During the last week, the biggest news item was Sony finally releasing its latest e-reader, the PRS-T2. It features more social media integration via Evernote and Facebook. The Bas Group has also launched a new device, called the Bebook Pure. In this weekly roundup we check out the most important news stories over the course of the last week and give you the essential news you need to know.
Bebook Pure Launched in Europe – The Bas Group saved Bebook when the prior owners filed for bankruptcy in January. This new device marks the first new e-reader that the company has put fourth and is marketing it all over Europe. They company is focusing on price and giving customers a solid device for under $100.00. You won’t find a touchscreen on this edition, but it appeals to readers because of the manual page-turns and overall design aesthetic. We will be reviewing this hopefully next week, so stay tuned for our hands-on impressions.
Sony PRS-T2 Released – Although it is not available in the retail sphere yet, Sony finally took the wraps off of its latest e-reader. It has a ton in common with the T1 model that was released last year. It tones down the gloss on the case and gives you Evernote and Facebook integration. The wireless access allows you to purchase content from the Sony Bookstore and Overdrive. The ability to borrow books directly on the device is a huge selling point. People who love PDF files will celebrate, because Sony continues to deliver world class Re-Flow support.
Wiley and Sons Sell Off Travel Assets to Google – Wiley & Sons announced that it would be selling off key pieces of the publishing family that no longer pertained to its long term vision, notably the travel assets and the Frommer’s line of travel guides. The sale is reported between $23 and $25 million and will include the Frommer’s website as well, although Google has apparently not officially committed to continuing the travel books’ print line after the near future.
Amazon Releases Official ‘Send to Kindle’ for Chrome – Before Amazon released the official Chrome Plugin, people had to rely on 3rd party programs. Most of them did the job quite well, with millions of downloads. It seems Amazon decided to release its own version of the popular function to send blog posts, news, and other text content on the web directly to your Kindle e-reader.
Hachette Implores All Authors to Use DRM – TOR is the largest Science Fiction and Fantasy imprint in the world and is an imprint of Macmillan. Last month the company had decided to offer ebooks with no encryption to allow users to easily transfer them between devices. Hachette does not approve and has informed authors that future contracts will mandate that authors user DRM in all of its books and territories. This might prevent future authors from distributing their books to online bookstores that do not have DRM in their systems, limiting the potential growth. Famously, Pottermore did away with encryption completely on the Harry Potter books, moving towards a digital watermark that gives accountability to people who file share books they purchased.
Autography Sues the Tampa Bay Devil over Proprietary Technology – Autography has pioneered a system that allows authors to autograph ebooks by putting a blank page into an existing book. The company has been talking to the Tampa Bay Devil Ray’s about using the technology to allow baseball players to autograph digital baseball cards. Despite the lengthy negotiations and the confidentiality agreement—specifically a non-disclosure agreement and a non-compete agreement—signed by the involved parties, that partnership didn’t happen. According to Tom Waters in an exclusive interview with us, the Devil Ray’s management formed a splinter company named Egraph, to offer the same service as Autography.
Two New Harry Potter Books Available on Pottermore – The Pottermore website marked the first time the entire Harry Potter saga hit the digital sphere. Sales have been quite brisk with millions of books sold since the service first launched earlier this year. Today, the expanded universe of books are now officially on sale with Quidditch Through the Ages and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
eBooks to Be a Huge Priority at the Delhi Book Fair – India is currently the 3rd largest book and publishing market in the world. At the annual Book Fair conference, ebooks are set to gain a higher priority from the organizers. “We cannot pretend to be ignorant about technology when it is staring us in our face. The popularity of ebooks, especially among the young generation, has increased beyond our expectations. So the focus this year will be on ebooks. In fact, we will have a two-day training program in which we will teach how to convert books into e-books. This will be beneficial for authors as well as publishers,” said Delhi Book Fair director Shakti Malik.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and Verge.