Free Story By Neil Gaimain

December 5, 2008

His Hugo Award-winning story A Study in Emerald is available as a free PDF.

— via Twitter from BookCalendar

How Amazon’s Kindle Will Bite Your Ass

December 5, 2008

All of you people with are so enthralled with the selfish instant gratification feature (read: wireless downloading of eBooks) of the Kindle will have no tears shed by me.

1) You cannot read eBooks on your desktop. Your Kindle breaks? Do without until replacement.

2) You’re locked into one eBook store: Amazon. Don’t expect every publisher to jump on board. Amazon offers a criminal 65-35% split.

3) You’re locked into the bastardized MobiPocket format. Amazon owns MobiPocket. They tweaked the file format for Kindle. All Kindle can read is that and free (not DRMed!) MobiPocket.

4) You can’t share books with other Kindle owners, even in your own family.

5) You’re locked out of the ePub future — which is what book publishers have standardized on for eBooks.

6) You can’t borrow eBooks from public libraries.

Contrast that with the Sony Reader:

1) eBooks are downloaded to your PC and can also be read there with Sony’s eLibrary software.

2) You can buy from Sony’s eBook Store or any eBook store that offers ePub files.

3) You are not locked into Sony’s BBeB file format. There’s ePub and PDF text reflow too (albeit this last is touchy).

4) Sony allows sharing on up to five devices: So, PC plus four Readers. And the Readers don’t have to be under the same roof or in the same family!

5) Sony is in the midst of the ePub revolution and several publishers attended the PRS-700 debut to show public support.

6) You can borrow eBooks from public libraries.

So when wireless comes to the Sony Reader in 2009 (Sony won’t commit to a date, so I will for them!), what are you left with on your Kindle?

Just your undisciplined desire for NowNowNow and nothing else.

Now you’ve been warned.

Sony Reader: Over 300,000 Sold!

December 5, 2008

What a smug, snarky, uninformed headline from the Wall Street Journal:

Turns Out Sony E-Book Readers Sell After All

This tech blog has always been skeptical of digital e-book readers. Maybe because we think the feeling of a stiff hardback or welted paperback book is timeless. Or maybe it was because major e-book vendors such as Sony and never released how many units of the devices they actually sold.

This week, though, Sony for the first time disclosed that it sold 300,000 units of its Reader Digital Book globally since the device launched in October 2006.

Emphasis added by me.

Finally! Finally a solid number is made public!

In Sony Reader PRS-700: Part Three, I wrote:

Steve Haber in a little-known but official Sony podcast stated that “hundreds of thousands” of the Sony Reader have been sold and that the eBook Store has done “millions of downloads.” In person, I tried to nail him down to a number, citing that “hundreds” of thousands has as its minimum the plural two hundred thousand. But Haber is a tough customer. He wouldn’t give me a number. But that’s how Sony sometimes operates. I want Sony to issue a number to deflate the nonsensical numbers thrown about for the abominable Kindle. I want to see Sony tell Amazon, “This is what we’ve sold. Now put up or shut up!”

Emphasis added by me.

So what was it, Haber? You wanted to wait for another 20,000 to sell so you could claim 300,000 instead of my “over 200,000?”

Never, ever play cards against Haber!

Previously here:

Should You Still Buy The Sony Reader 505?