Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Future of eBooks – The Death of the Online eBook Store


Independent bookstores are on the ropes and simply cannot compete in today’s marketplace with Kobo, Barnes and Noble, and Amazon. During the last year, Books on Board, The Book Depository, Bookland, Fictionwise, BeWrite Books, jManga, and many more have shut their doors. These stores have mainly closed due to a lack of innovation, poor business sense, and competition from the major stores. In the next few years, we will just have the big players left as the industry continues to consolidate.

The main reason indie bookstores are failing is because of the lack of innovation. If you take a look at the homepages of any of the sites that have went out business during the last few years, you will notice a major trend. Their overall designs have hardly ever changed since they first launched and most have a poor user interface. Searching is woeful and being able to intuitively find what you are looking for is an exercise in futility. These companies have never revised their sites or invested in proper searching algorithms or adopted new technology to appeal to today’s discerning customer. Maintaining an outdated status quo when selling ebooks in 2013 is something that will put you out of business, fast.

Indie bookstore and self-publishing giant Smashwords finds that an older template and design is actually beneficial. The company has thousands of self-published authors hawking their wares and distributing their titles to all of the big bookstores. Instead of relying on your own internal system to exclusively push sales, Smashwords does the smart thing and makes agreements with Apple to have its Indie Breakout Books segment in many international markets. Most of the failed stores only sold books through their HTML websites.

Most Indie Bookstores are dying because they are not bringing their books to the customers. The vast majority of book lovers are no longer buying content through the web and are instead relying on apps for iOS and Android. Investment into dedicated apps imperative, and is something none of these stores attempted. Tablets are outselling PC’s and by the end of this year, digital books will outsell print. There is no shortage of people willing to spend money on ebooks, but if you are not reaching your target audience, you have no one to blame but yourself.

Indie bookseller websites are less about just selling books in the traditional sense, and more about reaching the largest audience you can. There is room in the industry for smaller players, but they have to be savvy. Opening up a Facebook Book Store, developing apps, making a HTML5 reading app to run in parallel with your purchased content, cloud storage, and social media remain viable. A static WEB 1.0 website is not enough to sell books anymore.

It seems that when ebooks got big, it was a gold rush. Many companies like Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Apple were starting to make a copious amount of money. Hundreds of other sites came along and wanted to capitalize on the hot new trend, while doing very little work. While the big players continued to innovate, the small fish started to find their pond had become an ocean.

The Future of eBooks – The Death of the Online eBook Store is a post from: E-Reader News

Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 Launching in Canada April 29th


The Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 is one of the most anticipated tablets to hit the streets this year. It has the same sort of S-Pen software that has made the phone a hit in the business world. Getting a little bit more screen real estate than your standard 7 inch device is a big selling factor, as well. The Galaxy Note 8.0 now has an official release date in Canada for April 29th, 2013.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 features a 8 inch screen with a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels. It has a 1.6GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, S Pen stylus compatibility, 1.2MP front facing camera, a 5-megapixel rear camera, a 4,600mAh battery, and Jelly Bean (Android 4.1.2). It is poised to be a very solid tablet, despite the $340 price tag.

One of the big hyping factors is that this is one of the few tablets on the market that you can get LTE speed while on the go. Being able to work in a mobile setting is critical for the market Samsung is trying to capture. Primary consumer segments would be disillusioned Blackberry users and the type who do more productivity tasks instead of playing Angry Birds. The extra screen size will also be perfect for graphic novels, comics, ebooks, and digital magazines.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 Launching in Canada April 29th is a post from: E-Reader News

Success in Tablet Segment a Must for Microsoft to Survive


With the recent Gartner research pointing out in clear terms that tablet PCs represent the future of personal computing, the writing on the wall is all too clear and desktops are clearly on the way out. The implications of this are the most severe for Microsoft, which has the lion's share of its resources in the traditional computing segment. It's imperative for MS to survive the tablet wave and make the transition to the new gen smart connected device market. At the present rate at which competition is moving, Android is all set to eat into Microsoft's market stronghold as early as the next 3 years, by which time consumers will be using more tablets PCs than desktops and even laptops. Apple won’t be far behind with its iPad range already topping the tablet segments.

"Winning in the tablet and phone space is critical for them to remain relevant in this shift," said Carolina Milanesi who led the research to the Guardian. "We’re talking about hardware displacement here – but this shift also has wider implications for operating systems and apps. What happens, for instance, when [Microsoft] Office isn’t the best way to be productive in your work?"

Of course Microsoft is already on the rescue act, though its efforts have proved to have little impact. Windows 8, Microsoft's answer to the demand for a mobile OS has had limited success so far. Its commercial uptake is slow but steady, though its proliferation in the all important tablet segment is far too low so far. What is needed is a lot of more tablet devices running Windows 8. The recent decision from Microsoft to lower screen resolution limitations might lead to the development of more Windows based tablets in the sub 10 inch category. This while capitalizing on the lead that Windows has in the hybrid tablet and ultrabook segments, both of which have recorded positive growth.

Success in Tablet Segment a Must for Microsoft to Survive is a post from: E-Reader News

BooksOnBoard is Closed – Download Your Purchased eBooks Now!

Since launching in 2006, BooksOnBoard has been one of the more popular independent bookstores to buy ebooks from (audiobooks too), especially for international buyers. But as of yesterday, BooksOnBoard has stopped selling ebooks. Access to their ebookstore has been shut down entirely. The only thing that you can do is log into your account and [...]

The Future of Knowledge – Launching April 18


A group of private individuals has apparently done what the government and Google have not been able to do: establish a national digital public library. Aptly named the Digital Public Library of America , or DPLA for for short, this library aims to become the national archive of content that is currently tucked away in libraries, museums, and universities around the country, accessible only to those patrons with the means to go to the physical location and who have the permission to access the contents.

First, what’s the hold up? This concept of a full catalog of digital content is almost as old as widespread digital publishing. Leaders have been meeting and discussing the need for an easily accessible, easily searchable archive of information since the 1990s. And more importantly, didn’t Google just try something just as vital and just as noble?

In both instances, a lot of the obstacles come down to money and copyright, more so that last one, as Google found out in a lengthy court battle. Google Book Search was stalled while publishers and copyright holders battled against having their material accessible by the public for free, so a settlement was finally reached but ultimately thrown out by the court in which libraries had to subscribe to the database of information in order for their patrons to access the nearly 30 million titles that Google has already digitized.

The financial needs of a task this large are fortunately something that the DPLA leadership have addressed from the very beginning, causing them to formulate a structure in which the DPLA is more of an ongoing project rather than a race to the finish line of digitization of content. It will start with the major collections of some of the largest libraries and archives in the country, focusing first on the content that has already been made available digitally. Then, the focus will be outreach to libraries and colleges in order to encourage them to contribute to the digital library. Already the New York Public Library, Smithsonian Institution, even the Underground Public Library of New York have contributed a wealth of material to the project.

From a practical standpoint, this is such an obvious move that it is a wonder that it hasn’t happened sooner. Creating this collection and making it available to the nation stands to enhance higher education and renew an interest in our historical documents. From a more dystopian, end-of-the-world possibility, the DPLA is in line to become the largest backup copy of every printed piece of our history.

The DPLA launches on April 18th with the first phase of its collection, and can be accessed at

The Future of Knowledge – Launching April 18 is a post from: E-Reader News

Digital eBook Website Books on Board Is Closing


The end is near for small ebook shops everywhere, as one of the most long lived ones has just closed up shop. Books on Board announced today that new purchases can no longer be made and customers are encouraged to download all of the content from the website.

In a note to members of the Books on Board website, the company reps said “BooksOnBoard has temporarily stopped selling books. We are re-structuring to compete more effectively against Goliaths who have entered our marketplace since we first launched in 2006, i.e., Amazon, Apple, Google, Sony and Barnes & Noble.
We expect to be back with our new business model soon. Meanwhile, customers can continue to download their prior purchases as long as the publisher and their distributors continue to make them available – same as always and out of our control. As in the past, it’s always wise to download your ebooks as soon as possible after purchase.”

Books on Board has been selling ebooks since 2006 with LIT, MOBI and EPUB titles. The company focused mainly on romance novels and landed a number of exclusives over the years. It basically had the same mainstream titles that Amazon, Kobo, and Google has, minus the self-published titles. The main interface was tremendously outdated and really felt like a WEB 1.0 type of site. It remains to be seen if the company could recover, but it looks like this is the end.

Digital eBook Website Books on Board Is Closing is a post from: E-Reader News