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22Mar/110

Apple says only they can call stores that sell apps “app stores” and Microsoft says they own the Nook

A smart report in the Financial Times by Richard Waters nicely summarizes the next stage of tumult in the gadget wars: “The smartphone industry’s escalating patent wars spilt into new areas on Monday as Microsoft attempted to block sales of Barnes & Noble’s Nook e-reader in the US and Apple sued Amazon over the use of the phrase ‘app store’.” What makes the report so smart? Waters observes, “Both actions were aimed indirectly at Google’s Android operating system, whose success with smartphones has attracted a widening ecosystem of retailers and technology companies, extending it to a broader array of mobile gadgets and living-room devices.”

The Microsoft suit against B&N (and the manufacturers of the Nook) says the device infringes on five of its patents, but Waters notes that “Microsoft launched a similar action last year against Motorola’s use of the Google operating system in smartphones, with the case later extended to the company’s tablet computers.” Thus, he adds, the case “takes the legal campaign beyond the traditional mobile computing industry. With Android now used on a growing array of devices, including television set-top boxes, one knowledgeable observer said Microsoft’s stance appeared to indicate a determination to assert its rights in a far wider array of consumer electronics fields.”

The Apple suit against Amazon, meanwhile, comes amid rumors that many new hires recently made by Amazon are for developers of a new Android-based Kindle, which would mean a new app store must be in development too. And in fact, the FT story reports that Amazon has admitted using the term “Amazon Appstore” in communications with those developers. Apple says it trademarked the term is trademarked. However, behind that claim, says Waters, is the fact that “An Amazon store would compete directly with one run by Google, and would extend the reach of Amazon’s digital markets beyond its traditional web site and Kindle bookstore.”

Sounds like nonsense, but fear of Apple seems widespread nonetheless: note that none of the other ginormous players call their app store, well, an app store, even though that’s what it is. “Google calls its version the Android Market, while the app store linked to Microsoft’s mobile software is called Marketplace.”


17Mar/110

Two Colorado libraries team up with independent publishers to sell ebooks

Ebookpartinership

From an article in American Libraries:

Officials of two Colorado libraries announced March 16 that they will be adding to their catalogs e-books that are published by members of the Colorado Independent Publishers Association (CIPA).

The Red Rocks Community College Library and Douglas County Library also revealed that by June they plan to launch click-through links so interested patrons can purchase an e-book title from its respective catalog record. …


Douglas County Library Director Jamie LaRue told American Libraries, “Our intent is to buy the titles outright. We will limit the use to one simultaneous patron per copy.” He went on to emphasize that this pilot project “will demonstrate not only that libraries are firm supporters of the independent publishers through our willingness to buy and promote their works, but also that libraries and publishers can help each other grow the still-developing e-book market.”

Libraries are natural partners with independent publishers,” agreed Joseph Sanchez, director of library and learning services for Red Rocks Community College. “We understand and value both copyrights and the great value of alternative viewpoints. We can easily integrate e-books into our collections, ensuring one use at a time, but also exposing authors to precisely the people who are looking for them.”

Karen Reddick, executive director of CIPA, sees this partnership as “helping us introduce a new generation of writers to a new generation of readers” and continuing the cycle of inspiration that generates the next generation of writers and independent publishers.

17Mar/110

iPad 2 ship times slip to 3-4 weeks, most stores at sell out|Lastest Ipad News]

iPad 2 ship times slip to 3-4 weeks, most stores at sell out
Demand for the iPad 2 became more evident on Saturday as the online Apple Store and retail stores saw worsening supply. The online portal is now quoting three to four weeks' shipping time for any new iPad 2 order, regardless of the model. Apple had already been quoting two to three weeks within just a few hours of starting to accept online orders on Friday....
Read more on MacNN


15Mar/110

Stocks sell out in weekend launch of iPad 2|Lastest Ipad News]

Stocks sell out in weekend launch of iPad 2
The rollout of iPad 2 from Apple ( AAPL ) drew long lines—and rang up big sales. Piper Jaffray reports that its spot check of retailers showed that stocks of iPad 2 sold out over the weekend… shelves essentially were bare Friday, launch day.
Read more on appolicious

14Mar/110

IPad 2 Launch May Sell 600,000|Lastest Ipad News]

IPad 2 Launch May Sell 600,000
The second version of history's fastest-selling technology product, measured by revenue, is expected to outsell Apple's original iPad
Read more on BusinessWeek

11Mar/110

Want iPad 2? How to Sell Your Old One|Lastest Ipad News]

Want iPad 2? How to Sell Your Old One
"ReCommerce" sites specialize in buying and selling of electronics.
Read more on ABC News

9Mar/110

The Diesel Ebook Store and Macmillan form direct partnership to sell ebooks

Logo

From the press release:

The Diesel eBook Store (http://www.diesel-ebooks.com) announced that it has entered into a direct partnership with Macmillan – a global publisher – that will permit the retailer to sell the publisher’s titles directly to the public through its web-based bookstore. Up to this point, Diesel eBooks used a variety of third-party eBook distributors for encryption and fulfillment.

Under the terms of the agreement, Diesel will store the digital titles of Macmillan on its own servers and provide fulfillment and encryption on orders through Adobe Content Server 4 (ACS4). A new proprietary PubDesk interface, through which the publisher can access its inventory, run reports and modify its metadata, has been created and will launch shortly.

“We are so thrilled to be working with the prestigious publisher Macmillan directly since they represent many top-notch authors that our customers love to read – authors such as Lora Leigh, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Lisa Kleypas, Robert Jordan, Orson Scott Card, Robert A. Heinlein and Jonathan Franzen, just to name a few.”

The Diesel eBook Store launched its new eBook retailing platform in December 2010 and is unique in the marketplace for their expanded categories and their ability to host customer created bundles. Their new site also boosts a suite of new features such as the “Deal of the Day”, social networking , video integration, access to over two million free eBooks via partnerships with Google and Smashwords and a new and improved search engine.

About the Diesel eBook Store
Launching in December 2004, Diesel-eBooks.com is one of the world’s largest independent eBook stores, offering over 2.4 million original eBook titles including hundreds of exclusive cyber bundles for deep discounts. Based in Richmond, Virginia, Diesel sells titles from hundreds of publishers including Harlequin, HarperCollins, John Wiley & Sons, Macmillan, McGraw-Hill, O’Reilly, Penguin, Random House, and Smashwords and in multiple formats including ePub, Microsoft Reader, Mobipocket, and Palm/eReader and PDF for all eBook devices and eReading hardware. Forty categories and 2,700 sub-categories mean customers find it faster at Diesel eBooks. http://www.diesel-ebooks.com

Thanks to Michael von Glahn for the heads up.

23Feb/110

Kno may sell off hardware side, make apps for iPad, Android|Lastest Ipad News]

Kno may sell off hardware side, make apps for iPad, Android
Kno may already be backing away from its tablet hardware to focus on apps for competing platforms, according to tips on Monday. The young startup is reportedly talking to two "major consumer electronics manufacturers" about selling off the hardware side and focusing on apps for the iPad as well as Android 3.0. AllThingsD's insiders didn't know the company names, but one was secretive enough to ...
Read more on MacNN

21Feb/110

Kno educational tablet company seeks to sell hardware side of business

Well, that was quick. Kara Swisher at Boomtown has heard from an anonymous source that Kno, manufacturer of those laptop-size-and-weight double-pane tablets (and lighter single-pane ones) for students has decided to get out of the tablet-making business. According to this source, Kno execs have decided that enough other companies are making tablets that they don’t need to make one of their own, too, and can concentrate on software and content instead.

If true, it’s not terribly surprising. Kno’s tablet design always seemed more than a little ambitious, especially at its 9 and 9 price points for hardware nobody had even gotten their hands on and that was uncertain to be supported by anyone beyond its manufacturer. As Swisher points out, Kno didn’t seem to have the marketing power to compete in the increasingly crowded tablet market (especially when Apple could be considered a “crowd” all by itself).

Since Kno has already established partnerships with universities, if it dumped the costly hardware business it has good prospects for turning itself into a content provider. The question is, does anyone else really want that business in this crowded market? Apparently someone might; Kno is rumored to be in talks with two companies, one of which is said to have signed an NDA with them.

18Feb/110

How you can sell your ebooks via mobile phones, by Piotr Kowalczyk

There are great services like Ether Books, which are designed to reach mobile readers and populate their minds with high quality reads tailored to mobile conditions. But what to do when you are not lucky enough to be one of Ether authors?

If you are a self-publisher actively using social media to find readers and draw their attention to your books (probably published in an electronic form), this post is for you.

I’d like to share a simple way to make your e-book available for instant purchase by mobile phone users. As you’ll see – it’s very easy.

What to do?

Use Twitter to share links to your books self-published at Kindle Store – with an extra information addressing owners of mobile Kindle applications.

An example of a tweet is shown in screenshot 1. When you tap on a link you’ll be redirected to a mobile browser, like Safari on an iOS device, or a browser working within a Twitter app.

Screenshot 1

As you see, just after one click (screenshot 2) the reader can make a purchase decision. What’s more important, the time of actually reading this book on a Kindle app is delayed only by a couple of seconds more. It’s the essence of an instant purchase.

Experts can say: “yeah, but it’s so obvious, that you can buy goods via Amazon’s mobile site.”

The thing is not what expert know, but what readers don’t know. And most of them still don’t know that:

1. Amazon has a mobilized version of its site (even those users who already have Kindle app on their mobile phones – as they never tried actually buying anything yet)

2. 1-Click purchase works on mobile phones

3. It’s extremely fast and convenient – it takes a couple of clicks and a less than 30 seconds from discovering an e-book on Twitter to reading it.

In fact, buying an e-book via Twitter link is faster than doing it via Kindle application, where you’re just redirected to an Amazon site and have to browse for a book.

Why mobile phones?

Screenshot 2

1. Mobile web is growing extremely fast, anyone knows it

2. Half of Twitter users is connecting with a service via mobile phones

3. They don’t have to switch devices to complete a purchase – even if they won’t read the e-book on a mobile phone, but on a Kindle device

4. Mobile phone can be a purchase device for owners of Kindles not equipped with 3G

5. Mobile phone users make purchases in application stores of their mobile operating systems. Buying Kindle e-books via Twitter is the similar kind of experience.

Why Amazon?

1. Availability of Kindle apps (iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone 7)

2. Well designed Amazon mobile site – with 1-Click functionality

3. A growing number of Kindle owners and mobile device users with an Amazon account

4. Very important – book syncing. We can assume that this functionality from Amazon will always be a step ahead of competition

5. Right at the beginning, after landing on an book’s page at Amazon, the reader has a choice: to buy a book or to download a free sample

6. Automatic detection of mobile browsers – if you open a link from a mobile phone, a mobile site appears.

Why Twitter?

1. Great discovery&recommendation tool

2. Instant delivery of messages, tweet streams, many users – all that is a great surrounding for instant micro-purchase decisions

3. Amazon link (amzn.to) is a guarantee of a safe purchase. If you use bit.ly shortener it automatically changes to amzn.to when you share a page from Amazon.com.

* * *

Obviously the most important factor is the information contained in a single tweet. The user has to know that the book can be downloaded in a couple of clicks. You have to pick up the owners of customer accounts at Amazon.com – those ones who are right now reading your tweets on their mobile phones.

I’ve tested this method on an iPhone. It’s also working on Android devices, so probably both BlackBerry and Windows Phone 7 users would be also able to buy e-books this way. Please share your experience on this in the comment section.

As you see in an example shown above, this is doable. I sent this tweet yesterday and sold 10 copies of my short stories. Not a bad result for a self-published e-book of a niche genre (I call it “geek fiction”).

There are many ways to address – in a single tweet – mobile users who have access to Kindle e-books:

1. Use “Kindle”, either as a word or a hashtag

2. Use hashtags, not only #kindle, but also #ebook, #ebooks, #mobile

3. Name devices or mobile operating systems: iPhone, iPad, Android, HTC, etc. (also as hashtags).

Via Piotr Kowalczyk’s Password Incorrect bolog

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