eBook Notes For September 11, 2009

Cool-er ‘confident’ it can beat Sony’s e-reader sales in UK

After a few months in the market, worldwide sales of the Cool-er (which costs £189 in the UK) have surpassed seven figures, he says.

“I came into this market thinking we would be a comfortable number three in the US, and a comfortable number two in the UK,” Jones says. “Now I’m pretty confident we’ll be number two in America by this time next year in terms of sales, and number one in the UK.”

I don’t believe that at all. I don’t believe Cool-er has sold a million of those plastic PVI fall-apart crap units. Sony has been at it for years and hasn’t broken a half-million worldwide yet. And Sony has done massive advertising (mainly print and signage). Cool-er comes out of nowhere and surpasses Sony? No way.

Big plans for next gen COOL-ER ereader

Marketing director Phil Wood told me that the company had big plans for January 2010. While dual screens certainly aren’t on the company’s road map, a larger colour screen certainly is. The company is also considering working with a UK mobile phone network to add communication/data transfer facilities. This would enable users to download books over the air (which could be a nice little earner for a mobile phone network) as well as enable the COOL-ER to moonlight as a web browser.

Cool-er is very good at playing the PR game. But believing their PR is a fool’s game.

e-Book Readers Learning Their ABCs
Bite Sized Candy, PixelMags, Plastic Logic, ScrollMotion, and Sony Electronics become members of the Audit Bureau of Circulation. Where is Exact Editions, which also does magazines?

ebooks are the future

My own books sell better in Amazon Kindle editions than any other format. The print editions of my books are produced primarily through Print-On-Demand technology. There has been a print run and I do have a few boxes of books at my house, ready to sell to people at conventions or post out when people want or win a signed copy and stuff like that. But more ebooks sell than print books. Not only Amazon Kindle, but multi-format, non-DRM editions through Smashwords.com. And soon, Smashwords will be acting as a distributor for Barnes & Noble, so that means Smashwords editions become available in places like Fictionwise too. My novels are also available as ebooks on DriveThru.com, where you can get both RealmShift and MageSign for US$5 all up. Ebook popularity and sales are skyrocketing.

I wish he had provided sales numbers for POD vs eBook.

E-Ink Developers Pitch Color Displays for 2010

Sriram Peruvemba of E-ink, whose technology is in most of the e-readers currently shipping, said there are now more than 45 e-book models available worldwide from over 25 makers, with millions of units sold.

Peruvemba said he expected color would be important for some applications (and is particularly need for advertising) and said he expected mass production of color displays to be started by the end of next year. He said the current display has a 250 ms response time and about a 6:1 contrast ratio, but that would be improved next year.

End of 2010? Come on, by that time there will have to be Pixel Qi screens out there already in use.

Tree-books to e-books
— a good critique of that eejitastic Cushing Academy that is dumping print books for eBooks. If I had a kid studying there, I’d pull him out because someone in charge has lost his mind.

OverDrive Offers Free Mobile Phone App For Wireless Downloads

Digital content distributor OverDrive is releasing the first in a series of free mobile applications that will allow consumers with mobile phones running the Windows Mobile operating system to download audiobooks, video and music wirelessly from libraries and retailers.

I’ve never used OverDrive Media Console. I’m not fond of audiobooks. I could try video, but I’ve already got a backlog of that which I can play immediately without having to download yet another app. It will be interesting to see this move to the iPhone, HTC Hero, and Palm Pre/Pixi, however.

Publisher Marion Boyars driven out of business

One of the UK’s most adventurous independent publishers, Marion Boyars, is being forced out of business after more than 40 years by the adverse climate of today’s book trade.

The publisher of authors including Ken Kesey, Georges Bataille, Nobel prize winner Kenzaburo Oe, Ivan Illich and Shel Silverstein, Marion Boyars said this morning that it had sold licences in 38 literary titles to Penguin Classics, and that it would be winding down its operations once it has completed its autumn programme.

Another print firm goes belly-up.

Books? What we need is Comes with Books

Long term readers of All About Symbian will know that I’m a sucker for eBooks on my mobile phone, and Steve was quick to point out that a number of titles had popped up as standalone eBooks in the Ovi store from OffScreen Technologies (a veritable factory of little utilities in the store) and would I like to take a look at them and see if this is the right way forward? Read on…

I liked the exchange of Comments:

What we need is a Kindle app for S60, just like we have now a Kindle app for the iPhone.


I’m sure that 3 people who use Symbian in USA will be happy about Amazon developping Symbian app for their USA only service.

That reads like a Comment I would leave, but honest, guv, I was nowhere near the scene of that crime!

Seven Seas’ Manga Titles Come to the Amazon Kindle

(LOS ANGELES, September 9, 2009) – Seven Seas is pleased to announce the release of three of its top-selling original manga series on the Amazon Kindle and through the iPhone/iTouch’s “Kindle for iPhone” application. Amazing Agent Luna Vol. 1-5, Aoi House Vol. 1-2, and Aoi House In Love! Vol. 1-2, along with Christopher Rowley’s Arkham Woods, are now available on the Kindle at the extra low price of $3.50 per volume (200 pages each), making Seven Seas’ Kindle editions the lowest priced manga from any publisher.

“The pricing of our eBooks was a really important point for us as we wanted to make our digital titles affordable. Print editions represent a higher value to today’s consumer, so we decided to price digital editions realistically, and set them several dollars lower than their hard copy counterparts. Digital content should be more of a low cost impulse buy, where you pick something up and can enjoy the heck out of it for a few hours,” says Adam Arnold, Senior Editor with Seven Seas Entertainment. “If Kindle eBooks are successful, then we’ll look into releasing more titles in this format, including some of our best-selling Japanese series.”

I wonder if they can tell how many downloads are to K hardware and how many are to the K iPhone app? It’s also interesting that they deliberately priced the electronic versions lower than print. The devaluation of eBooks continues.

Ten reasons businesses should buy e-readers
— and just about every single one of them is a real stretch.

The iPod Is Dead: Why the days of the dedicated music player have come and gone.

This is the killer quote:

If you pile on features in an elegant way—if you keep the interface comprehensible and make sure the parts work well together—then feature creep becomes feature nirvana.

Here’s a clue: no feature creep is possible with the Axis of E: eInk, ePub, eBook. Period. Remember how Steve Jobs wins.

What Is a Book?

The bigger question is: what is a book for. And are there better ways to help a “book” do what it’s supposed to do?

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