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Archives: June 2011

Borders Buy Out Means eBook Business Stays

Borders has found a buyer and if the deal goes through, the company would stay in business. Thursday evening Borders accepted a $215.1 million buyout from Direct Brands, a portfolio of Najafi Companies, which also owns the Book-of-the-Month Club.

If the deal goes through, Borders would operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Direct Brands. And apparently the company plans to focus on its eBook business.

Mike Edwards, Borders Group President, stated: “We are pleased to take another important step forward as we position Borders for a vibrant future and sustainable earnings growth.  Since the filing, we have made significant progress in reducing our cost structure, refocusing our merchandise offering, and building our eBook business.  We look forward to working with a supportive partner as we continue to execute on our turnaround strategy.”

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Kobo eBook Sales Now Count Towards USA Today’s Best-Selling Books List

USA Today announced this morning that it had added another eBookstore to its list of sources.

Toronto based Kobo Books has joined the ranks of Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders, the Sony Reader Store, Books-A-Million, and Powell’s Books.  These bookstores and others assist USA Today in tracking the sales of the best selling book titles in the US market. The stores provide statistical data on their weekly sales.

USA Today collates the data on the previous week’s sales and publishes a list of the 150 top sellers every Thursday. You can find the list on the newspaper’s website or you can download it as a PDF.

via USA Today

image by Martin Cathrae

Five Book Apps On Sale For Your Holiday Enjoyment

Are you getting ready for a big July 4th trip or just grilling in the back yard? We’ve put together a list of book apps that are on sale this week to help you enjoy your holiday. The list includes titles for grownups and kids.

  1. On The Road: Penguin Digital’s interactive iPad adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s classic novel will be on sale for $12.99 through July 5th. (The price will go up to $16.99 after the sale).
  2. Great Backyard Grilling: This cookbook app from CulinartMedia is a great tool for holiday BBQs and is on sale for $3.99.
  3. Yoga in Bed (Enhanced Edition): This Vook app by Naomi Sophia Call will help you get in shape for summer. Barnes & Noble has the app on sale for $3.99.
  4. Cars 2: Storybook Deluxe: Disney Publishing’s kids book iPad app is currently on sale for $5.99.
  5. Three Little Pigs: Nosy Crow’s digital adaptation of this classic children’s book is app is half off for the holiday the iPad version is now $3.99, and the iPhone version is $1.99.

The Majority of Science Fiction Readers Read eBooks

I’ve just been handed the results of a recent survey. It’s non-scientific but it does raise some interesting possibilities about eBook adoption.

The science fiction author Stephen Hunt wasn’t satisfied with the questions asked in some eBook surveys, so he decided to do his own. Using his website as well as Twitter and Facebook,  he polled his readers in June 2011. He received 836 responses.

71 percent read eBooks, a far larger number of respondents than I was expecting, even for SF readers. Also, another 20 percent are planning to get their first eReader. The survey also shows that as a reading device, the Kindle is still lagging behind the PC , with 35 percent using the Kindle and 65 percent using a computer.

One other detail is that buying direct from the publisher is more popular (39 percent) than any other source except the Kindle Store (54 percent).If this holds true across the eBook market, then it raises doubt about the market share claims made by the major eBookstores.

Also, it’s clear that diverse platform support is paying dividends for Amazon; many more respondents buy from the Kindle Store than own a Kindle.


image by Bartmani

The iPad Hits a New Milestone – 100,000 Apps

It’s been just 17 months since the launch of the iPad, and today it set a new record. Over 100 thousand apps have been developed for the iPad.

When the iPad hits stores last April, Apple promised that it would support “almost all” of the 150,000 plus apps in iTunes. That wasn’t quite true, and for a while there hackers came up with tricks to get around the less compatible aspects. As you can see by today’s news, that’s no longer required.

The apps are coming faster, too. it was only late March that the iPad got its 75 thousandth app. This means that it took an average of 5 months for each of the first 25 thousand apps, and yet it’s only taken 3 months for that last 25 thousand.

Anyone care to bet on when we’ll hit 200,000? I’d put money on the end of the year (if not sooner).

via MacStories

image via Flickr

Google Partners With Ace Hotel, Virgin America On Chromebook Promo

Trying to position its new Chromebook as ubercool, Google has teamed up with the likes of hipster travel businesses The Ace Hotel and Virgin America. Google is lending its Chromebooks to fliers on select Virgin America flights and has set up test labs in Ace Hotels to help promote its new netbooks, which went on sale earlier this month. The companies are also running a joint promotion giving away Chromebooks, flights and hotel rooms.

What is a Chromebook? Basically its a notebook that runs Web apps. According to Google: “Chromebooks are built and optimized for the web, where you already spend most of your computing time. So you get a faster, simpler and more secure experience without all the headaches of ordinary computers.”

Social Times has more about the different models: “The lowest priced model is Acer’s WiFi-only Chromia Chromebook priced at $379.99. The most expensive Chromebook models is priced at $499.99 – Samsung Series 5 3G Chromebook which has a 12.1-inch display and 3G wireless data capability in addition to WiFi. At 3.2 pounds, the Acer Chromia is a nearly full pound heavier than the MacBook Air 11.6-inch display model which also features a solid-state drive and instant suspend/resume (and is nearly three times the cost of the Chromia).”


Libre eBookstore Doubles in Size

The German media retailer has just added 220 thousand eBooks to its eBookstore. Customers can now search for and buy from a selection of 450,000 from German and international publishers including CUP, Pearson, Elsevier, and McGraw-Hill.

Libre also carries a number of eReader models, including the Acer Lumiread, Sony Readers, Pocketbook eReaders, and others. It also sells DVDs, CDs, books, and more. The Libre eBookstore even has an affiliate program with over 1,000 brick-and-mortar book stores signed up as partners in Germany.

It looks like the German eBook market might be about to get competitive. First Amazon launched its local German Kindle Store, and then Kobo started moving into Germany, and now Libre is adding foreign books in order to compete with the big boys.

image by Bill Ward’s Brickpile

Earth, Sun, Moon Reading Apps Dominate Android App List

Earth, moon and sun reading apps dominate the Android Books & Reference App list this week with four apps dedicated to the subject making the Top 10. Knowledge engine WolframAlpha is still the top paid Android Books & Reference app in the Android Market this week. The app has led the list since we started counting at the beginning of May.

To prepare for Mediabistro’s upcoming Publishing App Expo on December 7-8, we will be spotlighting the top grossing book apps every week–helping our readers discover and analyze successful content.

Below, we’ve listed the top ten paid Android Books & Reference apps of the week. We’ve linked to the online pages for the individual apps so you can explore the content. Read more

Augen The Book now $50 on

Daily Steals has Augen’s ebook reader on sale for today only. It’s new in box and is selling for slightly more than half the original retail price.

This eBook reader debuted last fall to mixed reviews. It’s based on a 7″ LCD screen, and it has Wifi, 2GB Flash storage, SD card slot, keyboard, speakers, and a case. It reads Epub and PDF and it supports Adobe DE DRM.

I have to warn you that there are a couple problems with this deal. This particular daily deals website isn’t very good about getting orders shipped in a timely fashion or telling the customer about the shipment. They ship, yes, but it takes a while.

The other problem is that Augen might have already shut down. I’m still looking into it, but I cannot tell that Augen is still operating. Its website is down and no one responds to emails. If the company is dead then there is effectively no warranty. I would be concerned.

Daily Steals

Open Road Partners With Bedford Square Books

Digital publisher Open Road Integrated Media has partnered with Bedford Square Books, a new book publishing venture founded by the Ed Victor Literary Agency in London.

Through the partnership, Open Road will publish Bedford Square’s titles as eBooks and print-on-demand volumes in North America.

The books involved in this partnership include a number of out-of-print backlist titles written by clients of the Ed Victor Literary Agency. This includes Good Times, Bad Times by Sir Harold Evans and Tales for the Telling by Edna O’Brien. Open Road will also produce marketing videos about select Bedford Square Books authors.