Kinokuniya snaps up 90% of Murakami book to keep it away from Amazon

By Chris Meadows
August 25, 2015 // 2 Comments

Well, that’s one way to fight Amazon. According to Publishing Perspectives, Japan’s largest bookstore chain, Kinokuniya, has announced it is buying up 90% of the first printing of Japanese author Haruki Murakami’s new book to ensure that readers will be able to find it in Japanese [...]

Japanese citizens buy the most e-books per capita

By Chris Meadows
August 4, 2015 // 2 Comments

Update: Nate’s questioning BI’s numbers. He could be right. A recent piece in Business Insider reports that Japanese consumers are crazy about their e-books. On average, they spend nearly twice as much on e-books per capita as the average US user ($86.50 vs $46). Indeed, the US is only [...]

New 3D-photographic scanner will capture 250 book pages per minute

By Chris Meadows
November 19, 2012 // 0 Comments

CNet has a report on a new book scanner (Japanese) from Dai Nippon Printing that takes and corrects three-dimensional images of book pages, allowing for them to be scanned at the amazing rate of 250 pages a minute, meaning that the average book could be captured in little more than two to three [...]

Rakuten removes all Japanese customer reviews of Kobo Touch from its website

By Chris Meadows
July 26, 2012 // 0 Comments

Over at The Digital Reader, Nate Hoffelder has coverage of the Kobo Touch’s launch in Japan, which seems to have turned into something of a debacle. Bad reviews of the device were posted so prevalently to Rakuten’s website that it finally removed all reviews, both good and bad, from its site. [...]

Kobo seeks to beat Amazon to Japanese marketplace with Kobo Touch

By Chris Meadows
June 23, 2012 // 0 Comments

The Japanese paper Asahi Shimbun reports that Rakuten, the Japanese company that bought Canadian outfit Kobo, is going to try to beat Amazon to market in Japan by introducing the Kobo Touch there in July before Amazon is able to bring out its Kindle Touch there later this year. "As a Japanese [...]

Amazon inches closer to releasing Kindle in Japan

By Chris Meadows
April 19, 2012 // 0 Comments

Tech In Asia reports that, after months of delays, Japanese news sources have reported Amazon is soon to release the Kindle in Japan. This marks the fourth time such reports have surfaced in the last few months. This time, the anticipated date is by the end of the year. A previous prediction had [...]

1DollarScan adds platform customization to its budget scanning program

By Chris Meadows
April 2, 2012 // 3 Comments

TechCrunch reports that 1DollarScan, a US subsidiary of Japanese jisui (third-party book-to-e-book scanning) company Bookscan, has introduced an improved formatting service called Fine Tune. Fine Tune promises to custom-format its scans so that they work better and load faster on all different [...]

Manga scanlations hold up digital manga licensing

By Chris Meadows
March 30, 2012 // 4 Comments

Publishing Trends has an interesting article looking at the problem of manga scanlation, which a number of manga publishers feel is retarding the potential international market for their product. Scanlation, the manga equivalent of fansubbing, has been around for a while, but really kicked into [...]

E-book initiative in Japan promises ‘1 million e-books’

By Chris Meadows
March 1, 2012 // 3 Comments

In an article that showed up complete in my RSS reader but turned out to be behind a paywall when I tried to click through, The Bookseller reports that a group of 180 Japanese publishers are joining forces under an initiative with a goal of creating 1 million e-books. This may be just a bit [...]

Trading in paper books for e-books: Is it possible?

By Chris Meadows
February 5, 2012 // 4 Comments

In my email this morning, I received a notice from Quora that I had been invited to submit an answer for the following question: Are there any services or business models in which one can trade paperback or hardcover books for digital books, without having to pay full price again? After typing my [...]

Kobo could be Amazon’s only major international competitor

By Chris Meadows
January 25, 2012 // 4 Comments

On Wired’s Epicenter blog, Tim Carmody writes about why he thinks that the main global e-book competitor Amazon has to worry about is Kobo. He points out that while Amazon and Apple have been making highly visible splashes with their new hardware or e-publishing initiatives, Kobo has quietly been [...]

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