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Archives: January 2011

Week In Review: Digital Book World; Amazon Sales; eBook Lending Sites Emerge

It’s Friday! Here is a roundup of all of the eBook news from the week:

BookSwim launched a site for sharing Kindle and Nook books called eBookFling.com.

Liza Daly explained how ePUB 3 will make designing enhanced eBooks easier at Digital Book World.

Wall Street analysts spoke about book retailers at Digital Book World.

Publishing CEOs discussed the $9.99 price point at Digital Book World.

We discovered that agents and publishers have different ideas about royalties at Digital Book World.

Russ Grandinetti, VP of Kindle Content at Amazon, gave an example of how the agency pricing model can hurt sales, at Digital Book World.

We put together a list of Dropbox apps for writers.

We put together a list of iPhone apps for writing.

HarperCollins acquired a book from teen writing site Inkpop.com.

Amazon launched the Kindle Singles storefront.

Samsung Has Sold 2 Million Galaxy Tablets

Samsung has sold more than 2 million Galaxy Tab devices since its November launch.

PC Magazine reports: “The Samsung Galaxy Tab, thought by many to be the only current true rival to the Apple iPad, first first hit store shelves November 11, and Samsung reported selling 1 million Galaxy Tabs by Dec. 5. Now, in almost three months since the launch, the figure has apparently passed 2 million. While a respectable number, the sales of the Galaxy Tab are still a fraction of the number of iPads sold. According to numbers from Apple, 14.8 million iPads were sold in 2010. The iPad has been on sale since April, however.”

Earlier this week, Samsung dropped the price of its tablets from $600 to $299, likely to compete against the growing number of tablets that launched or were shown off at CES.

Tools for Writers Writing in Oppressive Countries

Reports surfaced last night that the Internet has been shut down in Egypt as protests mount against the government. On the Morning Media Menu today, mediabistro Startups co-editor Kenneth Musante talked about tools online writers used to avoid Twitter and Facebook censorship in Egypt.

Musante recommended  Tor, a proxy service that has helped writers around the world dodge censorship. He explained: “If you set up a Tor client on your computer it sends your Internet traffic bouncing all around the world to these different routers. When it comes out on the other end, you can’t tell where it came from. It is designed so that people living countries that block specific sites can access sites like Twitter because it looks like your traffic is coming from Canada or something.”

Mashable listed a number of other apps that helped Egyptian writers get the message out during the early stages of the crackdown. The complete list follows below.

Read more

HarperCollins Acquires Book From Community Writing Site Inkpop.com

HarperCollins Publishers has acquired a paranormal romance teen novel from the interactive writing website inkpop.com.

The Carrier of the Mark by debut author Leigh Fallon, is the publisher’s first work to be discovered on the community writing website. After traditional agent submissions didn’t get her noticed, the Irish author uploaded here manuscript to inkpop and was voted into the site’s “Top Five” slot. An editor at HarperCollins reviewed the work and made the offer for World English rights. The book is slated for release this fall.

Susan Katz, President and Publisher of HarperCollins Children’s Books had this statement: “The opinions of our readers matter to us. Inkpop is HarperCollins Children’s Books’ first site (and not the last) to really put the users’ voice and ideas in the forefront. Social media is incredibly empowering if used correctly, and HarperCollins recognizes this and is gearing up to make social media the cornerstone of all of its digital endeavors.”

Martha Stewart Cookie App Updated For Valentine’s Day


Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia has updated the Martha Stewart Makes Cookies application for iPad just in time for Valentine’s Day. An iPhone update will follow.

The update includes 26 new cookie recipes including “Glitter Ball Cookies,” “Heart Sandwich Cookies,” and “Walnut-Truffle Cookies.” The new recipes bring the app’s total recipe count to include more than 90 cookie dishes. Additions also include new ideas for decorating for Valentine’s Day, with craft projects such as cookie boxes and doilies.

There is also a new limited-time holiday tool in which readers can send virtual cookies to their sweethearts on Valentine’s Day.

The cookbook app, published in conjunction with Callaway Digital Arts, is being offered at a sale price of $2.99 through Valentine’s Day.

“A Child al Confino” Is Free eBook Today

Today’s Free eBook of the Day is A Child al Confino by Eric Lamet.

The memoir is a Jewish child’s account of living through the Holocaust. Here is more from the book’s description: “A story about family, either by blood or by circumstance; a mother’s bravery and wit; and a young man’s naivete – Eric’s ability to recognize the unpredictable positives during the hardships of war afforded him the vivid experiences, memorable relationships and lessons about life that make this book stand apart.”

The eBook is currently being offered for free through Kindle, Google, Barnes & Noble and the Sony eBookstore, to honor International Holocaust Remembrance this week. The free download promotion lasts through tomorrow. The download has been free since yesterday and within 24 hours, it is No. 1 in the Kindle store.

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

Penguin Canada Partners With PubEasy

Penguin Canada has partnered with PubEasy, Bowker’s online e-commerce company for publishers.

Penguin Canada joins PubEasy’s online community of booksellers and suppliers in the North American market. Penguin Canada’s catalog of Canadian, international and agency titles will now be available to retailer booksellers online via PubEasy.

PubEasy’s registered booksellers can now use the service to order Penguin Canada titles, as well as track prices and availability.

Gary Aiello, SVP of Publishing Services at Bowker, had this statement: “The addition of Penguin’s Canadian books, agency and distribution lists broaden our title range to booksellers, increasing the coverage PubEasy has among Canada’s many book trade distributors. We’re happy to enhance the service offered by Penguin to its customers, enabling them to conduct business anytime, 365 days a year.”

“The Magic School Bus” iPad App Takes Kids To The Bottom Of The Ocean

Scholastic Media has a new children’s book app available called Magic School Bus: Oceans.

The app is based on the science-based book series The Magic School Bus by Joanna Cole and Bruce Degen, which has been bringing science to life through books and TV since 1986. The app takes readers to the bottom of the ocean and lets kids experiment and interact with the sea creatures they find there.

The app, which was released Jan. 3, is part of Scholastic’s new “Touch & Tilt” line of iPad storybook apps, which incorporates the touch and tilt features of the iPad into the content of the story.

The app comes as Scholastic is planning to relaunch the brand this fall to celebrate its 25th Anniversary.

Random House Kids’ App Teaches Reading

Random House Children’s Books has a new kid’s book app available for the iPad called How Rocket Learned to Read.

The app, from Random House imprint Schwartz & Wade Books, is based on author Tad Hills’s New York Times bestselling kids book with the same title. Like the print book, the app is designed to teach kids how to read and write.

The app features more than 40 pages of interactive text and illustrations with two different reading capabilities. The “Read to Me” option has the story being read aloud by actress Hope Davis, as the text is highlighted. The “Read It Myself,” read on their own and tap a word on a page to hear it read aloud. The app also has games for learning how to recognize letter and spell.

Random House Children’s Books collaborated with advertising agency Domani Studios, to create the app. The app is currently on sale for $4.99, down from the $7.99 retail price.

Amazon Sold ‘Millions’ of Third Generation Kindles Last Quarter

Amazon.com, Inc. announced its fourth quarter results today, counting a 36 percent rise in net sales and an eight percent increase in net income compared to the same period last year. Net sales totaled $12.95 billion for the quarter.

In addition, the company said it sold “millions of third-generation Kindles” during the quarter, keeping figures cloudy. The company did note that Kindle books are now more popular than paperbacks.

Here’s more from CEO Jeff Bezos, from the release: “We had our first $10 billion quarter, and after selling millions of third-generation Kindles with the new Pearl e-ink display during the quarter, Kindle books have now overtaken paperback books as the most popular format on Amazon.com. Last July we announced that Kindle books had passed hardcovers and predicted that Kindle would surpass paperbacks in the second quarter of this year, so this milestone has come even sooner than we expected – and it’s on top of continued growth in paperback sales.”

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