Tag Archive: digital books


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.

Google and Amazon have just recently announced that they will be pushing many books to be released into cell phone format. As many of you may know from our last post, the iPhone has many applications that allow you to read books, and there are other devices such as Amazon’s Kindle and Sony’s Reader. Yet as many of these devices are still expensive, people don’t want to spend more money at a time when most are watching what they spend. Knowing this, Google and Amazon have decided to make books available on many cell phones. 

Keep in mind that this news comes at a time when Amazon has announced that they will be releasing a newer version of their popular Kindle- the Kindle 2. Maybe Amazon hopes that even though mobile phones will allow you to read books, the new Kindle will offer features that will make consumers want a Kindle to read “Stories of Grown-Up Girls and Little Women,” written by Sonia Rivera-Valdès  Kindle already offers over 200,000 titles and with the release of the new Kindle, many  more are sure to follow. So why then would Amazon decide to make mobile phones have access to this library- exposure and profits. Although the Kindle is costly, it does make reading an electronic book easy. It’s large screen makes the reader feel as though they are reading an actual book than a cell phone would or even the iPhone.

But just as camera phones have not replaced digital cameras, smartphones are not likely to replace dedicated e-book readers like the Kindle or the Reader from Sony, analysts said. These specialized devices have screens about the size of a paperback book and use a technology that does not require backlighting, which makes them easier to read in most light conditions. They also have longer battery life.

The point however is that e-books are taking over. Although the future is still unknown, every day, e-books are proving that they will most likely become the new standard. With the growing popularity of Kindle, Sony’s Reader, applications, and now cell phones that can access books, it is just a matter of time when we will know libraries as digital vaults and monitors will become the new pages that we bookmark and instead, readers will say they can’t wait to find out what happens on the next screen. Books seem as though they will soon be found in museums (if they aren’t replaced by something digital) and maybe holding onto a couple may be a good investment as they might easily become collectors items.

Using Google’s book search, you can search for a book, read details, and in many cases, read several pages of the book. This is a remarkable tool for those looking for hard to find titles and for just about any book lover. Until recently this book search was limited to books that are still published. However, what about books that are no longer published? These books may still be under copyright yet are no longer in print, making it difficult for the public to get their hands on them. Until now.

“Ever since Google began scanning printed books four years ago, scholars and others with specialized interests have been able to tap a trove of information that had been locked away on the dusty shelves of libraries and in antiquarian bookstores.”

This applies to currently in-print books. A settlement that took place in October, may breathe life back into many books that are no longer in-print. The settlement would allow for a greater collection of books to be searchable and read using Google’s book search- including many that are still under copyright. As well, this settlement would allow authors and publishers (as well as google) to make profit from digital versions of books:

“Revenue will be generated through advertising sales on pages where previews of scanned books appear, through subscriptions by libraries and others to a database of all the scanned books in Google’s collection, and through sales to consumers of digital access to copyrighted books. Google will take 37 percent of this revenue, leaving 63 percent for publishers and authors.”

How does all this connect to books that are no longer in print but are still under copyright? This settlement could allow out-of-print books to be born anew in digital format and at the same time allow authors to make money from titles that have been out-of-print for years. Currently, Google has scanned roughly 7 million books into digital format. Books that have been long out of reach (but not forgotten) may soon be available simply by doing a Google book search. Losing the traditional book format, these books will be available online for readers. This method may even help increase revenue due to the fact that the publishing cost will be eliminated. 

This all sounds great. Readers will be able to get their hands (or eyes) on out-of-print books: ” Google users will have an unprecedented ability to search (for free) and access (for a fee) books that formerly lived only in university libraries.” Authors and publishers will make a profit, and Google will continue to provide a wonderful service. Even the settlement itself seemed to allow a peaceful disagreement: 

“When the agreement was announced in October, all sides hailed it as a landmark settlement that permitted Google to proceed with its scanning project while protecting the rights and financial interests of authors and publishers. Both sides agreed to disagree on whether the book scanning itself violated authors’ and publishers’ copyrights.”

Some, librarians in particular, did express fears that as this service grows, Goggle may end up increasing subscription fees. Although there are other services available, none provide the assortment of books allowed by Google. Ever since Microsoft closed it’s doors on a similar book program, Google currently monopolizes the digital book search world.

Revenues generated from Google book search, may be small but are still noticeable.

“So far, publishers that have permitted Google to offer searchable digital versions of their new in-print books have seen a small payoff. Macmillan, the company that owns publishing houses including Farrar, Straus & Giroux and St. Martin’s Press and represents authors including Jonathan Franzen and Janet Evanovich, offers 11,000 titles for search on Google. In 2007, Macmillan estimated that Google helped sell about 16,400 copies.”

It might take a while before an author with an out-of-print book notices any sort of profit. Yet there is still another service that this settlement will allow. Maybe it’s not so much the monetary aspect that will make this service so remarkable, but the cultural impact it will have. As this new service continues and expands, hopefully many titles, especially out-of-print Spanish titles will become accessible to those seeking to open a book that no longer exists.

As the economy has taken a downward spiral, what impact has it had on book sales? The economy, as we all know, as bad. Many experts say that it will get worse before it gets better and many agree that it will be a while before change for the better occurs. Since the decline of the economy, prices have dropped, gas has gone down, and everyone is wondering what will happen next. When “Black Friday” came around, consumer found deals that made their eyes pop out.  Despite the downfall of the economy, people are still shopping.

Net sales of books in April fell 3.5 percent to $472.7 million, based on data from 79 publishers as reported to the Association of American Publishers.

We probably should have expected this as many other products have been on the decline since the economic crisis. surprising though is that digital-based copies of books have not declined. sales in April rose almost 20%. This may be due to the fact that Kindle has increased in popularity. It may also be due to the fact that people are looking to spend their money in the best way possible- treading away from traditional media and venturing into the digital realm. Maybe there is some sense in buying the digital copy of Sonia Rivera-Valdès’ Stories of Little Women and Grown-Up Girls

Due to the decrease in book sales, many bookstores may start to sell books at lower prices to try and attract customers. Since the stores and retailers usually buy books at a fraction of the price for what they sell them, it may be in their best interest to slash prices if they are to stay in business, especially if the economy continues its trend.

“Most bookstores buy stock for 20 to 40 percent off suggested retail,” May said. “But they can buy remainders and other bargain books for as much as 90 percent off retail price. That means they can sell the books for less in a time when consumers are spending fewer dollars on books, and still make a higher profit margin.

As we get closer and closer to the end of 2008 and move into 2009, we can only hope that book sales will increase. Even if digital book sales continue to increase, traditional books also need to make a comeback. Hopefully, by slashing prices books will become more and more attractive, even in this digitally run world.

Read the full article quoted: Book sales in decline as U.S. economy contracts

Editorial Campana has recently made seven of their books available for digital download through Amazon.com making the books accessible to Kindle users. Three out of four of these titles comprise of separate English and Spanish versions. Selections available include the captivating So I Won’t Forget (English)/ Para que no se me olvide(Spanish) by Paquita Suarez Coalla, Stories of Little Women and Grown-Up Girls(English)/Historias de mujeres grandes y chiquitas(Spanish) by Casa de Las Américas literary prize winning author Sonia Rivera-Valdes, the heart wrenching Memory Tracks(English)/Fragmentos de la memoria (Spanish) by Margarita Drago and the reflective Escenas para turistas by Revolución y Cultura Magazine’s Fiction Award winner, Jaqueline Herranz Brooks. While many of the digital books offered to Kindle users cost around $9.99, you can find Editorial Campana’s titles for an affordable $3.96 per book.

 The Kindle, for those who are not familiar with it, is a portable and wireless reading device that enables users to download digital versions of full-length books, magazines, and newspapers through Amazon’s wireless Whispernet network. The Kindle can be purchased from Amazon.com for $399.00 and holds up to approximately 200 titles. Currently, there are more than 100,000 books available in the Kindle library, including more than 90 of 112 current New York Times® Best Sellers.

All of Editorial Campana’s titles can also now be previewed before you buy them. Amazon’s “Search Inside” feature allows visitors to browse real sample pages of the books before deciding to purchase them. “Search Inside” is a handy feature whether you prefer downloading a digital book with your new Kindle, or simply looking for a good old paperback or hardcover.

What does everything think about the Kindle? I personally prefer the traditional physical book in my hand (especially small paperbacks because I can put fold them up and put them in my pocket), though I haven’t gotten the chance to see a Kindle in person yet. The computer screen is supposed to be easy on the eyes, mimicking a real paper page. You can also store a ton of books into this device making it a real space saver. Is the Kindle the IPod of for books? Any thoughts??

Will