Tag Archives: sony reader

Musings on privacy and ebooks, a personal perspective

I understand there are concerns about ebooks and privacy.  We should certainly consider how privacy will change with this technology, but I have to say, at a local level I feel I have so much more privacy reading books with an e-reader.  Using my ebook reader (Sony) I can buy an ebook or borrow one from the public library and read them anywhere without feeling exposed.

Let’s say I’m having a health issue and I want to borrow a print book from my local library to find out more about it.  If I live in a small town I probably know the librarian.  Do I want her to know about my health issue when I check out the book?  If I read the book on the bus, at work (during lunch of course), at my son’s karate class do I really want all those people to know about my issue?  Even in my own home.  Do I have to hide the print book from my children, my mom?

With an ebook you have privacy.  Nobody knows what you’re reading.

And to be honest, I much prefer privacy at this personal level.  I’m less concerned about whether the FBI knows what I’m reading.

OverDrive Expands International Distribution for eBooks & Audiobooks

From an OverDrive Press Release:

OverDrive Expands International Distribution for eBooks & Audiobooks
Leading booksellers and libraries in Australia, Brazil, Germany, India, Norway, and the UK join global network

(Las Vegas, NV, January 5, 2010) – Consumer Electronics Show – OverDrive (www.overdrive.com), the global leader in eBook and audiobook distribution, announced today that it recently entered into agreements with top booksellers, publishers, and libraries on five continents. OverDrive will demonstrate its global network and success in enabling access to 400,000 digital books on popular devices, including PC, Mac®, iPod®, iPhone®, Zune®, Sony® Reader™, nook™, and DROID™ by Motorola®, at CES booth #12145 on January 7-10, 2010.
Continue reading OverDrive Expands International Distribution for eBooks & Audiobooks

Webinar Summary- Consumer Book Trends 2009 – Hosted by Bowker & AAP

Attended the Bowker/AAP webinar on consumer book trends for 2009.  This focused on Q3 numbers in 2009 with a close look at 2 user groups -  18 – 29 year old males and 30 – 40 year old females.  My notes are below, pardon the typos, was typing fast and furious to catch the data.

the Speakers:

  • Tina Jordan, VP AAP – moderator
  • Kelly Gallagher, VP Publishing Services, Bowker – speaker

Bowker announced yesterday that 1/3 Americans cutting down on book purchases Continue reading Webinar Summary- Consumer Book Trends 2009 – Hosted by Bowker & AAP

New Articles of Interest

Bill Clinton Pens New Britannica Article on Dayton Accords

IDPF elections: Faster e-book standards-making expected—given BOTH presidential candidates’ platforms

Springer Group, Second-Leading STM Publisher, Sold by/to Private Equity Firms – 12/11/2009 – Library Journal

Canadian Private School Switches to Sony e-Readers   – 12/9/2009 8:28:00 AM – Publishers Weekly

Baker & Taylor Acquires Blackwell North America, Will Merge into YBP – 12/7/2009 – Library Journal

OverDrive Releases Digital Audiobook Application for Windows Mobile(R)

A press release from Overdrive, September 9, 2009

First in a Series of Mobile Apps for Over-the-Air Downloading From Booksellers and Libraries

(Cleveland, OH) – September 9, 2009 – OverDrive (www.overdrive.com), the leading global distributor of digital audiobooks and eBooks to libraries and retailers, announced the release of the first in a series of free digital book applications for mobile devices. OverDrive® Media Console(TM) for Windows Mobile® (http://overdrive.com/software/omc) enables users with Windows Mobile phones to wirelessly download audiobooks, music, and video to their devices and play the titles with the same superior navigation features of OverDrive’s desktop software. To view a list of supported devices including Sprint Palm Treo(TM), AT&T Samsung Jack(TM), and Verizon HTC Touch Pro(TM), visit http://www.microsoft.com/windowsmobile/en-us/devices/default.mspx.
Continue reading OverDrive Releases Digital Audiobook Application for Windows Mobile(R)

Libraries, are you feeling the love?

As was reported earlier, Sony and Overdrive have partnered to promote library e-book collections.  Sony seems to be embracing the library world as its competitive edge.  Why would one want to buy a Kindle and then have to buy content when you can buy a Sony and borrow much content for free?

It’s unlikely that Amazon will be interested in integrating the Kindle with library e-book collections, since the purpose of the Kindle is  to act as a mobile storefront.

It’s been interesting to read blog comments related to the announcement.  There’s a lot of love out there for libraries, and, it seems, a lot of potential customers who are interested in the remote use of library e-collections.

A large part of the integration of Sony and Overdrive is the “Library Finder” feature linked from the Sony Ebook Store.  I’m rather disappointed in the execution of the service.  Instead of being able to search for a title and see which libraries have it, which you can do from the Overdrive site, you first have to search for a local library and then search for a title.

I’m hoping for a Sony integration partner on the academic market side.  There are academic e-book vendors who support the epub format who would be a natural fit for Sony integration.  In the library where I work we’re planning to circulate Sony Readers to support our EBook Library collection.

The Sony press conference was held at New York Public Library.  I’m still trying to figure out if the partnership with NYPL goes beyond the use of the Overdrive collection.  If any NSR readers have some insight please post a comment.

Notebooks preferred to Readers for eTextbooks, highlights of the EDUCAUSE webinar on eTextbooks at NWMSU

I sat in on the EDUCAUSE webinar today on the eTextbook pilot project at NW Missouri State University.  Some background:

NWMS University has been purchasing textbooks for their students for the last 100 years!  They also provide notebook PC’s to students for a rather small fee.  Testing the eTextbook plan with the SONY Reader was the logical next step.  The pilot was last Fall.  The campus library is a separate function on campus, they were not involved in this project.  The presenters will be speaking at the EDUCAUSE conference in Denver this fall. Continue reading Notebooks preferred to Readers for eTextbooks, highlights of the EDUCAUSE webinar on eTextbooks at NWMSU

Overdrive and Sony to cross-market

From an Overdrive press release:

(Cleveland, OH) – August 12, 2009 – OverDrive (www.overdrive.com), the leading global digital distributor of eBooks and audiobooks to libraries, announced today a joint marketing agreement with Sony Electronics, Inc., developer of the Sony Reader Digital Book (www.sony.com/reader).  OverDrive and Sony will cross-market OverDrive’s library network and the Reader, the leading eBook device that is compatible with industry standard eBook formats offered by libraries.  Continue reading Overdrive and Sony to cross-market

ebook devices – a resource guide

Attended a virtual conference today, “The Handheld Librarian.”  There were two presentations on ebooks, one related to Kindles in libraries and the other on ebook devices.  The latter, presented by Charlotte Johnson of Southern Illinois University, highlighted the resourceful LibGuide she has developed on ebook reading devices.  It is available from the SIU Edwardsville site.  She has a section for each major device including Sony Reader, Kindle, Apple iTouch/iPhone, Plastic Logic, iRex, and Augmented Reality.

E-textbooks not ready for college students yet?

From Teleread   By David Rothman

image 6 Lessons One Campus Learned about E-Textbooks is the headline over Jeffrey R. Young’s article in the Chronicle of Higher Education. But perhaps it should read instead, “E-textbooks not ready for college students yet, at least in many cases.”

Northwestern Missouri State University used the Sony Reader in a pilot study and, according to Young, found that students demanded printed books instead because of navigation problems with E.

Mind you, this wasn’t with the new PRS-700, which lets you use a stylus to move around. So maybe the results would have been different. Continue reading E-textbooks not ready for college students yet?

British Library support of e-book readers

From RI Newsline:
Over the next three months readers at the British Library can try out three e-book readers from Sony and iRex Technologies … Devices on display include the Sony Reader, the iRex DR1000 and the iLiad.
From the press release, “Offering a hugely versatile reading experience, e-readers have seen an explosion of interest in recent months, with leading publishing experts suggesting that the industry has finally hit its ‘iPod moment’.”

Kindle2 Sony Reader in the personal market

Michael Pelikan has written an interesting article in Against the Grain about the Kindle Sony ebook reader showdown (Feb 2009 issue, article not available online.)  Michael focuses this first article on the personal use market, but I’m (impatiently) awaiting the next installment when he will look at library support for reading devices.  Michael is from Penn State where they’ve partnered with Sony to distribute Sony Readers through the library and within selected courses.  The article includes interesting comments from faculty about the experience.  He also gives a shout-out to calibre, open source ebook management software.

EBL titles on iPhone, iTouch

From the EBL blog:

We’ve recently announced that EBL titles can be downloaded to the Sony Reader, but did you know that EBL’s new reader is already accessible on an iPhone and iPod Touch?

Patrons can access EBL  titles on their iPhone or iPod Touch through the normal webpages.  The image view in the reader will render the full book.  Scrolling works by using two fingers. We’re planning to offer a scaled down view more suitable for mobile access later this year.

And news just in… downloading EBL ebooks to the iPhone/iPod Touch is soon to follow.  Adobe have just announced a partnership with Stanza Reader, the reader application designed for the iPhone. Read more here.

Sony Adds Half a Million Public Domain Google Books to Reader

From the wired.com blog
Sony Adds Half a Million Public Domain Google Books to Reader

By Charlie Sorrel EmailMarch 19, 2009 | 5:36:39 AMCategories: Books

Sony has inked (e-inked?) a deal with Google to bring half a million public domain books to its Reader e-book device, but surprise! Being a Sony service it looks to be awkward to use and no better than just grabbing the texts from Project Gutenberg.

Google has been scanning and textifying public domain texts in its attempt to organize the world’s information, and now they’ll be available for Sony’s e-book reader. This initiative, while certainly laudable as a way to get free books properly formatted for the device, really shows up the Sony Reader and its lack of a wireless internet connection.

First, you need to go to the Sony eBook Store and grab the PC software. Then you can search from the comfort of your own computer the half million books Sony has grabbed from Google. Then you need to sideload the content onto your Reader.

Worse, try going to the eBook site to find the Google link. You’ll have to scroll around. Sony’s web designers have decided to make the word “Google” appear only in jpeg form, so no quick page-search to find it.

Oh, Sony. It’s a nice try, but we think you already lost this one. The Kindle is currently the iPod of e-book readers, and while it doesn’t do everything, what it does do it does right. Plus, you can download any of Project Gutenberg’s free books, or even Google’s, directly, even on the beach. If you really want to read  Jane Austen’s “Sense and Sensibility”, that is.

Product page [Sony]

Press release[PR Newswire via Reuters]

Cleveland Public Library offers EPUB

CLEVELAND, OH, Jan 15 (MARKET WIRE) —
Cleveland Public Library (http://emedia.clevnet.org) today became the
first public library to offer eBook downloads in the industry standard
EPUB format. Readers at both Cleveland Public Library and CLEVNET member
libraries can check out and download EPUB eBooks from the library’s
download website. The EPUB files are optimized for the Sony(R) Reader and
can also be read on a PC or Mac(R) with free Adobe(R) Digital Editions
software. More than 8,500 libraries powered by OverDrive
(www.overdrive.com) will soon be able to offer eBooks in the EPUB format,
along with more than 150,000 titles in audiobook, eBook, music, and video
formats, many of which are compatible with both Mac and iPod(R).

Patron-defined lending periods will also be available for the first time
today at http://emedia.clevnet.org. The new feature allows libraries to
offer a variety of borrowing options, such as 7, 14, or 21 day lending
periods. Fast readers can now select a shorter checkout time, allowing
them to borrow more titles from their library. Patron-defined lending
periods, EPUB eBooks, and other upcoming enhancements will be
demonstrated at the American Library Association Midwinter Meeting 2009
(http://www.ala.org/ala/conferencesevents/upcoming/midwinter/home.cfm) on
Jan. 23-26 (Booth #2042).

EPUB is a reflowable, XML-based format for eBooks and other digital
publications developed by the International Digital Publishing Forum
(www.idpf.org) and adopted by leading publishers and technology firms as
the industry standard for eBooks. OverDrive, an IDPF member company, is
the only library download service that supports EPUB and integrates the
format into a single platform for delivering digital audiobooks, eBooks,
music, and video to library customers. More information on the EPUB
format is available at
http://overdrive.com/resources/mediaformats/eBooks.asp.

“EPUB eBooks are enhanced for mobile reading with reflowable text to fit
any screen and are compatible with the Sony Reader,” said David Burleigh,
director of marketing for OverDrive. “Major publishers such as Hachette
Book Group USA, Random House, and HarperCollins offer eBooks to libraries
in this emerging standard format, so library customers will be able to
enjoy award-winning and best-selling EPUB eBooks with just their library
card and an Internet-connected computer.”

“Introducing the EPUB format in the library market will enhance the eBook
experience for library patrons, as well as accelerate the wide-spread
adoption of this standard for digital reflowable text,” said Michael
Smith, executive director of the IDPF. “More publishers are utilizing
EPUB as they digitize front and backlist titles to provide a greater
selection for digital library patrons.”

OverDrive distributes thousands of EPUB eBooks from top publishers. EPUB
eBooks by James Patterson, Stephenie Meyer, David Sedaris, Janet
Evanovich, Elmore Leonard, Lisa Kleypas, and Brad Meltzer will soon be
available to libraries powered by OverDrive. Popular and best-selling
EPUB titles will also be available, including “Dewey: The Small Town
Library Cat,” “Things I’ve Learned from Women Who’ve Dumped Me,”
“Twilight: The Complete Illustrated Movie Companion,” and “Gossip Girl.”

All EPUB eBook downloads from the OverDrive-powered library download
website are borrowed just like a print book. A library customer can browse
a library’s digital catalog for titles, check out a title with a library
card, and download the eBook to his or her home computer. The titles can
be transferred from the library customer’s home computer to a Sony Reader
PRS-505 (with proper firmware installed) or PRS-700 using the Adobe
Digital Editions software. At the end of the lending period, the file
automatically expires and Adobe Digital Editions prompts the user to
delete the title from his or her computer.

OverDrive powers download media catalogs at thousands of libraries
worldwide, including institutions in New York, Singapore, Boston, and
Toronto. To see if your library is a member of the OverDrive network,
visit http://search.overdrive.com. OverDrive also operates the Digital
Bookmobile (www.digitalbookmobile.com), a high-tech 18-wheeler that
travels coast-to-coast raising awareness about free library downloads.

About OverDrive

OverDrive is a leading full-service digital distributor of eBooks,
audiobooks, music, and video. We deliver secure management, DRM
protection, and download fulfillment services for hundreds of publishers
and thousands of libraries, schools, and retailers serving millions of
end users. Founded in 1986, OverDrive is based in Cleveland, OH.
www.overdrive.com

Contact:
David Burleigh
OverDrive, Inc.
216-573-6886 x218
Email Contact

EBL ebooks can now be loaded on Sony Reader

From the new EBL blog:

Sony Reader and Adobe announced the release of Digital Editions firmware which can be loaded onto the Sony Reader PR505 and the new PR700.  As EBL download uses Adobe Digital Editions, EBL ebooks can now be loaded onto Sony Reader devices.

You can read more about the software and how to get it to work on the Sony Reader here…

http://blogs.adobe.com/digitaleditions/2008/07/sony_505a_firmware_released_1.html

EBL is one of the only major ebook providers which enables downloading to Adobe Digital Editions and so is among the first to be able to offer downloads to reader devices!

10 Reasons Not To Write Off Reading From a Screen

Top 10 list in support of ebooks.  From the Writers Handbook Blog.

10 Reasons Not to Write Off Reading From A Screen
Over the past few months there has been much discussion of an impending digital revolution in the way we read books. While much of this is hyperbole there has been incredulity in many quarters that anybody would ever want to read from a screen. We are all attached to books and the idea seems, at first glance, anachronistic. However there are some good reasons why it might not go away as quickly as you’d think.

Here’s why:

1.)    We do it all the time anyway. Whether its emails, blogs, the newspaper or text messages for the bulk of us, most of our reading is already on screen. The New York Times now was 13 million online readers per day against a print readership of 1.1 million.

2.)    Those who read books read the most online. The Guardian reported that “women and pensioners were [the] most active readers” (22/08/08). A recent study showed women, the most enthusiastic readers, dominate social networks; 16% of “silver surfers” spend over 42 hours per week online. Moreover overall internet usage was up 158% in the UK from 2002-2007.

3.)    e-Ink technology removes many of the disadvantages of screens. Using ionized black and white particles it eliminates eye strain and glare, expertly recreating the look and feel of paper and print.

4.)    New devices (using e-Ink) like the Sony Reader and Amazon Kindle are backed by technology giants who know how to make a product work. They come with features like an MP3 player (the Sony) and wireless connectivity (the Kindle). Expect them to only improve in the coming years.

5.)    In Japan mobile phone fiction- keitai novels- have gone from being a niche market to big business, with some novels being downloaded over 200k times a day. It has been reported that half of bestsellers in Japan are now mobile.

6.)    Likewise in China online novels are huge. The most searched for term on Chinese search engine baidu.cn is “novel”. According to Wired 10m “youth” now list reading online as one of their main hobbies.

7.)    The iPhone has changed the parameters again by offering a fantastic reading experience, on a portable easy to use, multi-functioning device. Apps like eReader and Stanza make an already desirable phone a viable ebook reader.

8.)    Paper costs are going through the roof- up 150% this year. With no slowing of the commodity book in site paper and manufacturing costs are likely to increase. Along with the cheapness of delivery the economics of electronic reading start to make sense.

9.)    Government policy is to invest in ereading. Education policy wonks view reading from laptops and PDAs as a handy workaround to encourage book averse but technophile teenagers to read. A school in Birmingham even replaced all textbooks with Palm Pilots.

10.)  The internet offers a whole new way of consuming content. Bundling, chunking, web only content, integrated multimedia elements, exciting new serialisations are only the beginning. This is reading from a screen not as something like lost but as something gained.
No one is saying that we will all run off any read all our books off a screen. Books are here to stay. Reading from one type of screen or another is not about to replace books, rather it is an addition to the varied climate to literature that already exists, a creative challenge, a commercial opportunity and new way for readers to enjoy texts.

Michael Bhaskar is Digital Publishing Executive at Pan Macmillan and blogs at http://thedigitalist.net.

EPUB Standard now on Sony Reader

From Publishers Weekly:

Sony Adopts EPUB Standard for Reader

By Jim Milliot — Publishers Weekly, 7/24/2008 7:16:00 AM

The International Digital Publishing Forum’s epub e-book standard received a big vote of support this morning when Sony announced that effective immediately its Sony Reader will now support the standard. Beginning in August, all new devices shipped will use epub, and right now owners of existing devices can go to http://esupport.sony.com to update their device’s software for epub support.

Brennan Mullin, v-p of Sony Audio, said the company was adopting the epub standard to encourage more vendors, booksellers and publishers to get involved in the e-book market and to broaden the amount of content that can be viewed on the Reader. The move to use epub is a significant change in approach for Sony, which has used its own standards and restricted consumers to buying e-books for the Reader from its own store. The use of epub will allow consumers to buy titles from a variety of outlets and will grow the number of titles compatible with the Reader to well passed the 45,000 now available through its online store. Another avenue for new material will be Adobe: Sony also annouced today that the device will support Adobe e-books with DRM and will also have the capability to reflow standard PDF e-books and other documents.

Publishers, who generally favor the one-format approach made possible by epub, welcomed Sony’s decision. “Sony’s support of epub is an important step forward in the cooperation of publishers and portable digital book manufacturers to create better experiences for readers,” said Brent Lewis, v-p digital & internet for Harlequin. “We’re thrilled with the upgrade.”  IDPF, of which Sony is a member, approved epub as an industrywide standard in an attempt to foster interoperability among e-book reading devices.

Mullin said sales of the Reader have been steady and that sales of titles have increased. Interest in e-books has grown and although reluctant to credit a competitor, Mullin acknowledged that the buzz around Amazon’s Kindle “has been good for everybody in the e-book market.” Amazon, however, has not adopted the epub standard.

In addition to adopting the epub standard, Sony has announced it has started offering the Reader in the U.K.