Archive for June, 2012

USA Today bestsellers: are e-books taking over?

June 30, 2012

USA Today bestsellers: are e-books taking over?

The USA Today shows us, in its bestseller ranks, in which format (hardback/paperback/e-book) a book sold the most “copies”.

On February 10 last year (2011), I looked at the question of which format was more popular based on that, and concluded that e-books were more popular.

E-Revolution Hits the Bestseller List

My guess at that time would have been that e-books would keep growing as a share of the bestsellers, and they have.

However, I think I underestimated how popular hardbacks would continue to be…for children’s books.

USA Today Bestseller List

For example, Mockingjay, the third book in the Hunger Games series, sold more as a hardback in this listing. The book has been on the list for 96 weeks (!), and is available as an e-book.

I have an idea about that.

It could be because a book like that is more likely to be bought by an adult for the reader (although many of the readers of this book are adults, of course). It could be that those adults are still seeing a gift of a book as something that should last. They remember getting books as a kid, and may even still have some of them.

So, a gifted book may be more likely to be a hardback still, I think.

That also ties into my suggestion that books may become better quality and go up in price.

Just an idea, though.

Okay, let’s compare February last year to this year:

  • February 2011: 43 of the top 150 bestsellers sold the most as e-books
  • June 2012: 54 of the top 150 bestsellers sold the most as e-books

However, the average ranking of e-books in February 2011 was 64, which is considerably better than the overall overage of 75. In June of 2012, the average rank was 78…so e-books were less popular than hardbacks and paperbacks.

When we look at the ten best-ranked e-books, the average in 2011 was 4.4…and is now 12.8.

So, more books on the bestseller list sell the best in e-book form…but they aren’t ranked as high.

I suspect that we’ll continue to see e-books continue to take over more of the bestseller list. It will be interesting  to see what happens with the ranking.

The other thing I looked at back then was the number of books on the list that were independently published (or sold outside the Agency Model).

Back then, there were six independently published books…all by Amanda Hocking.

This time, there are four published through Kindle Direct Publishing (although the last one is listed as Smashwords in the list):

There’s also a book published by one of Amazon’s traditional publishing imprints, AmazonCrossing:

The Hangman’s Daughter

Honestly, I would have expected there to be more indies in the list at this point. The end of the Agency Model might reverse the growth I expected, although that’s not entirely sure.

I’ll keep my eye on things…

Here’s the list:

Rank Format
1 P
2 E
3 P
4 H
5 H
6 P
7 E
8 P
9 E
10 E
11 E
12 P
13 E
14 E
15 H
16 E
17 H
18 H
19 P
20 H
21 H
22 E
23 H
24 E
25 P
26 H
27 E
28 E
29 P
30 H
31 P
32 H
33 P
34 H
35 E
36 P
37 P
38 E
39 H
40 H
41 H
42 P
43 P
44 H
45 E
46 P
47 H
48 E
49 P
50 p
51 E
52 E
53 E
54 H
55 E
56 P
57 E
58 P
59 E
60 P
61 H
62 P
63 H
64 E
65 P
66 P
67 E
68 E
69 P
70 H
71 E
72 E
73 P
74 P
75 E
76 P
77 H
78 E
79 H
80 E
81 E
82 H
83 H
84 P
85 H
86 H
87 H
88 E
89 H
90 P
91 P
92 P
93 H
94 P
95 E
96 H
97 P
98 P
99 E
100 E
101 H
102 P
103 H
104 H
105 H
106 P
107 H
108 E
109 P
110 H
111 H
112 P
113 E
114 P
115 E
116 P
117 E
118 E
119 H
120 H
121 p
122 P
123 E
124 E
125 P
126 P
127 P
128 E
129 H
130 P
131 H
132 H
133 P
134 H
135 E
136 E
137 E
138 H
139 E
140 E
141 P
142 h
143 E
144 E
145 E
146 E
147 P
148 P
149 E
150 E

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


Whatever happened to reading a book?

June 29, 2012

Whatever happened to reading a book?

Whatever happened to reading a book?
Just sitting down and having a look
At words, just plain words, as they sit on a page
Is that now a thing of a bygone age?

I’ll listen to music, a nice song or two
Now where is that playlist? This one just won’t do
Oh, look…that hot artist has dropped a new single!
The video has Twitter feeds all a-tingle
Wait, what was I doing? Oh yes, I was reading
A concert is really not what I was needing
Go back to the words: make me cry, make me laugh!
I’ll start at the start, with the first paragraph

The font’s a bit boring, I think that I’ll change it
This menu right here will let me rearrange it
I’ll make it much bigger, no, smaller, no darker
I won’t need my glasses: take that, Dorothy Parker!
Wow, this is such fun: I feel like the Sheriff!
Curlicues out of town! I’ll go with sans serif!
Mwah hah hah! Now I’ll switch it and put white on black!
All you layout artists are under attack!
I’ll do it my way, I don’t care what you want!
I’m finally freed from the force of the font!

Those letters look cool…hey, don’t they make words?
I’ll make sure I read them…but first, Angry Birds!

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

Google’s Nexus 7 tab: good news for Kindleers

June 28, 2012

Google’s Nexus 7 tab: good news for Kindleers

Google is taking pre-orders for a $199 Android tablet.

Nexus in the Google Play store

Clearly, in some ways, it beats the Kindle Fire. For the same price, you do get a GPS and a front-facing camera. It has Bluetooth and a microphone. It has physical volume buttons. Right now, they also give you a $25 credit at the Google store.

In other ways, it matches the Kindle Fire. Same amount of memory (although I haven’t seen how it is partitioned)…and for $50, you can get 16MB (twice as much). Google Play is expanding, but it already sells music, books, and apps, and they are adding major magazines, and will be selling movies.

It’s a solid, well-respected company that appeals to non-techies. I associate my Android SmartPhone with Google, and so will many other people.

The Kindle for Android app is already available through Google Play. It’s reasonable to assume that Kindle users will be able to read their Kindle books on a Nexus 7.

If a reasonably informed person was deciding which one to get today, a Kindle Fire or a Nexus 7, the Nexus 7 would probably win.

So, why is this good for Kindleers?

All of the above compares the Nexus 7 to the current state of the Kindle Fire…which Amazon is very likely going to change before too long.

You’ll undoubtedly see this referred to as a Kindle Fire killer, but that’s misunderstanding the old saw: “adapt or die”.

Amazon will adapt.

I think they are likely to reduce the price of the current Fire…and to introduce another model that matches the Nexus 7 at the same price.

If the hardware is seen as equivalent, and then it’s seen as Amazon versus Google, Amazon can stay in the ring.

There were already going to be good things coming for us, but I’m sure this ups the ante.

Thanks, Google!

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

I buy a paperbook (and “The Sea Serpant”)

June 27, 2012

I buy a paperbook (and “The Sea Serpant”)

I bought a p-book (paperbook) for myself recently.

I think that’s the first time since September 5, 2008, when I bought Herbie Archives Volume 1. Herbie is a great comic strip, truly exceptional, and really due for a movie, in my opinion. It’s intelligent and sarcastic…and ridiculous, all at the same time.

Nowadays, I would have bought Herbie as an e-book, if I could. It would work fine on my Kindle Fire, which wasn’t an option in 2008.

So, why did I buy a paperbook now?

It’s a book that we had when I was a kid. I still have most of those, but I think this one ended up with a sibling:

The Birds and the Beasts Were There: Animal Poems

I’ve always been a big animal person, and I remembered really liking this book…and one poem in particular.

I could get it for a penny (plus $3.99 shipping and handling).

I wanted to identify that one poem. I remembered parts of it, but not enough to identify it.

When I got the book, I went to the poem. It had the author’s name, but it took some research online to find out when the poem was published. It was before 1923 in the USA, which meant that it was in the public domain here.

It was then a hop, skip, and a jump to find the book that originally contained the poem as an e-book online from and other places:

Random Rhymes and Odd Numbers

I’m happy to own the p-book, but it does feel more like the $4 was a research expense. 🙂

I’m including the poem below. It’s by Wallace Irwin, and was first published in 1906. I thought you’d enjoy it, but also the process by which the book was preserved as a free digital file online…even if I found it through a p-book.




A-sleepin’ at length on the sand,

Where the beach was all tidy and clean,

A-strokin’ his scale with the brush on his tail
The wily Sea Serpant I seen.

And what was his color? you asks.

And how did he look ? inquires you,

I’ll be busted and blessed if he didn’t look jest
Like you would of expected ‘im to!

His head was the size of a — well,

The size what they always attains;

He whistled a tune what was built like a prune,
And his tail was the shape o’ his brains.

His scales they was ruther — you know —

Like the leaves what you pick off o’ eggs;

And the way o’ his walk — well, it’s useless to talk,
Fer o’ course you’ve seen Sea Serpants’ legs.

His length it was seventeen miles.

Or fathoms, or inches, or feet
(Me memory’s sich that I can’t recall which.

Though at figgers I’ve seldom been beat).

And I says as I looks at the beast,

“He reminds me o’ somethin’ I’ve seen —

Is it candy or cats or humans or hats,
Or Fenimore Cooper I mean?”

And as I debated the point,

In a way that I can’t understand.

The Sea Serpant he disappeared in the sea
And walked through the ocean by land.

And somehow I knowed he’d come back.
So I marked off the place with me cap;

‘Twas Latitude West and Longitude North
And forty-eight cents by the map.

And his length it was seventeen miles,

Or inches, or fathoms, or feet
(Me memory’s sich that I can’t recall which,

Though at figgers I’ve seldom been beat).


This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. The poem, The Sea Serpant: An Accurate Description, by Wallace Irwin, was published as part of the collection, Random Rhymes and Odd Numbers, in 1906.

Brazilian prisoners can reduce their sentences by reading

June 26, 2012

Brazilian prisoners can reduce their sentences by reading

Is reading redemptive?

The Brazilian government thinks so.

Reuters article via Yahoo News

Prisoners can reduce their sentences for four days per book read in a year, up to twelve books. So, a convict can spend up to 48 days fewer days per year in jail…by reading.

On the surface, that absolutely makes sense to me.

You can’t understand a book unless you understand the person writing it. I can’t think of any other human experience that as deeply gets you inside the head of someone else as reading a book .

I think that, generally, the more you can see things from someone else’s point of view, the less likely you are to take advantage of or cause harm to another person.

That’s what reading does.

Of course, there have been very well-read people who have done horrible things to others, but I think that’s the minority.

Most of the regulars on the Kindle forum seem to be helpful and empathetic, and I always think that having read a lot is probably part of that.

I believe this is a good program, and I endorse it.

However, I do have a few concerns.

One is the question of which books count. The books will be selected (or at least approved) by the government. That makes some sense. Books have to be of an appropriate length. There are books, such as The Anarchist Cookbook (which tells people how to make bombs and such), that aren’t likely to be on the list.

However, what about something like In Cold Blood? Helter Skelter? Of Mice and Men?

For Brazilian authors, what about

Machado de Assis


This classic 19th Century author is downbeat and challenges the status quo. Would a committee putting together a list of books that are “good for prisoners”  approve these works?

My feeling is “read anything”…but that won’t be the way an official program will go.

My other concern is that this will benefit the urban, mainstream population more than it will the rural poor.

Brazil’s illiteracy rate was over ten percent in this

Human Development Indicators document

I’ve seen indicators that is more than twice that in rural parts of the country.

In the Redemption through Reading program, prisoners must not only read the books, but write about them:

“Prisoners will have up to four weeks to read each book and write an essay which must “make correct use of paragraphs, be free of corrections, use margins and legible joined-up writing,” said the notice published on Monday in the official gazette.”

That may be statistically more difficult for people from disadvantaged areas. It could end up that poorly educated convicts spend more than ten percent more time in jail than well educated convicts.

Even so, I approve of the program. You can’t make something work perfectly. It doesn’t make illiterate prisoners stay in longer than they would have: it makes readers, who are presuming broadening their horizons and reducing their societal risk (that’s just my opinion), spend less time.

What do you think?

Is reading redemptive? Is rewarding reading in prison so unfair that a program like that should not be implemented? Would you want to see this in the USA (or in your country, if you aren’t in the USA or Brazil)? Does reading make you a more empathetic person…and therefore less likely to commit crimes?

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.

Round up #91: Best books, headphone deal, Flipboard

June 25, 2012

Round up #91: Best books, headphone deal, Flipboard

Would Spock wear earbuds?

I’m not a fan of earbuds…honestly, I just don’t like the way they feel. I don’t like sticking things in my ear like that.

For quite a while, I’ve had a pair of “ear clips”. Those are light, like earbuds (although not as light), and have a clip that goes over your ear. The speaker is padded, and rests on the outside of your ear…sort of like a tiny earmuff. 🙂

Since I got DroidTV (a way to easily watch current TV on your Kindle Fire…while not connected to the internet), I felt an increased need to have a second pair. One goes in my laptop case for work, one goes in the “utility vest” I typically wear when not at work.

Well, I’m quite pleased with the new pair I got…and they are on a significant sale right now.

Philips Adjustable Earclip Headphones SHS4700/28 (Black)

Philips is a good brand, and when I put them in my cart sometime ago, they were $19.99. Right now, they are $10.01…that’s a savings of about ten dollars.

They are comfortable, point one. Second, though, the sound is great! I’m guessing technology has changed since I last bought a pair of headphones. I was really pleased with the sound.

My Significant Other and I often see things the same way in life, but we don’t hear them the same way. 😉 I used to play conga drum with bands, and they tend to put us in front of the stacks (the big speakers). Suffice it to say, my hearing isn’t the best (although not bad). I was quite surprised to turn the volume setting down to about half with these headphones on.

My SO has amazing hearing, and wanted to try out the headphones. My SO liked them so much, we bought a second pair right away (before the price might go back up).

Headphones apply to every Kindle except the Mindle (the $79/$109 in the USA model)…that one doesn’t have a sound system. Kindles use what is a pretty standard audio jack on mobile devices: 3.5mm, so you could also use them on an iPod and such.

I don’t want to overpraise this…I’m not that picky about the sound, and maybe you’d find something missing if you are used to $200 models. I would recommend them for comfortable inexpensive headphones. We always keep some “emergency” gifts around for the holidays (when someone shows up with a new Significant Other, for example), and this would be good for that.

One last thing on that: the cable that goes to the actual ear clip is asymmetrical…it’s longer for one ear than for the other. I initially thought that was a defect, but it’s designed so you can drape the “Y” over the back of your head, instead of under your chin. That can keep the cord more out of the way.

Do check the price, in case it has changed.

Amazon picks the best books of the year so far

C lose to half way through the year, Amazon has published

Best Books of the Year So Far: 2012 Editors’ Picks

It’s an interesting list, with a different impact for Kindle users.

One of the things about being on the list is that Amazon is discounting the titles.

My first thought was, “Oh, okay…it won’t be for any Agency Model books”. It honestly slipped my mind that they might be basing this on paperbooks as well.

So, the p-books are discounted, but the e-books often aren’t (since Agency Model books can’t be discounted by Amazon).

That might make this list a lot more interesting for Kindleers after/if the Agency Model ends (which I think will happen). A federal judge has set the trial date in the Department of Justice action for June 3, 2013.

Still, it’s worth looking at the list, even if some of the e-books are priced at $12.99. If you don’t want to pay that much, no harm in looking. 🙂

Flipping the news


Flipboard: Your Social News Magazine

first came out, it was for the iPad. It’s just been released for the Kindle Fire.

What is it?

Publishers are looking for the new generation of magazine. There are some great magazines available on tablets (the old media ones do sell there: Kindle Magazine bestsellers). However, is the “once a month” or even “once a week” model the best way to go with the way people consume content now?

One vision is that you would pick up a magazine…and it would be constantly evolving. It would show you new stories every day, based on things that are of interest to you.

Pulse, which comes on the Fire, has been one of my favorite things about that device. It’s an app that lets me choose news sources (like blogs), and puts them together for me.

Right offhand, I’ll say that Flipboard looks better. Pulse is more like a newspaper in appearance: Flipboard is graphic heavy.

Contrary to what’s been suggested, I wouldn’t say I find the navigation that intuitive. Swiping your finger up the screen doesn’t scroll down, but “flips” the screen to something else. That might have been what seemed natural before we were used to touchscreens, but I find it a bit disconcerting now.

I didn’t find it obvious as to how to get into the full version of the story, and then get back to where I was to follow a different path.

I haven’t connected it to any social media, except for Twitter (I really don’t use that much of that…I’m social here and in the forums), which is sort of the point. 🙂

That said, I can’t deny that it’s captivating. It does look great. It has the information I want…right away.

I think that once I get used to the navigation, I’ll like it a lot better. Right now, it feels sort of like I’m in a hall of mirrors: I keep trying to get somewhere and bumping my nose. 😉 However, I do think that’s just a neophyte issue.

I’d also guess it’s a big battery charge drainer. It seems like it is always loading something when it is open.

I was afraid it might be a big storage hog, but it’s not bad…I’m at 5MB right now…although the cache is an additional 8.19MB.

Trying to set it up when not connected to internet didn’t work well. I can clearly read things when disconnected, but I’m not sure how much that limits the experience. On a Fire, that matters.

If you are an experienced Flipboard user, feel free to share your opinion and best tips and tricks. If you aren’t, I would say it’s worth a try.

Kindle Fire, $199

That doesn’t sound like news, right?

That’s what I thought when I got an e-mail from Amazon with that as the subject line this morning.

It also plugged the Mindle, but neither one really had news.

It could just be a periodic promotion, of course, but I will admit to a bit of a tingle that this might be an ad push for the status quo before something new is released. The new thing could be new models or new software updates or both.

Of course, it might have nothing to do with that. If a change was coming in a month or so, though, it might make sense to get the most out of what you had now while you still could.

Just idle speculation, though…it’s probably just an ad. 🙂

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

If dogs were devices

June 24, 2012

If dogs were devices

Hy: “Hey, did you hear about the new model dog they’re releasing? It’s supposed to be bipedal!”

Cybee: “That’s just a rumor, and I don’t believe it. Who would want a bipedal dog? How would you keep them off the kitchen table?

Hy: “Maybe it’s a nano-dog…they couldn’t reach on two legs.”

Cybee: “I hate those little things. If it has to worry about you stepping on it, it’s not a real dog.”

Andy: “I’ll tell you what’s a real dog…a wolf.”

Hy: “Ah, what do you know about it?”

Andy: “I was there when we got the first dogs.”

Cybee: “What, like fifteen thousand years ago?”

Andy: “Yep. I’m a cloned Neandertal…they even managed to pull in my old memories.”

Cybee: “You’re Andy Tal?”

Andy: “That’s me. You modern Saps don’t seem to care much for my real name, so they started calling me Ne Andy Tal…and Andy just sort of stuck.”

Hy: “What did you call us?”

Andy: “Saps…no offense meant. It’s just sort for Homo sapiens sapiens…that’s you guys.”

Cybee: “Wait a minute…I thought I read that the…um…Saps used dogs to help us conquer you Neandertals.”

Andy: “That’s just a bunch of disinformation. Believe you me, there wasn’t any conquering going on! I’ve heard all about it…you had tools, you had language, you name it. All you had was dominant genes….you just mated us out of existence, for the most part.”

Cybee: “What do you mean for the most part?”

Andy: “There are still a few of us around, out in the wild, and I’m sure you’ve seen somebody at the beach who got some recessive genes and looked like me.”

Hy: “I guess so. So, wolves, huh? I’ll be you’re jealous of our modern dogs!”

Andy: “Not really. Wolves were a whole lot more reliable. I can’t believe all the glitches you have with your dogs! Hip dysplasia, heartworms, ticks, fleas…sure, wolves had some problems with those, but you’ve thinned out the skins so much and spent all this time breeding for cute noses and pretty hairdos that you take your dogs to the doctor all the time. You inject them and powder them and buy them special foods…it’s pathetic, really.”

Cybee: “But you can’t really train a wolf, right?”

Andy: “Train them to do what?”

Cybee: “Oh, fetch, and sit, and…um, canine agility…”

Andy: “Sigh. That stuff has nothing do with what being a dog means. You want all the bells and whistles, and you love your multi-functional animals. For us, wolves ate the garbage and let us know when a stranger was around. They might even help out with the hunt, but none of that took any training. They just did what they always did…it’s just that they did it with us, instead of in their own packs.”

Hy: “What about house training?”

Andy: “No houses. When we were in the same caves, wolves don’t poop where they sleep. The way you guys live, with wood on the ground and plants in the rooms, it’s not surprising dogs get confused. I’ve seen some of those pretty dog breeds…they aren’t all that bright anyway.”

Hy: “I don’t care what you say. I want a dog that will sit in my lap, come when I call, and make me laugh.”

Andy: “Up to you. Don’t let an old ‘caveman’ tell you what to do.”

Cybee: “That’s fine, old-timer. Hey, Hy, did you hear that J.K. Rowling has announced her own brand of dog?”

Hy: “You’re kidding!”

Cybee: “Nope, she’s taking pre-orders now. It’s a cross between a Maltese, a Pug, and a Poodle.”

Hy: “What does she call it?”

Cybee: “A Muggle…”

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

Review: 1,001 Facts that Will Scare the S#*t Out of You: The Ultimate Bathroom Reader

June 23, 2012

Review: 1,001 Facts that Will Scare the S#*t Out of You: The Ultimate Bathroom Reader

1,001 Facts that Will Scare the S#*t Out of You: The Ultimate Bathroom Reader
by Cary McNeal
published by Adams Media
original publication: 2010
size: 928KB (312 pages)
categories: humor & entertainment; fun facts; trivia
lending: enabled
simultaneous device licenses: 6
part of the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library: yes
text-to-speech: yes
real page numbers: no
x-ray: yes

Laughter is a signal that there is apparent danger but no real danger.

To find something funny, you have to simultaneously perceive some threat (the threat can be social), and realize that the threat isn’t real.

For me, the comments that were intended to be funny in this book were, for the most part, unsuccessful.

I would say that, to enjoy this, you would have to be able to do one of two things: not think of other people suffering and dying as real; or be able to constantly maintain the idea that the author is simply putting on a character.

While I am intellectually sure that Cary McNeal isn’t the type of person suggested by the jokes, it doesn’t strike me that way emotionally when I read one of these “scary facts” and then the snarky comment that follows.

It’s interesting, because I don’t have the problem with, say, Don Rickles. That may have to do with being able to see the person.

I think, also, that so many of the jokes are similar, and simple, that they aren’t self-inherently clever writing. I think that may make the sentiment more convincing.

The jokes are racially-based (including ethnic slurs), but carefully (I think) only against Caucasians. They are gender-based. They are regional (a lot of jokes about incest).  There are a few jokes about celebrities. The jokes are often at the expense of people who were injured or died. Some of them also contain obscenities. I guess I could have expected that from the title, but they did “bleep” it there.

As to the facts…some of them were interesting, although I was familiar with the vast majority of them.

Adams Media is a company with a long history, and I was surprised to find as many proof-reading errors as I did. The letter “i” was substituted for the number “1” on several occasions, for example.

I did find a few of the jokes amusing.

Overall, as you can tell, I wouldn’t recommend this. I have to say, I was quite surprised to see that the author was an Emmy winner, so I did a little research.

It appears the award was for Outstanding Achievement
Television Spot Announcements Excellence and shared with three other people.

That’s still laudable, of course. I was just seeing the “Emmy-winning” at the same time I was seeing comedy writing, and was thinking they went together. The spot may have been funny, certainly…my mind just went  to “sitcom” when  I saw that juxtaposition.

Clearly, some people enjoyed the book: nearly half of the fifty-five reviews are 5-star, which is pretty good. Let me suggest that you get a sample before buying or borrowing the book…you might like it, and my guess is you’ll get the sense of it yes or no by doing that. If what I’ve told you makes you think you’d be offended, though, I’d be careful about doing even that.

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

Update coming to Kindle DX?

June 22, 2012

Update coming to Kindle DX?

Don’t get too excited yet, but I’ have seen something that might indicate an update is coming to the Kindle DX (or, I suppose, perhaps a new model of Kindle DX).

Here’s the story:

There is a graphic novel by Karen Marie Morning, available for pre-order for July 10:

Fever Moon (Graphic Novel)

It says it is only available for these devices:

  • Kindle
  • Kindle Touch
  • Kindle Fire
  • Kindle DX
  • Kindle for Android

That’s a very interesting list. I saw it at first and thought, “Oh, no…maybe they are dropping the Kindle Keyboard!”

That was before I realized it was a graphic novel.

What do all of these devices have in common?

Well, according to this very interesting page:

Enhanced Features for Kindle Books

they all have Kindle Panel View (which is designed for comics/graphic novels)…except for the Touch and the DX.

A reasonable hypothesis? The idea that the Touch is getting Panel View. Makes sense, since the Mindle (that’s what I call the $79/$109 model) has it.

However, might this also suggest that the Kindle DX is getting an update?

Maybe…it was last updated on June 14, 2010…about two years ago.

It could also use some updates to the PDF capability.


It could also be that the DX is just considered large enough that Panel View (which enlarges one panel of a comic/graphic novel page at a time) isn’t necessary for it. On the other hand, Kindle for PC and Kindle for Mac aren’t listed, and they have big screens.

I could wildly speculate and say that an update to the KDX might come along with new models, which might mean the new models are coming by July 10th.

I’m not going to do that, though. 😉

I don’t consider an update for the KDX to be probable…but this is a little bit like being shown unicorn tracks. It’s not likely they are real, but you can’t help but get a little excited about it. 🙂

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

Round up #90: B&N hit with big NOOK loss, e-books “more worthless than used toilet paper”

June 21, 2012

Round up #90: B&N hit with big NOOK loss, e-books “more worthless than used toilet paper”

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

Words that are only worth the paper they’re written on

You don’t often hear an author say that their words are worthless.

Yet, that’s just what award-winning author Joan Brady told the Telegraph.

Oh, let me clarify that: they are only worthless if you buy them as an e-book. 😉

E-books are for porn but real books with survive, says award-winning author

I have to praise the author for honesty, as told to James Hall in the above Telegraph article.

The article makes it very clear: the only value of an e-book is in selling it. Reading the words afterwards? Who cares?

Now, if you buy the book in paper, that’s different. Then, you have something you can show off…you know, like a Rolex watch.

Really…that was the analogy.

I’m going to recommend that you read the article…there are some statements in there that just made my head spin. If you comment on them, I’ll respond, but I don’t want to take too much away from the Telegraph.

I will point out one thing, though.

Brady is quoted as saying:

“They [publishers] will have to up their game by producing books worth keeping for their content, books with better bindings and paper that doesn’t turn yellow in less than a year…”

That ties exactly into what I’ve been saying about turning books back into luxury items, and selling new novels (of a higher quality of manufacturing) for fifty dollars.

However, I disagree with so many other things this article says, it kind of makes me doubt myself on that one. 😉 Just kidding…I still think it’s a reasonable scenario, and I guess in some ways we are saying the same things…but we do not agree about Stephen Hawking!

Thanks to Talli Rolland for the alert on this story in The Writers Guide to E-Publishing, where I am a rotating columnist:

BN: Hardware’s a hard sale

Barnes & Noble just announced its fiscal year 2012 results:

Press Release

There are some good things in there: digital content (e-books, e-newsstand, and apps) sales were up 119% year-to-year.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t the headline:

FT: Barnes & Noble ereader sales fall

Reuters:Barnes & Noble sales light on Nook returns

Yep…Barnes & Noble says:

“Device sales declined during the fourth quarter due to higher third-party channel partner returns, lower selling volume and lower average selling prices.  In order to optimize the supply chain for new products, the company took back NOOK Simple Touch inventory following the previously announced holiday sales shortfall. “

That could just be shifting emphases…maybe the future just looked so bright (so to speak) for the NOOK Simple Touch with GlowLight (announced mid-April…the measurement period ended April 28) that they took a bunch of returns in preparation for a bunch more sales.


They also cite lower selling prices (that’s not going to change), and lower sales volume.

That’s not good.

Oh, well…maybe Joan Brady won’t have to worry about you reading her books on a NOOK. 😉

B&N’s stock dropped, but has climbed a lot of the way back:

Steven Windwalker’s letter to the Department of Justice

Steven Windwalker, of the Kindle Nation blog, has published a lengthy letter the blogger has written to the DoJ on the Agency Model case:

Kindle Nation Daily’s Letter to the Department of Justice in the DOJ eBook Price-Fixing Lawsuit Against Apple and Five Publishers

Stephen Windwalker and I would both be interested to hear what you think about it…

Amazon may be the master of several domains…

Thanks to a reader who gave me the heads-up on this

Forbes article

about Amazon spending millions of dollars to apply to Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) for 76 (!) new internet domains. Those are those things that come after a website…you know, like .org and .com. That doesn’t mean that Amazon automatically gets them, but they applied for:

  • .amazon
  • .app
  • .audible
  • .author
  • .aws (Amazon Web Services)
  • .book
  • .bot
  • .box
  • .buy
  • .call
  • .circle
  • .cloud
  • .coupon
  • .deal
  • .dev
  • .drive
  • .fast
  • .fire
  • .free
  • .game
  • .got
  • .group
  • .hot
  • .imdb (they own the popular movie/TV reference site)
  • .jot
  • .joy
  • .kids
  • .kindle
  • .like
  • .mail (interesting…)
  • .map
  • .mobile
  • .moi (French for “me”…they do have a French site)
  • .movie
  • .music
  • .news
  • .now
  • .pay
  • .pin
  • .play
  • .prime
  • .read
  • .room
  • .safe
  • .save
  • .search
  • .secure
  • .shop
  • .show
  • .silk (their web browser)
  • .smile (as on their boxes)
  • .song
  • .spot
  • .store
  • .talk
  • .tunes
  • .tushu
  • .video
  • .wanggou
  • .wow
  • .yamaxun
  • .you
  • .yun
  • .zappos (they own it)
  • .zero
  • .アマゾン
  • .クラウド
  • .ストア
  • .セール
  • .ファッション
  • .ポイント
  • .亚马逊
  • .家電
  • .書籍
  • .通販
  • .食品

I took those from this list:

Reveal Day 13 June 2012 – New gTLD Applied-For Strings

I mostly typed it, but I did copy and paste some of the non-English words…which show the international nature of Amazon’s vision.

Barnes & Noble didn’t apply for any, I think.

Amazon opens app store for European development: Fire to follow?

In this

Press Release

Amazon announced that they are planning an appstore for Europe for this summer. That could mean that the Fire will go international soon, although that might also require deals with music and video content providers to be really effective.

Where will the apps be available?

” United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy and Spain, with plans for further global expansion in the near future.”

Free Continuing Medical Education summaries

Audi0-Digest, a leading publisher of works connected with Continuing Medical Education (many of the people with whom I work need to get CME credits every year) has made 17 summaries available for free in the Kindle store:

I know the name may make it seem like these are audio files, but they aren’t. 🙂 They are, however, text-to-speech enabled (at least the ones I’ve checked).

I’m snapping these up, myself.

As always, these books may not be free everywhere in the world, and may not be free for long. Check the price before clicking or tapping that buy button!

Well, busy day! Feel free to comment on any of these…

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

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