THE EREADING BLOG

03

November

2015

By: Richard Starr

Categories:

Amazon Opens Pointless Physical Bookstore in Seattle…But Why?

LOGO-1-AmazonThe Seattle Times, and many other outlets, are reporting that Amazon is opening the company’s first-ever brick-and-mortar bookstore in Seattle.  But why? There are a few reasons, some fairly certain, others not so much.

The main reason, if you believe the news, is that they are using the Seattle location to test the validity of their market data in real-world conditions.  This is not mere speculation; they have proudly announced that the stores will utilize geo-centric purchasing data from Amazon.com to drive inventory stocking in the Seattle location.

The second reason is purely speculative.  And it’s not solely because of the company’s limitless thirst for market domination, although that's very likely a factor.  No, it’s probably...

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20

October

2015

By: Richard Starr

Categories:

JK Konrath Forgets a Bit of Google Books History

LOGO-1-Google_NewOver on JA Konrath's blog, he takes a swipe at the Authors Guild for their lawsuit against Google over the company's plan to scan every book ever published.  He also makes fun of some other lawsuits filed by the Authors Guild, and admittedly, those sound pretty dumb.  But when it comes to Google Books, Konrath is giving the world's biggest search engine company a pass they don't really deserve.

Konrath has apparently forgotten that during the genesis of the Google book scanning controversy, Google made it clear that they intended to offer the scanned books for sale through the Google eBookstore.  This included books that were considered "out of print" at the time and for which they had no permission from...

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06

October

2015

By: Richard Starr

Categories:

Ebook Subscription Startups…Some People Just Want to Throw Money Away

LOGO-1-DigitalReaderThe always interesting Nate Hoffelder over at the Digital Reader reports that publishing conglomerate Bonnier is starting up an ebook subscription service in Sweden.  Yes, in Sweden.  Since the worldwide pool of people who truly care about ebook subscriptions apparently isn't small enough, Bonnier has decided to narrow the field even more and stick to their home country. 

After I wrote this, I found myself tapping the face of my watch to see how many seconds had passed because I wanted to make sure Bonnier's little venture hadn't already failed before I could hit "Publish".  UPDATE: Nope, not yet.  But keep checking your watches...

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06

October

2015

By: Richard Starr

Categories:

Oyster Ebook Subscription Service Closes…As We Predicted

LOGO-1-OysterAccording to multiple sources, ebook subscription service Oyster is closing, with most of its staff decamping to Google.  Hopefully, Google has better things to do with their money than support an ebook subscription service.  But maybe not.  They are, after all, managing to utterly fail at selling books in a way that genuinely competes with Amazon.

As I've commented elsewhere on this blog, ebook subscriptions are not a viable business in the long-term.  Yes, Amazon's program is trucking along...and costing successful authors as much as 50% or more of their income.  Obviously, those authors losing money are NOT happy.  Even if customer apathy doesn't kill...

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06

October

2015

By: Richard Starr

Categories:

A Great Post at The Guardian About the Cultural Embrace of Digital Reading

LOGO-1-TheGuardianAnna Baddeley at The Guardian has written an interesting and accurate assessment of how ebooks and digital reading have essentially become a part of our collective culture. Well worth a read...digitally, of course.

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06

October

2015

By: Richard Starr

Categories:

Publishers Raise Ebook Prices at Amazon, Revenue Drops. Big Surprise.

amazon_pngThe Wall Street Journal takes a look at how publishers raising their ebook prices has negatively affected revenue under the new Amazon contracts.


http://www.wsj.com/article_email/e-book-sales-weaken-amid-higher-prices-1441307826-lMyQjAxMTE1MzAxNDUwMjQ2Wj

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26

March

2015

By: Richard Starr

Categories:

Another ‘Enhanced’ Ebook Company Takes a Shot at Disrupting Digital Reading

LOGO-Metabook An article in today's Publishing Perspective reports that a startup called Metabooks is the latest company to take a stab at the 'enhanced' ebook market. 

According to Metabooks' Creative Director, Benjamin Alfonsi, the company's first project is an iOS-exclusive edition of John Berendt's bestseller Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.  The book appears to be a stand-alone app--nothing new in the so-called interactive book arena--and includes a variety of content such as a full-length audiobook recording (Alfonsi refers to it as an "audio dramatization").   

Which is kind of an odd thing to call it.  Because aren’t audio...

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13

March

2015

By: Richard Starr

Categories:

Legendary Fantasy Author Terry Pratchett Dies

LOGO-BBCAccording to the BCC and other sources, legendary fantasy author Terry Pratchett has died at the age of 66 from the effects of Alzheimer's disease.  Pratchett, creator of the international bestselling Discworld series, was a long-time supporter of assisted suicide, although he ultimately elected not to take his own life and died from the natural effects of his condition.

Sadly, I never met Terry Pratchett, so I have no stories to relate about him or his work.  By all accounts, however, he was quite an interesting man, and was obviously a fine writer.   He will be missed.

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13

March

2015

By: Richard Starr

Categories:

JA Konrath Offers His Characters in the Kindle World Program

JA KonrathBestselling self-published author J.A. Konrath blogs about the new Kindle Worlds program that allows other writers to create all-new stories featuring his characters.  If the very nice looking covers showcased on his blog are any indication, the program looks to be off to a strong start.

Personally, I wouldn't really want other people playing in the worlds I create without some fairly stringent guidelines as to what can and cannot be done to my characters.  Perhaps that comes from my background in licensed intellectual property and seeing the level of concern that license holders generally have over how the public perceives their characters and the value of those properties as a whole.

That said, I applaud Konrath for allowing such freedom with his creations.  I hope it continues to be a positive...

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13

March

2015

By: Richard Starr

Categories:

Good E Reader on Episodic Fiction’s Future

LOGO-1-Good E ReaderIn this March 11, 2015 blog entry, Michal Kozlowski at the Good E Reader blog takes a look at the increasing success of episodic fiction on Amazon's ebook subscription service, Kindle Unlimited.  Although the focus of Michael's blog entry is the KU program, I would argue that the same trends are likely occuring on rival platforms such as Scribd and Oyster.

Niche markets such as children's books or computer books are a logical fit for the subscription ebook model.  So is episodic fiction.  The question people should be asking is why we need a dedicated marketplace just for subscription fiction.  Based on reports by authors and some industry bloggers, authors are being hurt by the subscription model and the only...

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