Sunday, November 3, 2013

How Amazon Mayday puts other e-Reader Companies on Notice


Amazon released a new video feature for their new line of HDX tablets called Mayday. This is an interactive feature which will connect you up to a dedicated live agent from Amazon. They can circle things on your tablet, walk you through troubleshooting techniques or just take control of the device. Will Mayday revolutionize the way tech companies approach customer service?

Apple and Samsung enjoy the highest degree of customer satisfaction with their entire fleet of modern devices. There are a few extenuating factors that play into the recent report by JD Powers, such as price and customer service. Apple has maintained top spot for a number of years due to their Genius Bars, where customers can visit to get solid troubleshooting advice and even classes. Their phone system is also very reliable with agents being accessible within a few minutes and extensive follow up emails.

The vast majority of tech companies provide abysmal customer service. Kobo has one of the worst in the entire e-reader and tablet industry with their methodology of ignoring customers and passing them off to higher tier agents who never contact them again. We have had thousands of customers sound off on waiting on hold for an hour or having a level one agent saying only a level two can help you and then they never call or do email followups. The call center is located outside North America and most agents are unable to even provide basic level technical support.

There are hundreds of companies that market e-readers and tablets that don’t even have an established customer service system. Getting into contact with them normally results in you visiting a help forum and waiting days for people to respond. In other cases there is only a general email address to send your questions to, and those often go neglected.

Amazon is putting everyone on notice with their Mayday platform. You can access agents 24/7 and 365 days a year. Although you need a web-cam to talk to an agent they can’t actually see you, but you can see them. In order to initiate a session you need to be connected to WIFI and will not work with being on a dataplan. One of the cool aspects is you can drag the live chat window anywhere on your tablet, since its not being locked into place.

The essence of the established customer service paradigm is for companies to erect barriers between themselves and the customer. Instead of being lost in voicemail and waiting for an email to arrive you can now do it in seconds with Amazon.

How Amazon Mayday puts other e-Reader Companies on Notice is a post from: E-Reader News

Sainsbury’s and Random House Launch Bite-Sized eBooks

bite sized ebooks

Sainsbury's launched their digital book store back in January and have been trying to distinguish themselves in a crowded market. In order to gain more traction and generate some headlines the 2nd largest supermarket chain the UK has partnered with Random House to launch Bite-Sized eBooks.

Bite-Sized eBooks are very short cookbooks that abide by a specific theme or a complication of authors. Each of the eBooks will retail for 99p and will comprise of twenty recipes in each issue. The first few were released late last week and include; The Great British Bake Off: Showstoppers by Linda Collister, Brilliant Bread by James Morton, and The Primrose Bakery Book by Martha Swift and Lisa Thomas.

Tim Lennox, m.d. of eBooks by Sainsbury’s, said: “The Bite Sized e-book range aims to showcase some of the most successful cookery products on the Random House list and on our website, while enticing consumers to try out some of the recipes featured within these books, at a very reasonable price."

He added: “The series, which will run over the coming months, fully demonstrates how agile we can be in turning our consumer insight into attractive and competitively priced products.”

Sainsbury's and Random House Launch Bite-Sized eBooks is a post from: E-Reader News

Video: Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 vs Apple iPad Mini


Welcome to another Good e-Reader Video Comparison! Today we take a look at the Apple iPad Mini and the brand new Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7. Many people purchase one of these devices to read digital magazines, newspapers, comic books and books. You can get a sense on some of the exclusive features some of the apps bring to the table.

The iPad Mini features a 7.9 inch 1,024 x 768 IPS LCD touchscreen display with 163 ppi. It has a duel core processor and 1 GB of RAM to keep apps and games flying properly.

The Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 features a seven inch capacitive multi-touch screen with a resolution of 1920×1200 pixels. Underneath the hood is a quad-core 2.2 GHZ processor and 2 GB of RAM.

In this video we put the exact same video, eBook, magazine, newspaper and comic books side by side. If you are thinking of purchasing or upgrading to either of these devices, this is a review for you.

Video: Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 vs Apple iPad Mini is a post from: E-Reader News

Digital Comics Best-Sellers for November 3, 2013

The Sandman Overture

It’s time for our weekly look at digital comics best-sellers on four different platforms. This is a look at what the top ten were on Sunday evening, so by the time you read this, it may have changed.

Usually the four top ten lists are really different, and this week is no exception, but they all have one thing in common: The Sandman!


1. Saga #15
2. X-Men: Battle of the Atom #2
3. Infinity #5
4. The Sandman: Overture #1
5. Avengers, vol. 5 #22
6. Guardians of the Galaxy, vol. 3 #8
7. Damian: Son of Batman #1
8. Superior Spider-Man #20
9. Green Lantern Annual #2
10. X-Factor, vol. 1 #92

There’s a new issue of Saga out this week, and that takes the top slot, as it usually does. I’m sure that bodice-ripper cover didn’t hurt. The first issue of Neil Gaiman’s much-anticipated new Sandman story, The Sandman: Overture, takes the fourth slot. ComiXology had a sale on the original run over the weekend, and while none of those 99-cent issues cracked the top ten, five of them made the top 20. All the top ten comics are fresh this week except for X-Factor, which is positively ancient by internet standards, having come out in 1993 in print and last March in digital. Marvel wins the week handily, with six of the top ten; DC has three (Sandman is part of their Vertigo imprint), and Image takes the top slot with Saga.


1. The Sandman, vol. 1: Preludes and Nocturnes
2. Batman, vol. 1: The Court of Owls
3. Justice League, vol. 1: Origin
4. Batman & Robin, vol. 1: Born to Kill
5. Batman: The Dark Knight, vol. 1
6. Batgirl, vol. 1: The Darkest Reflection
7. Nightwing, vol. 1: Traps and Trapezes
8. Batman: Detective Comics, vol. 1: Faces of Death
9. Catwoman, vol. 1: The Game
10. Red Hood and the Outlaws, vol. 1: REDemption

Over at the Kindle Store, on the other hand, it’s a clean sweep for DC, with the first volume of the original Sandman and nine collected editions of New 52 series. This list is completely different from last week’s list, and all the previous lists, for that matter. However, if you dip down to the second ten books, most of the usual titles show up—The Walking Dead, The Hedge Knight, Stephen King’s N. Those New 52 books are all discounted from the “digital list price,” but they aren’t listed on the deals page, so it’s not clear what pushed them all into the top ten this week.


1. Death: The High Cost of Living
2. Sandman #1
3. The Sandman: The Dream Hunters #1
4. The Sandman: Overture #1
5. It’s a Dog’s Life, Snoopy!
6. The World According to Lucy
7. Snoopy at the Bat
8. The Walking Dead, vol. 1
9. Injustice: Gods Among Us #1
10. Big Nate: Game On!

Nook users are generally a tight-fisted bunch, but Neil Gaiman is the man with the power, and four Sandman titles top the list, including The Sandman: Overture, which may be the greatest comic ever but is still five bucks for 33 pages. It looks like the 99-cent Sandman sale made an impact here. The other comics on the list are still in the same order they were in last week, which makes me suspect that there aren’t a lot of new sales.


1. My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic #12
2. Blue Is the Warmest Color
3. My Little Pony Annual
4. The Walking Dead, vol. 1
5. Sandman #1
6. The Sandman: Overture #1
7. My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic #11
8. Ender’s Game: Speaker for the Dead
9. The Walking Dead #116
10. The Walking Dead #1

But even Neil Gaiman can’t knock My Little Pony off the top spot on iBooks! Besides Sandman and the usual suspects, an Ender’s Game graphic novel makes the list, no doubt because the movie premiered this weekend. This is actually a really interesting lineup, with a couple of old titles, a couple of new ones, and a mix of single-issue comics and graphic novels.

Digital Comics Best-Sellers for November 3, 2013 is a post from: E-Reader News

Derbyshire County Council Libraries Now Offering eAudiobook Service


Derbyshire County Council's libraries first started offering ebooks back in 2011 and is now starting a new service, that of offering eaudiobooks which users can download on their device and listen. The service is open to all members of the library that is now offering about a thousand titles to begin with. One of the inherent benefits of the service is that it can be availed by the members 24 X 7 and from anywhere in the world. Also, the eaudiobooks can be downloaded on a wide range of devices such as smartphones, PCs, MP3 players and tablet PCs though not on Kindle devices since Amazon does not support DRM.

As per the library's guidelines, members will be issued for a period of 21 days post which, the eaudiobook will expire unless it is renewed or returned. There are no overdue charges to worry about though. Members will also have the option to download up to 5 eaudiobook at a time. If the eaudiobook isn't available for download, users can reserve it for free and will be issued a notification once the book becomes available once again. The eaudiobook also offers several convenient features including the ability to slow down the playback speed to allow ample time for the listeners to comprehend the content.

Among the eudiobook titles on offer in the fiction genre include Citadel by Kate Mosse, Standing in Another Man's Grave by Ian Rankin, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson and Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney. Similarly, there are other sections as well such as biographies along with titles dedicated to kids and children.

"This is a welcome and exciting development in our libraries. People throughout the county will be able to browse and download the titles of their choice at a time to suit them. It will also help to build on the success of our eBook service by reaching those people who are unable to access library buildings or traditional books," said Councillor Ellie Wilcox, Deputy Cabinet Member for Health and Communities.

Derbyshire County Council Libraries Now Offering eAudiobook Service is a post from: E-Reader News

Kindle Paperwhite 2 Comics Review with Kindle Panel View (Video)

A few days ago I posted a review of the Kindle Paperwhite 2. When doing the video review I forgot to discuss comics so afterward I put together a quick video showing how Kindle Panel View works for comic books and graphic novels on the Kindle Paperwhite 2. Kindle Panel View has been around since […]

iPad Air and iPad Mini Comparison Video


Welcome to another Good e-Reader Comparison video! Today we look at the core e-reader experience on the new Apple iPad Air and the iPad Mini! Many people have the Mini and be wondering what all of the fuss is about with the Air. We put the two head to head to give you an accurate rendition of how digital comics, eBooks, magazines, newspapers and audio/video perform. We show you the exact same content on each screen, so you can get a sense on how each handles it.

iPad Air and iPad Mini Comparison Video is a post from: E-Reader News

Sony Reader Store Applauds FCC Announcement for e-Readers on Airplanes


There is an air of excitement with the news released last week that the FAA will not allow tablets and e-Readers on flights and allow us to read whenever we want.  Most airlines will have major routes all setup by the end of the year. Sony has announced it has created a new section or eBooks that take between six and eight hours to read.

Reader Store, Sony's home for eBooks, applauds the FAA for making life for readers a whole lot better with a ruling allowing airline passengers to enjoy their eBooks from gate to gate. "It is safe to read downloaded materials like e-books and calendars, and also to play games." Michael Huerta, FAA administrator told reporters at Reagan National Airport.

Sony Reader Store Applauds FCC Announcement for e-Readers on Airplanes is a post from: E-Reader News