$99 eBook Reader? Kind of…

An article at wired.com talks about BooksOnBoard, the largest independent eBookstore, announcing a $99 eBook Reader. It’s a little misleading. Read the story here, and you’ll see there are strings attached. You can buy the reader for $99 after you shell out $500 for a Gift Certificate.

They’re offering the older Sony PRS-505 model Reader in the deal that retails for $299, so it’s a fine piece of tech that would be an excellent starter model, yah?

The moral of the story is plain. eBook Readers are still way too expensive for the mainstream, and eBook sellers know it. We’ll certainly give them marks for trying and for seeing the writing on the wall.

Wattpad: Free eBooks for your Digital Library

For your weekend reading pleasure Wattpad.com offers eBooks to Mobile users. They’ve got a really interesting and large selection of free eBooks formatted for your favorite device. Not just the old public domain stuff either. (Ever read Moby Dick on a cell phone?) Writers and publishers are using it to show off their wares, and users can add their two cents if they’ve got a hankering. Really kind of cool, yah?

Wattpad says they are “all about reading and sharing ebooks. You can read what you like and share what you write, because the material on Wattpad are uploaded by community members like you. You can upload whatever you want to share – a story, an essay or a joke, and then read it wherever you are even on your mobile phone. Can’t find something? You can request it from other Wattpad members.”

Check it out!

Writers: Start Your Engines

These two stories signify important steps in the eBook Revolution. The technology is new, and the prices are still too high, but this is the beginning of the start.

$200 eBook Reader to make its Debut


We’ve got a related story about Print on Demand (POD) Printing Machines and Kiosks here.

If I were Amazon.com, I’d worry less about competition and think more about staying relevant. After these stories, it seems to me that Amazon and other online eBook and book retailers begin to resemble overpriced search engines, yah?

Rumbling from the Apple Orchard has the Amazon trembling.

Click here to read this story at Powerpage.org about Apple’s rumored iPhone Lite release this summer. We’ve all heard the whispers about Apple gearing up to enter the eBook market. There has been talk of an Apple Tablet or “Mediapad” as described in the article, and now this, a thinner, stripped down iPhone with a screen just slightly smaller than Kindle’s. Amazon’s acting like its heard the same rumors, with its knee-jerk purchase of Stanza. (Stanza wasn’t even a competitor…)

Or maybe they’ve read the story here at PCWorld that’s outright dubbed the Apple iPhone “Mediapad” a KINDLE-KILLER!

When a GIANT like APPLE, with a winning track record in handheld devices, steps into the eBook Device market, the Internet will tremble, yah?

Fall out from the Amazon Stanza purchase.

The future of Mobipocket Reader is now in question as Amazon nabs Stanza–even though Amazon owns Mobipocket. (It get’s confusing…) This article is just the first of the sob songs, yah? Read it here at AllAboutSymbian.com.

Watch now, as the market adjusts, as monopoly slips away from Amazon again. Watch Mobipocket Reader designers disappear and then resurface with a free Mobipocket-like DRM-Cracking eBook Reading software that competes directly with AmazonSTANZA. Then, Amazon would have to buy… ah, you get the picture.

Amazon Buys Stanza’s Creator

In the “I’m My Own Worst Enemy” department, Amazon has purchased Lexcycle, creator of Stanza eBook Reader for iPhone and iPod Touch. Read the New York Times story here. Why not, they almost forced Stanza into existence?

Have you have been following this? Amazon’s subsidiary, Mobipocket, delayed the release of Mobipocket Reader software for iPhone for over a year. This was Amazon’s attempt, through Mobipocket, to keep a clear field for Kindle to play in, and further to keep competitors at bay for the release of Kindle 2.

iPhone users, used to this sort of corporate manipulation, cried fowl and started digging around the net for something that would allow them to read eBooks. Enter Lexcycle’s Stanza, an excellent application that turned iPhone and iPod Touch into eReaders. The only thing Stanza couldn’t do was read Mobipocket DRM locked files.

It gets funnier when you realize Amazon through Mobipocket, still delayed the release of a Mobipocket Reader for iPhone, forcing the Stanza readers to turn to the black market and/or file sharers for cracked and illegally unlocked eBooks to satisfy their craving to read, further fuelling the illegal trade of digital content that Amazon whines about.

This is what happens when you play god, yah? Now watch as this plan fails. They used to be able to do this in the old world. Buy a competitor and then use him or shut him down. They don’t seem to understand the speed that apps appear on the market, evolve and spread. And they’ve already started a negative relationship with Stanza users (0r millions of iPhone owners) who might prove unwilling to use Stanza with Amazon’s name attached. (And why bother, when a new Stanza will pop up faster than you can say: DRM!) Amazon will not be able to control the market with this kind of thinking.

 The only way to dominate is through excellent prices, products and service.

This Guy’s Defending the ‘real’ Pirates.

An article at techradar.com says it all in this sentence: “There isn’t much illegal content to drive hardware sales, which mean [sic] that the Kindle is some way away from being the iPod of books. If publishers are smart, they’ll keep it that way.” The writer’s premise is that adopting the new technology will make books easily copied and therefore re-sold and shared illegally. The publishers, the writer claims, will be shooting themselves in the foot if they digitize books. Read the article here.

The truth is illegal content will be created by the traditional publishing houses’ stubborn and greedy adherence to outdated business practices and the forcing of that corporate, quarterly-profit-driven business model on the new technology, in a marketplace that favors the consumer with access and choice.

I couldn’t put it more simply: AFFORDABLE PRODUCTS MAKE PIRACY UNPROFITABLE and FILE SHARING A WASTE OF TIME! And people don’t like to waste time. Indeed, as he says, digital technology has changed the music industry, but it has also changed things for the creators of that music and fans through availability, a vastly larger marketplace and affordable prices, yah?

Get Free eBooks!

I mentioned this site before, and thought I’d bring it up again for all you early adopters building eBook libraries. It has to be their name: getfreeebooks.com (just about a perfect!). Anyway these guys are driving a ton of traffic and pushing a lot of e-ink.

Check out getfreeebooks.com. They’ve got a wide selection that cross may genres, available in Mobipocket/Kindle prc, pdf or other. I popped in for a visit and noticed their list is growing in leaps and bounds, so if you haven’t visited, it’s worth a look, yah?

There are public domain titles available, but they’re also offering a growing list of Indie authors from many genres.

Oh… and another thing. They reject all that “Internet Marketing” free eBook junk, so you don’t have to worry about getting hooked into that racket. Enjoy!

A Eulogy of Sorts…

As newspapers approach the brink of relevance, we wisk you over to CNN where Chris Pirillo voices his disdain for yucky, dirty hands in the article: “Why dirty up my hands with newsprint?”

He manages to compile all the reasons the print newspaper industry is on its way into the recycle box with only the bare minimum of snark. You can tell Pirillo is set on his iPhone as evolutionary replacement because he overlooks a considerable collection of eReading gadgets and gizmos rushing onto the market to take the place of paper.

(He’s also mastered the art of claiming he is not elitist while sounding very much like he is.) Give it a read, you’ll see what I mean, yah?

Readius in Doubt?

eBook Rumors mentioned Readius – the first Pocket eReader from Polymer Vision back in January. Read that and view the demo here. Apparently I was lonely back in the dead of winter. It appears I had matrimonial feelings for the little eReader with rollaway view screen. SO cool, yah?

That might explain why the story about Readius’ potential death brings a tear to this blogger’s eye. Apparently the developer is having trouble getting financial backing to launch this beautiful piece of technology. Read the story at PC Pro:News here. They say they’ve got everything in place to build, market and sell this sweetheart, but the economic environment has investors slow to sign on.

Please! PLEASE do not let the Readius die. Otherwise, we’ll have to put up with these two self-declared front-runners of the race. Sony and Amazon have certainly created eReaders that are leading in PRICE, both coming to your home at close to $400! (They may be leading in sales, but they can hardly claim supremacy in design and function in a marketplace barely out of diapers…) Apparently, the early count is suggesting the final battle might come down to Sony’s Reader versus Amazon’s Kindle. Read that story here. I think that’s premature, and the article must be written by someone who owns Amazon stock. Just look around the net and you’ll see there are plenty of devices developing in this evolving market. Jesus! The eBook Revolution has barely begun and this Melissa J. Perenson from PC World is almost declaring a winner. She’s certainly inferring it’s a two horse race. (Read that article though…she’s got an excellent side by side comparison of these devices.)

Hang on Readius… we need you now more than ever!