Round up #128: Single issue comics, EU e-book settlement?

Round up #128: Single issue comics, EU e-book settlement?

The ILMK Round ups are short pieces which may or may not be expanded later.

Shakespeare and Company

Nice little

Telegraph article

on the famous bookstore in Paris, Shakespeare and Co. I run across quite a few stories on bookstores, although it is often about the store closing or efforts to save it. That’s not the case here. The article quotes proprietor Sylvia Beach Whitman:

“Of course, you don’t make money from books – the profit margins are so much lower than in a phamarcy (sic) or clothes shop. None of us [booksellers] are in it for the money. But we pay our costs and recently doubled our staff, so I‘m feeling positive about our future.”

I think that assessment is generally true of small bookstore owners. Most of them seem to be largely hobbyists, in it for the joy of it. I’m not sure the same can be said of the large chain bookstores…

Pricegrabber survey: KFHD beaten by both iPads and…

Pricegrabber.com does a

annual survey

about which gifts people most want.

In terms of tablets, the iPads (3, 4, mini) all beat everything else. The Kindle Fire HD (they didn’t specify size) was third. Beating the KFHD? The Galaxy Note. I’ve liked my Samsung Captivate SmartPhone very much…I can see that choice for some people. Interesting, the Microsoft Surface was farther down the list…

This might be part of it. Mashable

reports

an eye tracking study of several tablets. Quite simply, when something interests you more, you look at it differently (literally). The eye tracking suggests the iPad mini is more interesting to consumers than the Kindle Fire HD, NOOK HD, or Nexus 7.

Do they still cost a dime?

DC Comics, home of Superman and Batman…you know, not the folks in the Avengers, is now offering single issues of comics through the Kindle store (and other sources).

Single Issue Comics

To answer my own question, no, they cost more than a dime. ;) Many of them cost ninety-nine cents, but I saw ones as high as $3.99.

If you haven’t bought a comic in decades, be aware that these may not be appropriate for kids.

I was also a bit surprised to not see them in the Kindle newsstand…that’s where I think of comics.

I got

Action Comics (2011- ) #1

just to test it out, of course. ;)

It was interesting: it did crash my Kindle app once (just needed to shut it down and restart it).

After that, I liked it…although I found I generally needed to read it in “panel view”; the normal view isn’t large enough.

That may be different on the 8.9″ Kindle…I’ll know that later this month.

These would be another fun little gift at the holidays…a bit of nostalgia for Boomers, certainly, but still contemporary.

Sometimes you feel like a phone…sometimes you feel like a laptop

Hey, I feel like I’m getting some validation! This

CNET article

says that Lenovo sees 7″ tablets competing with the larger SmartPhones, which is what I’ve suggested is possible (I’ve also said I think tablets may win, if they can make “good enough” phone calls). You can see how they are approaching each other. Would a 5.5″ device be considered a tablet (like a 7″) or a phone (like a 3″)? I know, it depends on more than just the size, but still…I think we are heading for one device rather than two for most people, and that size (as long as it isn’t too big) may win out.

Amazon still needs user profiles on the device

This

Business Insider article

includes video of Barnes & Noble’s NOOK HD ad..and says it is going after a “weak spot” of Amazon’s by emphasizing B&N’s user profiles.

Yes, we now have FreeTime, but they could really improve that.

First, they need to give us password free options, so we can really use it to manage profiles among adults. Hey, I could see having a work profile and a home profile, for that matter.

Second, they just need to simplify that interface. If you are using passwords, you should be able to enter a password once to get into configuration land…you shouldn’t have to do it for everything you want to change.

Third, they need to figure out content better, a bit more like the “parental controls”. Right now, you can block video…but if you put the Netflix app in there, your kid can watch Netflix but not Amazon Instant Video. That’s a bit odd. I haven’t actually tested that one, by the way.

This is an area where Amazon can improve, let’s just put it that way. I’m guessing some of you are thinking that they don’t improve multi-user options on a device to get people to buy more devices…but if your competitors have it, it means that people may buy zero devices from you rather than two.

Reuters reports the possible end of the Agency Model in the EU

This

Reuters article

has gotten a lot of play, although it isn’t official. It sounds like the EU (European  Union) may accept an offer from Apple and four publishers (Penguin is waddling its own way on this, which is not unusual) to settle investigations into their e-book pricing.

It’s a good read. It talks about how this could advantage Amazon.

They thought it might be announced in December…I don’t know if things would happen in time for this holiday season, though.

Continuing non-USA news…

This

The Next Web article

does a good job of summarizing clues that the Kindle may soon be on sale in China. China’s not that easy a market…yes, there are a lot (a lot) of people, but the market isn’t heterogeneous across the board by any means, they have home-grown electronics, and there are complicated regulations.

Still, this could be a big deal for Amazon…

What do you think? Would you buy single back-issue of a comic book (like the very first Superman issue, Action Comics #1 from 1938, for example) for your tablet? If so, how much would you pay? Can Amazon establish itself firmly in China? How important are multi-profile devices? How long with the iPad just be, well, cooler than Amazon? Feel free to let me and my readers know by commenting on this post.

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

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