Monthly Archives: July 2010

Your ePub eInk Device Will Be Obsolete Soon

This is what every owner of a Sony Reader, Barnes & Noble Nook, and Kobo Reader does not want to hear:

@MatthewDiener @lizcastro @crych next epub spec is going to raise the bar, substantially. it will rest on implementers to deliver.Fri Jul 23 13:28:43 via Twitter for iPhone

@MatthewDiener @lizcastro @crych the spec, and proofs/demos will become public before end of year.Fri Jul 23 13:36:07 via Twitter for iPhone

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Countdown To Google Editions

What Is Google Editions?

Next week is the final week of July. The launch window for this was touted as late June, July.

There are two possible problems:

As a wholesaler for the independents, Google’s plan is to provide retailers with a single digit share of the revenue generated.

Single digit share of revenue? So, basically indie print booksellers will be getting what amounts to a Tip Jar from Google?

And then there’s the possible real-life customer experience:

Customer: Oh my god! I saw your sign. You have eBooks now!

Bookseller (proudly): Yes, we do!

Customer: This is so great! Now I can buy from you for my Kindle!

Bookseller: Um, no. Not exactly …

Because the Kindle does not do ePub. And so far there’s been no indication that Google Editions will push out Kindle-format eBooks.

And how would that work if they did, anyway? Google to Amazon to Kindle? It seems to me Amazon would want a cut of the action too.

Maybe that’s why the Google Editions payout to stores is a Tip Jar.

Amazon’s Monopoly: Selling, But Not Reading

Exclusivity and e-Books: Incompatible?

If a reader owns a Nook or a Sony Reader, or, god forbid, no e-reader at all (gasp)–then that reader is left with the option of reading the book on Amazon’s Kindle for PC application…

Amazon has a selling monopoly (and we’ll see how long the American government permits that!), but not a reading monopoly.

This distinction is important.

The exclusivity deals Amazon has affects only people who invested in eInk devices.

If you bought a Sony Reader, a Nook, or some other device, hey, too bad for you. You’re like the guy who bought CP/M a year before the IBM PC came out.

Such obsolescence happens all the time.

But Kindle format books are available for more devices than the crude eInk Kindle device.

Kindle books can be read on the 100 million iOS devices — iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad. And Android devices running 1.6 and higher. And Blackberry. And on the desktop with Windows or Mac OS X.

So, the Kindle device itself is now just a very small part of what has become a huge base of Kindle eBook accessibility.

If anyone should be complaining about lock-in, it’s owners of the Sony Reader. It’s limited to that device and the desktop (Windows/OS X). Want to read a book you bought from Sony on a different non-eInk portable device? There’s no app for that!

As much as everyone else, I don’t like the idea of any one company having a selling monopoly. This is something that will cause Amazon a great deal of pain at some point (especially with its Windows app not having the built-in ability to load in MobiPocket books!). It will be interesting to see what happens.

If you’ve invested in ePub, learn some skills to transfer your eBooks to the Kindle format. Or learn to live with what you have.

Hey, my huge eBook library is entirely in ePub. I know what this will be like.

Bowker Plans To Bleed Writers, Kill Agents

I learned about Bowker Manuscript Submissions today from an URL tweeted by @selfpubreview. I didn’t pay much attention because I was busy with other things and the site didn’t look complete.

Hours later, my curiosity kicked in.

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The Kindle Store UI Is Full Of FAIL

So, now that I’m an ersatz Kindle user, I decided to tool around the Kindle Store for some freebies.

Wow, it’s full of speedbumps.

“Free” doesn’t really list all the free books. Instead “free kindle books” really does. But even then, you have to click on each Category of book, otherwise good bloody luck!

And then I wound up getting this!

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There should be a button for Free. And then within that, another breakdown between actual books and all these damned excerpts that clutter the results.

I hope using the Kindle Store is actually better via the Kindle, because wrestling with the Kindle Store via the web makes me wonder how the hell Amazon managed to win with such a complex and screwball interface.


Try to explain away this one!

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Is anyone awake at The Kindle Store?

Odyssey Editions: No Covers?

Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream (Kindle Edition)

Oh my god. That is tasteless, ghastly, and cheap.

Give them a proper cover! Even if it’s just a photo of the author!

Previously here:

Get Over It: Kindle Has Won

Get Over It: Kindle Has Won

Andrew Wylie, April 2010:

Andrew Wylie, July 2010:

Literary Agent Plans E-Book Editions

The literary agent Andrew Wylie said on Wednesday that he would begin his own publishing venture, called Odyssey Editions, which will produce e-book editions of titles by some of his clients, including Saul Bellow, John Updike and Philip Roth.

Mr. Wylie said his new company would focus on older titles whose digital rights are not owned by traditional publishers. The books will be available exclusively at Amazon’s Kindle store for two years.

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

What does that last line not say?

It does not say:

“The books will be available exclusively at Apple’s iBookstore store for two years.”

“The books will be available exclusively at the Barnes & Noble’s Nook store for two years.”

“The books will be available exclusively at the Kobo eBook store for two years.”

“The books will be available exclusively at Sony’s Reader store for two years.”

“The books will be available exclusively at Smashwords for two years.”

“The books will be available exclusively at Scribd for two years.”

So Wylie, one of the most prominent literary agents in the print publishing business, went exclusively with Kindle. Joining the ranks of others who have done so, such as Stephen Covey and J.A. Konrath.

I don’t think there has been a bigger Kindle hater than I have been. I’ve even gone so far as to Block Kindle blogs and websites from Following me on Twitter.

So, if I’m here having to acknowledge that Kindle is now the standard for eBooks, it’s only because it is so.

Previously here:

Why Amazon’s Kindle Won
Amazon’s Numbers: What They Mean, Why They Matter
Why Kindle Is Winning And Nook Will Lose
This Settles It: Kindle eBooks Are The Standard Now


Why you should never, ever buy a product from Dell.

The gory details at my Tumblr.

Is A War Brewing At HP?

HP Android tablet coming later than you think, or not at all

HP Slate 500 with Windows 7 surfaces on HP’s site

HP files for ‘PalmPad’ trademark — a webOS tablet, perhaps?

HP confirms that Slate is still kicking, ‘next steps’ being determined

This looks like two factions at HP battling it out.

Since you guys can’t seem to figure this out, let me do it for you.

Kill the Windows 7 tablet!

Haven’t you learned anything from Apple? Don’t you understand how to focus your attention?

You can’t have HP offering both kinds of tablets. You’ll confuse the hell out of people.

Don’t give me any crap about addressing two different markets. Focus!

webOS is your future. Anyone else who says otherwise needs to be ousted from HP now. Get rid of the Old Guard.

They’re probably the ones responsible for this tasteless ghastliness:

And that’s just one of an entire series of WTF? bad TV ads from HP.

Android’s Meaningless Marketshare

I just read a post gloating about the iPhone losing market share: iPhone Second Quarter 2010 in Bloodbath: Market Share is Declining where All Big Rivals picking up.

When people say “Android” is gaining market share, that’s meaningless.

There’s Android 1.5, 1.6, 2.0, 2.1, and upcoming 2.2. With 3.0 already gaining buzz for upcoming fall/new year products.

Each of these is very different from one another and the bottom end — 1.5 — is virtually worthless!

So what does “Android” really mean?

And this is how “Android” has been gaining its marketshare:

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Close-up of the poster on the left:

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You don’t see BOGO for iPhones! And you don’t see iPhones given away for free or “sold” for a penny, as I’ve seen at carriers for “Android.”

“Android” can grow all it wants. That doesn’t say anything about how satisfied people are with “Android” or whether they went for “Android” because their carrier doesn’t have iPhone.

“Android” is like the Commodore-64 was: What people buy when they can’t get/afford an Apple product. Back then it was the Apple II. Today, it’s the iPhone.