That’s what I’ve heard through back channels. But I think the why is more important.
A software developer who used to work for Kobo has been causing a stir the past few days. He’s blogged this about Apple:
Their in-app purchasing system only allows 3000 or 3500 distinct items to be in your catalog (depending who you talk to). Kobo and Amazon each have around 2.5 million titles. Judging by the title of Kobo’s app, 1.8 million are public domain (or otherwise free), so some 700’000 are paid titles, which they are under obligation to the content owners to make available for sale to all their users.
Last night I got confirmation that he is correct. Apple’s in-app system can’t handle more than 3,000 items. This means that it simply won’t be possible for any of the ebookstores to use it. Continue reading
There’s a story going around today about B&N and the trademarks they’ve filed with the USPTO. All the gadget blogs are focusing on the Nook2 trademark and it looks like everyone has missed the big story.
So, here is what’s bothering me about Barnes & Noble coming out with the Nook: When the music industry was changing due to digital distribution, we didn’t see Tower Records come out with an MP3 player. That would have been the equivalent move, right?
If, as I expect it to, the economy gets worse and even fast food suffers (and it has been; I’ve seen two places close in the past two months), would we expect McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, et al, to start selling a line of at-home cookware?
Ereaders.nl are reporting that the ePagine reading app I posted about yesterday now supports buying ebooks from ebook.nl, e-boek.org, Libris and Selexyz. This means that the app now has access to virtually all the Dutch ebooks available.
I’m going to have to take his word for it. I have the app and I’m not offered the extra stores. Still, this is a good sign. This app is the first to offer access beyond just the developer’s store. Unfortunately, the app doesn’t have a good reading experience. It has few features and you can’t load your own ebooks.
Richard Curtis over at e-reads has noticed that Fictionwise have closed their affiliated ebookstores. (Actually, I’m not certain that’s the right word.) Let me explain. Fictionwise used to provide publishers with ebookstores based on their platform where customers could only see that publisher’s titles.
Now that I look at this, it’s really not a big deal. I mean, Fictionwise are still supporting their library hosting program, Libwise. If that closed then we’d have a solid sign that Fictionwise were being killed off my B&N.
Actualitte are reporting that Darty and Carrefour have each opened an ebookstore this week. Each site will be selling ebooks encumbered with Adobe DE DRM in Epub and PDF formats. They also sell ereaders.
There are a couple rather interesting details here. First, these companies are retail chains, not tech companies. Darty’s closest US analog would be Best Buy, and Carrefour are an international conglomerate of chains (similar to Kroger in the US).
They’re also both using Numilog to supply and run their ebookstore. I thought I’d covered this company before but now I can’t find the post. Some time back Numilog started offering an ebookstore platform that retailers could rebrand and integrate into their site. This is the first that I’ve heard of someone using it.
This is both good news and bad news. The good news is that France might see price competition for ebooks. And the bad news will come when some of these stores are shut down and customers lose access to their ebooks. Of course, with the tough consumer protection laws in Europe I’m not sure it will be a problem.
Where I buy a print book often comes down to convenience (which store is closest), pricing, availability (is the book in stock?) and loyalty programs (e.g., member discounts). The choice of a brick-and-mortar vs. an online store adds in the component of urgency; do you need the book today or can it wait till tomorrow? Continue reading