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Posts tagged Amazon

Amazon to experiment with brick-and-mortar store in New York City
October 9, 2014 | 5:16 pm

Remember when Apple opened its first retail store and everyone thought they were crazy? It’s déjà vu all over again. The Wall Street Journal (article paywalled; google the headline to read) cites the ubiquitous “people familiar with” the matter to reveal that Amazon is opening its first brick-and-mortar store at 7 West 34th St. in New York City, across from the Empire State Building and just a block away from Macy’s at Herald Square, just in time for the holiday season. The store space could be used for same-day delivery in New York City, returns and exchanges, order...

Mobile phones go wingardium leviosa
October 9, 2014 | 2:25 pm

For those wanting to take the Harry Potter approach to controlling and interacting with your mobile device, there are some welcome developments on the horizon. Already there is the Amazon Fire Phone, which, although it hasn't exactly set the ... ahem ... world on fire, does incorporate gesture control via its four forward-facing cameras. However, there is also Elliptic Labs, which seeks to make mobile devices gesture-capable via ultrasound. Elliptic's Touchless Gesture Recognition Engine is already implemented in a Windows 8 suite and an Android SDK. According to the company's materials, "ultrasound signals sent through the air from speakers integrated in smart...

Fascinating look at sales numbers and effect of Kindle Unlimited
October 7, 2014 | 2:25 pm

kindle unlimitedFantasy author Rachel Aaron has a breakdown of the sales of her latest book on her blog, and, though long, it's fascinating reading. While it's worth reading (in all its 5400 word glory), there were two points which particularly interested me. 1. Fixed ranking hypothesis I'm not sure I'm buying her hypothesis, but it's an interesting idea, if true. On paper, at least, I looked like a winner, and it's my theory that because of this, I was given extra visibility by Amazon in the form of a fixed ranking. And I don't mean fixed as in illegally fixed, I mean they stuck...

Morning Roundup: Apple family or Amazon family? Best literary TED Talks
October 6, 2014 | 9:00 am

apple vs amazonAre You an Apple Family or an Amazon Family? (GigaOM) Both Amazon and Apple have new programs that let family members share downloaded content. Which one makes more sense for your family? *** Publishing Battle Should be Covered, Not Joined (NYT) Many readers have complained to me that The Times is demonizing Amazon and siding with publishers and those authors who support them. A pro-Amazon author charges that the paper is spewing propaganda and, on Twitter, asks for a public editor “intervention.” *** Ten Best Literary TED Talks of the Year (Book Riot) Every year on Book Riot we’ve put together a round-up of our favorite...

New York Times public editor finds bias in its Amazon/Hachette coverage
October 5, 2014 | 10:45 am

Wow, this is pretty big. For quite some time, indie publishing bloggers such as Hugh Howey, Joe Konrath, and David Gaughran have been complaining about the slanted nature of the New York Times’s coverage of the Amazon/Hachette squabble. Now New York Times Public Editor Margaret Sullivan has taken a look at the Times’s coverage and admitted that it could, indeed, be more even-handed. In her editorial, Sullivan links, recaps, and discusses prominent objections to the Times’s coverage, asks the Times reporters involved for their responses, and concludes: MY take: It’s important to remember that this...

Greenpeace deluges Amazon Fire Phone with one-star protest reviews
October 3, 2014 | 5:56 pm

greenpeaceWow, everyone’s piling onto Amazon these days. The latest fight Amazon’s picked with someone (or vice versa) is with, of all organizations, Greenpeace. Seeking Alpha reports that the environmental organization is upset Amazon hasn’t committed to moving to 100% green energy for its data centers the way other big data users like Google, Apple, and Facebook have. Even Yahoo and Microsoft have been making improvements, but Amazon hasn’t seen the need. So, Greenpeace decided to stage a protest. And since Amazon doesn’t have any ships they can row dinghies in front of or send scuba divers to sabotage, they...

Morning Roundup: More Amazon monopoly concerns. First impressions of new budget Kindle
October 3, 2014 | 9:00 am

kindleBooksellers Raise Amazon Monopoly Concerns with European Commission (PC World) Booksellers have met with European Commission officials to discuss their concerns that Amazon holds a monopoly in the online book market. *** First Impressions of the New Budget Kindle (The Digital Reader) Amazon’s newest budget Kindle is shipping today, and since I managed to snag a review unit I thought I would post my first impressions. *** Book Riot Launches New Comics Website (GalleyCat) The Book Riot team has launched a new comics website called “Panels.” *** An Open Letter to the Self-Published Author Feeling Dissed (The Horn Book) An editor isn’t there to “fix mistakes.” His or her most...

HarperCollins offers authors higher royalties for direct sales
October 2, 2014 | 6:17 pm

harper-collinsOne of the rallying cries of author advocates and Amazon adversaries alike has been that publishers should start selling their books direct to the public instead of letting middle-man Amazon have so much power. Another rallying cry is that publishers should pay authors bigger royalties. Well, Publishers Weekly reports that HarperCollins is combining those two suggestions, in a way—it’s offering authors an additional 10% royalty rate if they use an affiliate link on their web site to sell their book, e-book, or audiobook from HC’s direct sale site. (The PW article isn’t clear on the math; I’m assuming this means...

Remember all that anti-Amazon tax snark? Your turn, Apple
October 1, 2014 | 12:17 pm

PenguinAmazon-haters who used the media/retail giant's European tax policies as a stick to beat it with may soon be looking for a new theme: at least if they want to continue to cast Amazon as the sole villain in the piece. Because the European Commission has issued a letter asserting that the Irish state gave tax-related state aid to Apple to support its operations there, in contravention of European Union law. According to reports in the BBC and elsewhere, Apple is enjoying a 2 percent tax rate on many of its European activities by declaring them through its Irish subsidiary. According...

Authors United to ask Department of Justice for Amazon antitrust inquiry
September 25, 2014 | 6:08 pm

So, Authors United’s latest publicity stunt is to declare they’re asking the Department of Justice to investigate Amazon for anti-trust issues in the wake of the continuing contract dispute with Hachette. (Publishers Weekly talks about it here, linking to a paywalled Financial Times article that you can read free by googling “Authors to call for Amazon antitrust inquiry” then clicking the FT article and answering a question.) They’re still in the process of drafting the letter; Douglas Preston says it was leaked “very prematurely.” The letter will ask the justice department’s antitrust division to “examine Amazon’s...

Morning Roundup: Publishing is rotten. Are Amazon exclusives the next big challenge?
September 23, 2014 | 9:00 am

Amazon exclusivesPublishing is Rotten to the Core (David Gaughran) The most egregious behavior continually gets overlooked, ignored, and swept under the carpet, in favor of pursuing pet targets. *** Are Amazon Exclusives the Next Big Challenge for Everybody Else in Publishing? (The Shatzkin Files) Somebody smarter (or more patient about wading through data) than I am could probably figure out how far along this bifurcation is already, but Amazon is doing its very best to build a body of content that is desirable and available from nobody else but them. *** Evernote for Mac Rebuilds the Notes Editor, Improves Tables, and More (Lifehacker) Evernote released an update to...

Weekend Roundup: Review Kobo Aura H2O. Amazon allows family sharing of purchases
September 21, 2014 | 11:24 am

kobo aura h2oRead Slowly to Benefit Your Brain and Cut Stress (WSJ) The point of the club isn't to talk about literature, but to get away from pinging electronic devices and read, uninterrupted. *** Genre-Crossing Authors: An Interview with One Who Does it Well (Book Riot) This year, I’ve seen a number of authors delve into new genres for the first time. *** Review: Kobo Aura H20 (The Digital Reader) The Aura H2O is Kobo’s second ereader to use the 6.8″ E-ink screen. Like its predecessor this ereader asks for a premium price, and like the Aura HD this device offers a value which more than makes...