Tag Archives: IPad

A NEW DEVELOPMENT…

Earlier this week, I turned on one of my favorite TV financial shows and there was Barnes & Noble’s CEO announcing that Microsoft had purchased 17.5% of Barnes & Noble. Their stock immediately rose by 10%. I’m posting some links at the end of the blog to articles about the deal.

This was huge news, I think, because just after Christmas, Barnes & Noble had reported a terrible Christmas season and a 20% stock drop. Most people had pretty much written them off, or at least the brick-and-mortar part of that business. And I already knew that Amazon had owned the 2011 Christmas season with their digital readers.

This is a definite game-changer for B&N. And it might be a game-changer for the whole digital book community. A cash infusion from a rich company like Microsoft might well be the balm that soothes all of B&N’s ills. In addition, Microsoft will be releasing Windows 8 at the end of this year and no doubt some of that technology will find its way into the Nook.

On the same day, I surfed over to B&N’s Web site and saw where they had announced a new reader. The Simple Touch with Glow Light and it retails for $139. Glow Light will enable a reader to read in bright sunlight. No other tablet—not even iPad or Kindlefire—has this feature and I suspect B&N probably owns it. You can learn all about it at B&N’s Web site.

So can a whole new generation of tablets and e-readers soon hit the market?

The DOJ suing Apple and the major publishers for price fixing and then the publishers settling with them is also a game-changer. At this point, I’ve lost track of what Apple has done. I don’t know whether they settled, too.

All of it bodes well for readers. The B&N CEO reported that 57% of books are now purchased as e-books. No one knows how much that number will increase this year, but unquestionably, it will. Shoppers continue to buy tablets and readers, even though it isn’t Christmas. And most of the readers who already have them are huge fans of them. Not only do they love the readers themselves, they also love getting books at a cheaper price. No telling what will be for sale by the time the 2012 Christmas season rolls around. It’s so exciting.

In my house alone, we now have 2 Kindles. And in the past 2 weeks, I’ve downloaded half a dozen free books..

Speaking of free books, I want to also remind you that THE LOVE OF A STRANGER will be a free download in the Kindle store on Amazon on May 14th and 15th. That’s a Monday and Tuesday. You don’t have to have a Kindle. You can download it to your computer, to your iPad or even to your phone if you pick up the Amazon app. I don’t think you can download it to a Nook. Amazon and B&N are in fierce competition on these machines.

So that’s my exciting news for this week. What do you think? I know everyone is happy to see Barnes & Noble saved. But being in bed with Microsoft, what will it become now?

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THE READING REVOLUTION IS HERE….

And if I ever doubted it, I no longer do.

As some of you know, my real job is with a major retailer. For most of the holiday season, I worked in the electronics department. The number of iPads, iPods, KindleFires, Nooks and other tablet-like devices that were sold was astonishing. Amazon is already claiming sales of more than a million KindleFires.

Cover of "Kindle Wireless Reading Device,...

Cover via Amazon

And what can we do on each and every one of these electronic devices besides play games, email and surf the Net? WE CAN READ BOOKS!

Even though I wrote back in October about reading on an e-reader as opposed to having a printed book in your hands, I see the handwriting on the wall.

Image representing iPad as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

Mid-list authors like me have already found a home on the Internet with Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords, which distributes e-books to e-retailers like Sony, Kobo, Diesel, Apple and others. Amazon and Barnes & Noble are paying nine times the royalty rates for e-books as the Big 6 in New York. I have a friend who has self-published 17 of her backlist books and has now sold more than a million e-books. She would never have seen the day in traditional publishing when she would be as well-paid as she is in e-publishing.

Amazon already has an apparatus in place where mid-listers can self-publish in print if they so desire. Mid-listers also now have access to editing, copyediting, cover design and even reviewing by a major reviewer. A writer who dreams of seeing his great American novel in print is no longer stymied and denigrated by the gatekeepers.

Of course, none of this is free. Authors will have an outlay of cash to make this happen. The author with business savvy will put together his or her own little organization that functions in a professional way, which will benefit both author and reader.

Barnes & Noble nook (ebook reader device)

Image via Wikipedia

It’s only a matter of time before one of the major bestselling authors will take a close look at his or her royalty statement and recognize how much money he or she is sacrificing by not being independent. And when that happens, I believe it will be like opening the floodgates. All bets are off when it comes to the future of New York print publishing and to existing online e-publishers. The ball is now in the court of authors and readers, where it should have been all along.

Like all change, on the surface, it seems as if this cataclysm has occurred overnight, but that isn’t the case. It has been evolving for at least 2 years. What will now make the difference, though, is that so many people now own e-reading devices and will now be able to buy e-books cheaper than they ever could buy new print books. So each and every one of them can fill up his e-reader with as many as 3,000 books. Even school books will be e-books.

So if you didn’t get an e-reader for Christmas, you might consider it. You can soon pay for the e-reader with what you’ll save buying books.

This is an awesome development and I’m so glad it has happened in my lifetime.

I’d love to hear your comments.

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