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Posts Tagged ‘Jeff Bezos’

Amazon to Release $139 Wi-Fi Edition of Kindle eReader

kindle13923.jpgLast night, with typical Amazon timing, Amazon unveiled a $139 edition of the Kindle eReader. The “Kindle Wi-Fi” will be smaller, cheaper, and have higher resolution.

UPDATED: eBookNewser has more Amazon news today–the bookseller has launched a Kindle Store in the UK, but UK publishers won’t get to set their own prices. In addition, the president of the American Booksellers Association has criticized Amazon’s deal with the Wylie Agency: “Diminishing the availability of titles and narrowing the options for readers can only harm our society in the long run.”

Finally, we live-blogged Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos‘ appearance on Charlie Rose last night–follow this link to read our coverage to learn more about the new Kindle (pictured above).

Jeff Bezos: “Kindle Format Has Now Overtaken the Hardcover Format”

amazonlogocom.pngAmazon founder Jeff Bezos rocked the publishing world with a Kindle sales quote late yesterday.

He explained: “[W]hile our hardcover sales continue to grow, the Kindle format has now overtaken the hardcover format. Amazon.com customers now purchase more Kindle books than hardcover books–astonishing when you consider that we’ve been selling hardcover books for 15 years, and Kindle books for 33 months.”

The online bookseller put out a release today loaded with intriguing facts. Nevertheless, the company still has not released straightforward figures about total Kindle sales or total eBooks sold. Among the other details, the company revealed they have sold three times as many Kindle books in the first half of 2010 compared to the first half of 2009.

According to the release (embedded below), five authors have already sold more than 500,000 Kindle books. eBookNewser has the complete list of these new digital all-stars.

Amazon also shared this statistic for paid books: “Over the past three months, for every 100 hardcover books Amazon.com has sold, it has sold 143 Kindle books. Over the past month, for every 100 hardcover books Amazon.com has sold, it has sold 180 Kindle books.”

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Jeff Bezos Predicts Publishers with Cheap eBooks Will Dominate

jeffbezos-1.gifThis week Fortune magazine landed an interview with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, talking to the executive during a crucial time for the company–considering the eBook price war and the Apple iPad’s swift rise.

In the interview, Bezos defended the Amazon Kindle as a unique device that will continue to captivate readers (despite one expert’s prediction that tablet computers will soon outnumber eReaders). In addition, Bezos issued a veiled warning to publishers about eBook pricing in the interview.

Check out his dramatic quote: “First of all, there are a bunch of publishers of all sizes, and they don’t all have one opinion. There are as many opinions about what the right thing to do is as there are publishers. So you’re seeing that some of them are being very aggressive on prices, pricing their books well below $9.99. Others are trying to do everything they can to make prices as high as possible. And what you’re going to see is a share shift from one group of publishers to this other group of publishers.”

Walter Isaacson Reportedly Will Write “Authorized Biography” of Steve Jobs

sketches23.pngYesterday the NY Times broke the news that Apple CEO Steve Jobs “is set to collaborate on an authorized biography.” After a little bit of research, GalleyCat spotted the first mention of Jobs in the work of his new biographer.

According to the article, the biography will be written by Walter Isaacson–author of American Sketches. The author would not comment on the anonymously attributed claims that he will write Jobs’ biography. However, in American Sketches, he identified Jobs as one of the “two most creative digital innovators,” listing the Apple CEO alongside another publishing industry revolutionary.

Here’s the passage, via Google Books: “Jobs got music consumers (of all people) comfortable with the concept of paying 99 cents for a tune instead of Napsterizing an entire industry, and Jeff Bezos with his Kindle showed that consumers would buy electronic versions of books, magazines, and newspapers if purchases could be done simply.”

Millions of Kindles Sold

jeffbezos-1.gifIn a dramatic statement about his company’s place in the eBook universe, Amazon (AMZN) CEO Jeff Bezos bragged that his company has sold “millions” of Kindles–the most concrete sales figures he has offered for the eReader.

Here’s his statement: “Millions of people now own Kindles … And Kindle owners read, a lot. When we have both editions, we sell 6 Kindle books for every 10 physical books. This is year-to-date and includes only paid books — free Kindle books would make the number even higher. It’s been an exciting 27 months.”

As booksellers around the globe struggled in the fourth quarter, Bezos reported that Amazon’s net sales had grown 42 percent to $9.52 billion compared to the same period last year. The statement comes after a mixed response to the Apple (AAPL) iPad unveiling yesterday.

Indie Bookstore eBook Dilemma

changinghandslogo.jpgAs the publishing world debated delays in eBooks this week, another, no less important conversation sprang up on Twitter about the difficulty of bundling digital and print content for indie publishers.

To find out more, GalleyCat caught up with Brandon Stout (the “book-besotted PR and design guy” from Changing Hands Bookstore). His commentary was honest and compelling, and we’ve included most of his email interview here: “Our marketing department met one afternoon with the idea that we’d ‘figure out’ eBooks once and for all, including how to bundle them with hardcover purchases–even if it meant giving them away at cost,” explained Stout.

“The more we looked, the more we found that eBook pricing wasn’t just bloated, it was erratic. No clear patterns emerged. Worse still, from publisher to publisher and from book to book we had no reliable way of determining our cost, which of course makes selling eBooks at cost problematic. Very quickly the fantasy that eBooks would be the great equalizer, that they would allow us to compete with Amazon and B&N, vanished.”

He continued: “To make bundling viable at Changing Hands–to make e-books viable for indies at all, really–it’s not enough to sell them at cost. We’d have to sell at a significant loss. Jeff Bezos, as you know, is working to recalibrate public expectation to $9.99 for e-books, and Cory Doctorow and Chris Anderson are working to recalibrate that recalibration to free. Meanwhile, as independent booksellers wait for pricing to come down and DRM issues to shake out, Amazon tightens its grip on early tech adopters — readers who will be far less likely to abandon their Kindles when indies finally limp into the game.”

After jump, Stout offers some suggestions for the future.

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Amazon.com’s Request to Block Preliminary Approval of Google Book Settlement Rejected

a.com_logo_RGB1.jpgA federal judge has rejected Amazon.com (AMZN)’s request to prevent “preliminary approval” of the Google Books settlement.

Here’s more from Reuters: “In a Tuesday ruling, U.S. District Judge Denny Chin said he planned to conduct a ‘thorough fairness analysis’ of the settlement at a February 18, 2010 hearing and Amazon could argue its case then.”

All year Google (GOOG) and the Authors Guild have struggled to finalize over Google’s efforts to scan millions of pages of books into an online database. When asked about the settlement in June, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos wondered why Google should “get a prize for violating a large series of copyrights.”

Amazon Kindle Now Available in More Than 100 Countries

Left_hand_2.gifAfter a long wait, Amazon.com (AMZN) has released a global version of the Kindle digital reader, making the device available in the UK and more than 100 countries and territories. In an additional boon for U.S. readers, the company also dropped the Kindle’s price by $40, from $299 to $259.

Along with the new globetrotting reader, Amazon is now accepting pre-orders for the new Kindle with U.S. & international wireless. Shipping October 19, it will sell for for $279. Along with the new device comes a host of new publishers on the international device, a list that includes Bloomsbury, Canongate, Faber and Faber, Hachette, Harlequin, HarperCollins, Lonely Planet, Penguin, Profile Books, Quercus, Simon & Schuster and Wiley.

Here’s more from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos: “Kindle is the most wished for, the most gifted, and the #1 bestselling product across the millions of items we sell on Amazon, and we’re excited to be able to lower the price … At home or abroad in over 100 countries, you can think of a book and download it wirelessly in less than 60 seconds.”

Amazon Settles Orwellian Lawsuit for $150,000

a.com_logo_RGB1.jpgAmazon.com (AMZN) settled with Kindle customer Justin Gawronski this week, a reader who sued the bookseller for remotely deleting “1984″ (and all his notes) on his Kindle–paying out $150,000 to the teenage customer.

In July, Amazon’s remote deletion of “1984″ and “Animal Farm” on users’ Kindles unleashed a storm of controversy and a personal apology from CEO Jeff Bezos. According to the LA Times, Gawronski will give the money to charity, happy to have his $30 gift certificate for the lost books.

Here’s more from the article: “Gawronski is based in Michigan, and was adversely affected when the Amazon deletion also partially ate his homework. ‘It’s a lot of brainstorming. It’s nothing super concrete,” Gawronski told The Times. ‘I was between a quarter and halfway through [the book]. I had a good amount of notes.’” (Publishers Lunch)

Journalist Suggsts Amazon Should Not Apologize

paulcarr.jpgIn a recent Telegraph column, journalist Paul Carr praised Amazon.com, Inc. for last week’s digital scandal–proposing that the company had every right to remotely remove two titles from users’ Kindles.

The company incurred the wrath of Kindle users when they remotely deleted unauthorized editions of “1984″ and “Animal Farm” that customers had purchased for the e-reader. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos apologized, and the company refunded users. According to Carr (pictured, via), it wasn’t a question of censorship, it was a question of author copyright protection.

Here’s more from the unapologetic essay: “[T]hanks to ebooks and the Kindle and Whispernet, the rights of authors–and their reward for spending their lives creating ideas and entertainment that benefit the world–can be protected and actively enforced. For that reason, Amazon were not just justified but obliged, both morally and legally, to take the action they did.” (Via TeleRead)

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