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Tag: Kindle

Free Mac Application for Reading Kindle Books Now Available

Amazon.com, Inc. announced “Kindle for Mac,” a free application that lets readers around the world read Kindle books on their Mac computers. The U.S. Kindle Store currently offers over 450,000 books, including New Releases and 102 of the New York Times Bestsellers. Kindle books can now be read on the Kindle, Kindle DX, iPhone, iPod touch, BlackBerry, PC and Mac, and soon the iPad. Kindle for Mac features Amazon’s Whispersync technology which saves and synchronizes bookmarks and last page read across devices. With Kindle for Mac, readers can take advantage of the following features: Purchase, download, and read the many Kindle format books available; Access their library of previously purchased Kindle books stored on Amazon’s servers for free; Choose from 10 different font sizes and adjust words per line; Add and automatically synchronize bookmarks and last page read; View notes and highlights marked on Kindle, Kindle DX, and Kindle for iPhone; & Read books in full color including children’s books, cookbooks, travel books and textbooks. Several features will be added to the Kindle for Mac app in the near future, including full text search and the ability to create and edit notes and highlights. Kindle for Mac is available to customers around the world as a free download. http://www.amazon.com/kindleformac

Response to iPad Release: Publishers, Take a Deep Breath

Not surprisingly, there’s been a lot of ink spilt on the iPad, from the numerous name-related jokes, to serious considerations, both positive and negative.  I’ve been letting the iPAD news kick about for a while, before adding my two cents.

On the thoughtful side of iPAD-related commentary, as good an example as, any comes from Samir Kakar, CTO, Aptara Corporation, a fellow that knows a thing or two, or million, about ebooks, digital publishing processes, and content formats.

Samir points to some interesting strengths of the iPAD, including its use of the ePub format, even while rightly arguing that “the ePub standard will likely need to be updated to allow publishers to create more detailed layouts and attach various types of multimedia supported by the iPad.” Other important characteristics include the color screen, Apple’s DRM, and distribution and ecommerce platform initiatives like Apple’s iBookstore.

A lot of people are enthusiastic, and especially among the ebook crowd, since Apple comes in as a major play, and, hey, as usual, another of Steve Jobs’ good-looking babies.

But of course, the immediate impact the iPAD will have for book publishers will be modest, at least in comparison to these same publishers’ need to get their publishing processes in order. From the perspective of making money from digital content, publishers need to keep their focus on enriching content with meta-data and striving for one-source/many format publishing. This alone should cause book publishers to take a deep breath or two.

As to iPAD, while I may be wrong in my complaint, at least I’m consistent: As I’ve earlier argued about Kindle being a needlessly restricted device , I’m more annoyed when it comes to iPAD.  Why there’s no voice telephone option—despite the presence of the 3G cell phone signal I/O—simply flummoxes me. Why the iPAD isn’t multi-tasking—such as a MP3/iTunes player, while, say, perusing the Web or epublication—leaves me scratching my head.

But then again, I haven’t seen a compelling enough argument for dedicated ereaders that erase my reservations about too-high prices for artificially constrained communication devices.  Yes, people say that the Kindle is too big to be used conveniently as a telephone, and, obviously, the size/portability questions grow more as the size does, as with the iPAD.

But then, just what am I going to do with all those iPAD shoulder holsters I’ve been making in my basement over the long winter?

I guess I better concentrate on more useful projects, like the upcoming report from the Gilbane Publishing Practice, A Blueprint for Book Publishing Transformation: Seven Essential Systems to Re-Invent Publishing.  For more information about this, contact me or Ralph Marto.

Atex Announces Support for e-Reader Publishing

Atex announced their content management system, atex content, supports direct publication to e-readers and tablet devices. Media companies can capitalize on these technologies to publish content without custom development. The functionality could also allow publishers to develop new digital revenue streams while increasing the level of customer interaction. As e-reader demand is expected to increase as the technology develops, consumers will require more of their content to be delivered digitally. Atex content could help media companies take advantage of this trend with functionality to streamline digital content publishing. Whether it’s from print or the Web, editors can take content and reuse it in digital devices without needing additional staff or hardware. Instead of relying on a few products, e-readers could help media companies diversify what they provide to consumers. Depending on the model used, a media company will be able to track the content customers like most and allow readers to leave comments and answer poll questions. These social features should help publishers build tighter relationships with their readers and understand what content will retain their interest. www.atex.com

Amazon Announces New Royalty Incentive for Authors

Amazon.com has announced details of a new program that will enable authors and publishers who use the Kindle Digital Text Platform (DTP) to earn a larger share of revenue from each Kindle book they sell. For each Kindle book sold, authors and publishers who choose the new 70 percent royalty option will receive 70 percent of list price, net of delivery costs. This new option will be in addition to and will not replace the existing DTP standard royalty option. This new 70 percent royalty option will become available on June 30, 2010. Delivery costs will be based on file size and pricing will be $0.15/MB. At today’s median DTP file size of 368KB, delivery costs would be less than $0.06 per unit sold. For example, on an $8.99 book an author would make $3.15 with the standard option, and $6.25 with the new 70 percent option. DTP authors and publishers will be able to select the royalty option that best meets their needs. Books from authors and publishers who choose the 70 percent royalty option will have access to all the same features and be subject to all the same requirements as books receiving the standard royalty rate. In addition, to qualify for the 70 percent royalty option, books must satisfy the following set of requirements: The author or publisher-supplied list price must be between $2.99 and $9.99; This list price must be at least 20 percent below the lowest physical list price for the physical book; The title is made available for sale in all geographies for which the author or publisher has rights; The title will be included in a broad set of features in the Kindle Store, such as text-to-speech; This list of features will grow over time as Amazon continues to add more functionality to Kindle and the Kindle Store. Under this royalty option, books must be offered at or below price parity with competition, including physical book prices. Amazon will provide tools to automate that process, and the 70 percent royalty will be calculated off the sales price. The 70 percent royalty option is for in-copyright works and is unavailable for works published before 1923 (public domain books). At launch, the 70 percent royalty option will only be available for books sold in the United States. http://dtp.amazon.com/

From the Department of Inscrutable Data Points

Time magazines’s Josh Quittner offers some insight into Kindle sales:

According to a source at Amazon, “on a title-by-title basis, of the 130,000 titles available on Kindle and in physical form, Kindle sales now make up over 12% of sales for those titles.”

Amazon’s quarterly results didn’t spell things out more, though the inventory of eBook titles continues to grow:

The number of titles available for the Kindle are now up to 140,000 compared to 90,000 at launch, and the company did not break out any other Kindle figures except to say sales of e-books represent a low double digit percentage of the 140,000 titles available in both e-books and print formats.