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Archives: January 2011

Asus To Release Note-Taking Tablet In Europe

Asus has a new digital note-taking device coming out in Europe next month called the Eee Note EA800. The device looks like a mix between a Wacom tablet and a Kindle.

Liliputing has more: “The tablet features a grayscale display that supports 64 shades of gray. It also has a Wacom digitizer and comes with a stylus that allows pressure-sensitive note-taking, allowing you to take handwritten notes, or draw pictures. The device also has a 2MP camera which takes color pictures (although you’ll need to export them from the Eee Note to view them in full color).”

The EA800 has an 8 –inch screen, is WiFi enabled, has about 4G in storage and weighs about a pound. It will retail for 259 Euro, or about $355 US.

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iPad 2 Could Have Anti-Reflective Screen

Rumors that the iPad 2 will come with a new higher resolution screen may be false. At least according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of Concord Securities, who follows Apple closely. But it might have a better screen for reading in the sun.

AppleInsider got their hands on Kuo’s report. Here is a snippet: “The improvement of iPad 2 display,’ the report notes, ‘focuses on thickness and anti-reflection, not resolution. iPad 2 display module is 30~35% thinner than iPad 1 and it’s helpful for better form factor. Thanks to anti-reflection, iPad 2 could have better sunlight readable experience and it’s helpful for Apple to compete with Amazon’s fast growing Kindle business.’”

Kindle and Nook owners’ biggest complaint about the iPad is its bright screen, which does not bode well for outdoor reading and can be harsh on the eyes. If Apple can solve this problem, they may be able to sway readers to the tablet side of things.

Man Steals Nook From Texas Mall

An eReader theft has made headlines in Beaumont, Texas. The Beaumont Police released a surveillance video of a man allegedly stealing a $250 Nook Color from a Books-A-Million at a local mall.

KFDM
has the story: “The man stole the electronic device at about 4:15 p.m. Sunday, January 23. He walked over to the Nook display, examining the devices, then removed the security cable and disabled the alarm. He concealed the device behind his back and walked out of the store.”

Device thefts are not uncommon in New York City. Over the summer, a Brooklyn resident had a Kindle snatched out of his hands while reading on the subway in Park Slope.

How to Write a Kindle Single

Today’s guest on the Morning Media Menu was Evan Ratliff, editor of the brand new long-form nonfiction publication, The Atavist.

During the long interview, Ratliff offered advice for publishers and authors looking to explore Amazon’s Singles program. He also explained how his boutique publishing house publishes long-form multimedia nonfiction in a time when outlets for long-form reporting are dying out.

Follow this link to listen to the interview. Currently, Atavist stories are available through iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch Atavist app; through through Amazon’s new Kindle Singles collection; and on the Nook. Find out more at the publisher’s Twitter page.

He offered this advice: “It’s still early days. Everything that goes into your Amazon Single should not feel like it was tossed off from some other place. That’s something that doesn’t strike me as particularly successful, to say, ‘Here are a bunch of leftovers that we have from something else. Let’s turn it into a Kindle Single.”

Read more

Twitter Sends Six Year Old Book Up Kindle Charts

Twitter can have a lot of power when it comes to reviving an old book. Author Sarah Salway learned this when her book Something Beginning With, which was originally published in 2004, was republished by the Friday Project this past November.

After catching the eyes of some influential Twitter users, this buried book managed to make its way up the Kindle charts.

Publishing Talk reports: “When Something Beginning With became available again as part of the Friday Project’s “Library of Lost Books”, publisher Scott Pack blogged about it on The Bookseller site, and Sarah Salway blogged about how lucky she felt to get a second chance. Then author Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) tweeted about it to his 1.5m followers, pushing it up to 500 in the Kindle charts. Another tweeter called @GreatDismal – otherwise known as the author William Gibson – said he was taking it and another of Sarah’s books on holiday with him. Other tweeters picked up on this, including @gardenmonkey and @Danoosha.”

If you want the same to happen for your book, it helps to be on the radar of influential Twitter users. We have a number of Twitter feeds lists including the best eReader Twitter feeds, the best editor Twitter feeds and the best book review feeds.

Plato’s Republic Is Free eBook Today

Today’s Free eBook of the Day is The Republic by Plato.

Plato’s classic philosophic text is a worthwhile read for any reader interested in political discourse. Here is an excerpt: “The idea of the perfect State is full of paradox when judged of according to the ordinary notions of mankind. The paradoxes of one age have been said to become the commonplaces of the next; but the paradoxes of Plato are at least as paradoxical to us as they were to his contemporaries. The modern world has either sneered at them as absurd, or denounced them as unnatural and immoral; men have been pleased to find in Aristotle’s criticisms of them the anticipation of their own good sense.”

Project Gutenberg has the free download.

For more free eBooks, check out our Free eBook of the Day archive.

Samsung Has Not Sold 2 Million Galaxy Tablets

Samsung has not sold 2 million Galaxy tablets since launch, or ever. The company released this number last week, but today said that these numbers did not refer to sales to consumers, but rather to shipment figures to retailers and carrier partners.

SlashGear has more: “The company had announced 1m sales of the 7-inch Android tablet back in early December 2010, and claimed to have passed the 2m sales point late last week; however, when questioned during Samsung’s quarterly earnings call, the WSJ reports, a Samsung executive admitted that actual customer sales were still ‘quite small.’”

The company lowered the price of the tablets from $600 to $299 last week, and now maybe we know why. Besides all of the competition that debuted at CES, it seems that getting their tablet to market earlier than most tablet makers has not yet turned into actual sales.

Textbook Publishers Test iPad Apps In Schools

iPad apps are making their way into the classrooms of elementary schools across the country, as part of a pilot program for kids who are growing up in the digital realm.

And textbook publishers are taking advantage of the program by redesigning their books to be tested in these pilot classrooms.

The Boston Globe reports: “The devices offer a digital platform for longtime print textbook publishers like Pearson Education Inc… Last fall, the company launched what it claims is the nation’s first-ever complete social studies curriculum for the iPad, in partnership with Virginia officials. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Co. has also redesigned a classic textbook to take advantage of the iPad. Since early September, around 400 students in California have been learning algebra via a new iPad-only program designed by the Boston company.”

Publishers have learned that iPads work well for selling children’s books to toddlers, so it makes sense that textbook publishers would follow suit and release book apps for a slightly older audience.

KooBits Releases eBook Version Of “Dinosaurs Across America”

Digital publisher KooBits has a new interactive comic book available about dinosaurs. Based on cartoonist Phil Yeh‘s comic, Dinosaurs Across America, the eBook with the same name is designed for reading on a PC or an iPad.

Like many children’s book apps, the eBook includes full color pages with the ability to scroll interactively between pages. There are also games and there is a voice over feature, in which readers can have a voice read parts of the story back to them.

The eBook is available for $9.99 in the KooBits store, and can be synced with three devices. The release comes three weeks after KooBits launched an eReader app for Windows. KooBits 4.0 for Mac will be released in the coming weeks.

Q&A: Smashwords Founder Mark Coker Predicts Drop in eBook Prices


Smashwords founder Mark Coker created a multi-platform publishing service that helps independent writers and publishers compete with traditional publishing houses.  But now that the major publishers have fixed their prices, it’s the retailers who need the help. Here, Coker dissects the agency model of bookselling and answers the question, what should readers pay for an eBook?

Which retailers are you currently working with?

We’ve signed distribution agreements with Sony, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple, and we’re working on a deal with Amazon.

What about Google?

Read more

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