Archive for February, 2011

Flash! AT&T stores to sell Kindles starting in March

February 28, 2011

Flash! AT&T stores to sell Kindles starting in March

Thanks to KNT in the Amazon Kindle community for the heads-up on this one.

I frequently see people say that the $189 (and the earlier models) Kindle has free 3G.  It’s free to the user, but somebody pays for it.

Who pays for it?  Amazon.

Yes, you pay $50 more the hardware when you buy it, but you don’t pay on a monthly basis.  You only pay for transferring personal documents to your Kindle via 3G (not via wi-fi), and there are alternatives to that. 

So, it makes sens for AT&T to want you to have a Kindle.  They get paid…it’s fine with them that it isn’t by you.  In fact, that’s probably easier…I assume the bookkeeping with Amazon is simpler than with millions of individuals.

Businessweek article

Naturally, they aren’t selling the wi-fi only ($139) model.  That doesn’t help them at all, except by encouraging multi-Kindle households.

There is some cost involved in selling something in a store: rent (both for display and storage) and customer service (including, hopefully, training for the staff).

Still, it’s nice to have another place where people can get Kindles.  :)

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

HarperCollins limits public library check-outs

February 28, 2011

HarperCollins limits public library check-outs

I’ve written about the issue of the Kindle and public libraries several times, and there is no question that it is still one of the most common topics that comes up in the Amazon Kindle community.

However, I think it’s the concept of checking books out of the library that attracts people…not the reality.

That makes sense, of course…you can’t know what checking an e-book out of the public library will feel like until you can do it.  :)

I think a lot of people assume that the library can lend out an e-book as often as they want…it’s just a file on a computer, right?

Well, it doesn’t work that way.  The file has limitations built into it, using something called DRM (Digital Rights Management).

That’s used to enforce the license under which the e-book is bought.

Unlike your personal license from the Kindle store, a library e-book may have a “one person at a time limitation”.

That part is similar to a paperbook: if the library wants to lend out ten copies of a paperbook at one time, that library has to buy ten copies.

That’s why you often have to get on a waiting list to get an e-book from the public library.

That would be okay, though…you could wait if you wanted, right?

Not for two of the “Big Six”: Macmillan and Simon & Schuster.  They don’t have a deal for their e-books to be in public libraries at all.

Now, according to this

Library Journal article *

HarperCollins is going to put a new limitation on library e-books.

They are going to limit the number of times the book can circulate to twenty-six.

That’s right: after the library e-book has been checked out twenty-six times, the library would have to buy another license if they wanted to have the same number.

Why twenty-six?

That’s a year’s worth of constant loaning for a two-week period.

Paperbooks in a library also wear out, of course…but this is artificial wear.  They aren’t actually wearing out…we are just pretending they do.  :)

Seriously, though, this is a new limitation…which means a new burden on libraries.

No question, the argument can be made that, since, the e-books don’t wear out, the authors don’t get as many royalties.

Of course, that was true when e-books first started circulating from libraries as well.

I would guess that HarperCollins is only the first. 

It’s not like this is going to be front-page news or on the crawl at the bottom of your TV screen.  I think the PR hit will be a small one…twenty-six is an odd number for a report. 

Bottom line: before you make a decision to by one EBR (E-Book Reader) over another based on public library lending, go to OverDrive.com.  Look not just at the books they have, but whether or not you can get them.

One solution is for the library to just check out Kindles…I’ve talked about that before, and I think that can work very well.

What do you think about this?  Is HarperCollins protecting the authors?  Would this affect your choice of EBR?  Feel free to let me know.

* Thanks to Eclectic Reader in the Amazon Kindle community for the heads up on this article.

UPDATE: HarperCollins has released an

Open Letter to Librarians 

It talks about the reasoning behind the policy.

I’d have to say this was one of the most interesting sections:

” If a library decides to repurchase an e-book later in the book’s life, the price will be significantly lower as it will be pegged to a paperback price point. Our hope is to make the cost per circulation for e-books less than that of the corresponding physical book. In fact, the digital list price is generally 20% lower than the print version, and sold to distributors at a discount. “

First, it’s possible that the price will be lower on a second purchase…but there wasn’t a second purchase at all before.  I also find the flat statement that the price will be lowered with a paperback release…I don’t see that as a guaranteed scenario, especially if mass market paperbacks are a greatly reduced market force.  Third, I don’t know where they are getting the 20% figure…or that they are “sold to distributors”.  HarperCollins uses the Agency Model: they don’t sell the book to a distributor, they pay them a commission for selling it.  That’s a technical thing, though.  They also give a special e-mail address in the letter.  I’m not posting that here, because I think it’s more fair to them that you read their letter before you get to it

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

Publisher profile: McFarland

February 27, 2011

Publisher profile: McFarland

Thinking about movies right now?  Gee, I can’t figure out why that might be.  ;)  If you are, you might want to my coverage in my blog, The Measured Circle.

Well, even though the movies are a visual medium, there is a grand history of literary criticism about them.  Sometimes, the scholarship and attention to detail is amazing…sometimes, not so much.  :)

One of my favorite publishers for movie (and other pop culture) books is McFarland. 

Their reputation is for very high quality production: attention to typography, high quality paper.  Their market is primarily libraries, but also enthusiasts. 

Let’s say you have a friend who likes zombie movies…and likes solidly-researched, comprehensive works.

You could get your friend

The Zombie Movie Encyclopedia

by Peter Dendle.  The author is an Assistant Professor of English at Pennsylvania State University.  The book covers 200 movies from 16 countries…as well as TV episodes.

That gives you the idea of the approach of McFarland…but not the range. 

Just so you don’t think it’s all geeky, genre stuff, how about

Francophone African Cinema: History, Culture, Politics and Theory 

?

Paper history

McFarland was founded in 1979 by Robert McFarland Franklin.  Since that time, they have published over 4,000 books.  They aren’t all about pop culture: there are also books on military history, for example.

Company contact information

Website: http://www.mcfarlandpub.com/index.html

E-mail: info@mcfarlandpub.com 

Mailing address:

McFarland
Box 611
Jefferson NC 28640

Phone & Fax:

Tel: 336-246-4460
FAX: 336-246-5018

Order Lines:

Orders only Tel: 800-253-2187
Orders only FAX: 336-246-4403

In the e-book world

I was a little surprised to see that McFarland had so many books in the Kindle store :

McFarland books in the Kindle store

There are 433 at time of writing.

That’s a fraction of the total number, but I think of McFarland as keepsake books…the kind you wouldn’t think would do well in e-book form.

Their top ranked one is #11,535 paid in the Kindle store…that’s great with something like 800,000 in that category.

For those of you who have set a hard and fast ceiling of $9.99 for an e-book, you may be disappointed in some of these.  While there are certainly books at that price and lower, they also range as high as $44.00.

I personally don’t think that’s unreasonable, for a work of massive scholarship (and micro-market), as some of these are. 

I mean, someone who wants a book on The Shadow Puppet Theatre of Malaysia: A Study of Wayang Kulit with Performance Scripts and Puppet Designs doesn’t expect to pay ten dollars for it. 

They do get a discount over the paper version, by the way….on that particular book, it’s twenty percent.

I did download a sample: Active Table of Contents, nice cover image…what you would expect from a company with an attention to detail.

However, the sample I downloaded was a Topaz format book…I’m not crazy about those.  I did guess they might do that, since they like to contol the typography, and that’s what Topaz is supposed to do.

Overall, these books aren’t going to be for everybody…but they could be the perfect gift for some people.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

Freebie flash! Gray, Heart, Mystery, and more

February 27, 2011

 Freebie flash! Gray, Heart, Mystery, and more

As usual, I don’t vouch for these books, and they come from companies that are not (to my knowledge) blocking text-to-speech. As promotional titles, they may not be free for long. Note: these books are free in the USA: prices in other countries may vary.

Heart of the Sea
Others series (bonus story)
by Christine Warren
published by St. Martin’s Press (a general interest publisher part of Macmillan)

Pre-order for April 5, 2011.

Hydrofracked? One Man’s Mystery Leads to a Backlash Against Natural Gas Drilling (Kindle Single)
by Abrahm Lustgarten
published by ProPublica (a publisher of investigative journalism)

Yes, this appears to be a free official Kindle Single.

Soul Identity
by David Batchelder
published by NetLeaves (an independent publisher)

Publish on Amazon Kindle with Kindle Direct Publishing
published by Amazon.com

This seems to be an updated version of one they did before when it was called the Digital Text Platform.

Riven
by Jerry B. Jenkins
published by Tyndale House (a faith-based publisher)

Jenkins is a co-author on some books in the Left Behind series.

Whisper on the Wind
by Maureen Lang
published by Tyndale House (a faith-based publisher)

Gray Matter
by Joel Kilpatrick, David Levy
published by Tyndale House (a faith-based publisher)

Pre-order for March 1st.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

Words My Kindle Taught Me: The Quiz

February 27, 2011

Words My Kindle Taught Me: The Quiz

I’ve talked about this before, but I thought it would be fun to set it up as a little quiz.

I’ve been pleasantly surprised that I use the Kindle’s onboard dictionary as much as I do.

After all, at one point I’d read a dictionary cover to cover.  Just for fun, when I was younger…I think it was an unabridged Random House, as I recall.

However, I certainly haven’t retained it all over time.  :)

So, I actually enjoy it when the Kindle can define a word for me that I can’t define.  I sometimes recognize the word, but it’s always been a rule in my house that you can’t use a word in a word game (like Scrabble or Boggle) if you can’t define it.

It tends to happen when I’m either reading some older (pre-1930s, I’d say) or something translated.  It may also be specialized vocabulary…I’m running into quite a few sailing terms while reading Riddle of the Sands by Robert Erskine Childers.

A lot of regular readers know I used to manage a bookstore.  I also used to manage a game store (I’ve mentioned that before, I think).

Let’s make this a game.  I’m going to give you a word I looked up in the Kindle dictionary, and give you three definitions…one true, three false.  Pick which one you think it is.  I’m also going to rewrite the definition, so they are all in a similar style.  I’ll update the post later with the answers.

How do you think you did?

You can check the post in a few days for the answers (please don’t look them up before answering the polls).  If you are reading this on your Kindle, you’ll get the updated version…that happens with Kindle blogs.

For more information on using the Kindle’s dictionary, see this previous post.

UPDATE: The answers.  I’ve had at least one challenge that I wrote a definition imprecisely, and now that the answers can be seen, I’m happy to discuss that.  :)  If you want to play the game, please answer the questions above before you read this.  Verst=2; Tufa=1; Jezail=1; Dado=3; Coppice=1; Serried=3; Behoof = 3; Burgee = 3; Dottle = 2; Casuistry = 2.  I had deliberately used some words that might evoke other words.  I used a “piece of medieval clothing” for coppice, for example, thinking it might suggest “codpiece”.  :)

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

B&N: free coffee, overheating, and re-branding

February 25, 2011

B&N: free coffee, overheating, and re-branding

All eyes are on Barnes & Noble.

Go back four years ago.

There were independent bookstores.

There were chain bookstores.

There were online bookstores.

There were incidental bookstores (Targets, Costcos, grocery stores).

Of these four, the chain bookstores may have been the most important, at least for frontlist titles (the online stores probably sell the “long tail” of the backlist better).

Looking at that segment, the two big chains were Borders and Barnes & Noble.  Crown Books was gone, B. Dalton was owned by Barnes & Noble, and Waldenbooks was owned by Borders.  Books-A-Million was out there, but didn’t have much pop culture cache.

Now, Borders has filed for bankruptcy.

Barnes & Noble is the last giant on the battlefield. 

People wonder if they’ll go the way of Borders and the other chains.  I think that’s a misunderstanding of the market, personally, but they definitely have to look at whether the old chain model is where they want to put their energy.

Let’s take a look at three recent stories about Barnes & Noble.

Free Coffee

What can Barnes & Noble do for you that Amazon can’t? 

Give you a hot cup of coffee.  ;)

This Saturday (February 26), if you go into a store and try out the NOOKColor (or the E Ink NOOK), they’ll give you a free cup of coffee. 

B&N free coffee details

That makes some sense to me.  People who use the NOOKColor do tend to like it.  If they keep the brick-and-mortar stores (which seems likely to me, for a while anyway), they need to push the experience.  The cafe is definitely part of that. 

Go in, try out a NOOK, get your coupon, get your coffee, pull out your Kindle, sit back and enjoy the relaxing atmosphere.  ;) 

Burned couch

Thanks to Terryp in the Amazon Kindle community for the heads up on this one…and for providing a link to the story:

King 5 news story

 The story basically goes like this.

Someone who got a NOOK (and loved it…that comes up several times in the story) plugs it into charge behind the couch…actually, into an extension cord.

The charger overheats, and burns the couch and a cushion…like a cigarette burn, not in flames.

The consumer calls Barnes & Noble, wanting a replacement charger.  The consumer calls six or seven times, with no response, no call back.

So, the NOOK lover goes to the local TV consumer advocate, Jesse Jones.  We have those here, too…I could name a couple.  The consumer advocate contacts Barnes & Noble.  They replace the charger (they don’t understand why it wasn’t replaced before), and…ta ta ta DAH…send a more than three thousand check to replace the couch. 

This is presented by the news station as the retailer “stepping up”.

That’s not stepping up…that’s just showing up.

They owed the consumer for that couch…their equipment burned it.  It’s possible the extension cord played a part, and perhaps there are instructions not to leave the charger in contact with furniture.

UPDATE: It was correctly pointed out to me (and I should have noted it) that what they owed was the replacement value of the couch, not the money to buy a new couch.  If the couch was several years old, not in perfect shape, it might only have been worth a couple of hundred dollars.  They did pay more than they would typically have had to pay, and quite a bit more.  That doesn’t absolve them, for me, for not having responded initially or not knowing why she didn’t get a charger right away.  It might if this kind of service was a fluke, but that hasn’t been my experience.  I want to commend them, though, for going an extra step.

Regardless, while the story seems to set Barnes & Noble up as heroes in this, it strikes me as a good example of bad customer service.  You shouldn’t have to go to the media to get a replacement charger!

I’ve had to get a replacement Kindle, and Kindle Customer Service was great.  I got it right away, they paid for me to ship my Kindle back…they even checked back with me.

The burning problem could happen to any company…it’s the way they dealt with it. 

That’s honestly one of the reasons I tend to promote the Kindle over the NOOK…I’ve only had great Customer Service from Amazon (both in policy and in interactions) and that hasn’t been my experience with Barnes & Noble (at least outside the brick-and-mortar stores…those have been good).

I did a little research to see if this overheating looked like a widespread problem, and didn’t immediately see indications of that. 

There were some stories that if a NOOKColor had been “hacked” to allow it to run other Android apps (like Angry Birds), it might disable the battery monitoring system that would cause it to shut itself off in a protective move if it was overheating.

I didn’t see that as proven at all, more of a rumor.  My intuition is that wasn’t the case here. 

I wouldn’t worry about it particularly with your NOOK…just take your normal precautions when charging anything. 

Re-branding

Do you own Barnes & Noble stock and are wondering where your dividends (which B&N is suspending for now) are going?

How about $40 million dollars for re-branding?

This

Boston Globe story 

is presented from the angle of the win for Mullen, the advertising agency.  They’ve got some big clients (JetBlue, Zappos…which is owned by Amazon), and seems to be in an upward growth pattern.

The goal will probably be to get people to think of the NOOK as the NOOK…not as “Barnes & Noble’s Kindle”. 

It’s an interesting challenge…do you promote the existence of the stores?  Do you go for your “storied” history?   After all, Barnes & Noble has been around since 1917, Amazon since 1994 (online in 1995).

That’s going to be tough, though.  Is “established history” really the way to sell a revolution? 

If you go for Barnes & Noble as the savior of the paperbook, how do you avoid the perception that the chainstore crushed local independents? 

Do you go after Amazon?  How, specifically?  It’s not like Amazon is going to be seen as the big dog, the lumbering colossus, like IBM or Xerox was seen.  They are stll the innovators, the nimble, non-traditional thinkers.

Amazon went up against a very established, pretty much closed system in paperbook distribution. 

They’ve changed the game.

Barnes & Noble has been beating Amazon to some things (wi-fi EBRs ((E-Book Readers))…dropping the price of EBRs), but that’s going to be a hard case to make. 

I’ll be interested to see what tactics this re-branding campaign uses. 

So, three stories, three kinds of heat: hot coffee, scorched couch, and market heat.  ;)

What do you think?  Where does B&N go from here…and where should they?  Are you worried about your NOOK overheating?  Do you plan to get a cup of coffee?  Am I wrong to even jokingly suggest you’ll read your Kindle while sipping that cup of java?  How should Barnes & Noble change their image to win the hearts and minds (and money) of the market?  Do they concentrate on the serious readers, or go for the casual majority? 

Feel free to let me know.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

Freebie flash! Ravenous, Darkness, Spoilt, and more

February 25, 2011

 Freebie flash! Ravenous, Darkness, Spoilt, and more

As usual, I don’t vouch for these books, and they come from companies that are not (to my knowledge) blocking text-to-speech. As promotional titles, they may not be free for long. Note: these books are free in the USA: prices in other countries may vary.

Protector
by Laurel Dewey
published by The Story Plant (a commercial fiction publisher)

When Darkness Falls: Free eBook Part 3
by James Grippando
published by HarperCollins (a general interest publisher)

Preorder for March 15.

Spoilt
by Joanne Ellis
published by Night Publishing (a general fiction publisher)

Original Scroll
Targa Trilogy #1
by Richard S. Tuttle
KBS Publishing (publishes the works of Richard S. Tuttle)

Free again.

Ravenous: A Food Lover’s Journey from Obsession to Freedom
by Dayna Macy
published by Hay House (a spiritual publisher)

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

New games: Fighting Fantasy, Movie Trivia…and learn Spanish

February 24, 2011

New games: Fighting Fantasy, Movie Trivia…and learn Spanish

No question, this one caught my eye:

The Warlock of Firetop Mountain ($3.99 at time of writing)

I suspect that there may be a couple of you out there who went, “Woo-hoo!  Firetop Mountain?  The Fighting Fantasy gamebook?”  I assume the rest of you had no reaction.  ;)

In 1982 (83 in the USA), Steve Jackson (not the American game designer…the British one who co-founded Games Workshop, the folks behind Warhammer) had a “gamebook” published by Penguin (and later by Dell).  I still have several books in the series. 

They were sort of a hybrid between a Choose Your Own Adventure and a role-playing game (or at least, a combat system).  From the back cover of the paper edition:

“Armed with two dice, a pencil and an eraser, you set off on a perilous quest to find the Warlock’s treature.  YOU will need to decide which route to follow and which monsters to fight in the elaborate combat system given in the book.”

While dice can be almost fetishistic objects to gamers, the new version, developed by Worldweaver Games *, takes care of the dice and the bookkeepiing for you.  :)

You can learn more about the game at the

Official Fighting Fantasy site 

That site has an intriguing statement, which may be the buzziest thing in this post:

“The Kindle version of Warlock is only available in the US at the moment. For news on the UK version coming soon click here.”

Active content is coming soon the UK store?

There wasn’t really any information when I clicked there, but that’s breaking news if it happens. 

They plan to release one of these books a month…I think that could take them five years to cover the series.  :)

I expect this to do quite well, and it’s worth trying if you’ve been intrigued by the idea of gaming (although solo gaming is very different from the social style).  I took a quick look at the game on my K3…lots of illustrations which look good.  I think more illustrations tend to run the battery down a bit more quickly (even in books), but let me know if you’ve really tried it out.

It could be a huge hit in the UK store…there will definitely be nostalgia for it there.

The Ultimate Movie Quiz ($1.99 at time of writing)

Yes, I’m a trivia guy.  I do pretty well…I would often win Jeopardy when I’m i my family room ;) , but a large part of winning that game in the studio is based on the buzz in, so it’s hard to predict.

Writing trivia is hard.  It’s very delicate to make it not too hard and not too easy.  If everybody knows the answer, it’s no fun…if you have to know Swahili to know the answer (as is the case with knowing Uhura’s mother’s name in the original Star Trek…not in this book, but in the trivia world), that limits most people’s enjoyment.  :)

In an electronic version like this, interface is also important.  Can you play against other people?  Is there variety in the way the questions are presented?  Does it keep track of your score?

It looks like this is all multiple choice, that you have some play options, and that there are about a thousand questions.

24/7 Tutor: Spanish – Basic Phrases ($3.99 at time of writing)

24/7 Tutor: Spanish – Vocabulary (#3.99 at time of writing)

Not all active content titles in the Kindle store are games…but these include them.

It doesn’t look like the Phrases edtion would teach you to speak Spanish from scratch, of course, but it does have a variety of learning methods…which can be very important.  You can play Hangman, do multiple choice, do fill-in..it helps to have options.

One of the screen shots also shows that it is giving you the idiom, not word by word translation.  That’s important as well. 

My guess is that this might be very good if you took Spanish in high school and want to refresh yourself.  It also could be good for someone who is a student now.

One presumption, but I think I’m quite safe on this one.  It’s not going to teach you to pronounce the words.  :)  While the company (Nuance…the same people who make DragonNaturally Speaking) who makes the text-to-speech offers several Spanish voices, they aren’t part of the Kindle. 

The vocabulary title seems similar.  One helpful reviewer (Jeremy Aldrich) notes that it identifies regionalisms…and that definitely matters on vocabulary.  Just as British English and American English can confuse people (lift versus elevator, trunk versus boot) the same is true in Spanish.  That’s a nice feature.  :)

If you try any of these, feel free to let me (and the readers of this blog) know what you think.

As with other Active Content titles, it doesn’t work on the K1, but does work on K2s, K3s, and the KDX.  It doesn’t work in reader apps, and I assume it can’t be purchased outside the US.

You can buy it once and share it with all compatible devices on the account.

For information on more games, see this category.

* I believe Worldweaver is connected with Pinewood Studios (James Bond and Harry Potter).  I don’t think this publication has anything to do with Penguin or Dell.  Rights may have reverted to Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone, or they may have retained the rights to game versions as opposed to books…and this might be determined to be a game.  I think the former is more likely.  If anyone from Worldweaver or Fighting Fantasy can shed light on that, I’d appreciate it.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

Calibre introduces Open Books (DRM free)

February 23, 2011

Calibre introduces Open Books (DRM free)

Calibre is one of the most used tools by Kindle owners.

Actually, I can only presume that, but I hear it talked about frequently.  People use it to manage their e-book collections, get newsfeeds, edit metadata…and convert formats.

That last one is interesting.  Even though Calibre can convert, say EPUB to Mobi (which can be used on a Kindle), it can’t do it if there is DRM (Digital Rights Management).

Without DRM, you could use Calibre to read the same book on your Kindle, NOOK, or Sony…by converting it into an appropriate format.

But how do you find them?

Amazon allows independent publisher using its KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing…formerly DTP…Digital Text Platform) to publish without DRM.   However, it isn’t indicated on the book’s Amazon product page (unless the publisher says that in the description).  That’s one of several things I’d like to see on the product page (allowed clipping percentage, for example), but that’s a different story.

Calibre has decided to serve as a portal (not a publisher) for DRM free books:

Calibre Open Books

Right now, there are about 500 titles…800,000 fewer than Amazon.  :)  Still, if you are one of those DRM opponents, this is going to be a good tool for you.

It’s important to note that these books are not all free (although many of them are).  You can also get them from other sources…Baen, Smashwords, and so on…even a few from Amazon.  :)

It’s interesting to me that they make strong statements on the About tab.  They certainly are entitled to do that…although I sort of liked thinking of it as a neutral tool.  I’m not sure I like my hammer telling me what I should and shouldn’t pound with it.  ;)

For example, they say:

“…DRM is not only pointless and harmful to buyers of e-books but also a waste of money.”

http://drmfree.calibre-ebook.com/about#drm

I know many of you agree with them…but whether you do or not, this is a nice service they are providing.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

Engadget’s EBR of 2010 is…

February 23, 2011

Engadget’s EBR of 2010 is…

Engadget is a leading tech website and they do awards (go figure).  ;)  Actually, I haven’t done awards: I just don’t particularly like saying my opinion is better than yours.

However, they do Readers’ Choice Awards (as well as Editors’ Choice), which are determined by polls…I like polls.  :)

The Readers’ Choice Results are in for 2010.

Engadget Readers’ Choice Awards 2010

The EBR (E-Book Reader) of the year is…

Amazon’s Kindle 3 with 48% of the vote.

Second place?

Barnes & Noble’s NOOKColor (34%).

I’ll bet you would be hard-pressed to name number three…

Amazon’s Kindle DX with 10.9%.

First off, the Kindle DX was announced on May 6, 2009…not 2010.

Second, people voted for it more than people voted for the NOOK E Ink?  That suggests to me that it might be brand loyalty…whoda thunk?  ;)  I know people like the Kindle DX, but my guess is that’s a fairly small group (given how much more expensive it is)…it now competes with tablets, and is a software version behind (and doesn’t have the latest update). 

UPDATE: I think I figured out what happened with the Kindle DX being on the list and the NOOK E Ink models not being on it.  Thanks to krystalspin in the Amazon Kindle community for suggesting this by answering a question from Spotsmom.  The Kindle DX Graphite was launched on July 1, 2010.  If they only counted devices launched in 2010 (and forgot to put Graphite in the name that they listed), that would explain both of those.  I don’t know that I would have considered that a different device, and I don’t know how many of the voters did, but that makes sense for how it was listed.  :)  Hmm…although, the NOOK wi-fi only was introduced on June 21, 2010: it changed the game, and should have been listed.  Oh, well.

 The other interesting thing was that the NOOK Color was the #6 (out of eight listed) Gadget of the Year…and no Kindle was on that list.

I’m okay with that.  At this point a “reader’s tablet” is a gadget…it’s really a different item from an E Ink EBR and it’s also not quite in the same category as other tablets.  It’s too soon to say if it’s a genuine product category, like EBRs. 

It’s possible reflective technology EBRs will go away in the next couple of years, but I think that is unlikely.  At this point, I’d say they are now out of the novelty category and into the mainstream…which for me, tends to make them not a “gadget”. 

That’s just what gadget connotes for me, though.

Congratulations to both companies!

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,309 other followers

%d bloggers like this: