Thursday, October 31, 2013

Sony PRS-T3S e-Reader Review

sony prs-t3s

Sony will be releasing the PRS-T3S e-reader in the next few weeks and the big news about this device is the integrated back plate. The original PRS-T3 reader that came out about a month ago has a built in cover. You simply needed to always have the cover on because once you removed it, the back internals were showing. Many readers demanded a reader that did not force them to have a case and Sony listened.



The Sony PRS-T3S features a six inch e-ink Pearl display screen with a resolution of 1024×768. This is about the same resolution as most other popular readers on the market, such as the Kindle Paperwhite 2 and the new Nook Glow.  One of the drawbacks is the lack of a front-light, which has been tremendously popular for the last calender year. Sony has been quite resistive about offering a built in light, citing lack of customer interest as being the deciding factor.

Underneath the hood is a 1 GHZ Freescale processor and 512 MB of RAM. Sony says that the built in memory is 2 GB, but when you take it out of the box for the first time, you only have a paltry 1.2 GB of storage space. If you are a voracious reader, you must invest in an SD Card.

As e-Readers have processed over the years, most have scrapped physical buttons to go with capacitive touchscreen displays. Tablets also have followed suite and all common functions are accomplished with software. Sony has buckled the trend by sticking with the page turn, home and settings buttons. This allows you to simply hold the device with one hand and are able to turn the pages, quickly and easily.

This device as built in WIFI, that will allow you to connect up to the Sony Reader Store and surf the internet. The built in web-browser is actually very solid and has three complete pages of settings and options. You can disable Javascript, popups and even strip away all images. This is useful for blogs that are image heavy and will insure quick loading times. You will have three months of battery life if you read a few books a month.

The hardware basically mirrors the Sony PRS-2  and is exactly the same as the Sony PRS-T3.  It does not come with a stylus but many of the note taking features are relying on the fact that should have one.



The Sony PRS-T3s is running on Google Android, which maintains the same theme as their entire modern line of e-readers. Nook is the only only mainstream brand that has their OS, much to the enjoyment of hackers who like to root their devices.

If you like to take notes and make quick annotations the T3S is the right e-reader for you. You can use an official Sony Stylus to augment any type of eBook, whether it is a PDF or EPUB. Any changes you make will be saved to your device, but you cannot export the books with all of your notes. Sony has always had deadly support for handwriting and note taking. The one drawback, is unlike previous models, this does not come with at Stylus. Instead, you must buy one from Sony and they normally cost $20.00.

There are a few key software features that make the T3S stand out from the competition. The first is Evernote, which allows you to connect up your account and sync notes, books and text changes directly to your account. The second main element is an Overdrive shortcut, that takes you to the Sony website with a stripped down version of the digital library lending service. You simply just need a library card and your four digit pin code, and you can select your library. Anything you borrow, you can read directly on your Sony e-Reader, and they are the only company that has a longstanding relationship with Overdrive.

The one thing that made me dig this e-reader was a very small factor, but is very unique. Most e-Readers if you are connected to WIFI have a timeout. This preservers your battery life, but automatically shutting off the internet. Kobo Readers are notorious for doing this and if you need to connect to a website, it often takes a good three minutes for everything to reinitialize. Sony has a cool option to let you disable the timeout.

e-Reading Experience


The PRS-T3S has a dedicated homescreen that lists the four last books you have purchased or open. At the very top is the book you are currently reading and displays the page you are on. The main menu is simply designed and a bit elegant. Kindle e-Readers often have links to books you can buy, directly on your main page, which can be dis concerning to always be prompted to buy something else.

You basically buy this e-Reader for EPUB, PDF and FB2 files, it supports little else. Still, you can buy books from other websites and load them directly on it with Adobe Digital Editions.

The overall reading experience lacks when you stack up the T3S head to head against the Kobo Aura or even the Kindle Paperwhite. Text seems to be a little dim, also there are plenty of advanced options to adjust There are a very options that you change the darkness of the text and background. None seem to really make a huge difference, might may offset the glare from the reading light.

There are nine different font sizes and when you select one, it updates live. This means the text changes in real time and provides the reader with an indication on any changes you make. There is seven different font types, but you would be hard pressed to really know what they do, without trying them out. I mean, when is the last time anyone used "Really No. 2″ or "Frutiger Neue" or even "Univers Next"? I have used over a hundred e-Readers and have never seen such a woeful attempt to not license any official fonts.

There are eight different dictionaries that are loaded on the T3S by default, but will really differ depending on what region you bought it from. The Canadian edition has different versions of French, English and Spanish. If you don't know what a word is, you can long-press on it and select the dictionary you want to use.

The PDF experience allows you to re-flow the text with settings options. You have to really go through a series of trial and error configuring, until you find that sweet spot. You can also pinch and zoom to more quickly find the perfect viewing perspective. When you are in the process of zooming a small notification area appears, that gives you a sense on where you are within the document. It pales in comparison to Kobo's options that actually lists text and images in in the preview pane, instead the Sony just has white on black. Once you find your ideal prospective you can use the page turn keys to flip a page and maintain your settings. You cannot use touchscreen swiping and gesturing to turn a PDF page, if you are zoomed in.

Wrap up

In the end, I am personally a big fan of the PRS-T3S. It really maintains the same sort of visual allure as prior models and is easy to hold with one hand. I love the fact Sony listened to their customers and made a cheaper model that did not rely on you having a bulky case permanently attached to it. It is one small thing, but makes a world of difference if you are reading on this hours a day.

The Sony PRS-T3S lacks a front-light, North American customers are used to all major brands offering a few e-readers with one built into it. If you look at the Paperwhite 2, Kobo Aura, Nook Glowlight 2, their main selling points are that you can read them in the dark. The Sony case with built in light does not evenly distribute it across the screen and is unfeasible for reading for an hour a night.


Physical Buttons and a touchscreen
Intuitive Interface
Borrow eBooks from the Library via Overdrive
Excellent Note Taking features
No case needed


Does not come with a Stylus
No Front-Light
Can’t Export note taking edits in eBooks
Sony Reader Store books are more expensive

Rating: 8/10

Sony PRS-T3S e-Reader Review is a post from: E-Reader News

Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 Review

Kindle Fire HDX

The latest generation Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 has just been released and packs quite the punch with its new hardware and software. All of the internals have seen a massive upgrade and the new Mojito software takes Android to a new level. How does this tablet compare to prior Fire offerings and is it a viable investment with so many new devices coming out?



The Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 features a seven inch capacitive multi-touch screen with a resolution of 1920×1200 pixels.  The resolution is a huge upgrade from the previous generation  which only had 1280 x 800. HD videos on Netflix and HD comics from Comixology are the most noticeable improvements.  Magazines actually don’t see any improvements as the ones purchased from Amazon seem to be scaled down to be functional on their entire line of devices.  In a direct comparison to the 3rd generation Kindle Fire, they looked exactly the same.

Underneath the hood is a quad-core 2.2 GHZ processor and 2 GB of RAM.  You have different models for storage and the entry level model has 16 GB of internal memory. When you take it out of the box for the first time there is only 8.8 GB of memory to play with and there is no expandable memory via SD.

There are two stereo speakers on the rear of the tablet and they are placed at the top. The sound quality is fairly solid, but they pale in comparison to the Kindle Fire HD.  There is also a power button and volume buttons also on the rear.

This is simply the best seven inch tablet Amazon has ever produced. The hardware makes everything load up super quickly and you tend to never notice any LAG or sluggish performance.



Amazon has upgraded their Android OS to version 4.2.2 and has skinned it with a new version of their proprietary entitled Mojito.  What what has really changed with the older model vs the newer iteration?

There is an upgraded carousal that has higher resolution book covers, app icons and short cuts to your apps, videos and music files. Underneath that by swiping down is a new tray of icons that look very much akin to the vanilla Android experience.  You can initiate Quiet Time, which eliminates the distractions and app notifications when you are reading. Finally, there is Mayday, which allows you to talk via the 720 P camera and duel-microphones to talk to a dedicated Amazon rep. They can walk you through anything you need to do, which is good for first time tablet users.  Aside from all of these new enhancements, most things remain the same.

Some of the most noticeable software elements include Kindle Freetime. Parents can make a dedicated profile for their child and establish books, apps, videos and music they have access to. They can also establish specific parameters of usage and configure the amount of time they can read, use apps and surf the internet. There is also a Freetime subscription platform to download a ton of kid apps and use them as much as they want for around $9.99 a month.

One of the things I really liked was the way Amazon now handles pictures. In the past you could load pictures on your device via the USB cable that came with your device and then load in your own galleries.  Now, you can connect up to your Facebook account and every single picture you have on your profile will be automatically added. If you have a smartphone, such an iPhone, you can enter your telephone number and click on a confirmation text. You can then sync over every single photo on your phone and store them. All photos once on your device are then stored in the Amazon cloud, and if you have other Kindle Fire tablets, everything will automatically be synced.

The Fire HDX has a few drawbacks that center around its content and ecosystem. If you live outside the US and UK, you will be unable to watch any movies. You can buy them and download them to your unit, but you will get a pop-up saying that it is not available in your geographical region. You will need to purchase a VPN and an American Credit Card to bypass this, and Shop e-Readers offers them for a fairly affordable rate.

Another drawback is the Amazon App Store. They don’t really offer many of their competitors apps, so if you want to download comics you have to do it from the Kindle bookstore. Otherwise you will have to either side-load in your own apps or download an alternative app store like Good e-Reader.

Still, the Amazon ecosystem on their tablets is super deep. You can shop for audiobooks, eBooks, music, video, and a slew of other content. They developed their hardware to work perfectly in conjunction with everything else they sell. The only other company to successfully pull this off is Apple, and they tend to do quite well.

Reading Experience


The Kindle Fire HDX 7 is a tablet that is primarily built for e-reading. Whether you are reading a standard eBook, listening to an audiobook, checking out the latest issue of Rolling Stone magazine or keeping abreast of the latest news with the New York Times.

Reading an eBook is fairly standard and Amazon has not broke any new ground in the way books show up or the type of options you have to augment the reading experience. You can change the font size quite easily or change the font entirely from a list of eight built in ones. The one new change i like the grey background that almost mirrors the standard background in a physical book. The Kindle Fire HD 3rd generation which also just came out as a bright white background, which hurts the eyes after long reading duration’s. I actually found it easier to read on this model than any of the other Fire tablets.

One feature I dig is the translation function which will automatically translate words in 12 different languages. You can hit the audio button and have a robot sounding voice translate a specific word or entire body of text that you have highlighted.

One of the more popular aspects of dealing with Amazon is the synergy between Audible and Kindle. You can buy both the eBook and audiobook at once and have a slew of functionality that is available. You can listen to the audio edition while you are reading the book and the text is highlighted as the audio plays back. If you are reading the Kindle edition and turn the tablet off on the 3rd chapter, you can pick up where you left off on the audio edition on your phone while you are commuting.  Not all eBooks and audiobooks work with Whispersync for Voice and Whispersync for Text, but the ones that do offer cool features.

Amazon sells a copious amounts of magazines by major publishers and you can pinch and zoom to read the text if its too small, but little else. As stated earlier in the review magazines seem to be down scaled. They look exactly the same on a high resolution tablet like the HDX as they do on the 3rd generation Kindle Fire HD. I suggest if you are really into Magazines to install a 3rd party app like Zinio.

Newspapers for the most part are either dedicated apps or Kindle editions. The former don’t have any design consistency and tend to all look completely different. You will have different options and a UI with the USA Today then you would with The Onion. The New York Times is a Kindle edition, which means you can have full control over your experience just like an eBook.

Overall, Amazon offers one of the deepest ecosystems for quality content anywhere in the world. You can get Singles, Serialized Fiction, Indie Titles, fan-fiction or hundreds of thousands of books written by major publishers. Amazon may not have the sheer amount of titles that Kobo has, but it is presented very well and no one can match their selection.

Wrap Up


The Kindle Fire HDX 7 is the best tablet they have ever produced. The software side of things is very slick and refined over a few generations of constant refinement. The hardware makes everything hum along very quickly. If you are looking for a dedicated tablet just for reading and multi-media consumption this is one of the best.

When you purchase the HDX you are buying exclusively into the Amazon ecosystem. If they don’t have a particular app you want, you will have to jump through numerous hoops to load in your own. If you want to borrow books from the library you need access to a PC to send them to your Amazon account.  Suffice to say, there is a learning curve involved if Amazon does not have what you want.

Still, the  upsides destroy any of the possible downsides. At least you can install 3rd party apps, something Barnes and Noble still does not allow you to do with their entire line of tablets.


Robust Hardware
Tremendous Resolution
Deep Ecosystem
One of the best eBook experiences
Front facing 720 P camera with duel microphones
Mayday and Quiet Time


Speaker quality is not as good as prior models
Magazines are down scaled and don’t look as vibrant as they do on the iPad
Single Issue Comics and Manga is non-existent, you need 3rd party apps

Rating: 8.5/10

Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 Review is a post from: E-Reader News

Kindle Paperwhite 2 Review

Review Date: October 2013 – Review unit purchased from Kindle Paperwhite 2 Review Like with my recent review of the Kobo Aura, I've decided not to do a super-long detailed review for the 2nd gen Kindle Paperwhite because it’s 90% the same as the original Kindle Paperwhite from last year. I’ll cover the new […]

Viz Brings its Entire Graphic Novel Catalog to Apple iBooks

VIZ-MangaSpread-DeathNote-wViz has just brought its entire graphic novel collection to Apple iBooks and users will now be able to access over 1,600 titles.  Over 130 different series will be available and readers will be able to purchase seminal favorites such as; NARUTO, BLEACH, BAKUMAN and ONE PIECE. Each one will run you around $6.00, which is quite respectable, considering most graphic novels by Marvel cost more than double.

"The availability of this deep library of manga titles on the iBooks Store brings some of the genre's most popular and acclaimed series to legions of new and existing fans across North America with the reliability and convenience Apple's platform is renowned for," says Gagan Singh, EVP and CTO, VIZ Media. "With one of the largest and most diverse English language manga catalogs available anywhere, VIZ Media remains fully committed to the proliferation of high quality digital manga content, and we look forward to nurturing and continually expanding this robust catalog."

Apple has expanded the footprint of iBooks by including it into the latest build of the MAC OS. This will allow Manga users to read them on the iPad, iPhone, and a myriad of other devices.

About a week ago, Viz created waves in the Manga community by announcing via a letter (which has since disappeared) on its Vizmanga site that it is raising the price of a volume of manga from $4.99 to $6.99 as of October 1. Some volumes, such as omnibuses and mature titles, are priced higher and their prices will go up commensurately. We spoke to the VP of Viz about it, so check it out.

Viz Brings its Entire Graphic Novel Catalog to Apple iBooks is a post from: E-Reader News

Time, People, Fortune and Instyle Gravitate to Flipboard


Flipboard started offering the ability for their users to create their own digital magazines based on news articles early in the year. This has attracted a number of companies such as Etsy to buy into the news assembling model. Today, the major magazine players are jumping on-board with InStyle and People launching this week and Fortune and Time debuting in December.

The content on Flipboard has been paginated and designed to reflect each title’s unique brand experience. Inside of the pages of PEOPLE, InStyle, TIME and FORTUNE on Flipboard will also be full page beautiful advertising inventory for brands around the world interested in reaching these readers. Time Inc. will offer its advertisers sharable full page ads within its Flipboard content. Gucci has signed on as a launch partner to InStyle on Flipboard.

Flipboard also plans to expand publishers’ ability to let paying subscribers sign in to access paid content on the app, as The New York Times and Financial Times already do, another feature that could appeal to Time to monetize their content.

Time, People, Fortune and Instyle Gravitate to Flipboard is a post from: E-Reader News

HarperCollins And Foyles Now Offering eBook Bundle Deal


Publisher HarperCollins and bookseller Foyles have joined hands to come up with a unique scheme, a book bundle offer where buyers will get both the print as well as the ebook version of the same as a single buy. The above draws some parallel from Kindle MatchBook though the Amazon offer covers a huge 70,000 titles. In stark contrast, HarperCollins and Foyles are offering just 8 titles with it being trade books that are on offer. Foyles though have stated there will be more titles added later on.

The titles that form part of the bundle offer include: Catastrophe by Max Hastings, Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, As Luck Would Have It by Derek Jacobi, Faster Than Lightning by Usain Bolt, The Pagan Lord by Bernard Cornwell, Sense & Sensibility by Joanna Trollope, The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan and The Demon Dentist by David Walliams.

HarperCollins is always keen to experiment with getting our authors' work into the hands of readers in as many different formats as possible.  We are delighted to be part of this industry first with Foyles and are very much looking forward to seeing how readers respond,” said Charlie Redmayne, CEO of HarperCollins.

The offer starts from today, October 31 in what can be termed as the first from a book retailer in UK which incidentally has also been the proud recipient of the 'National Bookseller of the Year' award, 2013. The bundle offer will be about £5 more than what it would take to buy the hardcover alone. The printed version of the book will carry the voucher code to obtain the ebook which will be via Foyles powered by txtr, Foyles own ebook service. The real book will also be shrinkwrapped so that the voucher code does not fall off.

Buyers will have to enter the code at the site to download the ebook. The same can then be read using any ebook reading device or ereader application that accepts ePub titles. The same can of course be accomplished using the Foyles eReading app as well which is a free download from iTunes or Play Store.

Speaking on the development, Foyles CEO Sam Husain said: “Ebook bundling is something that Foyles customers regularly ask for so we're really pleased to partner with HarperCollins to offer more choice and convenience for readers. It will allow customers more flexibility to enjoy hardback books at home and carry the ebook version with them when travelling, or to give books as gifts.”

HarperCollins And Foyles Now Offering eBook Bundle Deal is a post from: E-Reader News

A visitor at Raspberry Towers

Today we’ve all been running around like squirrels preparing for winter, trying to get organised for a visit from the fella on the right of the picture below, who is holding the Raspberry Pi. We made it in the end: the office is tidy, there are cupcakes, and we’re all wearing name badges and sweating gently.


That’s HRH the Duke of York, who, in his role promoting and raising awareness of British science, engineering and technology expertise, came to talk to us about what we do here. He’s also Patron of Code Club, and we had lots to discuss around our educational mission.

Prince Andrew is the first member of the Royal Family I have ever mimed the plummet of a branded teddy bear from space in front of. This wasn’t just a visit for form’s sake; Prince Andrew was as well-informed about the background of our organisation; the changing curriculum in the UK; the growth of groups like Code Club, Young Rewired State, Teen Tech and the like; and the need for new young programmers as any visitor we’ve crammed into our tiny meeting room. (Although other visitors haven’t been accompanied by men with earpieces and suspicious gun-shaped bulges in their jackets.)

HRH left with a Pi, which he promises to use. There is a plate of cupcakes left. We’re eating them.

10 creepy titles to celebrate Halloween

Halloween is a holiday that sparks the imagination—and not just when it comes to thinking up creative costumes. It's a day when we're invited to contemplate worlds other than our own, when ghost stories are spun with relish, when the supernatural seem almost possible. In short, it's the perfect opportunity to dive into a dark tale and get caught up in the atmosphere, the fantasy, and the fear.



In honor of this spooky holiday, here's a list of 10 fantastic titles (five that are appropriate for younger readers, and five for adults only) that will keep readers riveted and shivering this Halloween. Look for these and many other bone-chilling reads in OverDrive Marketplace.



For Juvenile and YA Readers

Coraline by Neil Gaiman
"Chilly, finely-wrought prose, a truly weird setting and a fable that taps into our most uncomfortable fears." –Times Educational Supplement


Wait Till Helen Comes by Mary Downing Hahn
“A ghost story par excellence in which a difficult seven-year-old is drawn into a frightening relationship with the ghost of a dead child.” –Booklist


Doll Bones by Holly Black
"A trio of adolescents goes on a quest to satisfy the demands of a ghost. Sounds like standard middle-grade fare, but in Black's absolutely assured hands, it is anything but." –Booklist


A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz (Grimm Series, Book 1)
"With disarming delicacy and unexpected good cheer, Gidwitz reweaves some of the most shocking and bloody stories that the Brothers Grimm collected into a novel that’s almost addictively compelling." –School Library Journal


Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake (Anna Series, Book 1)
“It’s the old boy-meets-girl story, if the boy is a wry, self-destructive ghost-hunter bent on avenging his father and the girl is a homicidal ghost trapped in a house full of everyone she’s ever murdered." –Holly Black, author of Doll Bones


For Adult Readers

Night Film by Marisha Pressl
The daughter of a reclusive horror film director is found dead, and a disgraced journalist and two sidekicks become obsessed with uncovering the truth of her death . . . Complex, shadowy, and a bit sad, Pessl's riveting tale keeps us guessing until the final pages, along the way raising questions about reality, magic, art, fear, and celebrity." –Neal Thompson, Amazon editor


Help for the Haunted by John Searles
"A quickly paced and boldly rendered ghost story, Searles's dark novel about a young girl haunted by the murder of her parents had me up reading all night. And checking the doors. I found it impossible to put down." –Sara Gruen, author of Water for Elephants and Ape House


The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
”Now widely regarded as the greatest haunted-house story ever written.” –Wall Street Journal


Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill
"Middle-aged rock star Judas Coyne collects morbid curios for fun, so doesn’t think twice about buying a suit advertised at an online auction site as haunted by its dead owner’s ghost. Only after it arrives does Judas discover that the suit belonged to . . . a malignant spirit determined to kill Judas in revenge for his stepdaughter’s suicide." –Publishers Weekly


White is for Witching by Helen Oyeyemi
"Oyeyemi's third mystical novel weaves a tale of four generations of women and the house in Dover, England, they've inhabited—a vengeful, Gothic edifice that has always rejected strangers." –Booklist


Carrie Smith is a Technical Writer at OverDrive.


Patti Davis, Self-Pub Authors More Likely to Continue on their Own

Information on specific sales data is about e-readers and ebooks is often hard to come by, especially from self-published authors who may not have their books listed with some of the major book tracking companies. New surveys about the process for self-published authors, however, have provided a closer look at how the experience and the sales have made an impact on authors and influenced their feelings about publishing. Some numbers have shown that as many as 67% of self-published authors fully intend to repeat the process with their future works, with most of those authors already deciding that their as-of-yet unwritten books will be self-published, bypassing the traditional industry altogether.

Good e-Reader interviewed celebrity author Patti Davis this week to talk about her experience with self-publishing her first title, and how that experience influenced her decision to self-publish her newest book, a haunting YA story called The Blue Hour. Davis first experimented with self-publishing for her last novel, ‘Til Human Voices Wake Us, following her frustration with the traditional industry after her eight previous books had been published.

“One of the things you learn from self-publishing is what we’re supposed to think as authors, that you’re in it for the long haul. The mindset of conventional publishers, that if a book doesn’t sell like gangbusters two weeks after publication you’re a failure, is ridiculous. That’s just not how it usually works or how creative endeavors work.”

Davis spoke at length about the challenge and power of social media as a vital tool for marketing and promotion, and outlined the level of work that goes into selling one’s book. It’s a known fact that so much of the work of being an author–whether traditionally or self-published–is in reaching out to potential audiences, and that traffic generated can carry a book in terms of sales for years to come.

“It’s not like, ‘Well how did your book sell,’ like it’s all over now. It’s still selling. When this book came out, sales of that first [self-published] book went up. I’m still getting attention for my book and for myself as an author. Only now, I’m not being reviewed as ‘The President’s Daughter,’ my work is being reviewed. It’s not about what I did thirty years ago when my father was President, now it’s about my book.”

That frustrating feeling of being seen as a celebrity first and an author last was a significant factor in Davis’ decision to self-publish through CreateSpace and KDP, and she very clearly stated that all of her work now will be self-published.

“I knew when I published ‘Til Human Voices Wake Us that I was not going to go back to a publishing house. It was always an anxiety producing experience for me, so I knew that I had crossed a line into another phase of my work as an author. And if a publisher was willing to give me a $300,000 advance, that just tells me that I’m able to earn that money on my own.”

Patti Davis, Self-Pub Authors More Likely to Continue on their Own is a post from: E-Reader News

Kindle Countdown Deals Offer Consumers Timed Price Cuts on eBooks


Amazon just announced a new feature for consumers which will alert them to which titles have been steeply discounted, along with a countdown clock that shows how long that title will be available at that lower price. Only available so far in the US and UK, it is also limited to titles that are available exclusively through Amazon.

"We're always looking to build features that customers love, and to help publishers and authors get their books discovered—Kindle Countdown Deals achieves both," said Russ Grandinetti, Vice President of Kindle Content, in a press release. "And with more than 400,000 books available only in the Kindle Store, there are lots of opportunities to use this feature."

In its spirit of placing as much control as possible in the hands of authors and publishers, Amazon allows the rights” holder to determine the amount of the discount, the length of time that it will sell for at that price, and will demonstrate the sales at that discounted price in a side-by-side format with the book’s regular-price royalty report.

One of the major outcomes of this incentive is the 70% royalty option. Right now, books must be priced at $2.99 or higher to pay the 70% royalty to the author or publisher; since participation in Kindle Countdown Deals requires a discount of at least $1US, books that therefore fall below the $2.99 requirement will still pay out at 70% on sales at the discounted price.

This incentive program is another way to draw authors into the KDP Select program, which requires that the book be available only through, and not through any other sales channel or distribution platform.

Kindle Countdown Deals Offer Consumers Timed Price Cuts on eBooks is a post from: E-Reader News

Nook HD And HD+ Tablets Discounted

nook hd google play

Barnes & Noble does not have any new tablets to entice buyers with this holiday season, so the company is doing the next best thing by offering heavy discounts on its existing line up. The 7 inch Nook HD will now be available for only $129, down from its original $199; similarly, the 9 inch Nook HD+ will cost $149 after a hefty $120 discount from the original price tag of $269. Both tablets were first introduced during fall 2012 and, while the entire tablet scene has undergone a lot of changes during that time, both Nooks have become a lot more relevant thanks to the price cuts announced. This isn’t the first time that the Nook HD range of tablets has seen its price revised, as it was just this last September that the tablet was discounted during the back to school period in the UK.

B&N started with the Nook tablet as a viable alternative to the Amazon Kindle Fire or the Kobo tablet line up, primarily built as a means to draw consumers to the B&N online book store. The company has just released the enhanced Nook with Glowlight, which seems to be a pretty decent package so far. The company has also backtracked from its earlier possibility of exiting the tablet segment, though it could be sometime before we get to see the successor to the current Nook HD.

In the meantime, what remains to be seen is whether the Nook HD and HD+ can survive the onslaught from the present crop of tablets with a price cut alone. Amazon, Apple, Google, Kobo, and more have all come up with newer tablet versions that offer a pixel rich display and better performance.

Nook HD And HD+ Tablets Discounted is a post from: E-Reader News

New Target Product Listing Suggest iPad Mini Could Be Launched on Nov 21

iPad Mini 2

At least one of the rumors that have preceded the launch of the iPad Mini 2 is proving to be true, that there is not enough inventory of the tablet to begin with. Maybe that is the reason Apple is pushing the market launch of the device closer to the holiday season. There is no specific launch date specified as yet, though a product listing at Target points to it being November 21. If true, this will make the release to be the Thursday before Thanksgiving, one week before Black Friday, meaning there will still be enough time for Apple to catch up with the holiday rush without putting much strain on inventory, something that could have been a possibility if the tablet is launched earlier than that.

Meanwhile, this could also be a tacit ploy on part of the California company to give enough time for the iPad Air to have a free run at the market before its smaller sibling joins the party. As it is, the iPad Mini has already proven to be a lot more popular than the full sized iPad and Apple may not be in the mood to take any chances this time. Apple has provided the new 9.7 inch iPad with a thorough design refresh so that it is thinner, lighter, and more compact than ever before, something that has earned it the “Air” moniker. MacBook Air also came to be called such when it was launched with a thinner and lighter profile.

As it is, the iPad Mini 2 remains largely unchanged on the design front but has been provided with the much talked about retina display. It has also become a bit heavier and thicker in the process, though still well within acceptable limits. It offers the 64 bit A7 bit chip (the same that does duty on the latest iPhone 5s and iPad Air) to boost performance, as well as an improved rear camera. Curiously, the RAM remains the same at 512 MB, even though the 64 bit chip can support much higher capacity RAM.

Apple is yet to officially acknowledge any production issues that they might be facing.

New Target Product Listing Suggest iPad Mini Could Be Launched on Nov 21 is a post from: E-Reader News