Love is in the air and for those who'd like to convey the feelings with something that is more tangible (read tablet devices), there are some nice lucrative deals for the Kindle Fire HDX to consider this Valentines Day. Discounts being offered range from just $15 for the 7 inch Kindle Fire HD to a massive $80 for the Kindle Fire HD 8.9. In between, the latest Kindle tablet versions too benefit from a price cut of $30 for the 7 inch Kindle Fire HDX while its bigger cousin, the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 is getting a price cut of $40.
Overall, the entire Kindle Fire range including even the HD version continues to amaze us with its brilliant display and performance, all of it is backed by an equally impressive tablet ecosystem. Or to put it in other words, it's the best time to invest in a Kindle Fire device, particularly the bigger screened version to make the most of the discounts on offer.
The price structure for the entire Kindle Fire range valid till the Valentine's Day is as follows:
Kindle Fire HD 7 – $124 ($139)
Kindle Fire HDX 7 – $199 ($229)
Kindle Fire HD 8.9 – $339 ($379)
Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 – $189 ($269)
Monday, February 10, 2014
The e-Reader continues to enjoy modest growth and peoples love affair with reading on the go, continues. Anyone who has ever ravenously devoured a trilogy of books, one after the other can attest, e-readers are far easier on the eyes than a tablet. When it comes to e-readers, people have fonder memories of their experiences, than any other device.
e-Reader sales peaked in 2011 when Sony, Nook, Kobo and Amazon were heavily competing against each other in a very hot sector. At the end of 2011 28 million e-readers were sold and sales have been sliding ever since. Only 15 million devices were sold in 2013 and 19.9 million units in 2012. Research firms are optimistic about 2014 sales, due to a bunch of new markets opening. Honestly though, e-Readers are very mature now, with only a handful of top players that make money doing it.
When it comes right down to it, e-readers are one of the few tech devices on the market that are future-proof. Many people have a Kindle 2 or Kindle 3 and are quite happy with their purchases. I personally know about a hundred people that are enamored with their PRS 650, which is about four years old now. New e-Reader models often have barely noticeable differences between the previous generation and the current one. We often see faster page turns, a faster processor and more RAM. Aside from the front-lit technology that came out a few years ago, there is seldom a compelling reason to buy another e-reader.
We asked the question what your favorite e-reader memory was, on a recent Facebook entry. Here is what we got; Julie Semple Stam mentioned “It was when I knew for sure that I preferred e-books over paper ones. I was stuck reading a paper book and touched a word and couldn’t figure out why the definition didn’t pop up. I started laughing and had to explain to the others in our lunchroom what I had just done.”
Ruth Soukup said “When the Kindle first came out several years ago, I turned up my nose. After all, I was a purist. I love real books, I insisted. I want to feel them in my hands while I'm reading and see them on my shelf when I'm done. I liked the visual reminder of what I've read, liked the experience of reading a BOOK, not some silly electronic gizmo.
But then, about three years ago, I was doing some research on a particular topic and the only books I could find on the subject were Kindle books. After hemming and hawing for a while, then searching around some more and still finding nothing, I finally broke down and ordered the cheapest Kindle option I could get (only $69!)
To say it changed my life is not an exaggeration.
To my utter surprise, I absolutely loved reading books on my Kindle. In the years since, I have ordered two more Kindles for my own family, and have given them as graduation gifts to three of my college-bound nieces and nephews. I went from wondering how anyone could give up real books to wondering how I ever lived without one. After giving it some serious thought, I realized there are seven main reasons I now love reading my Kindle even more than regular books”
Michele Friedman provided an amusing antidote “Rolling over on my first Kindle in the middle of the night and breaking it which forced me to immediately get out of bed at 3 am and call Amazon to see how I could either fix it or get another one ASAP. They sold me a new one at a huge discount and had it to me within a day or two and sent me prepaid labels to send my old one back to them. I can’t live without my Kindle.”
Sanket Dhingra weighed in “Haven’t got to do this myself even though I have a Kindle, but experienced someone else doing it. This dates back 2 years when Kindle wasn’t even being sold in India at brick and mortar stores. A guy actually brought one to Delhi Metro tube and many asked him what sort of tablet is that. He was amazed when I told him I like Kindle too and am planning to get one. He was relieved to finally find someone he didn’t have to explain.”
Friend of Good e-Reader, Ryno Bones had a bit different of an experience ” One of my friends gave me a Kindle 2 about four years ago. Had a couple of mediocre books on it so I immediately connected it to Amazon to spend a few bucks on books I knew I couldn’t live without. Nothing happened. Kept getting errors. Finally called Amazon’s tech support about it. Turned out the dang thing was stolen. To save face I bought a Kindle 3.”
Microsoft is developing an XBox e-Reading App for Windows 8 that will be able to read eBooks, comics and magazines. This news stems from a recent job posting that Microsoft posted today.
The Job post basically summarizes that “As an SDE, you will be on the team building a groundbreaking interactive reading app on Windows, which incorporates books, magazines, and comics. In this position you will be expected to drive, design, and deliver the features that you work on. The ideal candidate will have strong technical skills, the ability to work in a fast-paced and collaborative, cross-discipline team environment, and a passion for digital entertainment.”
Windows 8 already ships with a reading app, but it is limited to PDF, XPS and TIFF files, but this new app seems to be much more than that. This new e-reading app might be fetching digital content directly from Barnes and Noble, as Microsoft invested $300 million into Nook Media and has assisted them in international distribution.
"E-Reads has proven to be as successful as I envisioned when I founded the company in 1999," said Richard Curtis in a statement. "However, as I recently surveyed the state of the industry, it became apparent that it was time to seek an alliance with a company with greater resources, particularly in the all-important area of marketing. I am confident that Open Road will afford all of our books the best opportunity to realize their full potential in a competitive, ever-changing, and increasingly crowded marketplace, and I look forward to playing a role in the integration of these two great firms."
It’s interesting that Curtis points to marketing as one of the major issues facing his company, a factor that has frustrated authors and publishers alike, especially now in the era of open book publication. As the sea of titles continues to swell daily, even established names in the industry are finding book discovery to be a bit of a challenge.
"E-Reads is one of the publishing industry's pioneering companies, and it shares Open Road's passion for the digital future," continued Open Road cofounder and CEO Jane Friedman. "Richard Curtis has built an incredible catalog filled with beloved and bestselling authors, and we are excited to welcome them to the Open Road family as we bring all of our resources to connecting them with readers around the world."
The acquisition will be finalized in spring 2014, with E-Reads’ founder helping with the transition. Once complete, Curtis will continue to operate his successful literary agency, and the E-Reads’ titles will be available from Open Road’s website and major retailers.
Barnes and Noble has fired most of their hardware engineering division last Thursday, according to one source. This follows Barnes & Noble dismissing the VP of Hardware, Bill Saperstein in January. The head of Nook Accessories, Jacqueline Corso, was also let go last week. It looks like B&N is initiating the Clean Sweep protocol, as new CEO Michael Huseby is likely appointing his own cabinet into the upper echelons of management.
The Barnes and Noble portfolio of e-Readers and Tablets have seen cumitive loses each financial quarter in 2013. The entire hardware division was down 32.2% on a year-over-year basis. Most of the Nook management team mentioned that the bookstore chain should just axe it. One of the last proclamations that former CEO William Lynch made, was that the company was getting out of hardware, only to flip flop and say they were going to continue to make e-readers.
Barnes and Noble is expanding on their Nook Study platform and the entire program is undergoing a revision. They have brought over Roger Bishoff, formerly of Microsoft, into the role of Engineering Manager. He will be spearheading the entire digital Nook Education endeavor. Likely, the College and University bookstore chain of B&N will promote the digital aspect as early as the Fall.
Many of the new hires for B&N educational unit are actually based in the Seattle area. They are actively seeking new candidates to work in Redmond, which is a firm indication that Microsoft might be playing a role in this whole program.
The vast majority of Barnes and Nobles programs are in serious jeopardy. Their App market has been relegated into obscurity with the inclusion of Google Play and their self-publishing platform, Nook Press has not made any announcements since it originally launched last year.
Whether there have been enough takers for the Samsung Galaxy Round smartphone can be a topic of debate though it seems there is quite some clamor for the tablet version of the same. Now designer Jermaine Smit has come up with some interesting design concepts to whet out appetite that much more. To begin with, the tablets showcased differ from its smartphone brethren in it bending along the central horizontal mid-line, which is where it shares a similar design theme with the LG G2 Flex. In contrast, the Galaxy Round incorporates a design theme that bends along the vertical central line.
Further, the Galaxy Tab Round sports super thin bezels that are quite similar to what we have come to expect of smartphone devices. The tablet also comes with its own stand which bears some resemblance with the recently launched Lenovo Yoga tablet. Overall, it's a whole new design concept that has been put forward, one that looks excellent and sleek. It's quite unlike anything we have seen so far in the tablet sphere though before we start getting too excited, let's be reminded all over again these are just conceptual designs and may not bear any direct or indirect resemblance with a tablet which again no one is sure Samsung is going to come out with.
Smit also seems to have an idea of what the internals of the tablet will be like. These include a Snapdragon 805 chip that works together with a 4 GB RAM, and 32 GB of internal storage. The tablet being shown here comes with a 2K 10.1 inch display. Further, the tablet will have a twin camera set up, with a 13 megapixel camera along the rear and a 3.2 megapixel unit along the front.
Meanwhile, there also is a video pasted below that will let us have a better idea of it.
February marks Black History Month in the United States and Canada. This is a great time to diversify your digital collection and focus your marketing efforts around a holiday or event. Last week in the Collection Development blog, we shared some suggested titles to build up your digital collection in honor of Black History Month. We now have marketing materials available in the Partner Portal, including a print-ready flyer and a web graphic that can be used on your library website or shared on your Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest accounts. When posting the graphic, make sure to link it to your digital collection and if possible, include a description about your eBooks with the appropriate URL.
On social media, many libraries have found success by highlighting specific titles through an eBook of the day or a featured title of the week board on Pinterest, or regular posts on Facebook and Twitter. Spotlighting books that correlate with holidays or events is an easy way to show the variety of titles available. And remember, Black History Month isn't the only celebration in February. Valentine's Day is quickly approaching as well. Hopeless romantics will be drawn to your love stories, but you can also feature some of your nonfiction self-help content with relationship advice.
In the Partner Portal, we have a series of Seasonal Promotion marketing kits. Just visit http://partners.overdrive.com, click on “Marketing & Outreach,”choose your platform and select “Promotional Resources.” You'll find the updated “Seasonal Promotion” kits featuring a variety of print-ready materials and web graphics for holidays and events throughout the year. Each kit is divided by season and month (as determined by the U.S. calendar). Find materials for February in the Winter Promo Pack or start planning for the next few months by browsing what we have available in the Spring Promo Pack. We will be updating each kit over the next few months to expand upon what is currently available. If you would like a custom marketing item or have any questions, please let us know! You can leave a comment here on the blog or directly contact your Account Specialist.
Melissa Marin is a Marketing Specialist at OverDrive.
Matthew Timmons-Brown, aka The Raspberry Pi Guy, was in the office recently and nailed down the elusive Gordon Hollingworth for an interview. It contains top secret stuff. Which obviously isn’t so secret any more but is very interesting. Enjoy!
|Kindle Daily Deals The Wrong Hostage by Elizabeth Lowell Orphaned at thirteen, Grace Silva clawed her way out of poverty and violence to become one of the most respected judges on the federal bench. Grace believes in the rule of law — lives it, breathes it. She has always been buttoned up and buttoned down. […]|
DreamWorks Animation SKG, the creators of arguably most of the top-grossing children’s movies on the market alongside Disney’s Pixar studios, has announced that it will form its own children’s ebook imprint to release novelizations of its line of films. Some of the films include names like Madagascar, Shrek, and many more.
To date, DreamWorks’ films have been adapted for iOS and more recently Android devices by the award-winning iStoryTime group, owned by zuuka. iStoryTime, which began with enhanced ebooks of its own original in-house content, began creating the dynamic, full-featured adaptations for DreamWorks several years ago, even releasing some titles to coincide with the film launches.
While iStoryTime titles were initially stand-alone apps of the popular children’s books, the company evolved into offering a bookstore within its main app that let parents purchase titles for their children’s shelves. These titles, which featured full color animation, bonus learning games, and full audio narration with the ability to read aloud or read silently, were also available through an innovative ad-based feature that let parents earn additional titles for their children’s accounts by interacting with advertising outside of the book.
Welcome to the Good e-Reader Radio Show, week in review. Today, Michael Kozlowski of Good e-Reader flies solo, talking about the biggest stories of last week. Canadians will soon get lower eBook prices, due to a new agreement with major publishers. Sony and Kobo are become strange bedfellows, with Sony customers being transferred to Kobo in March. LJ Smith, is well known for writing the Vampire Diaries that has undergone a renaissance. She was let go by her publisher and decided to write Fan-Fic of her own franchise via Kindle Worlds. Lots more stories and some new tunes, a great show as always, so check it out.
Students aren't the only ones that love the digital library. So, why not entice even more of your faculty with a collection of digital professional development titles?
With sweeping changes in curriculum standards (that's you, Common Core!) and the possibilities of using technology in the classroom, more educators than ever are looking for guidance.
OverDrive carries many respected Professional Development publishers, including: Corwin (SAGE Publications), ASCD, International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), Wiley, and many more.
We've put together a selection of our most popular K-12 Professional Development titles. Some of our favorites:
As an added bonus, teachers that use the digital library themselves are even more likely to remind students of the digital options at your school!
Bailey Hotujac is a Collection Development Specialist at OverDrive.