Welcome to another awe inspiring edition of the Good e-Reader Week in Review! We give you the essential stories that have transpired in the digital publishing, ebook, and e-reader industry. The big news of the week is the rumor mill surrounding Amazon’s product launch event next week. We will be live on the scene giving you the details and videos of the entire event, so stay tuned.
Amazon Kindle Fire 2 Rumors – There is no doubt from various FCC filings that Amazon intends on launching a second generation Kindle Fire and a new e-reader. The e-reader is appealing because it will have the same type of glowing frame found in the Barnes and Noble Simple Touch with Glowlight. The Kindle Fire 2 is said to have different levels of memory size and one that would be subsidized in cost by serving you adverts. Amazon has laid down the infrastructure to serve advertisements via the screensaver and homescreen. They have many top partners such as Loreal, GM, and many more that pay top dollar to have their brands on people’s devices.
Apple iBooks Gives New Support Options for Digital Publishers – Many companies make you jump through a ton of hoops to reach their customer service department. Trying to reach Google Books about submitting content to them is an exercise in patience. Amazon only has an email feature and most often it never answers questions from smaller publishing companies. Apple has unveiled a new customer support phone line that is available almost at all hours of the day. The representatives are there to answer submission guideline questions and assist in troubleshooting.
Barnes and Noble Continues to Secure UK Partnerships – Over the last week B&N, the USA’s largest bookseller, made severe inroads in its ambitions to make a substantial launch in the United Kingdom. It announced that John Lewis, Argos, Blackwell’s, and Foyles. All of these companies will be selling the entire line of Nook e-Readers in their retail locations and online. You can bet your bottom dollar that Barnes and Noble is not done yet with new partnerships.
HarperCollins Sees Massive Growth on eBooks – Harper Collins announced that 20% of sales currently come from ebook titles, and with the current rate of growth that number should rise within the next year and a half. With ebooks sales increasing by 250% annually, by this time next year publishers could expect to see digital sales reaching nearly 50% of their total revenue.
Shop e-Readers Expands in Canada – Shop e-Readers is the largest online e-reader store in the world. In the last month they have made agreements with some of the top Universities in Canada to carry e-readers in their student bookstores, libraries, and classrooms. St. Johns Private School, York University, University of Northern British Columbia, and The University of Western Ontario are the latest to do business with Shop e-Readers. These new schools join their other partners, including The University of British Columbia, Vancouver Community College, Simon Fraser University, and many more!
Kobo and ABA Serve eBooks and e-Readers to 2,000 USA Locations – Canadian based Kobo has just partnered with the American Booksellers Association to bring ebooks to many independent bookstores in the USA. This new agreement will take effect in October and will be showcased in over 2,000 bookstores. Kobo will finally gain more market presence in the United States. We talked to the CEO of Kobo, Michael Serbinis, about it yesterday. He mentioned that e-readers and ebooks will be available in indie bookstores across the USA. One of the cool aspects is in hard statistics on Kobo sales in general. Over three million ebooks are currently in its system and it sold 100,000 e-readers in Japan in two weeks. The company has attained 10 million users worldwide. Downloads are up 400% from last year and new users are up 288%. The increase in downloads and users are attributed to expansion into Italy, Japan, and many other markets.
Amazon and Ingram to Market eBooks to Rival Bookstores – Amazon’s New York Publishing Division has just inked a deal with Ingram to distribute ebooks to other companies that sell them. This means Barnes and Noble, Sony, Kobo, and Apple will begin selling Kindle Books in their bookstores. When Amazon got into the publishing game and started its very own imprint, other ebook stores revolted. Barnes and Noble famously boycotted the printed versions in all of its bookstores. It remains to be seen if these companies will choose to carry Amazon books in their online versions. The groundwork is now neatly laid out so any of these big companies can opt into the program at any time.
The Paid eBook Review Argument – With the popularity of leaving reviews online for everything from books to consumer goods, more and more consumers are relying on reviews posted on ebook retail platforms—presumably, reviews that were posted by individuals who actually read the books they are reviewing—to give them a head’s up on which books are deserving of a five-star rating. More importantly, readers and authors alike often rely on the reader reviews to direct consumer dollars towards the risk of an unknown author’s self-published work. The New York Times ran an article, profiling a company that specializes in paid ebook reviews. This has sparked a massive online controversy with authors weighing in on the issue. Some don’t see anything wrong with paid reviews that expands the authors name recognition. Others tend to market their books more organically. We’d love to hear from authors on where you stand.
Good e-Reader Review of the Sony PRS-T2 – The second generation Sony Reader Wireless just came out in Canada yesterday. We spent the entire day with the unit and filmed a few video reviews. You can consult our review by clicking on the title of this entry. I really found the design 100% better than the original T1, but it lacks audio functionality. It seems to turn pages faster and menus load quickly. It has built in Overdrive functionality for people who love to borrow books from the library. Facebook and Evernote are useful new features that allow you to export notes, pictures, and annotation’s to your account. It is fully touchscreen, but turning pages via the screen is a chore. You cannot just tap on the screen to turn a page but have to use a swiping motion, which gets old fast. There are page turn buttons, but they are on the bottom of the screen instead of on the side. In essence, I would recommend to upgrade to this model if you have a previous generation model. There are enough new features to make it worth it.
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.