The Fire Phone Has Fizzled

fire phoneYesterday afternoon Amazon confirmed in their quarterly investors briefing what pundits had been saying for months: the Fire Phone has fizzled.

Amazon reported quarterly revenues of $20.58 billion, up about 20% from the same period last year. The retailer says that they lost $437 million last quarter, with a good third coming from a write down on the Fire Phone. Continue reading

The Morning Coffee – 24 October 2014

The reading list may be short this morning but it’s full of stories worth reading, including an update on the Ellora’s Cave lawsuit, a reader’s manifesto, a look at how Indian publishers are running a FUD campaign against Flipkart and Amazon, and more.

Adobe Updates Digital Edition, Stops Sharing User Info With the Internet

102270156_9df8e81154[1]Adobe rolled out a new update for their Digital Editions Epub app today, and I have good news, bad news, and okay news.

This is a relatively minor update to the month-old Epub app, and the good news is that it adds a full text search option as well as a new display window for search results. Continue reading

Fire Phone Sales are so Bad, AT&T is Now Bundling a Fire HDX Tablet for $49

fire phoneAT&T may have just confirmed what that market survey report suggested last week: practically no one has bought the Fire Phone. The telecom has just announced a new bundle offer for the Fire Phone. Buy one and they will throw in a Fire HDX tablet for $49.

That tablet retails for $179 on Amazon.com, which means that AT&T and/or Amazon have decided to eat $130 of the retail price in order to move more Fire Phones. And that is on top of the current low low price for the Fire Phone, which is available with a two year contract for under a dollar. Continue reading

The Books in Browsers Conference Kicks Off Today, and You Can Watch it Online

booksinbrowserslogo_xl[1]If you have a chance to knock off work early today and tomorrow, there’s a conference you might want to catch. The fifth annual Books in Browsers  conference is being held today, and the sessions are also being streamed online.

Described as “a small summit for the new generation of internet publishing companies, focusing on developers and designers who are building and launching tools for online storytelling, expression, and art”, Books in Browsers tends to spend more time on the theoretical than the practical, which sets it apart from your average digital publishing conference. Continue reading

New Firmware Update From Kobo Adds Improved Keyboard, New Page Turn Options

kobo itunes ios logoReports are coming in from MobileRead Forum that Kobo has rolled out another update for their ebook readers, and it’s a big one. Early adopters are saying that the new firmware lets them customize their reading experience and that there’s a new option to show or ignore Kobo’s X-ray-like Beyond the Book feature.

While no official changelog has been posted, users have reported the following differences: Continue reading

The Morning Coffee – 23 October 2014

Here are six stories to read with your morning beverage.

  • Amazon is doing the world a favor by crushing book publishers (Vox)
  • Apple Gives Itself Unfair eBooks Advantage (Mike Cane’s xBlog)
  • David Balzer: how “curationism” influences our reading identities (Quill and Quire)
  • Q&A With Anna Todd, the Breakout Fanfic Star Who Writes Everything on Her Phone (Re/code)
  • A response to the support received by Kathleen Hale after she stalked a book blogger (Book Thingo)
  • Self-Publishing is Basically the YouTube of Literature (LitReactor)

Blloon’s eBook Service Lifts Off in the UK

H4wg3d7V1[1]Following two months of private beta testing, Blloon opened ebook subscription service to the UK public today.

Launched in July by txtr founder Thomas Leliveld, Blloon aspires to offering a lower cost ebook service in a market already crowded by Scribd and Kindle Unlimited. Blloon’s service is free to start, and every new reader starts with a credit for the equivalent of 3 books. Continue reading

German Publishers Cave, Grant Google Free Permission to Use Snippets in Search Results

google-germany-logo-06[1]Google’s 4-month-long fight with German news publishers over license fees for search result snippets came to a close today when the publishers threw in the towel.

VG Media, the rights management firm which 200 German publishers had intended to use to collect the fees, announced on Wednesday that they would be granting Google a free license to use the snippets, saying that they were “forced to this extraordinary step, given the overwhelming market power of Google”. Continue reading

Guest Post: Is Kindle Scout Worth the Risk? For Me, Yes

2084662654_b1d38ba1a5[1]The Kindle Scout program is getting a lot of buzz, and some controversy, from the writing universe. Is it worth the risk? For me, the answer is yes. Here’s why.

Earlier this week I submitted my crime novel, The Invisible Hand, to the Kindle Scout program. Within 24 hours, after vetting my manuscript, cover and description, Amazon gave me the green light for a campaign to start on Oct. 28. For those not in the know about Kindle Scout, Nate did a great job of summing it up when it launched last week. Continue reading