Lending Library or Intellectual Property Heist?

With the first shipments of its e-reader tablet, the Kindle Fire, Amazon announced its new “Lending Library”—a free service available to “Prime” subscribers that allows them free access to more the 5,000 e-books. This $79.99/year membership also offers free 2-day shipping on all orders and free streaming video and music on the Kindle Fire. Sounds

Defining Book Value: When Money Gets in the Way

Apple is standing alongside five major publishing houses at the defendant’s table for allegedly conspiring to raise e-book prices. HarperCollins, Hachette, Macmillan, Penguin, and Simon & Schuster are on the stand defending themselves against allegations that Apple aided them in pushing Amazon away from their standard $9.99 price point for newly released and bestselling Kindle

Social Reading: Sharing notes differently

A new buzz-term is flying around the publishing community: Social Reading. New websites have been popping up over the past year and a half, from Copia to Shelfari, bringing together ebook clubs from readers all over the world and connecting them with other book-lovers with similar interests. From these sites one can read, buy, comment,

Bibliometrics a-go-go

I caught a glimpse of the new “book futures” market on Day – 1 of the London Book Fair last Sunday. The pre-show Digital Conference was my “jet lag day,” that first day after an all-night Boston-to-London flight. Warm room, low lighting, comfortable chairs, it was tempting sometimes to try and listen to the presenters

Who needs Web 2.0?

I found this fascinating quote today: I’ve given a few talks on why these new tools are failing to catch on — here’s an early one given at a publishers meeting, and a later one given to an audience of scientists.  The short answer, if you don’t want to read my lengthy posts, is that very few,

Kindle Value-Chain Change

Considering Amazon’s new “front door,” its e-reader Kindle, as a stocking stuffer, I think about the $400 price tag and ask “What is it?” and “Is it worth it?” and “Why does it matter?” In fact, it is not just another proprietary e-reader. And unlike the BlackBerry, it is not a handheld device trying to

Reading Dwindles as Kindle Kindles?

Just as Amazon is positioning its new $400 e-reader as a tempting stocking stuffer, news arrives about a drop in the U.S. literacy rate. The Boston Globe reports this morning that U.S. fourth graders are losing ground in literacy, for the first time lagging behind Russia, Hong Kong, and Singapore, according to an international study recently completed