Rumble in Googletown

In case anyone wondered if there was a future in eBooks, look at how much money and time Google’s putting into their Google Book Search. And it gives you an idea of the kind of MEGACOMPANY Google has become.  (And the kind of position they want in the eBook Revolution.)

Their book scanning plan was considered copyright infringement not long after it started when they scanned without always getting the approval of authors and publishers. So authors and publishers filed suit.

After lengthy court proceedings Google agreed to pay $125 million toward creating a Book Rights Registry to locate and register copyright owners and they would use the funds to settle existing claims. In exchange Google would be able to display larger selections of ‘in-copyright’ work.

Now the U.S. Department of Justice is investigating the settlement for possible antitrust violations. Read the full story at PCWorld here.

Google obviously believes in the Revolution, yah?

Twitterature?

Before anybody panics have a look at the upcoming Twitterature web site here.

Coming in the Fall of 2009 and billed as “The World’s Greatest Books, Each Presented in Twenty Tweets or Fewer,” Twitterature will be the “humorous” retelling of great literary works in Twitter format.

I’ve already seen one headline out there that says: “The future of the book is the blurb.” Negative thinking when you  remember that the blurb is there to draw you into the whole book, yah?

There is no page…Damn it!

I’m not sure what happened to Daniel Terdiman of cnetnews in his piece called “Trying to turn the page on a Kindle” but I’m glad he got through it.

Since it’s a slow eBook news day I’ll share it with you. I don’t know if he experienced a mental vapor lock from too much travel or if it was the equivalent of an eBook reviewer’s Blue Screen of Death; but this whole page-turning thing is a funny read and at times…well, see for yourself here.


Another competitor climbs into the ring…

Borders UK launched its own eBook reader exploiting the European loophole in Amazon Kindle’s landlocked business plan.

Borders’ Elonex eBook is a direct contender for Amazon Kindle’s and Sony Reader’s success, boasting a similar 6″ screen and competitive £189 price ($308 USD). Read the story and Elonex’s specifications here at bookseller.com. One place Elonex has Kindle beat is the Reader is available for purchase in Borders UK bookstores, Books Etc. and Borders Express branches. eBook Readers, similar to gadgets like iPhones and digital cameras, sell themselves once a consumer has it in hand.

Even though Amazon’s Kindle DX is tethered to the continental United States to exploit its Whispernet technology, it has sold out again only weeks after re-stocking. Eager adopters are going to have to face a 4-6 week delay before Amazon can fill any more orders. Read about it here. Not sure whether this is a case of actual demand or lack of supply. Amazon takes great risks building hype around apparent scarcity. The real numbers will rule the day, yah?

Happy Canada Day!

eBook Rumors Headquarters is closed July 1st to celebrate Canada Day!

If you’re stopping by, browse through our growing collection of free eBooks here. A holiday makes a perfect time to pick up a classic or try something new from an Indie author. Enjoy!

Anderson and Gladwell justify themselves…

Are these guys stoking the fires of their own celebrity by overcomplicating this? Read more of the Anderson vs. Gladwell debate about paying for content here at PaidContent.org.

We’ve been saying it over and over here at eBook Rumors. People only want free content and free access if the alternative is paying unjustifiable ‘real world’ prices in a ‘virtual’ marketplace. ‘Real world’ business models must be adapted to suit a new digital environment. Digital products are vastly cheaper to produce, store, ship and maintain. A sixth grader would understand that the plummeting costs to produce a product should be reflected in a similar drop in price to the consumer.

But the status quo keeps trying to graft the old business model on the new form because they want to maintain their old world profit model. That’s what it’s all about. Nothing more. How can the old world take over the new digital world without registering a drop in this quarter’s profits. Oh, and don’t forget, they want to turn those old ‘costs’ into profit. (Charge for printing a book you’ll never print, but apply the printing charges so that they come out the other end as profit, yah?)

The solution is simple: Charge a fair price and people will pay it. Period.

Kindle DX Review

This is the most enjoyable review of an eReading device that I’ve come across in a long time. Andy Ihnatko of the Chicago Sun Times hits the nail on the head, and reveals Amazon’s marketing underbelly in this quote: “will consumers think the (Kindle) DX is worth $489? Especially in a world where the same amount of money will buy a damned nice Windows netbook, $140 worth of ebooks from eReader.com, a free PDF reader, and the ability to do a lot more than just read text and use a mobile web browser?”

Read the article and watch the accompanying video here.

This kind of logic cuts through the sales spin and corporate chinwag we get from publishers and Kindle makers.  Common sense is exactly what the eBook Revolution needs, yah?

Traditional Publishing versus the eBook.

Read a short but effective piece here at the examiner.com in which Miriam van Veen compares digital and traditional publishing.

I agree with her conclusions (even if she offers them somewhat hesitantly), and suggest this reluctant acceptance of the eBook revolution as a viable option represents perfectly natural fear of the unknown, while offering tacit approval for the full-scale adoption of the new technologies.

Fantastic Tie-In!

IDW Publishing is offering the prequels to Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Sized for iPhone or Ipod Touch you can get these Transformers comics at iTunes!

Read all about it, and download samples  here.

It’s this kind of thing that really gives momentum to the adoption of eBooks and digital publishing.

iTunes for Comic Books…

Longbox Digital Comics was developed as a comic book launch platform (an iTunes for digital comics) rumored to offer issues at .99 each for download to Mac, PC, and Linux. You can read the story here at comicbookresources.com. Individual publishers are free to price their own products, but the smart ones will keep it sensible. We talked about uclick.com doing something similar. In their case, they’re offering their own list of digital comic books sized for iPhone, also with a rumored starting price of .99 per issue.

So far Longbox has two publishers on board: Top Cow and Boom! Studios.

Comic books seem like a perfect fit for the transition to digital reading. It’s just a matter of time before the right platform is developed. Maybe this is it, yah?