Tag Archives: kindle

Understand the Amazon Kindle press conference in 12 pictures

Jeff Bezos gave a dynamite keynote presentation. It was nowhere near the level of Steve Jobs but still worthy of an explosive description. I’m rooting for him to improve and become the new Steve.

The presentation is over an hour and so here is the summary in 12 screenhots. The full video is at bottom.

Enjoy the new paperwhite e-reader Kindle and the HD tablet Kindle.

For analysis, I suggest Amazon’s Play by John Gruber and Kindle Fire is Better but It Isn’t the Best by Walt Mossberg.

 

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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.

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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Microsoft invests half billion in the Nook, making it more valuable than Barnes and Noble

Microsoft and Barnes & Noble have teamed up to compete against Apple and Amazon in the eBooks business. The new partnership sees Microsoft investing $300 million in a new Barnes & Noble subsidiary.

The $300 million investment in the Nook subsidiary of Barnes & Noble gives Microsoft about 17.6 percent ownership of this business unit. That values this part of the business at about $1.7 billion. Before the markets opened this morning, the Nook business was valued about $900 million more than Barnes & Noble itself.

via GigaOm

 

In addition, Microsoft is paying another $305 million to get Nook on Windows 8 with some content:

Microsoft will be paying the Barnes & Noble subsidiary $180 million for revenue sharing on the Nook app that B&N will make for the Windows 8 platform. This is nonrefundable, the filing notes. Microsoft is also paying $125 million (equal to $25 million over five years) “for purposes of assisting NewCo in acquiring local digital reading content and technology development.” This, too, looks to be nonrefundable.

via Techcrunch

To put that in perspective, in the last quarter Barnes and Noble made $52 million in profit (on $2.4 billion in sales), and Amazon pulled in $130 million in profit (on $13 billion in sales). Clearly, Amazon has a big edge over B&N.

But, when you look at Microsoft’s earnings for the last quarter, $5.1 billion in profit (on $17 billion in sales), it looks like the big dog just entered the game. But, don’t forget that Apple is on the scene as well.

Clearly, the e-reader battle is just heating up and everyone wants a piece.

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On a side note, Target just announced they are pulling all Kindle’s from their stores due to ‘showrooming.’ The practice of visiting Target to physically touch a product, so you can then buy it on Amazon.

Amazon releases a Kindle competitor to Instapaper, Pocket

There is a booming market for apps that allow you to read while offline. The two most popular of these apps, Instapaper and Pocket, let you save an article for later like on an airplane or in your underground nuclear bunker.

Now, Amazon is entering the game by offering the same service for the Kindle. A new app for Mac and PC allows you to “Send to Kindle” and then read on your e-reader or on a smartphone/tablet.

I think this gives the Kindle an edge in two big ways. One, most of us are likely to carry our Kindle with us when going into non-internet zones. That’s why we bring it, to pass away those long hours with books, but now we may be able to do so with articles and blog posts as well.

Two, we all know reading on an e-reader is preferable than doing so on the backlit displays of smartphones and tablets.

It will be interesting to see how this Kindle competition affects the market. I always thought that Instapaper and Pocket had a niche market. They must be scared to see the 10-ton behemoth, Amazon, entering the fray.

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. 

iPad vs Kindle Fire – how many apps for each after one-year?

After one year, Amazon’s Kindle Fire has 31,000 apps:

March 15, 2012 – Amazon Appstore for Android, which helped lay the foundation for a big Kindle Fire launch, is celebrating its one-year anniversary and has now eclipsed 31,000 apps, up from 4,000 at launch. That’s a strong first year for an app store that began as an alternative to the Android Market and then became the primary channel for Kindle Fire users to get their apps.

via Giga Om

 

And, after one year, Apple’s iPad had 75,000 apps:

April 3, 2011 – One year exactly after its 2010 release, the iPad app store held 75,000 apps. Three months later, another 25,000 have been added for a total surpassing 100,000, according to MacStories. Can that pace continue? It’s hard to believe that it will, but the number of apps added to the App Store for the iPhone hasn’t slowed at all, recently surpassing the 500,000 mark.

via Information Week

5 reasons to love the Kindle

This is a personal piece about my experiences owning a Kindle for 2 years. There were many early fears and unknowns but they’ve since been wiped away. I am able to do everything I want with it and more.

Here are my 5 favorite things about the Kindle:

  • Saves time
  • Lighter, easier on the hand
  • Cozying up with it
  • The classics
  • Exotic books

Saves time

Let’s talk about the entire Kindle buying experience. I lay back on my comfy pillow, browse the online store, purchase and begin reading.

Now, compare that to the bookstore experience. Hop in a car, drive in traffic, park in traffic, walk to store, hang out in a cozy cool community-friendly store, wait in line, purchase at cashier, and then reverse the walking, parking, and driving.

I’m just saying. It’s a whole lot easier on me and my stress level.

Then there is the free trial which allows you to read the first few chapters without buying. A perfect way to purchase books, after all, if you’re not ready to buy after the second chapter then it’s not worth it. Plus, I don’t have to sit on an awkward couch in a crowded store to read those chapters.

Lighter, easier on the hand

Sometimes when you really get going, a real page-turner and finish 100 pages, your hand gets sore. It’s not that books or e-readers are heavy, it’s that holding them steady for a few hours is like some ancient torture session.

To compare the weight of different books, the Kindle weighs 8.5 ounces and, on average, hardcover books weighs 20 ounces and paperbacks about 12 ounces.

Add that up over the long run and you get the idea.

Cozying up with my Kindle

Believe it or not, but, on cold nights it is nice to cozy up with an e-reader. The hot cocoa, warm blanket, and my Kindle.

I don’t miss the smell nor the look of paper books. I just like to lose myself in the story.

Of course, there is one more important reason why I enjoy cozying with it. The e-reader allows me to increase the font size on any book, which saves my eyes, and allows me to read for much longer than I could with a paper book.

The Classics

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, James Joyce, Edgar Allen Poe, Sun Tzu, Edith Wharton, William Shakespeare

All their works are free and sometimes you can get their entire life works with one click. Yes, the classics are all free. Thousands and thousands of books, it’s like a modern-day Renaissance.

I could read for years, not spend a dime, and become incredibly educated. I love this because I grew up in an era when the classics were banished from the classroom. We were asked to read maybe 1-2 books a school year and most were contemporary novels.

There is so much I don’t know about the enlightenment, greek philosophy, romantic literature, modern economics, and even early 20th century pieces.

Exotic Books

I cannot write a piece on e-books without the inevitable nostalgia for real, physical books. I have that feeling too, but with a Kindle everything changes: I actually buy the books I always wanted.

It turns out there are two kinds of books: ones you read and ones you keep. The first, you finish and put on the shelf to collect dust. The second, you pick up every few weeks when you’re bored.

With the Kindle I am able to save money (space too) on the books to read and then spend the savings on the special exotic books (which always cost more).

I call them exotic books because they are oversized or rare, often with glamorous pictures. Basically, they are coffee table books but since I don’t, and have never owned, a coffee table I don’t like that term.

My exotic collection of books is growing and I am absolutely in love with them. Here are a few:

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Tartine

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The History of Surfing

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Japanese Caligraphy


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Photos by: Tim D (coffee), Stephen (girl reading), 3Water (close-up nickel)