks of things this new device has some interesting features. There's the new Integrated Cover, Retractable Light, and a (3 minute) Quick Charge feature, which apparently will give enough charge to read a full novel. Other than that there's nothing too much to write home about. It weighs 200g, has the E-Ink Pearl anti-glare 758x1024 display, and does a full change in a couple of hours or so. Read the full press release here.
I've not owned a Sony Reader since their Touch was released in 2009...wow, has it really been that long! I'm not convinced by the integrated cover - I haven't used covers on any of my readers/tablets for several years now, or the light - but I am tempted to try out the T3. Perhaps I'll have to take a visit to my local electronics store once it's in stock and give it a go.
28 January 2011
There's probably just one thing that all book lovers have in common; we read many books. Nothing to complain about here, except perhaps that it get very expensive buying all those books. There is however a solution to help everyone get more books, and for free – borrow an ebook from your local library.
Many libraries now provide their members with ebook lending options, and as smartphones (iPhone and Android) and eReaders are now very popular, this can be a great way to increase your reading without increasing your spending.
If your local library does stock ebooks then they'll be provided with the Adobe DRM protection system, which means you have use an Adobe DRM enabled eReader to read them. Such devices/apps include; iPhone/Touch, Android, iPad, Sony Reader, Kobo Reader Cybook, etc. Using the free Adobe Digital Editions reader app you can also read these ebooks on your computer.
20 January 2011
Unless you'd decided to live a life of solitude during 2010, you've no doubt heard that ebooks and ebook readers, both dedicated eReaders and multi-purpose devices, are hot topics.
At present the ebook market can still be considered a niche sector, but revenues in 2010 show that healthy amounts of money can be made and predictions for the coming years mean that it's a sector no one will be able to ignore.
Finding ebook revenues for Europe turns out to be quite a difficult task, so we'll have to rely heavily on those from the U.S., which even though they are not complete, current estimates put ebooks at 9.5% of adult trade sales in 2010.
16 January 2011
Last year was the year that firmly placed ebooks in the public mind and yet surprisingly it was the Romance segment that was the fastest growing of all genres within this market - at least according to research done by Bowker (as reported by the NYtimes). As an example of this, Barnes & Noble, the popular American retailer, was previously considered a non-entity in the romance market, yet they have recently taken 25% of the segment for ebooks. Quite impressive.
The most common belief of why romance novels have taken off so rapidly since the [re]birth of the digital reader, is due to people having the option to purchase and read anonymously - would you want to stand at the checkout, or on a packed train heading in London Euston Station, holding up a paper book with some half naked chap on the cover? But with an eReader the contents of your ebooks are all but invisible to those around you.
22 November 2010
If you've visited any of the popular eBook forums/blogs over the last year or two you've likely seen plenty of debates discussing how eBook Readers will only hit the mainstream once they get down below $100, although in more recent months a $50 number (One example is this Computerworld article: The e-reader market: Still young and restless) has been bantered around (£50 on our side of the pond).
Okay, I'm going to admit that I too used to think like this, though recently I realised that although we've certainly reached that sub-£100 price point, I'm not convinced we'll get below a £50 mark.
The way I see it, there are a couple of reasons why we won't see many eReaders dropping below this price;
Of course, this discussion could be a mute point as the future of the dedicated eReader is limited anyway—but then that's an argument for another day!
What do you think? Will we start to see sub-£50 eBook Readers for the masses, or will they remain for the hardcore bookworms?
31 October 2010
Earlier this week Waterstone's announced they would stop selling eBooks to customers outside the UK, due to people from other countries buying books that should not be sold in those territories (News source: theBookSeller.com).
It's actually surprising that they've left the doors open for this long but according to Waterstone's spokesman Jon Howells, "This is not a temporary move". From now on you'll need a UK address to purchase new titles, although any books already bought will still be downloadable no matter where you're doing it from.
Although territorial restrictions have been around since forever, it's only really been in the digital age where we're starting to see real issues with it. These days everyone expects to visit a website and buy content, but we're finding it more and more difficult to do that and naturally people go off to find ways round it.
Territorial rights are a funny old subject with many arguments for and against, but considering our modern world I'm not sure if there's really a place for them any more. It seems to me that people want this content, so why not let them have it -- wouldn't everyone make more money in the process?
As someone who lives abroad I'm always having problems buying digital content (in fact all kinds of goods) due to territorial restrictions. These things just aren't available in the country I am living in.
25 October 2010
Earlier this week the Publishers Association (PA) made quite a strong statement (see below) on their new eBook lending restrictions for libraries and this has had quite an impact around the web (Teleread.org response on the PA statement).
It's not all bad, with some of these restrictions seeming pretty standard. However, what's caused the real uproar is this, "library users [have to] come on to the library's physical premises and download an e-book at a computer terminal..."
This is really an odd thing to want to enforce, in fact, I'm not even sure if it can realistically be done. For instance; we have to presume that at some point Apple users will be able to borrow from libraries. How are you going to connect an iPad to a public computer? Apple products are heavily tied to their iTunes software and I can't see the library having different copies of iTunes for each visitor. At some point the Amazon Kindle will also support library lending (or have to be supported), how is that going to work?
The PA says that lending for remote downloads without geographical restrictions is a major issue. Although I don't see why this needs to be an issue. I've not been a member of many different libraries, but when I joined Manchester Library in the UK, I had to provide them with my postal address. Is this not enough for them? Sure, people can use fake addresses (although I don't know how they'd get their library cards), but then again, people can also download pirated versions of a book directly from the internet if they so desire.
24 October 2010
The publishing world is going digital, well, its trying. When we think of the costs involved in this the reaction from many people is, "cool, we'll save loads of money", but is this really true? Dominique Raccah from Sourcebooks says not.
Dominique has talk before about how Sourcebooks is finding it very costly to go digital and at this years Frankfurt Book Fair, she is making these comments again. I'm not a publisher myself, and I certainly don't have experience with print publishing, but Dominique paints a pretty grim picture in this quote (Original Article from PublishingPerspectives);
"E-books have added six overall processes to the production of books, and a further seventy steps within those processes. Think about it: When I print a book, I provide the same printed book to every retailer — Borders, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, whoever. But when I provide an e-book, that’s not true because there’s no standardization of formats. What Apple gets, what Amazon gets is different . . . Then every time there’s a change in operating systems, we need to change again. So that’s a lot of added expense. And this is without mentioning things like Apps!"
No one will deny that there's additional processes involved in producing both print and digital versions, but I'd be interested in knowing what those extra 70 steps are, because I see this whole thing as being quite straightforward.
20 October 2010
From the founder of LibriVox, the free public domain audiobooks community website, Hugh McGuire heads up this new venture, Iambik Audio (Visit iambik.com). Working together with authors, narrators and print publishers, they work on a predominantly rev-share basis to record both new and old books, many of which have been overlooked by the traditional audiobook publishers.
This looks like a really great service and best of all, their recordings are free from DRM and are released at very competitive prices of between $5 and $10. Currently their selection is quite small but they have titles from authors such as Gordon Lish, Felicia Luna Lemus and Pulitzer Prize finalist, Lydia Millet.
According their press release (Iambik launch Press Release), "Iambik aims to change the way commercial audiobooks are made [offering] hand-picked collections...a little off the beaten path...with no digital rights management—meaning they can be played on any computer or mobile device."
There's no mention about distribution rights but all their current titles have been marked available "Worldwide". Let's hope they continue to have no restrictions for those of us outside North America.
19 October 2010
Better known for their photo-frames, Pandigital is trying for the second time to break into the eReader market (Pandigital eReader Press Release). Their first attempt; a full colour 7-inch touch screen reader, was beleaguered with poor performance and an unresponsive touch screen.
Their new model, the Novel Personal eReader takes a more traditional approach, using a 6-inch E-Ink touch display, WiFi connectivity , built-in speakers, on-screen virtual keyboard, and as with their previous eReader they've integrated the Barnes & Noble store for direct eBook access.
It's as yet uncertain how the reader will perform, though as they use only E-Ink, the need for a super responsive touch screen is less necessary and as they are using their own unique User Interface, this could be an interesting eReader.
Due to the fact that they have teamed up with B&N and that their pricing is given in USD ($200 retail) this eReader will likely not be available outside the U.S.
Still, if Pandigital produce a hit then they could well decide to move into other regions where there's certainly plenty of demand and a good choice of eBooks stores to replace B&N.
engadget.com has a small gallery of images for the Novel Personal eReader here.