eBook Readers are Here to Stay!

Thanks to Jorgen for a link to this enjoyable article at the Thaindian News that pretty much sets it all out there for us to see.  It’s pretty obvious that eBooks are here to stay.

What’s interesting is they were considered to be the way of the future but with the speed of their widespread adoption it seems that the future is not far off, yah?

eBook Price War Approaching

A story over at Unthinkable has analysts predicting an eBook price war between Borders and Barnes & Noble as the two latecomers vie for position in the eBook Revolution. This will also come down to a battle of the gear, because Barnes & Noble has its own Nook while Borders stocks Sony’s eReader. Get the whole story here.

The Kindle sees an Advantage and takes it…

I’m sure this is a hangover from the same market hesitation that brought the traditional publishing industry to the desperate straits we find it in. One can only hope that these industry leaders in the new publishing age will stop playing it safe, and start taking some chances.

This PCWorld story from our friend Jorgen offers a status report on a lacklustre eBook Reader competition. Amazon was/is the front-runner in the eBook Reader revolution, having released now their third version of the Kindle eBook Reader. Each generation of the device has been plagued with a short-fall of supply (playing it safe–order, build and ship) that created an opening for other companies like Sony and Barnes & Noble to use to their advantages, launching their own devices on the wave of interest created, interestingly enough, by Kindle.

Now, as the eBook Revolution charges into its first really explosive Christmas, Sony and Barnes & Noble have run out of machines. (Order only, receive after Christmas.) Was it fiscal cowardice or caution? Who cares? The end result is they’re going to lose BIG TIME during the biggest selling season, and their supply shortfall has ironically opened a door for the Kindle.

God! I wish this was a story that highlighted more heroic efforts. Anyway, the PCWorld story reports Amazon adding (the long-awaited) PDF support to its Kindle. This should help to re-orient the device for home or office use, and guarantee wider scale adoption for the broader marketplace. Coming at a time when the main competitors have left themselves dead-in-the-water without product, it may help Kindle regain some of the lead that it has lost.

So, a lot of accidents and default’s, yah?

Wattpad.com Goes East

Here’s a short Mediabistro interview with Wattpad CEO Alan Lau and an update on Wattpad.com’s recent launch of a version of their mobile phone application for the Indian provider, Bharti Airtel.

Lau makes an excellent point that BHarti Airtel with 110 million subscribers indicates a vast and relatively untapped marketplace (at least from a western perspective). There are mammoth English speaking populations in India and other countries with British Colonial roots–numbers that are simply staggering. The Internet is quickly breaking down the boundaries of old world publishing, and finding new consumers with different habits, histories and approaches to reading.

If you want a “WOW THAT’S INCREDIBLE” moment check out this list of countries with English speakers. And then check out the number of English speakers. Wild, yah?

Free Sony eBook Reader Touch Edition

I’ve been reminded to remind you about a contest to win a free Sony eBook Reader Touch Edition at BentSteeple.com. It’s to celebrate the release of BENT STEEPLE a new Horror novel by Indie author G. Wells Taylor. There are other prizes too.

The draw is Christmas day, so that gives you a full month to enter, yah?

Smashwords Charges Ahead

Well this is a smart move by Amazon.com. What was starting to look like a coalition of Davids formed to compete directly with the eBook retail Goliath has suddenly turned into a love-in. (I’m just being a smartass here. I really couldn’t be happier for the eBook Revolution…) Read the press release here.

We reported earlier that Indie author and small publisher platform, Smashwords had inked distribution deals with Sony eBook Store, Barnes and Noble and Shortcovers, in what looked like a monster eBook distribution group designed to compete directly with Amazon and the Kindle. Well, if you can believe this, Amazon has joined them.

It’s called a democratizing of eBook distribution, where all of the involved members will clear virtual shelf space for Smashword’s growing list of Indie titles. It’s a win-win situation for all. The flexibility and low-cost of eBook publishing should open the market up to future Stephen Kings that the old business model could not afford to take a chance on, or lacked the vision to discover.

Slide format A into eBook Reader B?

Our friend Jorgen dropped off another link to a story at The Register that attempts to sort out the compatibility issues of eBook Selection, Distributors, eBook formats and eBook Readers. Good luck, yah?

It’s a good read, but it’s also suggesting that the reliance on proprietary format is going to do anything more that create eBook pirates and eventually spawn an omnivorous eBook reader that ingests all formats.

Proprietary format = locked books, limited selection & high prices. Proprietary formats will not survive the eBook Revolution.

Making that Christmas Purchase

Okay, here’s a story at Digital Trends with some pointers on buying that special someone an eBook Reader this Christmas.

While it seems a bit silly, considering two of the three most popular machines they’re talking about are sold out, this does open things up for the competition. If you doubt that there is any competition, then take the jump to a list of eBook Readers already on the market.

Like so many inconveniences, this lack of vision by the industry leaders (Sony and Nook…only available to order this Christmas) provides consumers an opportunity to acquaint themselves with the growing selection of eBook Readers. And if you’re forced to order and wait, it might be time to wait to order any one of the many devices that are promised in the new year.


Jorgen dropped off a link to a story at MobileMag.com (a link that since died unfortunately …) about Barnes and Noble’s eBook Reading Device, the Nook. It is out of stock and orders won’t ship until after Christmas.  But the same story is available at techradar.

The Barnes and Noble site is kind of pathetically declaring “Order now and we’ll start building your nook right away…”

That just leaves Kindle (however long their stocks last.)

I wish these companies would stop playing it safe. If Amazon is prepared with enough Kindles for Christmas, then the Nook (and apparently Sony is sold out too) has just lost out on a huge opportunity, yah?

Smashwords Acquires BookHabit

Read the Smashwords Press Release here.

Smashwords is the fast-growing eBook publishing service with over 4,700 eBook titles from 2,100 independent authors and publishers from all points of the compass. The eBook savvy net player has opened new distribution channels for Indie talent recently announcing new relationships with major online entities Barnes and Noble, Sony eBook Store and Shortcovers.

Smashwords is the one to watch, yah?