The Donald Trump Syndrome of Big Publishing: Bluster vs. Econ 101 in the book pricing war

By David Rothman
September 4, 2015 // 0 Comments

If you doubted that Big Publishers were clueless in raising e-book prices, then you need to read a Wall Street Journal article headlined E-Book Sales Fall After New Amazon Contracts. Prices rise, but revenue takes a hit. Or else check out The Digital Reader, where Nate nicely sums up the WSJ piece [...]

Review: Scribd subscription service is fun for the frugal—but beware of the Kobo Syndrome

By Joanna Cabot
September 3, 2015 // 2 Comments

I have been enjoying my Kindle Unlimited subscription a lot, but it does have its limitations. Although Indie authors are very well-represented, legacy authors are less so. Besides, these legacy authors can be expensive. In a recent topic immersion, I wishlisted seven books I wanted to read which [...]

Digital trading cards bring the thrill of collecting to virtual goods

By Chris Meadows
August 28, 2015 // 1 Comment

Digital media. It’s not just for e-books anymore. At least, that’s what Topps seems to be learning with its Star Wars digital trading cards. Yes, that’s right. Digital trading cards. Just collections of images that you pay for, trade, and collect on your phone. This puzzles me more than a [...]

‘Guilty pleasures’ and ‘the Kindle closet’: ‘The real book versus ebook list’

By David Rothman
August 28, 2015 // 2 Comments

Will e-books be the death of Lit, capital L? The Luddites love to complain that even E Ink displays aren’t the equal of paper. But could the Luds be right for another reason—namely, that typical e-book readers and tablets do not display covers, so that you can read disreputable works with [...]

Make it easier to sample e-books and other content

By Joe Wikert
August 27, 2015 // 1 Comment

The goal of the content sample is to acquire new customers, right? So why are publishers settling for sample content models that are outdated and largely ineffective? Look at ebooks, for instance. Publishers mostly rely on retailers for discovery and distribution, just like how they sell the full [...]

Should you buy a Chinese phone or a global brand name? An e-book lover’s perspective

By David Rothman
August 23, 2015 // 0 Comments

A Chinese novelist, Cixin Liu, is a just-announced Hugo winner. Get set for more of the same in the book world (as I note in the accompanying TeleRead post). Now, what about an e-book-related area where the Chinese already figure prominently—cell phones? Clearly, phones are among the main [...]

Google drops Google Play Books, Newsstand, other apps from Android OEM requirements

By Chris Meadows
August 21, 2015 // 1 Comment

Android Central reports that Google has made a change to its requirements for Android OEMs that want to be able to bundle Google services such as Gmail or Google Maps with their Android phones. Google has a laundry list of apps that have to be installed along with those services for them to be [...]

Are e-books good for us as primates?

By David Rothman
August 20, 2015 // 0 Comments

Kim Stanley Robinson, the science fiction writer, once gave an interview in which he called for human activities to be more primate-friendly. Enough with technology disrupting our routines! So here’s a question. Do e-books or p-books better satisfy our needs and desires as primates? Before I [...]

How to sell e-books through your own Web site

By David Rothman
August 20, 2015 // 0 Comments

Who says farmers must be the only ones selling directly? Here’s a dream. What if someday bookstores and libraries teamed up to offer search-and-discovery tools—to make it easier to sell e-books without relying so much on, say, the Amazon juggernaut? Suppose you could even push your titles [...]

The iPad Pro as an e-book machine—and possible savior of frogs

By David Rothman
August 20, 2015 // 2 Comments

Whenever the big-screened iPad Pro shows up—perhaps in September or later this year—it will matter to the e-book world. Maybe not instantly. But in time. A 12-13 inch screen would be a vast expanse of real estate by tablet standards. My bet is on 12.9 inches. This would be noticeably [...]

Kindles used as Frisbees at Florida high school? 5,217 devices owned, just 44 checked out last year?

By David Rothman
August 20, 2015 // 3 Comments

Here’s a story to make any K-12 tech booster weep, if it’s true. A 1,750-student high school in Florida is said to have owned 5,217 Kindles and Fires over the years. But the kids supposedly checked out just 44 of the devices in 2014. “In 2010,” reports TV station WFTS in Tampa Bay, [...]

Xiaomi’s iPhone 6 Plus rival is a mere $125 in China—with a 5.5” extra-high-res screen (but read the fine print)

By David Rothman
August 16, 2015 // 2 Comments

Xiaomi’s new iPhone 6 Plus rival could be catnip for e-book lovers, if it lives up to the ballyhoo. It comes with a high-res 5.5” screen, some 2GB of RAM, an eight-core 64-bit processor, a swappable 3,060mAh battery, the 802.11ac WiFi protocol, two SIM slots, a 2Ghz chip in the entry model, and [...]

‘Hunger Games’ in Seattle? New York Times portrays Amazon as a Darwinian sweatshop

By David Rothman
August 15, 2015 // 3 Comments

I’ve praised, praised, praised Amazon’s pros, such as knock-out customer service, well-built e-readers and other goodies. But at what human cost is this happening? If you believe Jodi Kantor and David Streitfeld of the New York Times, we’re talking about a Darwinian sweatshop where employees [...]

Enjoy a spiffier-looking Wikipedia—via Wikiwand

By Joe Wikert
August 14, 2015 // 1 Comment

Content containers are slowly going away in the digital world. Those things we think of in the physical world as books, newspapers and magazines are being redefined digitally. It’s a slow evolution but one that is definitely taking place.  In the years ahead we’ll see more blurred lines [...]

Sampling: How a research fiend saves money on e-books

By Joanna Cabot
August 14, 2015 // 2 Comments

New hobbies can wreck a teacher’s budget, especially if she’s a research fiend. How to afford the books that will bring me up to speed on my new interests? I’m already a constant buyer. Besides, some books in the end may turn out to be wastes of money—just duplicates of other titles, or [...]

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