Category: Digital Reading Devices


Amazon’s Kindle may be one of the most popular digital book readers out there, but the Sony Reader and applications made for the Ipod and Iphone are close behind. In fact Sony recently struck a deal with Google in hopes of increasing sales as well as popularity. According to an article by the NY Times by the end of the week, Sony hopes to include roughly “a half million copyright-free books available for its Reader device.” By doing this, Sony is attempting to divert attention from the Kindle as well as invite new digital readers to its Reading device as oppose to Kindle or similar devices/applications.

This will certainly be a difficult task for Sony. Amazon currently has 250,000 books that are available for the Kindle (and that number continues to grow). Furthermore, titles that are available for the Kindle are “books people are most interested in reading, like new releases and best sellers.” Whereas Sony’s Reader, with the help of Google, will allow individuals to download free non-copyrighted material. The reason that these titles are non-copyrighted are due mainly to the fact that the books are old- or have been in print long enough to lose the copyright once associated with them. The titles add up to roughly 7 million books that will be available for FREE!

“The books available to Reader owners were written before 1923 and include classics like “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court,” by Mark Twain, and “The Awakening,” by Kate Chopin, as well as harder-to-find titles like “The Letters of Jane Austen.””

If you happen to like reading classics, then this will be great. However you won’t find any titles by Editorial Campana or Campanita books.  Google is working to increase the copyright-free materials. In the meantime, through the Google Book Search Program, books that are copyrighted will be visible only with either selected pages/text or only the first few pages. 

Once Google and Sony team up, will readers turn their attention to the Reader for classics (and maybe one day new releases/bestsellers)? Or will Kindle’s emphasis to provide new books and hot releases over-power Google and Amazon. Maybe in the end- neither will progress- applications made for computers and mobile devices may turn out to be what’s on the next page!

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As you all know by now, Kindle, the famous revolutionary reading device from from Amazon, has had a make-over. Amazon is happy to announce the Kindle 2. Although still the same price of 359, the Kindle 2 offers a bunch of new features. If you read our blog, “Reading on the go,” or anywhere else on the web, you already know about the new features. We won’t get too in depth on them.

The one feature that stands out that amazon is hyping up is called WHISPERSYNC. This feature allows “readers to begin a book on one Kindle and continue, at the same point in the text, on another Kindle or a mobile phone.” Amazon hopes that this will make consumers more attracted to Kindle than other reading devices on the market. In short, Amazon is trying to make the KIndle the standard in digital reading devices. What the iPod did for music, Kindle hopes to do for books.

picture-1How will the Kindle 2 hold up? This seems a risky step for Amazon with the condition of the economy and the fact that there are many cheaper reading devices currently on the market. However, with cheaper prices for e-books, Amazon hopes to increase sales in the digital book realm. Since traditional book sales have dropped, digital books have started to show higher sales in the last year and are increasing at a steady (and possibly alarming) rate.

Amazon generally charges $9.99 for the digital versions of best sellers, although many publishers still sell the digital content to Amazon for the same price that they sell physical books. That means that for now, Amazon is taking a loss or making a small margin on the sale of some e-books.

Depending on how you look at it, Kindle is either good or bad. You may be able to get a copy of Editorial Campana’s book at a cheaper rate by buying the Kindle edition, but at what cost?

For those of you who have a Kindle (older version and Kindle 2), how has the device changed your reading habits- if at all?

Related article from the NY Times.

We have written several blogs about the popular Kindle from Amazon and how it could potentially replace traditional books (as well as similar devices). We here at Editorial Campana, being a book publishing company and all, try to keep up with the latest literary technology and news. Recently we stumbled across a new program that may have Kindle beat. And it’s not the only one. This new program/device/technology is called eReader. It is part of the iPhone’s application store (it is also available for many other portable devices and computers). So how does it work?

Like Kindle, you go to the eReader website and search for a book that you would like to add to your iPhone. Once you do this, you can download the book (after buying it) and then add it to your “bookshelf.” You can do this all wirelessly or you can add the book to your computer to have a much larger screen. Kindle has a similar feature that allows you to upload a book wirelessly, but here’s the catch- you have to buy Kindle for $359! The iPhone and other cell phones are much cheaper. The application is free unless you buy the pro. Looks like eReader has you beat here Kindle.

picture-11This application for your iPhone comes with a lot of great features. You can go to any page very easily and save your progress in case you need to come back to your book later. The settings section allows you to change the font size and style, change the way the pages turn (to give it amore realistic feeling), and change the screen color (black/white or reverse). And just like with the iPhone you can change from portrait to landscape depending on what you like better.

Sounds like this free application does it all. It has a very easy user interface and if you go to the website, they say they are always working on updates to make the application even better. Probably the best feature is that since this is a wireless device, it works on the 3G network or any Wi-Fi network so that you can always access your bookshelf. The only downside may be getting the books. With the computer you just go to eReader.com and purchase the book that you want. After you have bought it you can use the iPhone to update your bookshelf with your new content. We haven’t figured out how to do this on the iPhone yet (aside from the quick link to the eReader site), so we are not so sure that you can do that. As long as you have access to a computer though, your bookshelf is your mobile library. The application also works with Fictionwise and manybooks.net. There is the ability to import books from other sites, but the featured ones are easy and convienent. 

Another downside that we found was that the books were pricey for digital content as oppose to Kindle editions. For example the new Dean Koontz book, “The Good Guy,” cost about $5 for the Kindle edition whereas the eReader edition cost about regular price (about $8). The eReader does provide a program that allows you to get a discount of 15%. This program is known as the eReader Rewards program. So although the books may cost more, if you are an avid book reader, earning points will be quick and you will se significant discounts shortly thereafter. 

As more people are turning towards digital books, it looks like there are many more options now than just Kindle and the Sony device. We think it’s great that the iPhone has this application because aside from having to shell out more money and carry another device, the features are great and you will always have it with. Did we mention that the iPhone is much smaller than the Kindle?

Here is the tv ad that showed the world that the iPhone was launching into the digital reading device realm: