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Should I Buy A Kindle w/Special Offers & Ads?

May 18, 2011
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I recently bought a Kindle with Special Offers & Sponsored Screensavers ($114)  for the teenager in my home. After using it for a couple of days adding books, making collections, and organizing the content, I thought I would do a quick summary for our readers on what I learned before it is given away as a birthday present.

  1.  There is no operational differences compared to a regular Kindle.
  2. The special offers has no impact on the speed of the Kindle, unlike computers that come with pre-installed software that you have to uninstall.
  3. When you are reading a book, no advertising is shown. Read more »

Children Choice Book Awards

May 16, 2011
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Mockingjay (The Final Book of The Hunger Games)All of us at Digital Book Today have kids, but as they get older we get less of a chance to see the young childrens books. The Children’s Choice Book Awards highlight the best books from the previous year. The only book I have read from the nominees is a favorite of one of my teenagers — Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins.

The Children’s Choice Book Awards is based on Children’s Choices, a joint project of the International Reading Association (IRA) and the Children’s Book Council since 1975. Publishers submit hundreds of titles to be evaluated and voted on by over 10,000 children. Throughout the school year, five review teams, located in different regions of the United States, work with their local classroom teachers and school librarians to incorporate the books into classroom activities. The most popular titles, as voted on by children whose teachers are involved in the project are chosen as the finalists. Read more »

Cheapest eBooks Upending the Bestsellers

April 21, 2011
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Great article today in the Wall Street Journal in the Marketplace section concerning the $0.99 eBook. Here is a short excerpt of the article.

BY JEFFREY A. TRACHTENBERG

The nation’s largest book publishers are facing increasing pricing pressure on the digital front as the number of cheap, self-published digital titles gain popularity with readers seeking budget-minded entertainment.

Amazon.com Inc.’s top 50 digital best-seller list featured 15 books priced at $5 or less on Wednesday afternoon. Louisville businessman John Locke, for example, a part-time thriller writer whose signature series features a former CIA assassin, claimed seven of those titles, all priced at 99 cents.

“They’re training their customers away from brand name authors and are instead creating visibility for self-published titles by themselves.”

To read the rest of the article you will either need a subscription to the WSJ online or check out the print version of the paper.

Our summary: The article talks about the two price points that key to the independent or part-time writer. They are $0.99 and $2.99. Other key points are that authors are using social media to connect with their readers (blogs, FB, email).

Digital Book Today also highlights another common tactic used by authors and publishers. Promoting a book for a short time with a price of $0.00.

For those of us who have worked in the retail book industry over the years, this is another flood that doesn’t seem like it can be stopped. Who knows if this will be true. Many of us thought big box bookstores where unstoppable.

Kindle Library Lending

April 21, 2011
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Amazon’s Kindle will finally support library lending, the company announced today.

Later this year, Kindle owners and those who run Amazon’s Kindle apps will be able to borrow books from over 11,000 local libraries. In addition, Amazon says, users will be able to make annotations and highlight text. All of that content is saved and will be included in the e-book if the user opts to check it out again.

“We’re doing a little something extra here,” Jay Marine, Amazon’s Kindle director said in a statement. “Normally, making margin notes in library books is a big no-no. But we’re extending our Whispersync technology so that you can highlight and add margin notes to Kindle books you check out from your local library. Your notes will not show up when the next patron checks out the book. But if you check out the book again, or subsequently buy it, your notes will be there just as you left them, perfectly Whispersynced.”

The addition of library loaning to the Kindle is a key addition for Amazon. Currently, Kindle owners can lend some e-books to other users for a period of 14 days. As with Amazon’s latest Library Lending option, recipients can access the loaned books on their Kindle devices or via any of the company’s many Kindle applications.

The earlier lack of library lending for the Kindle had proven to be a deal-breaker for prospective e-reader buyers. That service has been available for quite some time on other devices including the Barnes & Noble Nook and Sony’s Reader.

Earlier this year, CNET’s David Katzmaier acknowledged that he is one of the folks who opted against buying a Kindle because it lacked support for library lending. Many libraries around the U.S. use the EPUB format for their e-book needs. Both the Reader and the Nook both support that option. Katzmaier was able to check out some books from his local library, download Adobe Digital Editions, the software that his local branch requires, and drag-and-drop the options to his Sony Reader.

To finally match the competition in library lending, Amazon has enlisted the help of OverDrive, which works with the aforementioned 11,000 libraries around the U.S.

OverDrive might sound familiar to iPad and iPhone owners. The company currently offers its Media Console app for the iOS-based devices, allowing users to download e-books from their local libraries for free.

Amazon said that Kindle Library Lending will be available later this year.

by Don Reisinger

Read more: http://news.cnet.com/8301-13506_3-20055673-17.html#ixzz1KAeEjPQp

Updated 4/22/2011

Here is a link to a complete article on this topic in the New York Times.

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