- The Morning Coffee – 25 September 2014
- FT: Amazon looks to launch (the Kindle Store) in Netherlands
- Google Play Books Launches In Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, And the Ukraine
- Authors United Calls for Antitrust Inquiry into Amazon
- Goodreads iOS App Updated, Adds Friends Updates and More
- How Ironic: Harlequin Authors Stand Up To Bullying
- Are Scribd and Oyster Losing Customers Left and Right?
- Kindle Unlimited Now Slightly More So, Launches in the UK
Posted: 24 Sep 2014 08:06 PM PDT
Posted: 24 Sep 2014 06:29 PM PDT
My sources are saying that Amazon will open a local Kindle in the Netherlands sometime in October. As I reported last week, Amazon already supports Dutch in the Kindle Store, and they have posted a job listing for a translator for the Kindle app and hardware.
image by Teemu Mäntynen
The post FT: Amazon looks to launch (the Kindle Store) in Netherlands appeared first on The Digital Reader.
Posted: 24 Sep 2014 03:50 PM PDT
Google might not be expanding their ebookstore at quite the same pace as last year but they haven’t stopped. Following the June expansion into Luxembourg, Norway, and 11 Latin American countries, Google Play Books quietly launched in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and the Ukraine today.
The expansion hasn’t been announced and in fact it technically has not happened yet, but Android Police noticed that the list of supported countries had been expanded by 4 names.
As you can see in the screenshot below (for the Ukraine), the interface has yet to be translated into the local language.
Google Play Books will soon be available in 61 countries around the globe. This is a larger potential customer base than the Nook Store, but still smaller than Kobo, Kindle, or iBooks.
The post Google Play Books Launches In Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, And the Ukraine appeared first on The Digital Reader.
Posted: 24 Sep 2014 12:04 PM PDT
The Financial Times reports that AU is now working on a letter to the DOJ, asking that Amazon be investigated for antitrust violations. From behind the paywall (just the good bits):
So after not taking sides in taking out a $104,000 advert in the NYTimes, and after not taking sides in sending a letter to Amazon’s board of directors (and then revising it so it was even more insulting), Authors United is now going to not take sides by calling for Amazon to be investigated for antitrust violations.
According to Doug Preston, it’s strictly going to be a legal request. “It's not an emotional or a populist appeal, it's simply citing points of law,” Mr Preston said, adding that he had been in touch with the Justice Dept. “They are expecting this letter and they have told me that they welcome any information we can provide.”
I for one am looking forward to that letter; if Authors United’s grasp of antitrust law matches their grasp of marketing/propaganda then the letter will prove to be deeply entertaining. Oh, there won’t be any valid legal arguments, but that is going to be what makes it so much fun to read.
I plan to file a FOIA request for this letter, but I doubt that will be necessary. We will probably be able to read it on the Authors United website.
Tell me, does anyone else think it’s time to simply come out and call AU for what it is, a publishing industry astroturfing group?
They’re clearly taking a side, and they are arguing a position which authors have at best a remote interest in.
If anything, an author advocacy group should be pointing at how Amazon deals directly with authors and critiquing it, a topic which AU has ignored. I would also suggest that an author advocacy group should be complaining about how publishers treat authors.
By remaining silent on these topics while interjecting in the affairs of Amazon and publishers, Authors United (or The Authors Guild, for that matter) confirms just which masters they are actually serving.
image by Gabriel ‘Briel’ Rocha
The post Authors United Calls for Antitrust Inquiry into Amazon appeared first on The Digital Reader.
Posted: 24 Sep 2014 10:19 AM PDT
Amazon rolled out a much needed update to their Goodreads app for the iPad and iPhone today. The app has a whole new layout, including a different home screen and improvements to the “my books” section.
Readers can now open the app and immediately see what their friends are doing; the new home screen now shows a list of recent updates from a reader’s friends on Goodreads – or at least it is supposed to show that; early reports suggest the feed is having teething problems.
Other changes to the app include support for iOS8 as well as new options for updating your reading progress right from the “my books” section of the app, a “Want to Read” shelving option, custom shelf names, and more.
You can find the app in iTunes. Goodreads also hints that the Android app could soon receive a similar update.
The post Goodreads iOS App Updated, Adds Friends Updates and More appeared first on The Digital Reader.
Posted: 24 Sep 2014 08:56 AM PDT
There’s a new post over on the Harlequin Reader Service blog this morning (found via TPV blog) which informs us that Harlequin authors are taking a stand against bullying (I wonder if that includes bullying by their publisher):
If you don’t see the humor or the irony, let me explain. That post is full of suggestions on how kids can respond to bullying. If authors used these tips to respond to the bullying behavior of major legacy publishers, they would be labeled unprofessional and blacklisted.
Coming from a major publisher, this is rich. But when you remember that this is coming from a publisher who is being sued for cheating its authors out of royalties, the irony – it burns.
The post How Ironic: Harlequin Authors Stand Up To Bullying appeared first on The Digital Reader.
Posted: 24 Sep 2014 07:21 AM PDT
BuchReport.de posted yesterday that one market researcher is seeing a precipitous decline in Scribd and Oyster’s subscriber base (via Google Translate):
I first read that report yesterday, and immediately followed up with an email to Peter Hidick-Smith with a request for more details. He didn’t respond (again), so there isn’t much that I can add to the report.
But based on what I can see here I do not believe this report is true. Assuming that Google Translate, the reporter who wrote the original piece, or the process of transcribing possibly misspoken word into text didn’t introduce errors, this report simply isn’t plausible.
The first and biggest problem with this report is that the startups only launched their services in the 4th quarter of 2013, and so they went from having having no ebook subscribers to at least having some. The claim that the numbers would decline precipitously in the first 6 months beggars disbelief.
What’s more, Scribd offers a service which is available internationally, so any market research based on poling US consumers is woefully incomplete.
Update: Speaking of introducing errors, Felix just pointed out that i was misreading the excerpt, which says that KOLL was stealing away subscribers, not KU.
In short, I am ignoring this report until I get more data.
Second Update: Scribd has denied the accuracy of the report:
And now Oyster is disputing the report:
P.S. And just to be clear, I am not saying the data is bad; there are any number of things that could have gone wrong, including transcription, transmission, and translation errors. I just think this report is bad, and since Peter isn’t taking my emails I can’t identify how it is bad.
The post Are Scribd and Oyster Losing Customers Left and Right? appeared first on The Digital Reader.
Posted: 24 Sep 2014 05:29 AM PDT
Amazon’s ebook subscription service came to the UK this morning, bringing with it a catalog of 650,000 mostly indie ebooks which Amazon’s UK customers can access for r £7.99 a month. The ebooks can be read on Kindle hardware and apps, and while you won’t find many titles from the major US trade publishers, you will find a few like Harry Potter and Hunger Games series.
Kindle Unlimited is currently limited to only the US and UK, but reliable sources indicate that it will launch internationally at the Frankfurt Book Fair, which is coming up in a couple weeks.
The post Kindle Unlimited Now Slightly More So, Launches in the UK appeared first on The Digital Reader.
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