From PR Newswire, August 31st:
Sony today announced the launch of the lightest touch screen 6″ eReader device ever, Reader Wi-Fi (PRS-T1), providing the most natural and immersive reading experience yet for book lovers. The new Reader Wi-Fi builds on the popularity of last year’s line, while reducing size and weight and incorporating new and enhanced features. At under 6 ounces and with a 6″ E-Ink® Pearl V220 touch screen, Reader Wi-Fi is smaller than an average paperback book, can easily fit into a bag or pocket and is available in three color choices: black, red or white.
As part of Sony’s continued effort to support the Public Library System, Reader Wi-Fi will also be the first eReader to offer wireless connectivity to the public library system in the US and Canada via a dedicated icon on the device to allow easy and convenient borrowing of free e-books with a valid library card. Readers can access and download over 2.5 million titles via a Wi-Fi connection from Reader Store or shop from a wide range of bookstores and other websites that provide books in digital formats compatible with Reader Wi-Fi, such as EPUB, PDF and TXT. Continue reading Sony’s new 6″ Reader Wi-Fi to offer wireless connectivity to public library systems
Apple’s new in-app selling rules are in effect, requiring retailers to give Apple 30% of revenues from book sales. As a result, Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and Google Books have stopped selling books through their apps. SONY’s app was rejected back in February for the same reasons. There’s lots of news coverage, a few are linked below:
Today I attended a discussion at Bowling Green State University on the future of academic reading. It was a day long session involving a panel discussion of students and faculty, along with Amy Pawlowski, the Web Applications Manager at the Cleveland Public Library and myself as respondents.
The panelists were mostly upper-class and graduate students, and several faculty/administrators using a variety of devices and tools to read books. Below is a summary of the comments from the panelists. Consider this a snapshot of individuals, each offering a slightly different perspective on eReading, but with many commonalities.
Some interesting quotes from panelists and audience members:
“I didn’t want my fundamental reading experience to change. I didn’t want my book to tell me I had email.”
“I covet my print books, I don’t like to break the spine on them.”
“Someone told me to get a nook because I could share my books, why would I want to share?”
“After the students [3rd graders] read books on the iPad, they wanted to keep reading.”
In addition to my summary below of the morning session, BGSU representatives blogged the discussions. Those can be found here:
Continue reading The Future of Academic Reading – BGSU Discussion
I’m posting this because the COSLA report and some of the speakers at the eBook Summit yesterday believe that libraries should become self-publishers in an effort to increase their viability in the community and bring the community to the 21st century world. Infinity is a vibrant, self-publishing company. Perhaps we can learn something or start collaborating with companies like Infinity Publishing.
Infinity Publishing, a pioneer in self-publishing, today announced that it has signed a distribution agreement with Sony to make Infinity eBooks available for purchase on Sony’s Reader Storeâ„¢.
Infinity’s eBooks will now be available for sale on Sony’s Reader Store, from which readers can download eBooks in open-standard formats that can be viewed on various eBook reading devices, including Sony’s Reader. Continue reading Self-Publishing Company, Infinity Publishing, to Distribute eBooks via SONY Reader Store
Great news from SONY. They just announced 30 libraries across the country who will participate with them in the SONY Reader Library Program. It’s truly wonderful to see an eBook reader company reaching out to libraries to promote and encourage the use of the eBooks. What is unclear, however, is whether the program encourages libraries to lend the SONY devices to patrons. The press release states that devices will be provided for library staff use and patron demonstrations. I hope they won’t stop short of the idea to lend devices to patrons. Here is more information from the SONY Press Release: Continue reading SONY’s Reader Library Program – But can they loan the devices?
The Book Industry Study Group, along with a variety of corporate sponsors, launched a study in late 2009 about consumer attitudes toward e-book reading. Consumers were asked a series of questions in Nov. 2009, Jan. 2010 and again in July 2010. Some initial results were released during a twitter #followreader discussion hosted by O’Reilly TOC. The following is an excerpt from the TOC post: (note that “library” is reported for 7% of ebook downloads) (after original post found out that Kelly from BISG said that library downloads are so much in their infancy they don’t have a large enough sample. They hope to do a survey soon regarding this.) Continue reading BISG Study – 7% of eBook downloads are from a library
Another batch of good reads out there this week. Digital textbooks for higher education, eBook readers for schools in MA and FL, and Sony stating eBooks will overtake print within 5 years.
TOC – The real title of this presentation is…. So an Author, a Publisher, and a Reader Walk into a Bar… Feb. 24
Speakers: Malle Vallik, eHARLEQUIN, and Bob Carlton, LibreDigital
Bob and Malle discussed online marketing and what is working to move units. They felt this would be a great conversation in a bar, thus the title. Some highlights from the session are below.
Very cool news from OCLC/NetLibrary. Their e-books are now compatible with the Nook as well as the new SONY Daily Edition (they were already compatible with the 4 versions of SONY Readers). This is a real benefit for libraries who are looking for more e-reader options. It opens up so many potentials for patron downloads and the use of e-readers by libraries (for circulation). I hope to see other aggregators and publishers following suit and (fingers crossed) adding more textbooks to the mix. The press release from OCLC is below.
NetLibrary eBooks compatible with new Barnes & Noble nook, new ony Daily Edition and other popular eBook readers
140,000 eBook titles available for download to portable devices
Continue reading NetLibrary titles compatible with Nook and SONY Daily Edition
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.
Bowker and AAP sponsored a webinar today on US Consumer Book Buying. It was incredibly well organized and full of good data. My notes and comments are included below.
- Tina Jordan (AAP) moderator
- Kelly Gallagher (Bowker) speaker
2009 data, first 6 months, based on what consumer is buying/reading
- 2008 – e-commerce the dominant channel for book sales, beating out brick n mortar
- 2009 – so far, large chain bookstores are back at the top
- Consumer is King and defines the marketplace, we can’t publish like we used to – the old supply/demand model.
3 indicators – impact of economy, competition for leisure time, product selection (genres, formats) Continue reading US Consumer Book Buying webinar, summary
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.
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