Tag Archives: e-book

Amazon to hold next Kindle event on Sep 6, 2012 – new tablet, lower prices

(image: Drew Olanoff)

 

One thing is for certain about the upcoming Amazon event on September 6, 2012 – prices will be dropped. Maybe not on all devices, but the company will want to keep pushing that price advantage. There are millions to be made in the e-reader market.

A quote from Matt Brian:

The announcement all but confirms that Amazon will debut new tablet devices next week, with its founder and CEO Jeff Bezos noting that the company will “offer our customers the best hardware, the best prices, the best customer service, the best cross-platform interoperability, and the best content ecosystem.”

 

With a new tablet coming out and lower prices, I expect Amazon to change the game (again). But, we’ll have to wait until next to week to see what that means.

30 free sci-fi classics on the web in text, audiobook, live-readings and more

An amazing collection fo sci-fi books on the web:

Free Science Fiction Classics on the Web: Huxley, Orwell, Asimov, Gaiman & Beyond

Today we’re bringing you a roundup of some of the great Science Fiction, Fantasy and Dystopian classics available on the web. And what better way to get started than with Aldous Huxley reading a dramatized recording of his 1932 novel, Brave New World. The reading aired on the CBS Radio Workshop in 1956. You can listen to Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

By my count there are over 30 stories in all forms – audiobooks, movie, e-text, and even a few live readings from the author.

 

 
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Real-time stats revolutionized journalism – what will they do to books?

It takes the average reader just seven hours to read the final book in Suzanne Collins’s “Hunger Games” trilogy on the Kobo e-reader—about 57 pages an hour. Nearly 18,000 Kindle readers have highlighted the same line from the second book in the series: “Because sometimes things happen to people and they’re not equipped to deal with them.” And on Barnes & Noble’s Nook, the first thing that most readers do upon finishing the first “Hunger Games” book is to download the next one.

In the past, publishers and authors had no way of knowing what happens when a reader sits down with a book. Does the reader quit after three pages, or finish it in a single sitting? Do most readers skip over the introduction, or read it closely, underlining passages and scrawling notes in the margins? Now, e-books are providing a glimpse into the story behind the sales figures, revealing not only how many people buy particular books, but how intensely they read them.

For centuries, reading has largely been a solitary and private act, an intimate exchange between the reader and the words on the page. But the rise of digital books has prompted a profound shift in the way we read, transforming the activity into something measurable and quasi-public.

 

The full storyYour E-Book Is Reading You

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The rise of e-reading in America

28% of Americans age 18 and older own at least one specialized device for e-book reading – either a tablet or an e-book reader.

The holiday season saw a huge boost in ownership for both e-readers and tablets. Both jumped 9%, meaning that nearly one in ten Americans received a device over the holidays.

The average reader of e-books says she has read 24 books in the past 12 months, compared with an average of 15 books by a non-e-book consumer.

78% of those ages 16 and older say they read a book in the past 12 months.

Overall, those who reported reading the most books in the past year include: women compared with men; whites compared with minorities; well-educated Americans compared with less-educated Americans; and those age 65 and older compared with younger age groups.

30% of those who read e-content say they now spend more time reading, and owners of tablets and e-book readers particularly stand out as reading more now. 

The longer people have owned an e-book reader or tablet, the more likely they are to say they are reading more.

The prevalence of e-book reading is markedly growing, but printed books still dominate the world of book readers. 

In our December 2011 survey, we found that 72% of American adults had read a printed book and 11% listened to an audiobook in the previous year, compared with the 17% of adults who had read an e-book.

There are four times more people reading e-books on a typical day now than was the case less than two years ago.

10x more stats at – The rise of e-reading, Pew Internet

 

And, a fun ending:

Why people like to read. 

Scholastic joins the e-book revolution – new app for children’s books

The kids’ e-book market is still nascent, with e-books making up just about three percent of children’s book sales. That could change now that Scholastic, the world’s largest children’s book publishers, is digitizing much of its list and releasing an e-reading app, “Storia,” that includes a large e-bookstore and lets kids read e-books based on their reading level.

The app itself is free and comes with five free e-books. A store contains over 1,000 other children’s e-books—many available in digital format for the first time—that can be sorted by grade level, reading level, age and character/series.

Some of the titles — 151 in the store now—are “enriched e-books,” which “which use word games, story interactions, and animation to deeply draw your young reader in, further developing confidence and critical thinking skills.” Parents can also track their kids’ process through the books, and the app can store multiple virtual bookshelves for children in one family.

more details – paidContent

 

// Photo from Hastac

Will books ever be the same again? – the best enhanced e-books of 2011 from iTunes Rewind

What is an enhanced book?

An enhanced book is an e-book that includes special features, such as:

  • Videos
  • Audio/music
  • Interactive sections (like animated maps)
  • Gigabytes of photos/illustrations
  • Multiple storylines with quests and achievements
  • Expanded annotations (like whole speeches)

They are designed for tablets like the Kindle Fire and Apple’s iPad.

On a personal note, these books are endlessly fascinating to me. They remind me of the difference between the encyclopedia and Wikipedia. Page turning with indexes compared to clicking and searching.

I grew up with encyclopedia sets but have since fallen in love with Wikipedia. Is it possible I will feel the same way about enhanced books compared to paper books?

Hard to say, but looking at the special features below this genre is here to stay.

Best Enhanced books of 2011 - iTunes Rewind


Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy

  • 22 minutes of video
  • They range from archival footage of Jacqueline Kennedy to recent videos of Caroline Kennedy and Michael Beschloss speaking about the book
  • The entire 8 ½-hour-long audio recording of Jacqueline’s interviews with Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. is included, playable in sections at the beginning of each chapter
  • 85 photographs of the Kennedy family are included throughout the narrative
  • Complete transcripts of Jacqueline’s interviews allow readers to follow along with the audio recording
    • Accompanying annotations from leading presidential historian Michael Beschloss inform readers on political details of the era

     
     

    100 Yards of Glory: The Greatest Moments in NFL History

    • Bonus video produced by an Emmy–Award winning team, hosted by Bob Costas and featuring official NFL video highlights
    • Examples: The Immaculate Reception. The Ice Bowl. The Music City Miracle. The Catch.
  • Lavish illustrations and archival photographs.
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    Amazon is a buy, $AMZN

    I’m not an stock analyst but I do like to trade and my specialty is tech. Specifically, trends in the industry and I think Amazon (AMZN) is trending for three reasons: warehouses, cloud, and e-books.

    Amazon’s core business model is to dominate the 174 billion dollar e-commerce industry. The growth for which is incredible, a rate of 15% per year with plenty of space for growth; e-commerce is only 4.5% of retail commerce (pdf).

    Definitely a good situation to be in, but with so much money to be made the powerhouses, like Walmart, Target, and Best Buy, want in. In response Amazon is making an agressive move with what I call, warehousing.

    The official title of this program is Fulfillment by Amazon, which I think is a cagey way of understating their moves. They don’t want to alert the competition. The program involves Amazon building huge warehouses to store and ship goods. At first it was just to sell their own goods but it has since expanded to every seller.

    Now anyone can list their products on the site and send them to an Amazon warehouse. The retailer will hold them until they sell then quickly package and ship.

    It’s working really well. It makes selling even more easier, which is hard because I think Amazon has the best/easiest model for selling goods on the web. It  just invites more and more to join and continually expands Amazon’s offerings. This increases the fees they get for each sale and corners the market (eating Ebay‘s lunch). It’s working so well that big box retailer, Target, is selling on Amazon, in essence forcing others to partner with Amazon rather than compete.

    On a side note, is gives Amazon a small risk. In good times they ship and sell, while working hard to be an efficient warehouse that keep costs down on packaging and shipping. In bad times they could be left with large staffs, full warehouses, and bleeding money. Definitely, something to think about.

    That risk requires Amazon to be agressive and keep on selling, which is exactly where they need to be (hungry). Which is exactly what I look for in a company to invest in.

    Amazon’s Web Service

    Now lets switch to another focus, the cloud. A popular topic these days and everyone is making a play. But all the plays are for cloud applications. Not Amazon, they are building real estate that the applications will run on. The program is called Amazon Web Service (AWS).

    Through investments of 100s of millions that have baffled Wall Street they have created incredible economies of scale. Like server capacity for $0.12/hour and storage for $0.12/GB. Offerings so cheap they are irresistible. It’s a play to undercut everyone on the market and it’s working. No one else on the market can compete and if they wanted to it would take years to build.

    To which the common stock market analyst quips; there’s not much money in $2.99/ month hosting fees. True enough but if you add up several million of those and combine it with a rapidly growing personal website market it changes the story. Remember, in the future everyone will have their own website and they will be paying someone to host it.

    I’m barely touching the surface too. Corporations, all of them, are going to need computing power. They can build it themselves (and many will) but a large majority will outsource it. A billion dollar market and Amazon will dominate that as well.

    Take a look at their product listing, it’s impressive:

    This is kind of like buying Manhattan Island before the settlers arrive and then renting out each acre. It’s an endless supply of money.

    E-Books

    I saved e-books for last because the topic so popular that everything tends to get ignored. In a nutshell, Amazon made its bones as an online bookstore but that industry (paper books) is on the decline. You can buy nearly any book for a couple of dollars and that means very low fees for Amazon to profit on.

    In response they created the Kindle to spark the e-book industry and got lucky. The Kindle hit at a time when, really, no one else was competing in the e-book market. Add in that, thanks to the iPhone, app stores are the key to building the market. To which Amazon responded perfectly. Their push to get every book they can on the Kindle is legendary and the fights have been fun.

    Now millions of books are available on the Kindle and it is bringing in billions for them. Some reports say it is now 10% of their sales and generating $5+ billion in revenue. Great numbers but what is more important is that Amazon took its primary business, reinvented it, created a hugely profitable industry, and is dominating it.

    Add up all three of these major moves and I think Amazon is well positioned for the future.

    Next I will make my first attempt to gauge the P/E earnings on the stock and determine my own target price for the stock!