Quick Notes: Mercer Mayer on FastPencil, tablets as impulse purchases, cheaper e-readers, and more
January 25, 2011 | 7:46 pm
eBookNewser reports that children’s author Mercer Mayer is going to be publishing books through e-publisher FastPencil in 2011. He will be publishing nine titles in 2011, and will be creating new character franchises exclusive to FastPencil in addition to the ones he already has.
On ZDNet, James Kendrick has an interesting post in which he puts forward the theory that tablet computers are “impulse purchases”—things that people decide to buy because they look cool rather than out of any specific need for them. As such, he points out, they have to be priced low enough that the price doesn’t get in the way of the impulse to purchase, and suggests that $500 is the ceiling above which consumers lose that impulse. He believes that no matter how feature-packed a tablet like Motorola’s XOOM might be, if it’s more expensive than the iPad people will balk at the price.
He may have something there. But if that’s the case, I’d suggest that e-book readers must be even more of an impulse buy, given that they are considerably less versatile than tablets (and most don’t have color displays). And speaking of which, David Carnoy has a piece on CNet about how the drops in Kindle prices have forced other readers such as Kobo, Velocity Micro, and Sony models to lower their prices temporarily or permanently. At $99, several of these readers have a considerably better potential to be “impulse buys” than any tablet.
And speaking of tablets and e-readers, new owners of the Notion Ink Adam experienced some frustration as the first software update unexpectedly bricked their devices. Fortunately, the Notion Ink team has rapidly issued a downloadable 80MB fix that can be run from any Windows or Linux PC with a USB-to-mini-USB cable.
Peter Kafka at All Things Digital’s MediaMemo reports that Adobe is claiming that people who read advertisements in iPad magazine apps are more likely to buy products from advertisers than people who read in print magazines. They even have an independent study to support their argument.
Of course, Adobe is the one who actually makes those iPad magazine apps, and there’s also the little problem that relatively few people are interested in paying full cover price for them. So it’s not clear whether this is going to have any greater significance for advertisers in the long run. But still, it’s kind of interesting.
Google has brought its new “Cloud Print” service online, which allows printing from Gmail or Google Docs on Android or iOS devices, via the Internet, to a Windows PC with Google Chrome attached to a printer. It doesn’t appear to require installing an app on the device, but does need Chrome Print to be turned on in the settings of the Chrome browser. (Found via Wired’s Gadget Lab.)