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Archives: September 2011

Kindle Fire & iPhone Writing Apps: Top eBook Headlines of the Week

For your weekend reading pleasure, here are the most popular eBook headlines of the week–ranging from the Kindle Fire to Nook rumors to eBook conversion.

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1. Amazon Unveils $199 Kindle Fire Tablet & $99 Kindle Touch
2. Top 10 Most Misused Words in the English Language
3. Free eBooks of the Week
4. How to Convert EPub Books for use on Kindle
5. How to Read eBooks on the HP TouchPad
6. Barnes & Noble Likely To Launch A New Nook Color
7. Best iPhone Apps for Writing
8. How to Read Library eBooks on Your Kindle
9. Most Expensive Kindle eBook Now on Sale – 20% Off
10. How To Convert PDFs to ePub or Kindle Files

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iPhone 5 Prototype Revealed

Yesterday I brought you a video of a fake iPhone 5. The video was made by someone who clearly felt deeply about the iPhone, so much so that he put the time and effort into faking a video. Today I will show you something even more surprising.

The video above was made by a team of bloggers who were so obsessed with the new iPhone that they coughed up the funds to make a design prototype. This isn’t the new iPhone, and given that they don’t have the plans it’s possibly not even close to looking like the real thing. But this prototype is their best guess of what the new iPhone will look like when it is unveiled next week. If you like, you can read their post on what the prototype feels like. I won’t; I prefer to stay away from the crazy people.

Kindle Fire Costs $210 To Produce

Despite the fact that Amazon has a new array of devices, the company seems to care more about being in the business of selling content and not devices. This is how they push ahead with competitive pricing. They don’t seem to care too much about making a profit on the device at all.

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, the $199 tablet is not likely to make Amazon much at all. Here is more from The WSJ: “A preliminary estimate conducted by IHS pegs the total cost to produce the Kindle Fire at $209.63. Adding in expected sales of digital content per device, IHS estimates Amazon is likely to generate a marginal profit of $10 on each Kindle Fire sold.”

The company led the way with bargain basement pricing for Kindles back in the days of eReader price wars and are largely responsible for the cost of entry being so low on eReaders today. With a $79 eInk device now available and a $199 tablet, Amazon is proving that they want to own the content business.

M-Edge Launches New Child-Proof iPad Case

M-Edge has decided to join the never-ending fight between gadget makers and children. On the one side there is the greatest destructive force known to western civilization, the 8-year-old child. And on the other side is a group of manufacturers dedicated to thwarting the 8-year-old.

M-Edge is entering the fray with the SuperShell, a new case for the iPad 2. This $30 case is available now, and it features heavy padding on all edges as well as the back of the iPad.

There’s no protection for the screen, but this case should help an iPad 2 survive being used as a frisbee or discus. Should a child try to use it as an axe, the extra padding on the edges will likely reduce the need for stitches on the other child.

‘Pumpkin Cookbook’ Is Free eBook Today

Pumpkin Cookbook by Gooseberry Patch is today’s Free eBook of the Day.

The seasonal cookbook is currently the No. 2 free book on Kindle’s Top 100 Free list. It includes a variety of ways to cook a pumpkin. Here is more from the book’s description: “Get a taste of Gooseberry Patch in this collection of over 20 favorite pumpkin recipes! Pumpkins are as versatile in the kitchen as they are in your home…start the morning with Pumpkin Coffee Cake, amaze the kids with The Great Pumpkin Stew, and invite friends over on a chilly October evening for some warm Pumpkin Cobbler.”

Amazon has the free download.

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

Kindle Fire to Get Exclusive DC Comics

Amazon has quietly pulled off another exclusive content deal this week with the Kindle Fire. DC Comics has agreed to offer 100 digital comic titles only on the Kindle Fire.

It’s an impressive selection of titles and it includes such well known works as V for Vendetta and Watchmen as well as  Y: The Last Man,Planetary, Superman for All Seasons, and many other comics starring DC’s main stay characters like The joker, The Flash, Green Lantern, and more.

“We’re thrilled to work with the leader in digital books to bring many of the world’s most beloved and best-selling graphic novels to Kindle readers,” stated Jim Lee, co-publisher of DC Entertainment. “We’ve learned from the success of DC Comics – The New 52 that making our graphic novels available whenever and wherever our readers want is critical to the future growth and health of our publishing businesses–both in print and digital format.”

Watchmen and a few other titles are up for pre-order now, and more will be released in the coming months.


Librarian Christopher Harris Suggests Buying eBooks In Consortium

School librarian Christopher Harris has a new piece on The School Library Journal’s website, in which he argues that buying eBooks is too expensive for school libraries on their own. To address the issue, he advises that school libraries buy eBooks in consortium.

While eBooks in public libraries tend to be focused on new-release fiction, Harris points out that school libraries have to follow Common Core standards which dictates that “at least half of reading assignments be literary nonfiction for all grades.” Here is more from the piece: “…many of our publishers are offering unlimited, simultaneous access to ebooks. They recognize that ebook usage is governed by math and statistical probability.”

Harris gives an example of how this statistical model works: “For example, in a K-5 school of 600 students, a book about a social studies topic used in the fourth grade is probably only going to be read by about 100 students. If we consider that the fourth grade is likely divided into four classes of 25 students each, then unlimited, simultaneous access becomes nothing more than a marketing term-not a projection of actual usage. This is why a library consortia model is the way to go.”

Finally, a Tablet Idea that is Worse than the TouchPad

The Office, now in its 8th season, focused its attention on tablet’s last night. In the following clip, Dwight is showing off the companies latest product, a triangular tablet called The pyramid. Yes, it is as weird as it sounds. It’s heavy, and it has poor battery life and confusing specs. On the other hand, this tablet has at least one advantage over the Playbook and TouchPad; it was intended as a joke. No one really planned to make it.

Blackberry Drops Price Of Playbook

After Amazon announced a new tablet computer called the Kindle Fire earlier this week, RIM has dropped the price on its tablet computer called the Playbook.

The Playbook with 16G is now $299 at BestBuy, a drop in price from $499, the 32GB version is $399, down from $599 and the 64GB version is now $499, down from $699.

There is speculation that RIM, the company that makes Blackberry, will be getting out of the tablet market. USA Today has more: “‘We believe RIM has stopped production of its PlayBook and is actively considering exiting the tablet market,’ Collins Stewart tech analyst John Vinh said in a report. The chip analyst said manufacturer Quanta had laid off a ‘significant number’ of workers from a factory that produces RIM’s PlayBook.”

RIM denies these speculations and told USA Today that the company “remains highly committed to the tablet market.” Still it will be hard to compete with Amazon’s offering.

Did Amazon Copy the Kindle Fire Logo?

If you’re like the staff here at eBookNewser, you’re probably getting a little tired of the week of Amazon-Amazon-Amazon-Kindle-Kindle-Kindle in all the gadget blogs. But here is a story that was too interesting to pass up.

The indie app developer AppsFire is crying foul. Ouriel Ohayon, the company founder, recently posted on the similarities between AppsFire’s logo and the logo for the new KindleFire. Both logos are lower case, use a simialr font, and they both use the colors white and a shade of orange.

I’m going to call it a coincidence.

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