Michael Hart gives us a couple of of intresting pieces of news in this months PG Newsletter.
In a recent article, CNN wrote, “[a]s further proof of how digital media dominate today’s entertainment, Amazon announced Thursday that its customers now buy more e-books for its Kindle device than all print books — hardcover and paperback — combined.”
“Customers are now choosing Kindle books more often than print books. We had high hopes that this would happen eventually, but we never imagined it would happen this quickly — we’ve been selling print books for 15 years and Kindle books for less than four years,” according to Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos.
Also, the Association of American publishers are saying that ebook sales for March 2011 were just about 2.5 times [in dollars] what they were in March, 2010, and there’s more and more reports stating that eBooks are now outpacing paper in the various retail markets, and that’s not even counting the number of free eBooks being handed out all over the world.
This really is the “Year of the eBook!!!”
With reference to this Times Online article, it seems that the Amazon Kindle and the Sony Reader are to be made available in the UK sometime over the next few months — it’s about bloody time!
…the launch of two rival devices due to come on sale in Britain over the next few months – Sony’s Reader and Amazon’s Kindle.
Although I already have my own Sony Reader, which I purchased while still working on the cruise ships out of Florida, I’m hoping this will mean I can start to purchase books for it from the Connect store. At present I have to settle for public domain books (PG, manybooks.net, etc) or download PDF’s from eBooks.com.
Other good news is that the two big British publishers, Random House and Hachette, which together have over 30% of the UK book market, are to offer downloadable versions for many of their top authors, ranging from Delia Smith to Ian McEwan and Michael Parkinson.
According to the article, “every other major publisher is drawing up plans to follow suit” which can only be good for the eBook market.
UPDATE: Sony and Waterstones have teamed up to release the Reader PRS-505 in the UK, available from September 2008.
The Amazon Kindle is not only the latest E-Ink book reader to hit the market it also one with the highest profiles. A couple of the biggest differences of the Kindle over other readers such as the Sony Reader (PRS-505) and the Cybook Gen3, are that the Kindle has wireless connectivity and a mini-keyboard.
This wireless connectivity allows the user to access books without the need of a PC, certainly a big plus for the more non-tech of consumers. Using the same 3G network as advanced cell phones, the Kindle delivers content using the Amazon Whispernet wireless delivery system. Unlike WiFi, you’ll never need to locate a hotspot. There are no confusing service plans, yearly contracts, or monthly wireless bills—Amazon take care of the hassles so you can just read.
Along with regular books this new service will allow you to have your newspaper subscriptions delivered via wireless each morning along with magazines. There is also an option for receiving your blog feeds.Becuase all this extra technology will hit the battery life, it may not be for everyone. Without a doubt, the keyboard will be a huge plus for many users.
Three years ago, we set out to design and build an entirely new class of device—a convenient, portable reading device with the ability to wirelessly download books, blogs, magazines, and newspapers. The result is Amazon Kindle.
Continue reading Amazon Kindle eBook Reader
Amazon is getting into the author-writing contest arena, launching the first Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award today in cooperation with Penguin and Hewlett-Packard. Amazon will accept submissions through November 5 and the winner will have his or her novel published by Penguin, which is also offering a $25,000 advance. PW will serve as preliminary judges of the material as well.
The contest is free and open to unpublished authors in 20 countries who have English-language manuscripts (complete contest rules and requirements are available at www.amazon.com/abna).
Extract taken from;
Amazon Launches Debut Novel Contest
Publishers Weekly, 2007-10-1
The buzz on the London Book Fair floor included speculation on when Amazon will launch its own e-book reader as well as the increasing number of U.K. publishers that have signed on for Google’s Book Search.
Amazon has been previewing its e-reader to publishers both in the U.S. and U.K.—HarperCollins UK CEO Victoria Barnsley mentioned the reader at yesterday’s LBF seminar on green publishing—for months, although it has declined to comment on its existence to the press. According to publishers who have seen the player, the reader is a step up from the
which was introduced last year. The screen quality is reportedly as sharp as Sony, but the Amazon device has better functionality, and, as should be expected from the e-tailer, a first rate e-commerce option. Amazon is expected to release the reader this spring, although the exact timing may depend on how fast it can develop a critical mass of titles. Two years ago, Amazon acquired Mobipocket—the company’s cross-platform e-book reader is designed to run on all PCs, handheld devices and mobile phones—and it is using that company to supply titles for the player.
Price is expected to be above $400.
Extract taken from;
London Buzzing About Amazon Reader, Google Online
Jim Milliot, Publishers Weekly, 18 April 2007
In a dramatic seachange in book sales, the dead have risen to smite the hitherto all-conquering boy sorceror.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows has, for the past 16 weeks, looked to be the invincible champion of the bestseller lists, despite being more than three months away from publication. But the wizardy whippersnapper hadn’t reckoned on the return of an even more popular author: JRR Tolkien has come back from beyond the grave to seize the throne of Amazon’s book charts.
The Children of Hurin, based on uncompleted manuscripts by Tolkien, has been worked into a book by the author’s youngest son, Christopher: a labour of love that has taken him 30 years.
The novel, which features different characters and settings from the epic Lord of the Rings trilogy is as crowded with elves, wizards, dragons and dwarves as its celebrated predecessor, and seems to have cast a powerful spell on the book-buying public.
Article taken from;
Tolkien tips Potter from Amazon top spot by Lindesay Irvine
Guardian Unlimited, April 18, 2007