Round up #135: Agency Model ends in EU, update for KFHD7

Round up #135: Agency Model ends in EU, update for KFHD7

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

Amazon announces the bestselling books of 2012

Amazon has now announced the

Amazon bestselling books of 2012

They break them down into Adults as one category, Kids and Teens as another, and then categories for e-books and p-books (paperbooks).

Glancing at it, I’m surprised that more of the very popular Kindle books aren’t independently published. Doesn’t look like any of the top ten are.

NOOK HD and NOOK HD+ instore deal this weekend only

According to this

B&N press release

you can get a NOOK HD or a NOOK HD+ in a store this weekend only (December 15 and 16) and they’ll give you a $20 B&N gift card.

If you are going to get a NOOK anyway, here’s a way to make it a better deal. 🙂

More of “The age of non-discovery”

I always debate with myself about updating a post significantly or not. I know most people won’t see the update, and that makes sense. If you’ve read it, why go back and check it again?

However, I also know that some people don’t subscriber or check the website every day, and if they find it after it’s been updated, they get the advantage of a better post. 🙂

I considerably updated The age of non-discovery, partially inspired by a comment from a reader named Jeff. I thought the changes were significant enough that it warranted announcing them in this round-up.

Why should e-books mimic p-books?

A reader sent me this in a private e-mail (thanks!) and it is interesting:

Slate article

It’s about how “…Avant-garde novelist Mark Z. Danielewski is changing the way we read e-books.”

I think there may be some real wisdom here. Right now, people are to some extent trying to make e-books the same as p-books. People even mention wanting the smell. I’ve seen people disappointed because a device doesn’t have page animations.

Well, an e-book is not a p-book…it’s equally a book, certainly, but it may not make sense to try to make it into an emulation.

I want to say, I wouldn’t be fond of all kinds of artsy fonts and such (I generally like my text generic looking), but it’s definitely something to consider.

Text-to-speech is pleasanter for me than sight-reading

Don’t panic, it’s just on one particular book.

I borrowed

Strange Animals. An Atlas and History. 1800 to 1977

from the Kindle Owmers’ Lending Library. It’s quite an odd book, and may warrant an entire review (I don’t review everything I read for you), but it’s jarring for me to read. One reason is that the author has very eccentric capitalization. I’m never quite sure why something is capitalized (when it normally wouldn’t be). It doesn’t particularly seem to be for emphasis. Here is one example:

“Take the sensory reality of a schizophrenic or an hallucinating Alcoholic or Drug addict.”

Why is the word “alcoholic” capitalized? Is it a title, like Emperor? If that’s the case, wouldn’t you capitalize both “Drug” and “Addict”?

Anyway, the nice thing is that Ivona (the text-to-speech on my Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ 4G LTE Wireless 32GB doesn’t care about those capitals…so it’s not as off-putting when I’m in the car. 🙂

A slew of press releases from Amazon

The folks at Amazon have been busy!

They’ve announced:

Amazon Friends & Family

I was hoping that was those “social circles” I’ve wanted for our Kindle stuff, where I could get recommendations, share notes, and so on, just with people I specified.

It’s actually a “gift list” service. I haven’t used it much, and I’m not quite sure what the benefit is.

It seems like it’s a simple list service, although it does tell me when a gift-giving occasion is coming.

What would be cool is if it would let someone post a “wish list” just to friends and family…and then everybody except that person could buy off it and/or indicate what had been bought.

It would also be great to see recommendations for people based on what they had previously bought, just like what we see for ourselves (only as an opt-in, of course). At this point, I’m not convinced…if you’ve found it valuable, let me know.

They also announced:

Amazon Cloud Player for Roku

Our Roku may be my third favorite electronic in our house (after the Kindles of various kinds and the Tivo).

It has a nice symbiosis with Amazon, and with your Kindle. I love that I can display videos and pictures on our TV from my Kindle Fire using Juice for Roku, for example.

Well, unfortunately, we have an older one which is not compatible with this, but you can now use the Amazon Cloud Player on your Roku. That means you could play your music through your TV. For a lot of people, their TVs are really multimedia centers, and this will be a good addition.

Another press release let you know that you can use the Cloud Player on Samsung Smart TVs.

If you’ve got an iPhone or an iPod touch, this

press release

announced that you can now watch Amazon Instant Video on your device. People have been waiting for that. Many people use those devices to read Kindle content.

The Agency Model is over…in Europe

The European Commission

announced

that they have accepted “legally binding commitments” from Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, Hachette, Holtzbrinck and Apple over the Agency Model method of selling (and pricing) e-books. Boom! Discounting is back on tradpub (traditional publisher) e-books in Europe.

Apple, Penguin, and Macmillan are still fighting the Department of Justice here in the USA over the issue, while HarperCollins, Hachette, and Simon & Schuster have settled here.

It really seems like it is only a matter of time…how much more money do they want to spend to fight it here if they are willing to settle there?

Forbes:”The Wrong War Over eBooks: Publishers Vs. Libraries”

Forbes article

Very interesting article by David Vinjamuri about the relationship (and it’s not good) between publishers and public libraries. I recommend it, and look forward to the second one in the series.

I still think a possible answer in the future will be that publishers will directly loan e-books to people, on a strict needs-tested basis. You prove you can’t afford books, they lend them to you and get a tax write-off. Libraries would probably fight that tooth and nail, but I suspect it might be the best possible and  achievable solution.

New update for the Kindle Fire 7″ HD

This is one of those incremental, bug-fixer updates. I haven’t done it myself yet, and I hear it’s huge and will take a long time to download. I don’t think it is bringing you any new features, just removing problems. I’ll do it and take a look, but if you have noticed anything, feel free to let me and my readers know by commenting on this post.

If you’d like to download it manually, you can get it (and instructions) here:

Kindle Fire HD 7″ Software Update Version 7.2.3

Well, there’s a bunch of stuff! 🙂 Have any comments on any of these? Feel free…

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

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