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European e-book market plagued by lack of statistics, growth of piracy
July 27, 2015 | 3:14 pm

In the United States, e-books are relatively mature now. There’s a huge Kindle-owning audience, and even a lot of people who don’t have anything to do with Kindles will read e-books from other sources. But over on Europe, things are still less settled. Rüdiger Wischenbart, Director of Publishers Forum Berlin, has posted an essay to his blog complaining about all the uncertainty going around the European e-book scene. (He knows whereof he speaks—his company, Rüdiger Wischenbart Content & Consulting, is responsible for the Global eBook market trends report, which we’ve mentioned a time or two over the last few...

TeleRead Links: Amazonopoly, AlphaSmart, libraries and the Internet, and more
July 26, 2015 | 4:37 am

Why Amazon monopoly accusations deserve a closer look (Fortune) As with other one-time high-tech leaders (IBM, Microsoft, Google) Amazon’s dominant market share suddenly seems too much. In letters to the Justice Department, the authors’ and retailers’ groups claim that Amazon is squeezing publishers, punishing writers, driving bookstores out of business—and violating antitrust laws. They want Justice to investigate. Is there anything to their arguments? The TeleRead Take: Nope! Well, actually, this article is a lot better than the usual “Woe is us! Deliver us from Amazon!” piece. The author is cognizant of his own prejudices, for one thing, and does his best to...

Are e-book prices too low? No, but they used to be too high
July 25, 2015 | 5:51 pm

pound_signI missed participating in yesterday’s Futurechat Twitter hashtag chat fest, but the article that formed the basis of the discussion is interesting enough by itself. Porter Anderson poses the question that has been on many publishers’ lips ever since Amazon first started selling e-books: “Are we pricing books too low?” The article does have more of a basis than the Amazon-is-devaluing-our-books nattering we usually get. Anderson looks (via a Philip Jones piece) at the opening sales of the new Harper Lee book, Go Set a Watchman. It hit record sales in its first week, including in e-book form. Jones observes that...

TeleRead Links: Amazon sales increase, update moves nVidia Shield features, phones that please their owners, and more
July 25, 2015 | 4:41 am

amzonsmileAmazon Reports 20% Increase in Net Sales (GalleyCat) Net sales at Amazon increased 20 percent to $23.18 billion during the company’s financial the second quarter, as compared to $19.34 billion in Q2 2014. The TeleRead Take: More Amazon financials. It’s noteworthy that they don’t break out e-books vs. regular books or other products; they just talk about total sales. And even if (as GalleyCat points out in its third paragraph) Amazon introduced a new Kindle e-ink reader and expanded its kids’ tablet to the UK, that doesn’t necessarily explain the increase. Perhaps there’s more going on here than...

TeleRead Links: Amazon profits, disburses more anti-trust credit, helps publishers; bookstore turns hostel in Tokyo; and more
July 24, 2015 | 7:55 am

Amazon shares soar on surprise profit, market value above Wal Mart's (Reuters) Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) shares surged more than 17 percent on Thursday as the online retailer posted an unexpected quarterly profit, pushing its market value above that of Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N), the world's largest retailer. Amazon also forecast third-quarter revenue above estimates, and reported strong sales in North America, and unprecedented growth in its popular Prime two-day unlimited shipping service. The TeleRead Take: Amazon’s logo has a pretty good reason for smiling today. Amazon’s alleged inability to turn a profit and the alleged unprofitability of...

TeleRead Links: Apple music and the FTC, Harcourt agency pricing, free book vending machines, and more
July 23, 2015 | 3:45 am

FTC investigation into Apple heats up, music streaming services hit with subpoenas (The Verge) Before Apple decided to get into the streaming game, its 30 percent tax was still a pain for music streaming services, but not a hindrance to competition, since everyone had to abide by the same rules. But now that Apple Music is available, the world’s largest company has put itself directly in the FTC’s line of fire. As an industry source said, "It’s absurd that a company like Apple can have its cake and eat everyone else’s." The TeleRead Take: Wow, it’s got to...

What can we learn from a ‘Kindle Gold Rusher’?
July 18, 2015 | 10:44 am

181249_1_Here’s a story that’s been getting some play over the last couple of days. There’s a piece on The Hustler from a fellow named Sidd Finch who reportedly makes $150,000 a year by gaming the system on Amazon as a “Kindle Gold Rusher”. (Found via The Passive Voice.) He started out by looking at bestselling titles on Amazon, figuring he could do better, and then studying the existing bestsellers and writing a book of his own along the same theme. From there, he branched out into writing outlines and then paying ghost-writers to complete them for him, and paying...

Amazon Prime Now same-day delivery works just fine
July 17, 2015 | 5:27 pm

20150717_170849_HDRAmazon has a same-day delivery service called Amazon Prime Now. You can have items from a specific catalog delivered within two hours at no charge, or within one hour for an extra $7.99. There’s a $15 minimum order. It’s only available in selected cities right now (it just launched in six of them, including Chicago), but luckily, one of those cities is Indianapolis. So I decided to install the Android app and try it out. (There are also iOS and Amazon Android store apps.) I’ve been needing some new USB cables, and I found some that added up to...

Amazon, Authors United, and anti-trust issues
July 16, 2015 | 8:00 am

Here we have a few articles about putative Amazon malfeasance. The subject seems to be getting a lot of attention lately, and it’s probably going to get more. The snowballs have begun rolling down the hill, and they’re only going to pick up more momentum as they go. First, here’s a piece from the Washington Post (found by way of The Passive Voice) complaining that, since Amazon sells H is for Hawk, a $26-list-priced hardcover, for $15.60, that must be an anti-trust violation. "It's so galling," said Betsy Burton, president of the American Booksellers...

TeleRead Links: Article length, mobile editors, bookstore returns, and more
July 16, 2015 | 7:00 am

TLDR: so just how short should your online article be? (The Guardian) It’s why the inverted pyramid remains a useful model on which to craft story telling. Created for print to allow subeditors to cut copy from the bottom of an article with impunity, the inverted pyramid imposes a discipline on the writer. It dictates that the most newsworthy information leads, followed by the important details and finally the general information and background (what Delaney calls B matter). The TeleRead Take: How could I not excerpt an article about article length in a roundup? Back when I was...

TeleRead Links: Powell’s Bookstore, selling standalone books, Minion Yellow, and more
July 15, 2015 | 6:52 am

Pantone-Minion-Yellow-Minions-PinterestWhy Powell’s Bookstore Will Outlive the Kindle (Condé Nast Traveler) About half of the books on Powell’s shelves are used, most in very good condition. Loading up on used volumes with friendly prices, then struggling home with a weighty book-filled suitcase, has become somewhat of a tradition for Portland visitors. In an era where many readers have a Kindle or Nook on the nightstand, Powell’s is proof that readers still yearn on some level for what [Powell’s CEO Miriam] Sontz calls “paper between boards.” The bookstore sees 8,000 visitors a day, she says, attending young adult story times and author events,...

E-reader bargains and others tomorrow at Amazon—and a chance to help TeleRead
July 14, 2015 | 6:59 pm

Amazon Prime DayBelow are some of the e-reader bargains and others at Amazon starting at midnight Pacific Time tomorrow, as part of Bargain Wednesday for Prime Members. Links may or may not lead to pages offering discounts, and quantities of discounted items may be limited. But give the linksa shot. They are TeleRead Buying Links, to help us pay our writers and keep this free site going. Fire TV Stick, fastest selling Amazon device of all time, $15 off (discount not around when I looked - DR, July 15) Kindle 6" No Glare, $30 off (updated) Fire HD 7, $60 off Fire HD 7 Kids Edition, $60 off 32-inch LED...

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