Summer is quickly coming to an end and many audiobook retails are gearing up for September, for back to school season. There doesn’t seem to be a ton of deals this month, but there are a number of them if you know where to look.
As summer starts winding down and we look forward to the rush of big new fall releases, August will be a big month for NOOK Audiobooks customers to take advantage of our robust end-of-summer sales. During the first three weeks of August, customers who love certain genres can treat themselves to some nice deals on big titles – select Mysteries and Thrillers will be center stage at 40% off from August 4-9, Romance titles at 40% off will be highlighted August 11-16, and a nice selection of Popular Fiction will be showcased at 40% off August 18-23. We're also excited about big upcoming releases for August, including new blockbusters from James Patterson, Debbie Macomber, and Jonathan Kellerman – and we can't wait to hear The Girl in the Spider's Web (the 4th book in Steig Larsson's Millennium series) when it comes out September 1st. And to be sure, throughout the month our Daily Find will continue – that's our daily offer of a specially priced, unabridged audiobook at 60% off or more.
This month Audible is offering a number of free audiobooks.
You might have not have heard about this company, but they have some big deals going on.
Friday, August 14, 2015
Sony has announced that they are shutting down their entire e-commerce platform on August 28th 2015 and it will be impossible for anyone to place to an order for the Sony Digital Paper. The company has told me that they are developing a new website that should be more robust than the old version, but there is no timeline on when it will launch.
We do know that on August 28th the entire Sony online e-commerce network will be shut down and a new site will take its place. It is currently unknown when the new site will launch, and how long customers will have to wait until they can place orders again. I was told that it will be impossible to place a Digital Paper on the phone after August 28th and instead you will have to try and deal with some of their official partners.
There is a major problem with dealing with some of Sony’s partners, and that is they only primarily sell the device to other businesses. For example, Worldox sells their products to law firms and not to the general public.
My contacts at Sony really want to stress that the Digital Paper is alive and well. The department overseeing the product line continues to market the device to new customers such as the American Association of Law Libraries or visiting with the folks at the National Conference of State Legislatures.
From rocket launchers to high altitude ballooning to Sonic Pi space music to Astro Pi, much of the Raspberry Pi community is excited by the idea of exploring beyond our Blue Marble. We think you’ll enjoy this video from a Pi camera belonging to Portland State Aerospace Society, who launched a rocket from the Oregon desert last month. When I first watched it, it brought the whole of the Raspberry Pi Foundation to my desk in seconds, something even Krispy Kreme doesn’t reliably accomplish.
The video was captured by one of two Raspberry Pis aboard the rocket, both with cameras set up to stream live footage; the streaming seems to have been succcessful, even though the viewing angle for part of the video above wasn’t quite as planned.
You’ll find plenty of technical information in PSAS’ GitHub repository for this launch, and enthusiasts will be interested to know that they’ve promised more telemetry data over the next several months. There’s also an excellent gallery of launch photos taken from the ground, including the moment of lift-off from a more conventional viewpoint.
The digital comics market garnered over $100 million dollars in 2014 and Amazon has quickly become the dominant player. The Seattle company now controls 90% of the comic market, thanks to its strategic purchase of Comixology last year. 2015 has been a year of consolidation within the comic industry as Amazon is trying to distance themselves from their competitors such as Apple, Google and Madefire.
When Amazon purchased Comixology in early 2014 they immediately disabled all in-app purchases within their Android and iOS apps. Amazon simply wanted to make more money and not have to pay a commission every time someone bought a comic book. This move enraged their existing user-base because visiting a website to purchase content and then syncing all of the new data took more work.
This year, Amazon has given us a sense of how their endgame for comics is going to play out. The company added over 15,000 single issue and graphic novels from Marvel. According to Publishers Weekly “Marvel dominates the single-issue market with a 41% dollar share and a 43% unit share, according to the most recent industry statistics. More importantly, Marvel comics are the gateway to merchandise and media franchises worth billions—something that Amazon certainly understands. The exclusive deal with Marvel is a major competitive advantage. It is hard to see how a competing comics distribution platform could be useful to Google or Apple without Marvel in its catalog.”
One of Comixology’s biggest strengths has been their whitelabel service that powers some of the biggest digital comic apps out there. Marvel, DC, Image, and the Walking Dead are all fine examples of how Comixology allows these companies to offer digital content and the ability to make in-app purchases on Android and iOS.
I remain confident in the next few years we will see Amazon pushing Comixology to add more publishers to the Kindle store, in order to provide more single issue content to get e-reader and tablet owners to keep coming back to make more purchases every week, when new comics arrive.